Tackling Touchy Subjects
One of my favorite components of pop culture is the ability to tackle questions and topics that we aren't comfortable addressing in our everyday life. For instance, Undertale allows us to talk about genocide and pacifism - talking points that would fall dead on the ears of most people. But put that in a video game? Boom - you've got the attention of hundreds to millions of people across the globe.
Moral quandaries and social dilemmas are not really discussed in any culture like they should be - but the authors (or mangaka) of manga (japanese graphic novel) seem to be capable of these challenging topics.
In the church, we believe that social justice is a serious aspect of our ministry. As a young, white male, I find that many of the more serious matters feel disingenuous coming from my mouth. Can I really speak to the
concerns of the oppressed? Manga provide a voice into the world of the oppressed. A voice for the people that Jesus loves very much.
World Trigger is our latest book club entry and, from page one, it presents a touchy subject very important to the current culture. In this universe, portals have opened up to another world different from ours. Monsters, given the title of Neighbors, come through the portals and it is up to the Border Patrol to slaughter them as they enter our world. Whoa, right? From the on-the-nose title of 'Neighbors' (y'know, the ones we're supposed to love) to the glorification of death in society's view of the Patrol, this is one that will spark unforgettable conversation. I hope you'll be a good Neighbor and join in.
God loves you. We love you. You matter.
Be boldly blessed.