Monday, August 22, 2011

On Supporting Good Causes

So I find myself in a quandry. As some of you know, I really like webcomics. There are several out there that I enjoy, from Schlock Mercenary to Girl Genius (and yes, yours too Aneeka) and checking up on those stories has given me a little habit to enjoy as the week goes on.

My particular moral dilemmma currently has to do with one of the webcomics I read. The author actually runs a site with multiple comics on it, and some of them have become my favorites over the years. He speaks a lot on faith and heroism, which is something I always enjoy in my stories. He's also a super-conservative right wing Christian, which means that every so often he goes off on subjects that he finds threatening. Most of the time it is just some old fashioned humor, but occasionally he will drift into vitriol every once in a while. For the most part I had decided to tolerate his personal flaws and respect his work as an artist. In fact, I was actually planning on buying a bit of advertising space on his site, both to support him in his work and to promote my own work.

Things kind of took a new turn recently. The author of the webcomic also has a blog attached to his comics, and he has recently been posting an awful lot of anti-Mormon stuff. You know the kind--the creepily hateful websites with claims to know "actual" Mormon history, the old chestnuts about Mormon "secret" doctrine, the delightful distortion of half-truths for effect. It surprised me to see him not only posting it, but also advocating the material, basically acting as a parrot for these things when he could have been making the comics I enjoy.

I had always been aware that he wasn't necessarily a fan of Mormonism, which was something I could deal with. After all, many of the webcomics that I follow have authors whose viewpoints differ quite a bit from my own. The difference for me is between speaking up for your own views and spreading gossip and rumors about another's views. I had always been happy to hear about his faith, about the principles he believed in, because in a lot of ways they mirrored my own.

At the same time, I find it hard to support or read from an author who is actively spreading lies about my own beliefs, in a manner that won't permit reasonable discussion. I literally felt sick to my stomach as I watched the comment threads bascially denegrate into a pit of hate and bigotry, knowing all the while that any comment I would make would either be deleted or merely feed into the spirit of contention. Any intentions I had of buying ads on the site evaporated, and at this point I am wondering if it is even worth continuing to read his comics at all. It's not like I don't have other things to be doing, and I wouldn't want to approve of that kind of discourse about any person's faith, let alone my own. Given the political situation, we're probably only going to get bombarded by more of this stuff in the coming days, and the last thing we need is more.

So yeah, quandry. Let me know if you guys have any suggestions, and I hope you have a good week. See you around!

1 comment:

  1. Webcomics are supposed to entertain, right? If it's more aggravating than relaxing, maybe it's a good thing to nix. You could always e-mail the author as well with pretty much what you've said here. It might not change anything (except maybe giving you peace of mind?) but I think you're right that debating it in the comments would likely be aggravating.

    And I'm off to read Schlock! Which is always good!