Showing posts with label Apologetics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Apologetics. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2023

It’s Iimi! Better Call Paul

Iimi tries to find the proper balance between when to speak out and when to draw boundaries. While Fr. Gabe’s talk at Youth Group seems to offer solace, it will be tested when Najiyah asks questions aimed at “reverting” Kismetta to Islam. 


Will Iimi be able to defend Kismetta’s newfound beliefs while avoiding being overloaded?


Preliminary notes:

While not planned (I work about a month in advance in writing these comics), the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul falls on January 25th, so things lined up nicely for this comic.


Outside of a brief mention in Issue 107, I never really dealt with the Muslim objections to St. Paul. The reason was that the arguments used were so weak I assumed they were strawmen arguments. But further research showed that they are indeed seen as “refutations” of Christianity. 


The general assumption among Muslims in these arguments is that because our Scriptures do not say the same thing as the Quran, they must have been corrupted. Paul is a common suspect. The Council of Nicaea is another.


Since Kismetta is in the process of converting, it made sense to have Najiyah raise these points in hopes of “saving” Kismetta.


The Exhortation (Christus Vivit) that Fr. Gabe read can be found HERE.

Post-Comic Notes:

Dhu alshier al’azraq is Arabic and roughly translates as “blue-haired one.”


For those unfamiliar with the Pop culture reference, the title and the cover are a parody of the TV series, “Better Call Saul.”

Monday, December 26, 2022

It’s Iimi! St. Mary’s Outside the Malls

The girls were just looking to redeem their Christmas gift cards. But a chance encounter with Saul—on a date with Tasha—turned it into an apologetics battle as they they debate… St. Mary’s Outside the Malls

Pre-comic notes: The basic influence for this comic comes from St. Jerome’s Against Helvidius. Note that the objections modern Protestants use to deny the Perpetual Virginity of Mary were refuted over 1100 years before the Reformation even began.


St. Mary’s Outside the Malls is a wordplay on the Church, “St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.” It’s also a pun on the dual meaning of the apostrophe S. It can indicate possession (or dedication in the sense of a Church name) or a shorthand for “is.” Kismetta is seeing a graffiti image of Our Lady outside of the Mall, and is the topic of conversation in the comic.

Post-Comic Notes: And thus, ends Season 3. Season 4 begins on January 2, 2023 with Dam it All!


2022 was interesting. I began January looking to bring two stories to fulfillment (I had been laying seeds for them since 2021): Paula’s adoption and Kismetta’s conversion. 


I knew I was going to do Paula’s story since the “Paula’s abortion” story arc (Issues 44-52). But I also knew I would need to wait to complete it until 2022 to avoid a rushed story. 


Kismetta’s conversion was a story I wanted to tell since 2020, but I didn’t want to even begin until I felt I could represent Islam fairly and without stereotypes. Because Kismetta was established as a sincere Muslim, I needed to establish how her beliefs could be plausibly challenged. That meant studying both Muslim apologetic attempts to discredit Christianity, and the reasons/struggles Muslims had who did convert to Christianity.


In portraying the Muslim reaction to Kismetta, I started with the assumption that it would be similar to how a Catholic might react to a teenager making anti-Catholic points in a youth group. Nobody devoted to their beliefs (and I include myself) likes their beliefs being rejected. Some would take a “shut up” attitude. Others might try to talk patiently with the teen. From there, I looked for Muslim responses to the question “What would you do if your child left Islam?” while avoiding extremist responses. 


One thing I did not want to do is play the “Islamic extremist” card. Unless (God forbid) an act of Muslim motivated terrorism happens in the real world that they discuss, you won’t see that portrayed in my comic. 


Of course, the rest of the Dhumzur family haven’t vanished. They’ll show up in 2023. 

And, we’ll begin 2023 learning something about Iimi…

Monday, October 3, 2022

It’s Iimi! I Wanna ROCOR Roll All Night…!

When Krysta sees the transfer student, Tasha Marov, acting like she’s pursuing Daryl, she desperately wants to wreak vengeance, only stopping because she knows she’ll be seen as a bully for doing so. When Iimi suspects that Tasha might be a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and might be trying to convert Daryl away from Catholicism, Krysta asks her to save Daryl, despite Paula’s concerns over Iimi’s Aspergers. Will Iimi flee? Or will she say… 


I Wanna ROCOR Roll All Night…!


And, no, I’m not apologizing for such a stupid pun…


Preliminary Notes: 


As always, the behavior of the antagonists is never intended to be a stereotype of “All of X act this way.” But I have personally encountered people who do act the way Tasha does.


ROCOR stands for “Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.” They’re a semi-autocephalous group, and members I encountered online were intolerant, spreading anti-Catholic literature and falsehoods and are generally opposed to the ecumenical outreach between Catholicism and the Orthodox churches. I’ve personally experienced members calling on God to curse me when I opposed misrepresentation of Catholic teaching and history. For a brief history, you can see this Wikipedia article.


ROCOR members I have personally encountered online do act with the level of aggressiveness portrayed here. though I toned it down from the abusiveness I’ve experienced. Much like my encounters with online athiests and fundamentalists, they do tend to run from argument to argument without acknowledging refutations.


But remember the fallacy of hasty generalization. The ROCOR trolls online do not necessarily represent all members of the group—let alone the all of the Eastern Orthodox churches in general.


Post Comic Notes


Those unfamiliar with anime and who want to learn more about the ojousama anime trope Tasha represents can see HEREand HERE.


For those surprised about Saul, this is an attitude I’ve encountered: Certain fundamentalists want to learn about Christian history after the accounts in the Bible but, rejecting the Catholic Church as a source, look to Eastern Orthodoxy. Will Saul reject it as “too Papist?” Will he become attracted to Orthodoxy? Too early to say yet. But both have happened in real life.