"Preacher" as athiest propoganda? <spoilers>

I introduced a friend of mine the the “Preacher” comic book series the other day. His conclusion was that he hated it because it’s athiest propoganda, written by an athiest.

Specifically the ending where god is killed (and as an aside, what happens or would happen to the devils, angels, and deities that the SOK kills?) and heaven being flawed.

Any rebuttels for him? I don’t think it’s athiest propoganda if only because it posits a world where there’s no question that god exists, but it’d be nice to have a deeper rebuttel. Especially as I don’t like it being written off as mere propoganda.

First, the word is spelled “atheist,” not the way you spell it.

Second, what do you mean by “mere propaganda?” Do you believe art should not have a point of view? Many people have noted strong Christian themes in the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Were they indulging in “mere propaganda?”

The work definitely has an atheist point of view. Yes, it posits a world where God exists, but it’s a world where God exists and is an asshole, and it’s implied that we’re all probably better off without him.

Just because Garth Ennis (the writer) doesn’t believe in God, that doesn’t mean he can’t write about a world where God exists. Indeed, writing about things you don’t believe in is often a great way to illustrate why that thing couldn’t or shouldn’t exist.

Your friend is reading WAY too much into it.

Lewis most certainly was.

“Preacher” , as atheist propaganda? I don’t see it. “anti-theist” propaganda, possibly, but the two are not equivalent.

I don’t think so at all. The book clearly says that we’re better off without God and that there’s no reason that such a being should be worshipped. I actually don’t like Preacher too much, because I think Ennis clouded his message with much more farcical violence and weird sexual perversions than he should have, making that the part of the book that catches your eye instead of what’s really happening (and also because although Ennis wrote a deeply flawed protagonist in Jesse, he started to like him too much). But the message is very plainly there.


Tell him to calm down and read something else.

His Dark Materials should do the trick :smiley:

yojimbo, that’s just evil. :slight_smile:

It’s not that Atheism wasn’t a theme, but the idea that Ennis tried to slip propaganda through means of a graphic novel is a bit too much for me.

yojimbo, AuntiePam, watcha talkin’ 'bout? I haven’t read His Dark Materials, but WhyKid loves 'em. What should I be on the lookout for?

I don’t think Ennis is subtle enough to be considered “slipping propaganda,” really. I mean, that’s like saying Promethea has a hidden occult agenda. Um, no, it has a blatant occult agenda. Who cares? When it’s blatant, I can choose whether or not I want to read it. I’m much more worried in cases like the Narnia books, which I didn’t “get” until I was old enough to have been indoctrinated subliminally by many readings. When I finally realized what was up, I felt so betrayed and icky.

Why? 'Cuz comics can’t be literature?

If so, then :rolleyes:.


Cliffy! :eek:

They’re not “comics.”

They’re “graphic novels!”

Or “illuminated prose” :smiley:

But, those are the best parts!

“I knew it wanted it. Whut with it’s layers and cream filling.”

“And pluck the hairs. And smear the cheese. And say the name.”

“Fck me! Fck me hard and call me Eva!”

“Anal Rampage”

Anyhoo, I’d have to agree with your friend. Though, not because God dies. At the conclusion of the first story arc, when Jesse talks to the angels, the books message is made clear- In the Preacher universe, God exists and is massively powerful. He ignores the suffering of his creation and only cares about humans feeding His massive ego. The obvious, but never explicitly asked, question is-Assuming God exists in the real world, how is he any different from the bastard in Preacher?

In Preacher-heap plenty spoilers-

God kills the SOK’s family and does horrible things to him in order to make him into the Saint Of Killers. The man had peace and happiness, and God took that away because it suited His purposes.

God started Satan’s revolt knowing which angels would be loyal, just because their display of loyalty stroked His ego.

He expells angels from heaven for doing things he’s made them do (Genesis’ father is the most obvious example)

He does his best to help Granma, Jodie and TC beat Jesse. Even then, he doesn’t cure any of Granma’s many afflictions, or make her young or strong. He tells her a few things and then has her say an Our Father because it gets him off.

The Grail have His blood descendents and weild vast power in His name. He doesn’t seem to care what they do.

He is shown over and over to be a conceited asshole without the slightest bit of compassion.

WHY woulod he think it is an atheist publication? Is it just that its a fictional story based on religious characters?
Because if people really believed the stuff in Preacher they wouldn’t be atheist, would they? They’d have to believe in God and Satan and heaven in order to even begin to believe anything that happens in the Preacher comics. That would make them non-atheists. Also, they’d have to believe in vampires(?) I think your friend was wooshed.

No, because the “message” is that religion is damaging and used to control the weak-minded. I agree with whomever posted earlier that it’s more anti-theist than athiest, but it does present things it doesn’t “believe” in the literal existence of in order to make a. a point and b. a story. The central theme of Moby Dick has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of very large whales; the theme has to do with single-minded determination overtaking one’s very being while in pursuit of a narrowly defined goal. It could have been written about corporate CEO’s and poisoned drinking water, but then it wouldn’t have been as poetic or as timeless.

What’s the word for someone who believes in god but thinks he’s a wanker?

Because that kind of describes me (well, I’m probably agnostic, but if he exists, he’s definitely a wanker).

If there is such a word, I will call it <blank>, then Preacher is simply <blank>ist propaganda :wink: .

[slight hijack]What do you guys think about the movie rumours? link It looks James Marsden (Cyclops from X-men) as Jesse…don’t know if I agree

I think anti-theist works for that.

I thought “anti-theist” meant someone who was against theists?


I hope not. Unless Marsden can grow some nads sometime soon. He’s a wussy Cyclops and he’ll be an even wussier Jesse.

I’m surprised there’s even any debate over this. Obviously, Preacher is advocating an athiestic worldview. That’s the entire point, at least in the early comics. That’s why I started reading it in the first place.

More aggravating is the idea that, because a work of art presents an idea you disagree with, it’s “propaganda” and can offer you nothing interesting or entertaining. God forbid you should expose yourself to alternate points of view. There are a lot of legitimate reasons to not like Preacher. “It’s atheist propaganda” is not one of them.

Oh, and I’m very lukewarm on the movie idea. It should be an HBO mini-series, and should star either Joachim Phoenix or, even better, Rufus Sewell. Both nominations are, needless to say, dependent on their ability to render a convincing Texas accent.

But James Marsden? Uh… no. This sounds like another League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in the making.

Where the hell do you get that from what I said? I don’t consider Preacher to be propaganda because the theme of atheism or anti-theism doesn’t appear to be the sole reason for its creation. Chick Tracts are propaganda.