The First Church of the Slacker Superman.

It’s Saturday night, and Bob X–the slacker superman from these from these old threads–is shopping. Specifically he’s sitting on top of the Sears Tower, using his telescopic x-ray vision to check store shelves for the latest version of his favorite video game*, when something in the parking lot of an Oklahoma City Walmart draws his attention. Four guys with baseball bats are pummeling a fifth man, whose the ground in the fetal position. Tuning in with super-hearing, Bob hears one of the thugs saying “We’re gonna beat the gay out of you and have fun doing it, you little–”

Bob doesn’t wait for the slur. Instead he kicks off his shoes and flies to the rescue. An eyeblink later, he’s disarmed and bound the gay-bashers; in another eyeblink he’s x-rayed the victim and determined that despite his multiple fractured ribs, he’s stable enough to travel. After taking a third eyeblink to break the corresponding bones[sup]†[/sup] on each of the thugs, Bob whisks their victim to the nearest hospital. A couple of days later he checks up on the victim, whose name is Jamie.

“How you doing, kid?” Bob asks Jamie once they’re alone.

“Fine, thanks to you,” Jamie replies.

“Glad to hear it. So listen. I hear you don’t have insurance, but I don’t want you thinking you have to leave the hospital before you should. I told the hospital I’d cover your bills. You don’t have to worry–”

“I was never worried,” Jamie says. “I knew you’d help, just like I knew you’d come to my rescue. The Chronicles of Exeter says The Almighty Robert always answers the prayers of the faithful.”

“Okay–wait, what? You prayed to who?”

“To you,” Jamie says. He goes on to say that he belongs to the Church of Exeter, a small organization formed about a year earlier, when Bob saved OKC from let’s say a massive cell of tornadoes. Among the persons saved was a charismatic and Charismatic preacher who had been suffering a crisis of faith. Bob’s miraculous rescue thrust the speaker out of Xtianity and into Exeterism. Gleaning every public statement Bob’s made (which must have been hard, as 90% of those are online reviews of video games), the preacher has amassed a small congregation.

Bob declines Jamie’s invitation to come to the next service, but he does take a gander with his super-senses. While nothing the preacher is saying actually offends him-- the church’s teachings are mostly along the line of “Don’t start shit, and there won’t be no shit,” “Always lend a hand when shit goes down,” and “Do not bother Bob while he is watching Breaking Bad unless you wished to be tossed into orbit”-- he’s still skeeved out, as he does not believe himself to be a god.[sup]‡[/sup]. Eavesdropping on the service, he hears lots of testimonies from people who say that their belief in him has changed their life for the better; and googling** (“bob x” OR "bob exeter) worship shows him that the Church of Exeter is growing both online and in meatspace.

All this leaves Bob highly disturbed. What, if anything, should he do about the Church of Exeter?

  • My Little Pony: Revenge of the Unicorns. He missed the release date because he was fighting a marauding space dragon or something.
    [sup]†[/sup] Well, if you want to be picky, in the case of each thug, Bob breaks two bones for each fracture the victim suffers.
    [sup]‡[/sup] To be fair, Bob’s not completely sure about that. He never knew his father, and his mother always got embarrassed in the presence of swans, but that doesn’t prove anything.
    ** Bob ordinarily declines to read his own press. Time spent in vanity googles is time he could have been fucking groupies, he says.

Mmmm… pumpkin pie! Much better than alcohol-free ‘wine’ and stale crackers! Although, I don’t want to think too much about the symbolism behind the whipped cream…

As you point out, this is just a small group. Making a public announcement will do more harm than good, as it will let a lot more people know the “church” exists. And your denouncement will just be excused as humility being a virtue. Making a big deal out of it would be like the Barbra Streisand effect.

Talk to the cult, find out about it, and make it clear that you don’t support being worshiped like that. Particularly make it clear that you don’t hear prayers, so praying to you doesn’t work–that’s the belief that seems to be most dangerous. Let them know that it displeases you for them to treat you like anything more than a human with extra powers. Get that to be part of their doctrine, which would essentially turn them into a particularly fervent fan club. But, other than that, leave it alone.

Also, all your pie are belong to me. There’s a lot of time, why eat just one?

So the gospels are filled with things like “Verily, while Half-Life is awesome, the best game of all remains Portal”, and “Thou shalt not camp”.

The commandments seem tame, and they aren’t following the lead of other religions and killing non-believers, so let them be and get some pecan pie.

Skald, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your contribution to these boards (who knows what kind of trouble you’d otherwise get up to?).

As for Bob, I’d lose a lot of respect for him if he didn’t find a clever and simple way to meet with the preacher and convince him to “speak for yourself, Asshole.”

Exactly!

Um, what does “camp” mean in this context?

In a multiplayer shooter game like Black Ops, a player finds a nook or cranny and sits there with their gun pointed at the door or passageway and kills people as they emerge into range. It is considered poor form.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

You’re going soft. The obvious answer is for Bob to lawyer up and have a chat (and by “chat” I mean an ironclad contract) with this preacher about trademarks, licenses, royalties, merchandise, distribution, etc. Hubbard made bank, and he didn’t even have super powers. Bob can be snorting blow off hooker’s asses live on PPV if he feels like it.

Other: I am offended that you misspelled “potato,” Dan.

If I were Bob I would have made myself a god years before.

Exactly! If Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, can be a god, why wouldn’t Bob?

It is gauche to point out typos, dear.

The Church of Bob should stop their obvious ripoff be prepared to face the wrath of JHVH-1.

Super powers, schmuper powers. Does he have a cool pipe?

In a game like that, the “people” you’re killing are the avatars of the other players, yes?

Is it that he can’t fly with his shoes on or that he prefers not to fly with his shoes on?
And does that mean he fights in socks or bare feet?

I wondered if anybody would comment on that?

Bob has super-powers but no super-tech. Landing from a super-speed flight ruins his shoes, so he takes them off first.

I figure he does all his super-feats unshod, and occasionally skyclad.

I appreciate that you’ve thought it out. I’m satisfied.

It appears Bob’s philosophy to do unto others as they have done unto others.

I believe Bob is morally obligated to lay onerous, burdensome and amusing demands upon his worshipers. He will thereby make Church membership an unattractive proposition and dissuade as many of them as possible while keeping the remaining whackjobs too busy to do any real harm.