The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Whatever happened to superheroes?
Okay, you may be thinking, “C’mon, Mike, didn’t you see the new Batman movie? And what about the Avengers? And the Green Hornet? And the…” Okay, fair question. And yes, I saw some of those.
But something I’ve noticed in recent years is that all the Captain America’s, Fantastic Fours, and Super Friends have gotten a bit long in the tooth. Truth is, we haven’t found a new superhero since Underdog showed up in 1964! That’s right! This year, X-Men’s Wolverine celebrates 50 years since he first appeared on the scene. He’s the same age as Thor, Spiderman, and the Incredible Hulk. Iron man’s a year younger. Batman’s a year older than my dad (and far less psychologically sound).. The Fantastic Four? 1961 – same year that I arrived on the planet, though I was never invited to their early meetings (I could have been number five, though I haven’t figured out my superpower yet).
My point is more of a question. Why have there been no legitimate superheroes in nearly fifty years? You may think that the rise of television took some of the steam out of the comic book market or you may want to argue over whether to count the Incredibles, but I have to wonder if it might be something deeper.
Could it be that the heroic is more of a memory than a current reality. Could it be that we wish someone from a simpler time would save the day? or could it be that we’ve lost hope in someone measuring up to the sacrificial exploits we read about in our childhood?
Regardless of the cause, it’s clear to me that there’s plenty of room for the heroic today. There’s room for men who embrace a heroic cause with heroic passion. There’s room for those who put others first and give themselves for someone else’s protection and future. There’s lots of room.
But are there men who will step forward? Today’s Clark Kent is more likely to avoid getting involved–to decide that it’s someone else’s job to make a difference. And when they don’t, he quickly dismisses any thought of sharing in the blame.
There’s plenty of room for heroes. There’s room in your neighborhood when a kid spends his evening hours alone because mom is working and dad’s not around. There’s room in your kid’s school when all the volunteers are moms. There’s room in your church when your pastor needs someone to understand what he sees and feel what he feels. There’s room on your job when someone needs to care about more than a paycheck. There’s even room in your backyard when a ball glove shrivels up from lack of exercise, and a lonely boy is shriveling with it.
In the Brotherhood, we know that self-sacrifice is our greatest moment. We are always at our best when we are laying ourselves down for someone else. You may think such sacrifices go unnoticed or are no big deal, but to those you help, you are more than human. You’re a hero, even a super one!