Take me as an example. I am a devout and somewhat outspoken Catholic. I also am a dance teacher, musician, athlete, outdoorswoman, wife, mother, writer, and health care provider. Being all these other things does not by any stretch tone down my religion. Rather, my religion informs my decisions and responses in all these other areas of my life.
No offense, you're not a superhero in a comic book, no one is reading about your adventures with the X-Men. If they were, you'd probably come off pretty boring, the way Kurt has. (Again, no offense meant, but that's the short of it).
Nightcrawler is an openly devout Catholic. He is also a superhero, fun-loving adventurer, acrobat, climber, swordsman, scrapper, flirt, etc.,. But being all those other things doesn't make him any less Catholic.
To a standing population of a generation which is DISTINCTLY less religious than the one before it, and more importantly, to an audience that reads daily, in and out, adventures and space and magic and mythos in multiple comic series and various films/television shows, yeah.... yes it does make him less of a Catholic because they don't understand how a swashbuckling character who likes to flirt with the ladies can not want to have sex with them or get tipsy like a pirate. The pieces don't connect. Kurt is essentially two characters.
Also, a lot (not necessarily most, but definitely a good percentage) of readers of comics (not comic fans, I said readers of comics, this means people who will be giving Marvel their money via comic sales not movies) are pretty liberal. It's hard to have a character who believes in equality for everyone, who understands intolerance to the core because of his appearance, be a conservative Catholic. I mean... people who I know who don't read Kurt-related comics say they feel like he's about to drop the words: "So you don't believe in Jesus huh? Guess YOU'RE going to hell!"
And that's not Kurt. And you know that's not Kurt. Again, it's two character-types clashing inside one creation. This was a thought-out decision by Marvel to end Kurt's life, and I actually get it now.
I might wonder if you'd also like it for Scarlet Witch to tone down her occult practices, for Shadowcat to tone down her Jewishnesss, etc.,.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
First off, it's Judaism. Jewishness, I can't believe that's actually a word. And no, I would not expect her, or Wanda, or Sooraya to tone down their religious aspects because it has never gotten in the way of their character developing before. Kitty isn't a rabbi, Wanda dabbles into occult, she's not a priestess, her character is CALLED Scarlet Witch
that is how she was developed, they just had to give her a mutant "twist", and Stan Lee wasn't all-too-creative on powers in his hay-day. Or rather, how to explain them.
None of these characters have let their religious practices get in the way, or rather no writers have let that happen. Kitty wears a Star of David around her neck to give herself hope 'cause she's a young girl who has seen way way way too much distress in her life
, and it's a belief structure she clings to to get her through the day. (When she's not phasing through everything).
Religion to be "dealt with" is what they're trying to do. Someone, I forget who it was, opened Pandora's box when they turned Kurt into a priest, and it (unfortunately) took a hand through his chest to close it back up again.
[Edited on 8/5/10 by Ult_Sm86]