A 'Sinner's' Guide To Jack T. Chick

A 'Sinner's' Guide To Jack T. Chick

A look into the weird, hilarious and oftentimes disturbing world of Chick Tracts.
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Have you ever found yourself stopped in the middle of the street, with an odd pamphlet or comic book shoved rudely into your personal space? If you happened to read this strange little comic did you find absurd ramblings of brimstone and global conspiracy? If you answered no to both of those questions then congratulations, you’ve gotten lucky! If you answered yes then you have likely come face to face with the bizarre world of Chick Tracts.

Chick Tracts are a long running series of short evangelical comic pamphlets designed to spread the gospel of Jesus by an American publisher named Jack Thomas Chick. His company, creatively named Chick Publications, claims to have sold over 750 million different comics, books, posters, and videos throughout the world, all with the goal of spreading their religious and political ideals. Chick and his followers are a part of the “King James Only” movement, which argues that every English translation of the bible published after the King James Version is heretical, immoral, and contributes to social decay. Chick personally sees to the scriptwriting of each tract, making sure his own specific opinions and ideas are idolised, while attempting to attack opinions and facts that do not coexist well with his antiquated, often hostile, approach to the rest of the world.


Chick’s cartoonist crusade against the acceptance of others began in the 1960s, chasing a variety of topics with each publication. A classic (and laughable) example of his fearmongering can be seen in the 1984 comic “Dark Dungeons,” which posits that fantasy literature and gaming, specifically the tabletop roleplaying game “Dungeons and Dragons,” are works of the devil. “Dark Dungeons” contains a scene of a girl literally hanging herself after her character dies in the game, insinuations that role-playing gamers are being coerced by Satan (or willingly working for him), and the claim that fantasy books and games should be burned if one wishes to love Jesus. This particular tract has since gotten a film adaptation that, in some scenes, recreates panels directly from the comic with shot-for-shot accuracy. How seriously the film takes its source material is up for debate, but it still stands as a showcase of Chick’s work and the surreal impact it has had over the years. For more on “Dark Dungeons” and its ever amusing movie companion I highly suggest watching JonTron’s review of the film on YouTube, which is able to go into more specifics than I am here.

Outside of attacking gamers and fantasy fans Chick’s works become less humorously out of touch and more venomous in their nature. Chick Publication’s website contains a banner proclaiming to have been “equipping evangelism for over 50 years” with their particular form of hate speech and fearmongering preaching. Over the years Chick Tracts have accused a variety of other religions of heresy, immorality, Satanism, and of controlling a world government designed to destroy “true” Christian values (I honestly wish I was making that up). They have published over 20 different tracts targeting Catholics alone, with many more in circulation depicting offensive caricatures of Jews, Muslims, and others that Chick has deemed blasphemous by his insanely draconian standards.




Exploring Chick’s website is an exercise in extended self-torture, scrolling through seemingly endless pages of nonsensical hate speech and cringe worthy self-righteousness. As an atheist who accepts scientific thought and believes in the theory of evolution I find myself as one of the great multitude on Chick’s dizzying list of heretics and sinners. His website contains pages and articles with titles such as “Butterfly Gives Darwin an Absolute Breakdown,” “Doubt in the Bible Behind Cultural Decay,” “Proven step-by-step methods that will help you bring Jehovah’s Witnesses to Christ,” and one page in particular that claims that moderate Muslims “would prefer to replace US constitution with a caliphate,” which is so completely and utterly lacking in self-awareness that it would be funny if it wasn’t so bloated with ideological danger. Nobody seems to be safe from this spiritual war fought through comics and cartoons, with sections of the official site outright stating that “Good works cannot save you,” and arguing that ‘good people’ are not truly good unless they accept Jesus and subscribe to the stringent tenets of extremist evangelism. So no matter how kind that Jewish neighbour or atheist friend of yours is, they’re doomed to eternity in hell unless you save them with the power of Christ!




One of the most common tropes in Chick Tracts is the character of the goodly, kind Christian being subjugated to a vast, societal, liberal conspiracy meant to oppress them and destroy Jesus’ work. Whether it is a boy in school being bullied and punished by students and teachers alike when he expresses his knowledge of the “truth” that evolution is a conspiracy, or the weird reversal of reality in the comic “Sin City” where a man protesting homosexuality is referred to as a “stinking straight” and then beaten senseless by a leftist police force, essentially turning him into a martyr, this theme is heavily prevalent in most of Chick’s work. The assumed goal of this role is to self-victimise, casting those that Chick is actually attacking as the truly hostile force encroaching upon his violently theocratic existence. Oftentimes there is some sort of homosexual, devil-worshipping character working to pull the strings of the world with the over-the-top theatrics of old school supervillains.


While Jack T. Chick’s extensive body of work can oftentimes be laughed off as the insane ramblings of a religious zealot, it also should not be ignored. While it can be difficult to take any of his publications seriously over the years he has attacked everything from scientific knowledge and secular law to members of other religions and minority groups. His hate speech may be comical and purposely “politically incorrect” as he has argued, but that does not stop it from being harmful. He repeatedly attacks ideas of peaceful coexistence, refusing to look past religious, societal, and political lines that subjugate others while placing himself and his followers as truly worthy of God’s love. These views not only cast many Christians in an unfortunately negative light, but also promote intolerance and ignorance, using scare tactics in an attempt to force others into his rigid system of worship and control. In the end the greatest counter to Jack T. Chick and his ilk is to promote unity, intellectual freedom, and the loving acceptance of others.

Cover Image Credit: blogspot.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

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