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.

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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Fun Fact: Karma Doesn't Exist

And What Goes Around Doesn't Come Around

Fairly recently, in my math history class, I’ve heard a wild tale about Pythagoras, how he had a cult, was essentially Mr. Ancient Worldwide™, and believed in karma (actually some version of it but still).

I zoned out for the rest of the class thinking about it. Not the reincarnation part of it, but the very simple, straight forward idea we hear everyday that good people get good things, and bad people get punished.

I thought about it. I thought about it more and concluded:

That is such bogus.

100% USDA-approved organic nonsense.

Karma does NOT exist.

The afterlife bit, I’m not concerned about very much in this instance. What I’m here to disprove is the utterly goofy idea that somehow, through good or bad actions in life we get something in this physical world.

It is naïve and silly to claim that if I were to steal all profits made at a cancer charity tomorrow, that somehow the universe or God will find a way to reprimand me. Moreover, were I to donate a sum of ten thousand dollars to the same cancer charity tomorrow, I wouldn’t have some kind of extra special credit with God- that’s just not how life works.

More than that- this quasi-meritocratic belief implies that people hit with the most tragic circumstances say someone after living for fifty years with no qualms suddenly gets hit with a divorce and loses all of their life savings, deserve what happens to them.

That’s insulting. That’s idealistic. That’s rubbish.

Any good behavior on my part won’t mean anything in this world. It might mean something to me, it might someone’s life better. But in no way should I think that even a morsel of positivity I put out into the world will come back to me.

What goes around doesn't always come around, and positivity and 'good vibes' isn't a boomerang that the inspirational poster in your college dorm claims to be.

If I am to commit some terrible act, the only reason I’d get punished by anyone is if I get caught, NOT because of some cosmic Batman. After all, look at the many world governments and the wealthy corporations who can essentially commit mass murder and get away with it- there’s no karma, and has been no karma to punish them in the history of the world.

Whatever you believe in, in my case God, isn’t a policeman or the IRS. Not in a sense that people try to paint it/Him as.

Nothing I’ll ever do will ever be held against me or for me. If I can get away with it, I can do virtually anything I please. What comes next, and what it does to my soul and conscience is a completely different story, a story that’s not important today.

Moreover, to think that whenever something fortunate happens to one is because of the "vibes" he or she has put out is a little bit of an ego boost, and nothing else. Being a positive and a good person doesn't change what exists in the world already- only your outlook on it.

That said, stay humble. More importantly than that, stay good. Not because the world is gonna give you anything in return, but because it's the right thing to do.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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5 Bible Verses For When You Feel Unworthy

You may feel broken, but you're still worthy.

Hello beautiful friends,

I have come to you today to touch on a topic that affects us all. Being broken and the feeling of not being worthy.

Have you ever felt broken or unworthy of love? If you answered yes, then please keep reading.

I can imagine you right now, you are sitting in class, your room, or heck maybe even on the toilet reading this and you feel like you are not enough, not loved, and not appreciated.

You wake up every day and maybe you fake a smile, maybe you’re in a relationship that you don’t want to be in, maybe you have no idea what you want to do with your life, why bad things keep happening, why you are here, why you are the way you are, or maybe you just don’t know what God’s plan is for you yet.

You feel like you keep trying and trying and see no results.

This is completely normal, my beautiful friends. It is completely normal to feel like you have no idea what is going, what you’re going to do after graduation, or what the future has.

In college especially it can be so hard to feel loved and appreciated. That’s why it’s so important to love others wholeheartedly.

Today I am here to tell you that what you’re feeling right now is OK because the Lord has a plan for YOU.

The Lord wants to see you succeed and so do I! So start praying, smiling, and believing in yourself!


5 Bible verses to read and reflect on when you are feeling the way you are right now:

1. Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit."

This verse talks about how YOU are broken and lost, but that is when the Lord is there to pick you back up. This is SO important to realize when you feel far away from God and feel alone. The Lord is near to help YOU and listen to you. He cares for you and only wants you to be happy.

2. Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

This verse talks about how when you are broken, the Lord will bind your winds and make it better. The Lord is always there when we stray away and is always ready to take care of us. Has your heart ever been broken? As time went on did you notice it slowly going back together and feeling whole again? That was the Lord working in your heart.

3. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

This verse talks about how to trust in the Lord with your WHOLE self. Isn’t that crazy? Thinking how we can dump all of our worries and sorrows onto the Lord, and He still loves us. Heck, he still pursues us! I know it’s hard to open up and really let God into our hearts and it takes a lot to share our struggles, but He has loved you since before you born and wants you to share what is in your heart with him.

4. Isaiah 43:18: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old."

All you homies reading this, have you ever made a mistake or done something you regret? If you said no, you are lying. We have all done things that we wish we hadn’t, whether that be not donating that extra $2 to charity, hurting people, or a multitude of reasons. The point of this verse is to emphasise the importance of forgiving yourself for the past and moving on from it. The Lord wants you to admit you have done wrong and then forgive yourself because He has already forgiven you.

5. 1 Peter 4:19: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good."

This verse talks about how to fully commit yourself to the Lord. We all mess up and suffer in life, but the Lord wants us to entrust our worries and sorrows to Him, because He will make us feel better. When we suffer, we are getting closer to the Lord and becoming more reliant on Him. It also is saying that when we suffer we see the Lord the most. So the next time you suffer, remember that the Lord is present and there for you.

I hope that this list has helped you see the light and see your worth! You are amazing!:)

Love Your Friend,

Lexi Barry:)

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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