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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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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There's Nothing Wrong With Embracing Your Singleness

Being single is a place of focusing your attention on yourself, not a sitting area while you wait for your significant other.

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First and Foremost

Everyone's view on being single is unique to them. My job here isn't to persuade anyone to think the way I think. I want to share my beliefs and thoughts about this topic because it's important to me.

For a long time, I had a skewed mindset about being single. So if I can, I'd like to shed some light on a topic that's usually talked about in a negative context. My opinion about singleness has changed throughout the years, influenced by numerous relationships, my spirituality, and accepting myself.

Backstory

When I think about how my personal experiences have shaped the way I look at being single, I feel as if I have three different experiences.

I first viewed singleness like a sitting area while I wait for my significant other to come through the door and call my name. This time of singleness came before I had any relationship experience. I was in high school, focusing on school, basketball, and friends.

But my mindset about being single was extremely negative. I thought that since I didn't have a boyfriend or no one was interested in me, there was something wrong with me and I just had to wait for a guy to pick up interest. Now when I look back, it was a weird and unhealthy place to be in.

The second story is sad, depressing, and the result of my first breakup. During that time, I was miserable and couldn't understand why anyone would want to be in that position. It's funny: before I ever had a boyfriend, I was never this sad and unhappy. But being in a relationship, breaking up, or doing anything for the first time can change your entire perspective on that thing, which is what happened to me.

The third experience is the one I'm in right now. I can honestly say I'm living my best life. My Christianity has heavily influenced my current mindset about singleness. I came out of a relationship and into a great place of freedom, security, and happiness. I understand that my being single is not a bad thing, nor is it a place to go out searching for someone else who will be there to fill the times I may be lonely.

Being single is a label, not who you are.

Don't get it twisted - being single does not define you! It's not something you need to point out to everyone you meet or use as a characteristic when you describe yourself. I made the huge mistake of thinking that because I'm single, it's something people need to know because that's just who I am now. But it's not.

Just like when it comes to putting so much meaning behind labels like "boyfriends" and "girlfriends," the same thing happens with the word "single." Sure, you can bring it up if you're actively getting into a relationship or dating, but it's not something the changes your personality. You should be yourself whether or not you're single or in a relationship.

Your singleness is a special time for you and you only.

I cannot stress this enough. There are so many pressures and stereotypes that circle around what a guy or girl should do while they're single. Some say being single is a time for exploring your sexuality and finding what you really like, while others say it's the time for dating and sleeping around. And some say singleness is a time to try every risky opportunity you can before you settle down.

I disagree with all of these. Being single is a learning process. Whether you come at it from different stories like I did or you've embraced it from the start, being single is time for you to dive deeper into who you are as a person, alone.

Find your strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Set standards and boundaries for yourself for the people you're going to meet in the future. Become a strong, independent person for your goals, wants, and needs. Stand up for yourself when you face hardships and work them out. Find people who genuinely love you and have your best interest at heart.

All in all, the choices you make during your singleness should benefit you extensively. You aren't responsible for anyone else except yourself and that kind of freedom is unmatched.

My religion has definitely influenced my perspective on singleness.

My opinion on being single may be different from other people due to my faith and what I believe in. According to my spirituality, singleness is not just a time for you. It's also a time for you and God.

Having the time while you're single to focus on your personal relationship with God is extremely important. It makes sense to focus our freedom on the person who set us free from the beginning. With God on your side during your singleness, it allows you to stay on the right track and do all of the things I mentioned above.

But in reality, it is hard for us to always do the right things and not make bad decisions. We're human and it's inevitable. However, there's a way that's been carefully designed and created to help us: the word of God.

The way I see myself as a single Christian is amazing. I'm not worried about what my future holds or the downfalls I may experience in my life. Why? Cause God's got me. Yes, I have my moments where my faith is low and I sin or mess up and find myself more lost than I was before. But there's beauty in that too. There's hope in the messing up because I know God forgives and can wipe my plate clean.

Before you get it mixed up though, this isn't like a free pass to do whatever I want, whenever I want. That's not how God intended forgiveness and repentance. God wants us to know that the plan He has for us relationship-wise is already taken care of. As long as we live according to Him, which to be honest is a great and safe way to live, He has our best interest heart and will love, protect, and care for us no matter what.

(You may have noticed how I haven't talked about all the things that could go wrong when you're single. That's a long conversation for a whole other article.)

Being single is not a bad thing. It's a time for you, to learn who you are and what you want from life. Embrace that.

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