Except for Catholics, communists, gay people, rock musicians, college professors, Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Democrats, Freemasons, hippies, druids, scientists, Halloween enthusiasts, Harry Potter fans, liberals, and kids who play Dungeons and Dragons.
After the utter bugfuckery of Somebody Loves Me, Lisa, and… well, just about every other tract I’ve reviewed on this site, This Was Your Life! comes off as a bit quaint. The protagonist still gets his sinning ass tossed into Hell, but for once it’s not because he’s gay or believes in science. Chick claims that the poor man’s eternal damnation stems from his rejection of Christ as his savior. However, I think we can all see this man’s greatest sin was being a colossal douche.
Jack Chick sez: Beaten and alone, a child dies. But Jesus cares.
Welcome to another exciting edition of Ecclesiastical Snuff Tracts, where Jack Chick demonstrates the love of Christ by brutally murdering a child. The child in question is an adorable little waif who bears an eerie resemblance to Liza Minnelli.
So I was browsing through the TV Tropes website a while back, and I ran across this ad. And naturally, my first thought was, “Wow! Check out the nice rack on *that* Christian! Please open your Bibles to the Book of Hooteronomy!”
Personally, I really like the idea that Christians are allowed to join for free. But I wonder just who it is that makes the distinction. Do Mormons count? Not if you ask the Baptists. Do Baptists count? Not according to the Church of Christ. “Sorry sir, but the obscure gnostic sect to which you belong was declared heretical by Pope Angus VI back in 983 A.D. I’m afraid you’ll have to pony up the $25 service charge.”
This shameful tract is no longer in print, and isn’t even available on the Chick Publications website. However, it is included in the book Hot Topics, in which Chick and the equally insane David W. Daniels tackle six of the “hottest issues of our times,” most of which seem to involve different permutations of gay people and child molestation. And Dungeons & Dragons for some reason.
Over on The Curator, Dylan Peter makes a compelling case that batshit insane fundamentalist Jack Chick may very well be batshit insane underground comics legend Robert Crumb. Don’t know if I buy into the theory or not, but it would certainly explain Jack Chick’s obsession with the Tijuana Bible format…
One of Jack Chick’s more notorious tracts is Big Daddy?, in which a student goes head to head with a college professor and “proves” that evolution is full of holes. Since the professor’s understanding of science is no better than Chick’s, he is of course unable to refute the horribly inaccurate “arguments” of the student. As usually happens in Chick’s world, the professor sees the error of his ways and decides to give up teaching evolution. Oh, spoiler alert.
Who’s Your Daddy is a brilliant parody of this unfortunate Chick tract. Written by PhineasBg (probably not his real name) and posted on the Facts4U website, Who’s Your Daddy does a great job of skewering Jack Chick’s ineffectual attack on science.
Boring. No druids. No witches. No black mass and cat sacrifice. And not a single murdered child to be seen. Come on, Jack! Where’s your Halloween spirit?
The Little Ghost tells an incredibly gripping and exciting story about a couple of little kids who dress up in costumes and try to scare their friend. She tells them she’s not scared because Jesus loves her. Amazingly, her two friends have never heard of Jesus, so she tells them how He died for our sins and made the devil angry. Her friends are moved by her compelling and totally plausible narrative, and they invite Jesus into their hearts. The end. Seriously.
Last up in Jack Chick’s Prepubescent Hate Parade is The Little Bride. This time, Li’l Susy vents her spleen (which is presumably filled with Christ’s love) at the Islamic faith.
If the emails I receive from my grandfather are any indication, Muslims now hold the number one spot on the Fundamentalist Christian Threatdown. In case you’re wondering, that spot was previously held by same-sex marriage, Barack Obama, science, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who apparently rose from the dead to get Touched by an Angel canceled. But I digress…
I honestly don’t believe that *all* Christians are homophobes, or vice versa. I’m just saying that there’s a lot of overlap in that particular Venn diagram. Christianity and homophobia simply go well together, like beer and pizza. Or Glenn Beck fans and flammable lawn crosses.
The year was 1976. Our nation was celebrating its Bicentennial. Jimmy Carter was running for president, The Captain and Tennille were tearing up the airwaves, and a young Ron “Horshack” Palillo had just taught us how to laugh again.
I was a young, naive third-grader, full of hopes and dreams (most of which involved Lynda Carter). Little did I realize that my youthful optimism and childlike faith in God would soon be shattered by an innocuous little comic book tract entitled Somebody Goofed.
Here’s the problem.
I’ve only reviewed eight of Jack Chick’s tracts, and I’m already out of synonyms for “batshit crazy.” And now that I’ve run across a tract that could have only come from a truly broken mind, I find I have no words to describe it. It appears I shot my hyperbole wad just a little early.
There is a persistent rumor that Chick suffered a stroke in 1996, which would certainly explain the utter bugfuckery of his later works. Case in point: There Go the Dinosaurs.
This parody was created by artist Howard Hallis, who took a Chick tract entitled The Choice and gave it a brilliant Lovecraftian twist. Hallis was threatened with legal action from Chick Publications in 2004 and took the offending material down. Fortunately, nothing is lost forever on Nobel Prize winner Al Gore’s internet. I found this copy on the Purple Monkey Mafia website (Eris bless ’em).
After the misguided morality play of Happy Halloween and the ill-advised treacle of The Little Princess, Jack Chick once again leaps headfirst into the swirling abyss of Halloween insanity with The Devil’s Night. And since the protagonist of this piece is none other than Li’l Susy Barnes, you know we’re in for some vintage Chick madness.
Jack Chick sez: School children are taught that we don’t need God, because we are just animals who came from apes. But Susy tells her young friend that God made us, and sent his Son to give us eternal life. A children’s tract.
Evolution is a thorny subject for many Christians, one that has effectively divided the faith into two groups: those who believe science is a vast godless conspiracy designed to undermine the teachings of the Bible, and those who have actually read a book. Jack Chick definitely pledges his allegiance to the former and, in his tract Apes, Lies, and Ms. Henn, attempts to blow the lid off of the satanic liberal science agenda.
Welcome to the Bible Belt, oh mysterious traveler from afar. No doubt you find our ways puzzling, even troubling, to your liberal wife-swapping Ivy League hippie sensibilities. How you came to be here is something of a mystery. Perhaps you were on your way to Burning Man and your car broke down. Or maybe you were on your way to Mexico to buy drugs, and your car broke down. It’s entirely possible that you were simply headed west to indulge in the sodomy, prostitution, or polygamy of California, Nevada, or Utah, and your car broke down. But it doesn’t matter what transpired to strand a sinner like you amongst God’s chosen. He has delivered you unto us, and now we must make every effort to save your soul before He smites you for your wickedness or your car gets fixed.
Ah, Li’l Susy Barnes. Never was there a more appropriate mouthpiece for Jack Chick’s insanity than this cute little moppet.
There’s no doubt that when Chick first conceived of Li’l Susy, he envisioned her as an innocent child — guileless yet wise beyond her years — who had yet to be corrupted by the wicked liberal world. But it turns out that Chick’s militant messages of intolerance are even more jarring when being delivered by a smiling, rosy-cheeked little girl. So in a way, Li’l Susy is just like a Chick tract — adorable and childlike on the surface, but full of batshit crazy and hate on the inside.
Occasionally, you’ll be reading through a Chick tract, and you’ll stumble across one of the characters reading a Chick tract! Elaborate metafictional construct, or blatant product placement? YOU be the judge!
Every once in a while, Jack Chick gets a little meta and gives us a Chick tract that tells the story of somebody reading a Chick tract. Whoa. Is that lumpy, gray paint on your walls, or did I just BLOW YOUR MIND? It may seem a tad indulgent, but it’s that kind of self-promotion that helped Mr. Chick turn his funnybook ministry into a hate-spewing empire.
Jack Chick sez: It was supposed to be a fun Halloween, visiting a “Haunted House” for a great scare. But when an accident claims a boy’s life, his friends learn there is a real hell waiting for all those who die without Jesus.
For his next Halloween tale, Jack Chick takes a break from the usual conspiracy of witches and druids. Instead, he offers up a parable to demonstrate that God, not good works, will get you into Heaven. Jack is obsessed with this particular trope, and is apparently convinced that Hell is full of good people, while Heaven is packed with dickweeds who skated through the Pearly Gates on a technicality.
I’m not sure what any of this has to do with Halloween. But, hey. Whatever.
Jack Chick sez: This takeoff on horror films reveals the truth about Halloween.
Next up in Jack Chick’s Parade of Halloween Insanity is Boo! And I’ll say this for Mr. Chick… once he decides he’s going to lead someone to the Lord, he’s not afraid to use stacks of dead teenagers to do it.
Like the much touted “War on Christmas,” Jack Chick believes that the true meaning of Halloween has been lost amidst all the secular hijinks and commercialism. You see, when kids put on those Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for candy, they are actually reenacting an ancient ritual where druids used to put on Batman costumes and wander from house to house asking for children and virgins.
Jack Chick sez: Shows Halloween’s origin and real purpose.
Jack Chick hates a lot of things. But for some reason, the topic of Halloween really seems to get up his ass with cleats on. Our man Jack has devoted several of his Chick tracts to exposing Halloween as a vast Satanic conspiracy concocted by druids and pagans to sacrifice small children and boost the sales of tiny Snickers bars.
By far, this is one of Jack Chick’s favorite motifs, as it shows up in slightly more than 100% of his tracts. After a person is deemed unworthy of Heaven, he or she is then personally carted by an angel to the pits of Hell and tossed in. You’d think God would eventually streamline the process by installing a trap door in front of His throne, maybe with a fun, twisty slide down to the lake of fire. That way, the angels could spend more time in Heaven, breaking up fights between rapists and serial killers.
One of the basic tenets of Christianity is that you don’t get into Heaven for good works, but through the grace of God. Our boy Jack Chick has taken that premise and run with it, giving us story after story of good people getting tossed into Hell while vile, despicable villains squeeze through the Pearly Gates on a technicality. To hear Chick tell it, Hell is full of preachers, missionaries, and other decent folk while Heaven is stuffed to the gills with rapists, murderers, and drug dealers. Sort of makes you want to rethink your final destination, doesn’t it?
Once upon a time, teenagers were well-behaved models of decorum and restraint, content to spend their weekends tending to the lawn, bathing the elderly, and roasting weenies on the beach. But for some reason, in the 1950s, these idyllic American family values were kicked squarely in the nuts. Teenagers began acting crazy! Oh, at first it was just the occasional leather jacket or insolent cry of “Aaaaaay.” But before too long, those damn kids were smoking, drinking, dancing, and groping each other in parking lots. Then drugs were invented in the 1960s, and things just got worse!
In Jack Chick’s world, the righteous are constantly having their beliefs challenged by liberals, gays, hippies, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, witches, and college professors. You know… the BAD guys. Fortunately, these agents of evil never present any intelligent or compelling arguments to support their viewpoint. Instead, they lob up straw man arguments that are easily batted down by the God-fearing protagonists.
It’s not realistic, but you have to admit that its a comforting world view for the kind of people who base their faith on what they read in comic books.
Jack T. Chick has spent the last 40 years putting the “mental” back into “fundamental” by railing against Satanists, gays, evolution, hippies, liberals, Dungeons & Dragons, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, and any form of Christianity that differs from his own extremely narrow belief system. In fact, the basic tenet of Chick’s faith seems to be that God is a capricious asshole who is just *itching* for an excuse to cast your sinning ass into Hell.