The Enemies Within: Jack Chick

If you've been a Christian for any length of time, chances are you know someone for whom a Chick tract was instrumental in their conversion. The little things are everywhere: On bus station benches, inside public restrooms, and handed out on street corners. They are ubiquitous, and as the company's puffery states, they get read. That they do get read (and believed) is also one of the greater tragedies of the modern church.

No, I don't mean what can be extracted from them in terms of the salvation message, though there are countless more reliable and more beneficial sources that could have come from (like, um, the New Testament), and unless you are a very sort of strange Calvinist, you won't think that God could only have moved a person through a Chick tract. Jack Chick, however, once claimed to have been inspired by Chinese Communists who also used cartoon tracts to persuade people. That he thought of this as a good role model is in itself disturbing. He didn't only adopt the means; he adopted, in essence, the form of the message. 

You may have no idea what I mean by this, especially if you have only seen a few of Chick's tracts. You have to review the whole library of them -- as well as some of the comic books Chick produced --  to catch just how deadly and despicable an instrument the tracts can be. Chick was a promulgator of the insane and ludicrous theories of Alexander Hislop, the 19th century clergyman who advanced a thesis that the Catholic Church was the "whore of Babylon" and that the husband and wife due of Nimrod and Semiramis were behind much of what began in terms of human evil today. (News item: The historical figures by those names were not even contemporaries, much less husband and wife.) Chick also promoted the asinine thesis that the Catholic church invented Islam, Communism, and Nazism. He further bought into the absurd text-critical theories which are today the mainstay of King James Onlyists -- as expected, since Chick was one of those as well.

As part of that, Chick gave a voice to Alberto Rivera, a fraudulent pretender who claimed to reveal the secrets of the Jesuit order. Rivera also promulgated idiotic notions such as that the Spanish Inquisition killed millions of people -- oblivious (even a many others are who make the same claim) that such a death toll would have totally depopulated Spain.

Chick was also fond of threats of fire and hell. One Christian member of my family frequently greeted new people by telling them they were going to hell. I  thought for a long time that this was just his own sick affectation. It turns out his model was Chick comics, where people actually do things like that.

It is a disgrace that Jack Chick and his publications have gained so much utility in the church. I assume that some are unaware of his predilections towards the foolish ideas noted above, but it is just as clear that some are aware, and do not care; or else, even worse, they agree with them. Chick, however, does not earn a pass simply because some people converted because of his tracts. He had a platform that affected billions, and he used it abusively and irresponsibly. 

Jack Chick passed away recently and he is already being canonized by his successors. The reality is that he was an enemy within and does not deserve the status of a saint or a hero. The reality is -- as my video last time indicated -- his tracts should be disposed of and replaced with something else produced by someone else, someone who takes the responsibility of birthing souls seriously rather than as an instrument to spread their own hateful and ill-informed blatherskite.

Comments

Joe Hinman said…
Nice post man, We used to get a laugh out of their conspiracy stuff with the Illuminati.They definable ,ale evangelicalism look silly.

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