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New Jack Chick Tracts

29 May, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote yet another post about atheism and morality.  In it, I made that point that Christians have no reason to behave in a moral or legal way because, as long as they believe the right things strongly enough, and have embraced a personal saviour in the right way.  I even had a commenter agree that anyone, no matter how evil, can, even at the end of his or her life, embrace Jesus and be saved.  Now, there is a new Chick Tract which says the exact same thing:  you can sell your soul to Satan and still, at the end, be saved.

The story (for those who want to save brain cells and not read it) focuses on the younger brother of a high school basketball star (who eschews fame and fortune and becomes a preacher), prays for his death (imprecatory prayer works, apparently, even against ‘good guys’) and, after a deal with the devil, becomes a high school and pro basketball star.  After his 13 years of fame and glory are up, he gets saved.  As Saint Augustine reputedly said, “Oh Lord, give me chastity and continence —  but not yet.”  Good life lesson.

Oh, and the devil is a black man.  As are the main characters.  It struck me as mildly racist.

The second one, Evil Eyes, is a pastiche of anti-Catholic and anti-Latino cliches, along with a rather bizarre conflation of voodoo, Santeria, and African spiritualism.  Good old Jack seems to be getting more racist and vehemently anti-Catholic.  In this case, he even marries Catholicism and voodoo.  Bizarre does not even begin to cover Jack Chick’s mental illness (or religious mania (not that there is a whole lot of difference)).

According to Jack, Catholicism is equal to voodoo, and you can sell your soul to the devil and still get it back.

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Addendum:  Sat down at dinner after writing this.  (((Boy))) points this out:  So if the guy sells his soul to the devil, and then gives himself (including his soul) to Jesus and God, is that theft?  Could God and Jesus be prosecuted for accepting stolen property?  After all, it belongs to Satan, right?

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10 comments

  1. Far be it from me to defend Chick Tracts, but I think the implication of the comic was that everyone’s soul already belongs to Satan, the whole “sell your soul” thing is a ruse to make you feel doomed, and the soul is bought back by the blood of Jesus Christ.
    That’s what I think the cartoon is trying to say.


  2. Sophia: Thanks for stopping by. I had forgotten that part of Christianity’s message. Then again, if Satan already owns everyone’s soul, why would he grant material pleasure in return for the soul? And, if Satan already owns the soul, how can a human give it to Jesus? You cannot transfer something you don’t own, right?

    You are right about the interpretation. Sorry for subjecting you to that.


  3. I read both tracts; they’re the usual Jack Chick fare. He’s obviously selling enough of them to make it worthwhile to keep cranking them out, which is a depressing thought. I’ve seen these things at Christian camps – they’re cheap enough to buy in bulk and distribute to the kiddies.


  4. Chappie: Have you noticed that the artwork has gone downhill, though? More formulaic.


  5. Came over from Feministe.

    In it, I made that point that Christians have no reason to behave in a moral or legal way because, as long as they believe the right things strongly enough, and have embraced a personal saviour in the right way.

    No. This is Protestant, not Catholic theology. Catholics believe one can go to hell at any time, and your belief has nothing to do with it (“Even the demons believe, and tremble”–James, chapter 2). Your actions mean everything.

    It is one of the main reasons for the great split between the two, in fact, along with papal authority, the necessity of penance, and all the rest of it. I know you probably don’t care about that, but could not let that pass.

    And regarding your other post, of course atheists can be moral, and some atheists are far more moral than some Christians. No serious person would argue otherwise. (Speaking of Jack Chick, cartoon Christians like Chick, Ted Haggard and your goofy troll are fairly easy to argue with.) And actually, Voodoo IS Catholicism wed to African religion, Santeria, etc.

    According to Jack, I am far more evil (as a Catholic) than you are, so nyah nyah nyah. 😛


  6. Daisy: Thanks for stopping by. The works/faith schism dates even further back then that: prior to the promulgation of the Nicene Creed, there were sects of Christians who went for full faith, full works, and everything in between.

    I do care about the diffences in various religions. Some of those difference have been very important to Western history. One of the things I admire about Catholocism is that acts matter; being a good person matters. And taking responsibility for one’s own failings, whether of the flesh or the mind, is admirable as long, of course, as it is not used a permission to keep doing the same things.

    The relationships between Santeria (voodoo) and Catholicism is a real relationship, but it is far more complex (obviously) than the Chick Tracts would indicate. The conflation used by Chick, with the Catholic priest doubling as a Saneria priest, thus doubling down the evil, is simplistic and ignores about 400 years of evolution within both Catholocism and Saneria. It’s not so much a wedding as a merger combined with multiple subsidiaries.

    And I do not consider myselft evil. Though I do work for the federal government, so according to many, I am (search my blog using the term ‘jackbooted fascist’ — it’s a fun story).


  7. Kudos to (((Boy))) for his question about thievery! You’ve got a thinker there! 🙂


  8. I didn’t get the idea that the tract was about atheism at all. Just that you ought not sell your soul.


    • Kit: Welcome to my blog. I reread what I wrote (it was (after all) a while ago) and I did not make the claim that it was about atheism. It was about giving Jesus something that Satan already ‘owns’.


  9. Jack Chick has had his house bombed by loving homosexuals in California for his beliefs, so I don’t believe he does this for money. As usual, he is also right concerning the blending of these two religions. Jack Chick is correct about the KJV also being scripture. So who do you believe Billy, Bill Nye the science guy? Good job on your two false accusations against a hero of the faith, Jack Chick. My experience has been that nobody ever thinks they will die, even on their deathbed. It is possible to make a profession of faith like this, but unlikely. So take comfort Billy, it usually doesn’t happen.



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