Friday, October 08, 2004

If I turn in a sicko, will I get a reward?

A lot of my friends have trouble understanding one of my personal hobbies, which is reading and appreciating the amazing fundamentalist Christian propaganda of Jack Chick. If you've never seen any of Jack Chick's comic book tracts, then you are in for a real treat (or a brush with horror... whatever).

Jack Chick started drawing and writing these comic book Gospel tracts decades ago. Everyone has probably seen some sort of religious tract at some point in their lives, but these are the high quality models, featuring compelling comic book style drawings and melodramatic storylines. Originally, he was just using them to try to bring people to Jesus, but as time has gone on, he has refined his world view, his analysis of history, and his take on Biblical prophecy. A good example of the latter is 'The Last Generation,' which makes the Left Behind series look downright wimpy (and which is the only one of these tracts which I demand each of you take the time to read). A more sedate version of the end times can be found in 'The Beast.' For his take on the worst tragedy of the 20th century, read 'Holocaust.'

If you have read the above tracts, or really almost any of his little masterpieces, then you will recognize the special place the Catholic Church has in the Jack Chick cosmos. This may explain in part my enthusiasm for the man and his work, since I am a lifelong Catholic. Over the years, Jack Chick has, through his tracts and his other publications, demonstrated that the Vatican, acting for Satan, has created: Islam, Mormonism, Rock and Roll, Communism, Nazism, and a host of 'satanic' bible translations (this means anything - and I mean anything - except for the original King James version). To read his historical theories is mind-boggling if you actually know anything about the periods he discusses. At least he cites his authorities - other books published by Jack Chick publications and the Bible.

But lest those of you readers who do not belong to the Mackeral Snapper contingency feel left out, take heart. He has a tract condemning just about every religion out there (nothing on Zoroastrianism at present). He also warns his readers about the dangers of Freemasonry, evolution, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter, and gays, gays, gays!

I could go on forever analyzing Jack Chick - indeed, I am sure there is a religious studies/Amciv/sociology dissertation just begging to be written about the man - but I will let you form your own conclusions. Besides, I've gone on long enough. If any of you, however, are interested in hearing more, I am always willing to chat about Chick.

Before I end this, though, I want to say one thing. Many of you reading this blog are college educated East coast intellectual types, and probably think this guy is just a lone artist on the lunatic fringe. Having grown up in Bakersfield, I have to tell you that you would be wrong. That's one of the reasons I like to keep an eye not just on Jack Chick, but on all his internet and radio ilk. While he may not be mainstream, his tracts have a great cultural resonance with a segment of the population that is much larger than most people would like to think. I have a pretty good story to this effect, which I may post later.
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