I don’t know if it is still a thing with Evangelicals, but back when I was on my mission there were Jack Chick comic books everywhere. While Chick didn’t limit himself to virulent anti-Mormonism it’s those tracts that still bring a chuckle to me. Almost anywhere we looked we found them. What was so amazing about them was just how mind bogglingly ridiculous they often were. He’d have characters meeting new Mormon investigators and suddenly start quoting by memory obscure passages from the Journal of Discourses. Others were more in the extreme conspiracy theory such as a communist-catholic takeover of the US with Cleon Skousen by way of rock music. He hated Catholics, Dungeons and Dragons, evolution and nearly anything else not ‘pure’ by Evangelical standards. While Chick’s tracts were popular in some ways, apparently their hateful nature led many religious bookstores to stop selling them. The Christian Booksellers Association considered expelling him in the 80’s although he withdrew before they could.
Many are reporting that today Jack Chick passed away in his sleep at age 92. Given the degraded political discourse in our country, many are celebrating this on Twitter or Facebook. Of course one might argue that Chick helped popularize a very degraded discourse.
To me reports of his death caused a bit of reflection. What is Chick experiencing right now? How is he adapting. Despite being part of that conspiracy wave of anti-Mormon material that those of us of a certain age remember so well, I like to imagine he was sincerely trying to help people. This mental picture of him as sincere, naive but destructive is oddly appealing to me. I hope he’s seen the error of his ways.
Like the infamous film, The Godmakers, his works are filled with so much conspiracy mongering that it’d make Donald Trump blush. Yet oddly it’s that hateful apocalyptic radical conspiracy reasoning that makes his tracts so hilarious. Back on my mission in Louisiana in the late 80’s, as warped as it may seem, reading these tracts kept us going at times through the trials and hard times of mission life. It was nice to laugh at the opposition. Especially when just so outrageously stupid.
For those not as familiar with is works here’s one of my favorites: