Jack Chick has Passed Away

Skousen Catholic Conspiracy

Skousen Catholic Conspiracy

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:

ddchick

16 comments for “Jack Chick has Passed Away

  1. I don’t think there was anything sincere about his wanting to help people. In my experience, people who are truly trying to help are, at worst, misguided or maybe prone to making mistaken assumptions. The virulence of Mr. Chick’s hatred for various groups disqualifies him from the “naive, misguided, but trying to help” camp.

  2. We had a small collection of his comics in our mission apartment in Story City, Iowa in 2011 that were always good for a chuckle at the end of the day. I don’t know how long they had been there or how they got there, though there were some evangelicals in the area that probably were still distributing them.

  3. Clark, this post is awesome. I have an illustrator friend who has told me that the guy’s art was MAD Magazine-quality stuff in terms of aesthetics.

  4. The guy was pretty talented honestly.

    Sky, I’m always loath to say what sincerity is. Some people in their sincerity are charitable angels trying to do good and just don’t understand unintended consequences. Some people in their sincerity are zealots like Paul. I’m not sure Paul was that much different before the Road to Emmaeus versus after. He just knew more. So even if people really anger me, I try and step back and see it from their perspective whether I agree with that perspective or not.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still think what he did was very harmful. But the fact he was so over the top about it makes it kind of funny too.

  5. Why do you cultists and other lost people always attack we real Biblical born again Christians as being hateful? We love you enough to tell you the truth. I told a Jewish rabbi that I love him and care about his soul, and he needs to trust in Jesus Christ the Messiah and only eternal Saviour so he won’t end up burning in the fires of the lake of fire forever. I told Mormon elders and members of the Watchtower society and Moslems and Roman Catholics and other lost Hell bound people the same thing. We Christians, real Christians, care for you and love you and want you to be in Heaven forever. IF we really hated you we would either: A Not tell you the Gospel of the grace of God at all and just laugh at your eternal calamity, like fake false ‘christians’ like the “Westboro Baptist Church” do, who are not even Christians at all, or, we would be falsely sweet and lie and say you are our brothers and sisters and all is well and all faiths and all religionists go to Heaven, like the new agers and Mormons and Unitarian Universalists and other false teachers claim.

    I hereby invite you, because I love and care for your soul, to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Jehova God in the flesh and the only eternal Saviour, and you are to trust in His shed blood finished atonement, His death, burial, and Resurrection alone for eternal salvation, excluding all works, rituals, sacraments, and anything else whatsoever.

  6. I’m sorry, your majesty, it seems you have fallen into false doctrine! (As prophesied by Jesus, Matt. 24:24) You see, we believe as you do that the Church should dwell together in unity (Ps. 133:1, Eph. 4:13), but we also understand that Jesus left us instructions as to how that unity should be reached:
    -The church should be built on a foundation of prophets and apostles (Eph. 2:20)
    -The church and its members should have the Holy Spirit guiding them (John 16:13, Matt. 16:17-18)
    -The church and its members should rely on ALL SCRIPTURE that is given by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
    Now, these aren’t just suggestions! Remember that the prophecies of old were not given by man, but by God (2 Peter 1:21). Turning against God’s will by taking away His commandment to have prophets and apostles, carries grave penalties (Deut. 12:32, Rev. 22:18-19).

    Now, don’t feel bad about missing out on the truth. It was prophesied that before Jesus returned, there would be a falling away (2 Thes. 2:3) where many deceivers would enter the flock (Acts 20:29-30). Because of this, many Christians disagree about what the Bible means, and are tossed about with every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). You can’t just listen to anybody preach – you have to try the spirit (1 John 4:1) to know you’re not listening to a false prophet. And how do you try it? You ask of God (James 1:5), nothing wavering. You can tell by the Bible that The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built as Jesus commanded (see list above), but you need to know from God that it’s really His church.

    There’s a simple way to find out! The Book of Mormon is another book of ancient scripture, also profitable for us (Rom. 15:4), that preaches of Christ (2 Nephi 25:26). God promises us that if we pray in faith, asking to know if the Book of Mormon is true, He will let us know by the power of the Spirit (Moroni 10:4-5).

    King James, I call upon you to read the Book of Mormon, to visit with the missionaries, and pray to know that it is true. Don’t keep yourself out of the unity of believers! Because as God says,
    “IF YE ARE NOT ONE, YE ARE NOT MINE.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30)

  7. It is interesting that this should happen around Halloween, as my first exposure, well every exposure, to these fascinating little comics was either in my own trick-or-treat bag as a kid in the Midwest or in my kids trick-or-treat bags here in Colorado. I’ve just always associated Chick Tracts with Halloween. So, RIP, Mr. Chick.

  8. Jader it was funny. When I was in the south many people believed everything their pastors and the media they played said. I know people think it’s just an urban legend, but I’ve seriously had people think that we had horns. We laugh at just how ridiculous the claims in these Chick comics are, but look at some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories Trump or his surrogates are pushing. Yet people believe them.

    The funniest thing would be people telling me we believe everything our Bishop tells us and they control what we think. I ask why they think that and they say their pastor told them. They didn’t quite see the irony in that. (Doubly ironic since dealing with Bishops/Branch Presidents who perhaps weren’t as experienced in the gospel was a problem at times)

  9. “The funniest thing would be people telling me we believe everything our Bishop tells us and they control what we think.”

    Oh my goodness! Haha. If bishops had that sort of control… they would be able to make people do their callings, do their home teaching/visiting teaching, etc.

  10. Asserting that voter fraud and political conspiracy are on par with this stuff is a little disappointing.

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