Jack Chick weighs in on September 11th.
January 2, 2003 7:49 AM   Subscribe

If you're already familiar with the work of Jack Chick, the creator of those amusingly offensive evangelist comic books, you probably know not to take him too seriously -- after all, the threat of being thrown into a giant lake of fire by an angel isn't particularly frightening. Still, when his new tract starts with an image of the smoldering twin towers, and ends with the words, "Bob, now I know that Allah doesn't really love me or even care about any Muslim. But Jesus, the Son of God, does," it's difficult not to worry that this time he's bitten off more than he can chew.
posted by tweebiscuit (33 comments total)
You can find his oh so accurate and well researched comments on Islam in his FAQ. Just don't read it before lunch. Be sure you check out his thoughts on Judaism and Catholicism while at it!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:56 AM on January 2, 2003

I dunno. This is nowhere near as inflammatory as some of the stuff he's written about Catholics.

I'm Catholic, and I handed out Chick tracts at my Halloween party this year. I explained to each guest that they were going to hell.

They were a big hit.

Chick is so far out there that he can be funny if you look at it the right way, like our buddy the CAP Alert Guy.
posted by hipnerd at 8:01 AM on January 2, 2003

Jack Chick couldn't chew his way out of a paper bag, could he? I'm only surprised there were so few references to Allah being the moon god.
posted by robself at 8:03 AM on January 2, 2003

it's difficult not to worry that this time he's bitten off more than he can chew.

Why would I worry about the well-being of Jack Chick? I would worry more that a jihad against him might backfire and make him revered, like it did for another person of very marginal talents.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:16 AM on January 2, 2003

At least he's telling Christians not to beat people up in the name of God. Maybe someone ought to send this tract to George Bush.
posted by judlew at 8:18 AM on January 2, 2003

I'll say this for Jack Chick: He's a believer in quality control.

His theology is entertaining, if a bit selective and alarmist. I forsee the Lord eventually having a heart-to-heart talk with him in which He giggles a lot while rereading some of the stuff from his tracts and explaining the finer points of salvation.

Meanwhile, I sure hope Tom Ridge can save Jack Chick from the inevitable fatwah.
posted by alumshubby at 8:33 AM on January 2, 2003

I'm wondering whether or not we could retroactively amend the gospel accoding to St. Matthew, Chapter 5, viz.:

14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. 16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.

16a: Except if you're nuts.

Just a thought.
posted by 314/ at 8:35 AM on January 2, 2003

Dunno. Seems pretty tame for Chick.
posted by laz-e-boy at 8:40 AM on January 2, 2003

Chick is only one of many 'Mericans out there evangelizing their flavor of God. It seems like it's much safer to do so from the comfort of sunny California.

Mayor Curley: What's with the literary troll?
posted by subgenius at 8:50 AM on January 2, 2003

I like Chick (before the Internet I even sent away for a boxed set), but this one is pretty lame. A flimsy pretext for two talking heads. I'll always enjoy his vicious attacks on queers and Catholics a lot more.
posted by kozad at 8:51 AM on January 2, 2003

Seriously, can you all imagine how funny it would be if some islamic extremist group declared a bounty on Jack Chick, and the U.S. gov't was, in the name of free speech, forced into a position of defending him? Our first amendment challenges always seem so tame, like defending the right of an artist to paint religious works in the medium of animal feces; I say it's time we open the floodgates of Trent Lott style pro-Chick confessionals from the religious right, as support for his evangelical ways, if not necessarily the exact message he preaches... It would be such an amusing fine line to watch public figures walking.
posted by jonson at 8:58 AM on January 2, 2003

CAP Alert guy is better :)

I seriously doubt any islamic extremist group would take Mr Chick seriously enough to bother putting a bounty on his head - reaaally wouldn't be worth the effort..
posted by Mossy at 9:03 AM on January 2, 2003

I remember meeting a woman about my age (I'd wager 21-25ish) passing some of those pamphlets out after a memorial that took place the week after 9/11/01. As she tried to give them to a mostly-hostile audience we were told that "sinners" had been responsible for bringing "God's wrath" down on America.

She and I ended in up in a screaming match after I said that, being a Catholic, I had some ideas as to where she could stick her pamphlets. My friends eventually pulled me away after I got a few swings in. (I know, I know... but one fight in 23 years is still better than most people average!).

I believe my friend's parting shot to pamphlet gal was that a wiccan had just saved her ass. She then apologized to me and explained that she wanted to get back to the car before traffic was too bad.

Not my finest moment, but it's one of the few stories I have that relate back to Chick pamphlets.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:03 AM on January 2, 2003

Feh. The Chick tract I'm waiting for will have a Isreali soldier and a Palestinian militant who realize that Jesus loves them and they can't go on busting up refugee camps and blowing up coffee shops anymore. They bravely reject the circle of hate and fear they've been trapped in so long for the unconditional love of God and are in various ways martyred. Meanwhile a rabid rabbi and slavering imam condemn themselves to eternal fire.

Let me know when that one comes out.
posted by wobh at 9:06 AM on January 2, 2003

From that page's Scientific Errors in the Qu'ran: Many Muslims believe in the Qur'an as a blind leap of faith. They really do not care if it is filled with mistakes and contradictions. As far as they are concerned, they were born Muslim and they will die Muslim. The more closed minded they are, the more fanatical they become in their religion. When ignorance unites with arrogance, fanaticism is born.

Substitute the words Christian for Muslim and Bible for Qu'ran and you have a well-thought out critique of Christianity.

posted by Corky at 9:12 AM on January 2, 2003

Chick has taken on Islam before.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:13 AM on January 2, 2003

There is something about this this Jack Chick parody comic that is just incredibly funny to me.

Check out the archives. This one rocks too (But nothing beats that first one).
posted by dgaicun at 9:14 AM on January 2, 2003

Doesn't any one want to take Jack Chicks side? No, I thought not. At least we can have an interesting discussion, no, wait maybe not. How is linking to hate speech ever a good thing? Even if it is drawn in a crude pulp-comic sort of way? I wonder if Jack knows that historically Muslims are one of the THE most tolerant religions of other religions. Unlike christianity. Speaking as a hard-core christian, it's just kinda sad.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:35 AM on January 2, 2003

dgaicun, thanks, those links rocked. Also of note, this analysis of the works of crazy Jack, done in his own style.
posted by jonson at 9:50 AM on January 2, 2003

. . .historically Muslims are one of the THE most tolerant religions of other religions.

Compared to say Buddhists or Unitarians? Pshtt. Or maybe you just meant of the Abrahamic faiths- which might (might!) be true. But that ain't saying much.

. . . on second thought, when I think of how uniquely high Islamic civilization was, and how rare high civilization is, Islam (and Christianity) are probably (ironically!) high up on the list of tolerant religions. But we must think in relative numbers instead of absolute ones. Of course this is all very open to dispute.
posted by dgaicun at 9:56 AM on January 2, 2003

I'll take the CAP Alert guy's side: I find his movie reviews to be useful when selecting movies for kids. Regardless his worries about sin, I kind of like knowing whether there's going to be inappropriate violence, vulgarities, or sex, before I let the seven year-old see a film. CAP Alert guy is kind enough to take accurate notes on every detail. Lord knows I don't have the patience to sit through a movie several times, counting each swear word and tit-show...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:58 AM on January 2, 2003

fff: ScreenIt is a less evangelistic alternative to the cap guy.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:07 AM on January 2, 2003

I love the "yes/no" boxes at the end of the tracts, and the date line to mark when you accepted Jesus as your personal savior. Like any good salesman, Jack knows you have to end your pitch with a "call to action". And by golly, checking a box and dating it is just the sort of no-going-back-now life decision that sticks with you far better than any New Year's resolution (of which I made only one this year, and have already dutifully broken).

As for the "parody" site, they aren't clever enough for my tastes. I mean, when the originals are so amusing all on their own, a parody really has to say something more impressive than "pull my finger".
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:11 AM on January 2, 2003

Sure. But I then I don't get a going-to-hell rating. Gotta keep track of these things, yaknow.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2003

I wonder if Jack knows that historically Muslims are one of the THE most tolerant religions of other religions.

Yes so tolerant that they declare a fatwa on anyone who speaks against their religion. Times change my friend. If a religion is to make it in this world, it has to elicit more hate than love.
posted by Degaz at 10:18 AM on January 2, 2003

Oh come now Degaz, if muslims declared fatwa's (although all that means is that a scholar has issued a decree, could be for anything) on anyone who spoke against their religion, we'd be knee-deep in the things.

Besides, in the world today there are many, many types of muslim. Just as there are Protestants, Catholics etc in Christianity, there are Shia's, Ishmaeli's, Sunni's, each of whom approach things differently.. And have varying levels of tolerance.
posted by Mossy at 11:43 AM on January 2, 2003

In response to the question of why I linked to this: first of all, everyone loves Jack Chick. Everyone. I've always gotten a kick out of him, frankly. But when I read the new tract, it felt a little strange -- because this time it was topical. When chick has a punk rock kid say, "Wow, this music is totally awesome! It makes me want to committ suicide!" and then kill himself, it's humorously ridiculous. When he uses the same sort of exaggeration in the context of a real event on the scale of September 11th, it becomes a lot more disturbing. It's always been easy for Chick to convert the Muslims, but I'm not entirely comfortable with him tossing around post September 11th racism the way he does here.

To summarize: Most people aren't really offended by JC, because there's no realistic context. I think people might be here, though.
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:01 PM on January 2, 2003

Father-Ramos.com is probably the best of the parody sites, though it only has one comic on it. It's a hoax set up by an actual role-playing game company in perfect dead-pan without telling their fans to raise publicity for a new role-playing game they were putting out. This led to their forums being temporarily blanketed with outraged fans denouncing Father Ramos before someone pointed out that the artwork was done by one of the company's regular artists.

"All right, the Scourage activates her lore and the infant bursts into flame."
"Sweet! Take that, brat! Bloodthorn then attacks the homeless woman."

"Why don't you relax and have some of the ecstasy?"
"Uh. Okay."
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 1:59 PM on January 2, 2003

I've always found religious propaganda amusing, especially tracts of this nature which seem typical of it's sort.

I am a compulsive reader of the written word, including religious propaganda such as "The Watchtower" and "Guide Posts" (heh, they're usually free). I find tracts to be very amusing.

Chic loses me when he starts inserting extrapolation as creed ("But Mohammed died in his sins because he denied that Jesus is God").

and of course the scenario is quite trite -- it's a tract, duh.

I prefer the tracts from mid eighties with their unsubtle Adam Purple references. Although it did take a few years to uncover the full Adam Purple story.

Does anyone collect the various tracts, they'd make an interesting site.
posted by DBAPaul at 6:49 PM on January 2, 2003

Splarf...doesn't Chick know that there is no "jesus" or "allah" or any other "god?" There is only Rael. Praise Rael. KNEEL before Rael. No, wait...kneel before you-know-who.
posted by davidmsc at 7:10 PM on January 2, 2003

Jack Chick preaches a lot things, but not tolerance.
posted by Down10 at 7:47 PM on January 2, 2003

Didn't I read somewhere that Jack Chick was killed by the Catholic Church?
posted by solistrato at 9:24 PM on January 2, 2003

See this, this is why I flunked confirmation.
posted by Poagao at 8:13 PM on January 3, 2003

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