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Thinking about Chick tracts, as they were mentioned in another thread...

Granted, they exaggerate, cause they're comics. And there are some unpleasant things in them as well (the portrayal of homosexuality being one). But I've been ill and reading a lot of them and some of the theology and general statements seem wrong from what I was taught. There's also the weird idea that the UK is pretty much under Sharia law, but that seems to be a common misconception in the US!

1. In the tracts the Devil is in Hell. I was taught no, he isn't. Not yet. He will be, when Jesus returns and chucks him in in the final battle of Revelation, but he's not now. He's going to and fro upon the earth looking to see whom he may devour, and so are the other fallen angels.

2. Likewise dead folk. They are not getting judged one by one when they die as Chick has it. They will be judged en masse at the end. Right now, they're just dead.

3. Nearly everyone in his tracts who ends up getting saved asks questions like "Who's Jesus?" and "What's a soul?" I find it fairly incredible that in a heavily Christianised nation such as the US people wouldn't have heard of Jesus or souls before.

4. There's two requirements for going to heaven. Believe Jesus is the Son of God and rose from the dead. Then, do good works. The first is the most important, of course, and should lead naturally on to the second. This means you don't have to say the prayer Chick tells you to say to get to heaven.

4a. Following on from this, I was brought up very antiCatholic, as Chick is. But on reading the Bible I now don't see where it says they can't go to Heaven - there doesn't seem to be any rule they're breaking, and in fact (although I'm a bit hazy on this) I think that would mean whole countries and time periods went to Hell. They are just interpreting the Bible differently.

5. An awful lot of children die in his tracts - and go straight to Hell. Jesus taught pretty much the opposite of this. As there doesn't seem to be an age cut-off point for *not* going to Hell, in a couple of his tracts show kids really young in Hell, and in some of them it's implied. The only exception seems to be for aborted babies, who as they haven't been born yet, presumably can't have sinned. None of that is particularly Biblical.

And don't even get me started on his portrayal of Islam... :roll:

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It's been almost 20 years since I laid eyes on a Chick tract, so I haven't seen the up to date crazy, but I have never forgotten how positively EVIL they are. And I do not throw out the word "evil" lightly. This absolute glee that comes through those things over the idea of children being totured in hell for eternity.....and it is glee no matter how much pious evagelism is slathered on top. I remember the drawings of eastern orthodox prelates in those tracts, with the shifty eyes, wicked smiles, and bling. There were also drawings of what I would describe as "hooked nosed Jews." Can just image him doing a full on treatment of Islam. Ugh, my skin is starting to crawl just thinking of those things. Bastard.

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His views on theology are certainly questionable, but I think most of them can be hold and are held by a sizeable group of Christians.

1. As the concept of hell as we have it today is not really in the bibel, we are to speculate if the devil is there. The alternative would be he's out in the world,a s he can't be in heaven. He will be, of course, limited to hell after the return of Christ.

2. The problem of individual and general judgement made many theologians busy, because the bibel has it both ways, for example the story of Lazarus (individual judgement directly after death) and the relevation (general judgement at the end of times). Some combine the two and believe there'll be a judgement after you die and then another at the end of times where the world as God wanted it will be reinstituted and also those who where alive at the time of the second coming will be judged.

3. His tracts are over-simplified.

4. Salvation by works is a teaching especially protestant Christians abhor. You are generally saved by grace, which manifests itself in personal faith and results in good works (fruits). Of course, the specific prayer as chick prints it is not required, but "accepting Jesus as personal saviour" is. His beef with Catholics: He does not believe they worship Jesus and brings about many lies about them, like the Church was behind the Holocaust AND Communism AND Islam... if that were true, of course Catholics could not be Christians and therefore not enter heaven.

5. The "age of accountability" is not specified in the bible. I think we all agree that there's a point in a child's life where it becomes aware of wrongdoing and can choose to do wrong or not. When a human being is able to make this choice, he is responsible for his actions and sins and might go to hell accordingly.

I am by no means agreeing with Chick, just wanted to express that many of his views are, from a Christian point of view, not so problematic. The lies he prints and the fear he spreads, those are the real concerns to me.

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I remember one particular drawing of Chick's....basically, in 200AD the "Catholics" start persecuting the "true Christians" and he had a drawing of ancient people running into the mountains with books. Actual books. Aside from the fact he is almost 200 years too early from the beginning of the establishment of the New Testament cannon, he seemed to sincerely believe people had actual bound books back then, for which he is over 1000 years too early. Yeah sure, the Bible dropped out of the sky during the Feast of Pentecost. :roll:

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Thanks, Cran! I guess I was taught a bit differently but I probably only half remember some things anyway. :oops:

AreteJo, I agree with you about the evil. He's also stuck in the last century. I just saw this one and I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0065/0065_01.asp

WHAT :shock:

I can assure you, it's nothing like that. And I have been to meetings restricted to members only. If someone came in, they wouldn't get punched in the face! Even if they came in and started handing out Chick tracts! We'd just ask them politely to leave!

That's really the least of the problems with the tract, of course :lol: but if someone gave that to anyone on the far Left they'd laugh themselves stupid. A: it looks like it was set in some 70s fantasyland. B. That's not how the Left works at all.

It's partly the little things which annoy me. Like, no-one addresses someone else as "Comrade [name]" unless that person's in trouble. You might idly address someone as comrade, but not with their name attached! That's like when your mum's angry at you and calls you by your full name. If someone said to me "Oh, hi, comrade" I'd think nothing of it. If They said "Comrade JFC" I'd be all "Shit, what have I done?"

AARGH. The only consolation is he'll be getting a lot of dry cleaning bills from when people are given this tract and wet themselves laughing. And it's from 2010!

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Aaaaaaaand.......naturally, the head of the revolution is a catholic priest who then betrays the patsies. :roll: Oh look! Someone's going to hell. Nothing has changed in 20 years with the Chick tracks.

As an aside, I only know 2 communists really well IRL, and they couldn't organize their way out of a paper bag, much less be able to bring down a government through force of arms. But maybe anglo-saxon communists are different from greek communists. :lol:

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AreteJo, I agree with you about the evil. He's also stuck in the last century. I just saw this one and I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0065/0065_01.asp

WHAT :shock:

Well, I grew up in Poland in the '70s-'80s, so communism might not be my preferred political/economic system, but this just made me :laughing-rollingred:

Also, he certainly doesn't realize we'd get nearly identical strips, except that obviously the revolutionaries were the good guys. Which goes to show that it's just a propaganda piece like any other, and remarkably uncreative at that...

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Thanks, Cran! I guess I was taught a bit differently but I probably only half remember some things anyway. :oops:

AreteJo, I agree with you about the evil. He's also stuck in the last century. I just saw this one and I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0065/0065_01.asp

WHAT :shock:

I can assure you, it's nothing like that. And I have been to meetings restricted to members only. If someone came in, they wouldn't get punched in the face! Even if they came in and started handing out Chick tracts! We'd just ask them politely to leave!

That's really the least of the problems with the tract, of course :lol: but if someone gave that to anyone on the far Left they'd laugh themselves stupid. A: it looks like it was set in some 70s fantasyland. B. That's not how the Left works at all.

It's partly the little things which annoy me. Like, no-one addresses someone else as "Comrade [name]" unless that person's in trouble. You might idly address someone as comrade, but not with their name attached! That's like when your mum's angry at you and calls you by your full name. If someone said to me "Oh, hi, comrade" I'd think nothing of it. If They said "Comrade JFC" I'd be all "Shit, what have I done?"

AARGH. The only consolation is he'll be getting a lot of dry cleaning bills from when people are given this tract and wet themselves laughing. And it's from 2010!

This was the last one I got, JFC. It made me think of you. ;)

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LOLOLOLOL, ICCC! Where the heck did you get that?

Heinz57, Chick said those were his inspiration, strangely! He went to China and little comic tracts were there extolling the virtues of Maoism. He thought he could use them for Christianity, so you're right, propaganda really.

Aretejo, we're alright at organising, but, er, stuff like paperselling and public meetings :lol: Mind you, that guy was a bit shit as well, it was a private cell meeting and his wee brother knew where it was? If he did you can bet the coppers did. I don't think Chick's really got his head round how these things work.

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Heinz57, Chick said those were his inspiration, strangely! He went to China and little comic tracts were there extolling the virtues of Maoism. He thought he could use them for Christianity, so you're right, propaganda really.

To be honest I'd never heard about the guy until you posted this today. But if he followed the news at all during the last two decades surely he should have concluded that this kind of propaganda doesn't really work?

Which is pretty reassuring, actually.

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To be honest I'd never heard about the guy until you posted this today. But if he followed the news at all during the last two decades surely he should have concluded that this kind of propaganda doesn't really work?

Which is pretty reassuring, actually.

You would think, but he seems to be stuck in the past. When I was at uni about 10 years ago I had a fundie classmate who gave me these ones:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0009/0009_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1002/1002_01.asp

That's how I found out about them! I was...surprised.

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That's creepy!!! But you're right, also strangely outdated - the drawings remind me of my mom's English textbooks from the '60s. Except for the "scholar" who looks copied from antisemitic drawings from the '30s, big crooked nose and all - I don't know if it's intentional.

Also, in the "scholar" one the last image says "when Ashley died" and you see an angel taking her to heaven - and she's still a little girl - so I gather she died as a child??? that's weird too.

I hesitate between wanting to check out more and revulsion...

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You would think, but he seems to be stuck in the past. When I was at uni about 10 years ago I had a fundie classmate who gave me these ones:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0001/0001_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0009/0009_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1002/1002_01.asp

That's how I found out about them! I was...surprised.

I remember reading the first two as a kid. They seem really ridiculous looking at them (especially the third one: you decide to get educated and get doubts about god and go to hell? Why would "Ashley" go do sunday school in a household like that? wtf?) now.

I'm pretty sure someone on free jinger linked this site in another post. Thinking about Chick tracts remind me of this blog:

http://jackchick.wordpress.com/

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Totally agree about the antisemitism. Check THIS one out, especially for the lawyer. I hate to Godwinise anything but that could be a Nazi caricature.

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0018/0018_01.asp

A lot of people spotted that when the guy was handing the tracts out. He has Muslim, Catholic and especially Jewish caricatures in nearly everything he does.

They have a creepy fascination, but as Aretejo says, a fairly evil one.

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Ok, I will give you the Pentecostal opinion of what Chick teaches (I was raised pentecostal, and pretty much taught what is in his tracks). We were Assembly of God to be exact (but I might have some of this mixed up with the extra crazy theology of my moms exhusband)

1. I was taught that the Devil can go wherever he wants, he can even go to heaven for short stints to argue and try to barter with God. After the return of Jesus, he will be permanently sent to hell.

2. I was taught that you get judged when you die, then again at the big bruhaha everyone gets judged again (no it doesn't make sense, but don't ask questions or you'll go to hell)

3. I think that the only people in Christendom that don't know who Jesus is are my 2 little ones! haha It is a common thing in evangelical churches that people just need to hear about Jesus and they will get saved.

4. I was raised anti-Catholic too, and I still can't find anywhere in the Bible that is anti-Catholic. Evangelical Christians, for the most part, believe that Catholics worship Mary and the saints, and that is idolatry and therefore they can't be Christians.

I was raised that I had to repent, ask Jesus into my heart, and be a good Christian. If you died without repenting, you would go to hell. Most Protestant faiths are not work based, can I ask what you were raised? Just curious.

5. I was raised that there is no specific age for the free ride to heaven, to believe that was to be like the Catholics and Jews, but that every person reaches the understanding at their own pace.

Ok, I hope that helped a teeny bit. I don't know what denomination Chick was/is, but he followed almost 100% with my fire-and-brimstone Pentecostal upbringing.

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Totally agree about the antisemitism. Check THIS one out, especially for the lawyer. I hate to Godwinise anything but that could be a Nazi caricature.

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0018/0018_01.asp

A lot of people spotted that when the guy was handing the tracts out. He has Muslim, Catholic and especially Jewish caricatures in nearly everything he does.

They have a creepy fascination, but as Aretejo says, a fairly evil one.

I agree. There is no way that stuff isn't antisemitic on purpose. Those drawings of lawyers etc literally look closely based on Nazi propaganda posters. This is disgusting.

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I agree. There is no way that stuff isn't antisemitic on purpose. Those drawings of lawyers etc literally look closely based on Nazi propaganda posters. This is disgusting.

Even this one (yes, I gave in and checked a few)

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1000/1000_01.asp

though it's called "Love the Jewish People" it's just one step from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

In general though I never understood how the Christian fudamentalists reconcile the "Jews are the chosen people" and "Jews will burn in hell".

And since idol-worshipping Catholics do seem to be his pet peeve, I wonder why he doesn't mention the Orthodox, he could comfortably combine them with filthy communists too, seeing as they are all dirty Russians and all... :?

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That's creepy!!! But you're right, also strangely outdated - the drawings remind me of my mom's English textbooks from the '60s. Except for the "scholar" who looks copied from antisemitic drawings from the '30s, big crooked nose and all - I don't know if it's intentional.

Also, in the "scholar" one the last image says "when Ashley died" and you see an angel taking her to heaven - and she's still a little girl - so I gather she died as a child??? that's weird too.

I hesitate between wanting to check out more and revulsion...

Spot on, that's what I thought too. And there was the weird undertone of the scholar being called "the Great One", implying that he considered himself to be like god/was trying to usurp god's place, which I also found odd to say the least.

As for the one, in which the fellow dies and lives through his own version of "This is your life", it just rubbed me the wrong way. I suppose this is mainly down to having been a Catholic once, and being taught that anyone who strives to be a genuinely good person within the paradigms of their knowledge, gets into heaven. I gather that Chick is very anti-Catholic, but taken in conjuction with the other two comics, in which he charted lives, I'm now left with the impression that unless you're the "perfect little non-Catholic Christian" from childhood onwards, you're doomed anyway.

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4. I was raised anti-Catholic too, and I still can't find anywhere in the Bible that is anti-Catholic. Evangelical Christians, for the most part, believe that Catholics worship Mary and the saints, and that is idolatry and therefore they can't be Christians.

I was raised that I had to repent, ask Jesus into my heart, and be a good Christian. If you died without repenting, you would go to hell. Most Protestant faiths are not work based, can I ask what you were raised? Just curious.

5. I was raised that there is no specific age for the free ride to heaven, to believe that was to be like the Catholics and Jews, but that every person reaches the understanding at their own pace.

Ok, I hope that helped a teeny bit. I don't know what denomination Chick was/is, but he followed almost 100% with my fire-and-brimstone Pentecostal upbringing.

Thank you, that cleared things for me somewhat, but as for the bolded part, just my two cents:

I was taught that you don't worship Mary and the saints per se but that there's a hierarchy: a Catholic would most probably find it not respectful to pray to Jesus with daily bothers (like the fundies seem to do, but maybe it's just generally a protestant thing?). So you pray to his entourage and if they can help there's no need to bother the Big Guy - but the formulae are usually "Mary, please intercede with your son for this or that".

As for the free ride, while it's true for the Jews (not held accountable till the bar mitzvah age), the Catholics think you're born with the original sin and if a baby dies before it gets baptized it won't go to heaven... I'm not sure if I remember correctly but I think the baby goes to the limbo and stays there till the judgement day - I'm a bit hazy on that bit though.

BTW, maybe you would know the answer to the "Jews are bad" vs "Jews are the chosen people" conundrum?

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Spot on, that's what I thought too. And there was the weird undertone of the scholar being called "the Great One", implying that he considered himself to be like god/was trying to usurp god's place, which I also found odd to say the least.

Yes, it struck me too. I even wondered if it's not a hidden reference to Gdolim ("the great ones" in Hebrew) which is what you say about some particularly wise/influential/respected/learned rabbis. But maybe I'm overestimating his Jewish knowledge...

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Yes, it struck me too. I even wondered if it's not a hidden reference to Gdolim ("the great ones" in Hebrew) which is what you say about some particularly wise/influential/respected/learned rabbis. But maybe I'm overestimating his Jewish knowledge...

I didn't know that. But that would make an awful lot of sense, considering how he portrayed the scholar in the style of anti-semitic comics. And since I'm in the mood for suspecting the worst, let me take it a step further, and suspect Chick of making the child a daughter on purpose, since Judaism comes via the female line, and the daughter got saved. If any of that is true, it's so much worse than I thought at first glance. :?

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Pixydust, you were very helpful indeed.

I wasn't raised in the faith but I went to religious school. My mum and dad are not believers but they were impressed with the discipline and the ethos. It was Kirk:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scotland

I don't think I put it well, how I meant was they put a fair bit of emphasis on the part with "I was in prison and you visited me, naked and you clothed me" you were to repent as well, but not how Chick shows it where you just say "I'm very sorry. Ah! I'm a new person!" It was supposed to be something that happened all the time if you had accepted Jesus as the Son of God. Doing good works would be a thing which happened too but while you would repent so as not to make Jesus sad and you'd want to not make him sad, good works take effort. So we got the verse about prison etc a fair bit.

It talks in Wiki about abortion and gay marriage. We had some strange things mentioned to us but neither of those that I recall. They probably would have thought we were too young.

We got some stomping hellfire and brimstone sermons as well. It sort of depended who was speaking. Catholicism was disapproved of. Islam to a lesser extent, I remember it being mentioned now and again. There's a big sectarian divide in Scotland and they told us Catholicism was a false religion. Not everyone said that, it depended who was speaking as I say. Some were just like "Keep Jesus in your heart and be nice to each other". We had to do a lot of thinking about Jesus making stuff, specially us.

The weirdest ones I remember which weren't helfire ones were praying for the IRA to turn from Catholicism (which I've mentioned here before) and also we had a big sermon about Down's Syndrome children which was bizarre. The guy kept calling them "mongoloids" and he had a little ladder as a prop to show how close to God they were or something. Strange days.

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I didn't know that. But that would make an awful lot of sense, considering how he portrayed the scholar in the style of anti-semitic comics. And since I'm in the mood for suspecting the worst, let me take it a step further, and suspect Chick of making the child a daughter on purpose, since Judaism comes via the female line, and the daughter got saved. If any of that is true, it's so much worse than I thought at first glance. :?

Hmm, so an atheist rabbi marries a devout evangelical and sends his daughter to sunday school. I find no fault with Chick's scenario, therefore I'm convicted :lol:

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I didn't know that. But that would make an awful lot of sense, considering how he portrayed the scholar in the style of anti-semitic comics. And since I'm in the mood for suspecting the worst, let me take it a step further, and suspect Chick of making the child a daughter on purpose, since Judaism comes via the female line, and the daughter got saved. If any of that is true, it's so much worse than I thought at first glance. :?

He is definitely an antiSemite. I'd suspect him of making the child a daughter, definitely. Not sure if he's informed enough to know Hebrew but he might have heard that somewhere?

"Sensitive" treatment of Jews, Catholics and Muslims:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0014/0014_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1057/1057_01.asp

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0042/0042_01.asp or http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1031/1031_01.asp

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Hmm, so an atheist rabbi marries a devout evangelical and sends his daughter to sunday school. I find no fault with Chick's scenario, therefore I'm convicted :lol:

Oh, I didn't think of that, but please, keep reason and logic out of this! :lol:

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