Jack Chick, fundamentalist cartoonist dies

Religious cartoonist Jack Chick died this week at the age of 92.  Chick was known for his Chick Tracts; controversial comics rooted in his own fundamentalist Protestant worldview.  His tracts were notoriously anti-Catholic and also attacked Freemasons, Muslims, Jews, and  other groups whose views he deemed contrary to his own evangelical brand of faith.

Chick fell for every religious conspiracy possible; rarely ever relying on actual history or fact

He believed that the King James Bible was itself the true Word of God and that all others before and since were apparently diabolical…

“So my argument of “Where was the Bible before 1611?” The answer to it is, “Being assembled.” We have printing that began in about 1450 with Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press. You probably know that story. The King James Bible was produced in 1611. So you have over 150 years’ worth of preparation. And it was during that time… there is a whole history that goes with this, and you probably are familiar with it. But again, my answer is that it was being assembled.

There were previous editions of the English Bible. They were all part of the line. And then finally the Lord comes out with the King James Bible. Now that’s the one that He disseminated all over the earth. There’s been billions of copies disseminated.”

 

…He believed that Eastern Christian traditions were all actually Roman Catholics

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…That Catholics weren’t really Christians and in fact were dupes of Satan worshiping the Egyptian Sun God

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…and that Islam was a secret plot of the Roman Catholic church to aid in their schemes of world conquest (at Satan’s behest)

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…and oh yeah, men in Fez’s are evil – very evil

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Jack Chick wove his hatred throughout his work.  Ironically, Catholic author and podcaster Cari Donaldson credits Chick with her own conversion to Roman Catholicism.

“he was no mentor, and I can’t say that I truly mourn his passing. Oh, I’ve been praying for the repose of his soul constantly since learning about his death, and I have hope in God’s infinite Mercy, but I tremble for this man’s judgment.

The man was Jack Chick, and he has left behind a legacy of fear-mongering, lies, and slander. Through his mass-produced, pulpy little Chick Tracts (750 million copies of them worldwide, according to his website), people are fed distortions and caricatures about Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism, ideally to get them to say the Jesus Prayer and join their nearest fundamentalist Protestant church. I was first introduced to his work one afternoon, deep in the heart of the Bible Belt.”

She goes on to describe her first encounter with a Chick Tract and where it led her.

“Titled “The Death Cookie”, it claimed that the Eucharist was nothing but a recycling of Egyptian sun worship, that Catholics controlled people by “magic and witchcraft”, and that God Himself had spoken through the comic. Having just come off a half decade of being immersed in New Age philosophy, I knew that what Chick was passing off as ancient Egyptian religion was false, which made me wonder what other falsehoods he was pedaling. So I took it upon myself to debunk this offensive little hate pamphlet.

I decided I would start by learning what Catholics taught about this Eucharist thing. After all, I’d just read Mr. Chick claiming that it was a “death cookie”, designed to demonically ensnare the foolish, it only seemed fair to see what the Church taught about this thing.

And that’s where it all fell apart for both Mr. Chick and myself.”

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17 Comments
  1. Jay Croft

    Betcha he’s very surprised to find himself in Purgatory for a couple million years, then in Limbo, and finally St. Peter says “Sorry, Jack.”

  2. Stephen McGuire

    I thought “limbo” was in “limbo”. :o) Who knows what is really happening to him. Shocking what he spread when here. So much hatred. So tiring. How I wish more of the “establishment” religions would speak out against the current day versions as there are still so many.

  3. Kathy Franklin

    I am so sorry that his beliefs were given space online here.

    • Jay Croft

      I’m not sad to know of his passing. I was a college chaplain and spent quite a bit of time discussing Chick Tracts with questioning students.

  4. andrew stevens

    I believe things that would shock Jack Chick, such as the Assumption of Mary; and yet I notice you have only focused on the negative aspects of his work- thus acting like him in a sense. He also gave the simple gospel to millions and I for one met a nice Christian man converted after reading two of his tracts…

    • JC Fisher

      Converted to what? :-0

      Chick Tracts have one specialty: TERROR. Every single one of them comes packed w/ the message “Turn [to the bizarre cult practiced by Jack Chick] or Burn!”

      Even w/ my Episcopal upbringing, finding one of these things at skating rink when I was about 10, scared the (pardon) bejeezus out of me! Blessedly, I could compare it w/ what I was learning in my parish: the latter had GOOD News, the former only hate-filled garbage. [Need we even mention that Chick taught that gays are all pedophiles?]

      “Converted” by a Chick Tract? That’s someone who’s likely going to need to be deprogrammed, if the Love of Jesus Christ is truly going to reach their heart. Kyrie eleison!

      • andrew stevens

        One message? In fact they vary. In one there is few words but consists of cartoons of a homeless child thinking “Nobody cares” but upon death Christ appears and saves her. This would be encouraging to some who live on the streets. Yet, I think you proved my point. You denigrate and are harsh- as Mr. Chick often was.

      • David Allen

        It’s a catch 22 Andrew, you too are caught in the trap, as you criticise those who criticise Mr Chick.

        As to his many messages, they were each one a sign post pointing to his own personal brand of the Gospel. One that I have difficulty recognizing as the genuine article, for all of the falsehoods and hate that it involved.

    • Gregory Orloff

      Actually, andrew stevens, what might be encouraging to someone who lives on the street is not a cartoon Jesus who appears at the moment of death, but rather Christians who make the real presence of Christ felt by following his command to love neighbor (friend or foe) and thus helping to get them off the street before they reach the moment of death. That’s much more gospel, in fact. Mr. Chick’s cartoons routinely failed to present such a positive motivation or message.

  5. Christopher Stephen Jenks, BSG

    A college roommate of mine, who is still a good friend, grew up in a fundamentalist environment and was greatly influenced by Chick’s tracts. When he finally rebelled against it he ended up leaving the faith altogether and is now an ardent atheist. This was probably the only possible reaction he could have.

  6. Andrew Stevens

    No, it isn’t a Catch 22, for the simple reason that you only love Christ as much as you love your worst enemy. The point is this- Christians need to ask themselves, ‘How much do we love Jack Chick?’.

    I could imagine any number of the saints reproving Mr. Chick in humility but not from that religious, self righteousness or hurt ‘self’ life that is like a weed of bitterness that needs to be uprooted.

    God bless.

    • Jay Croft

      Sorry, but I’ve seen the harm that Jack Chick did to students at one small college. Multiply that by the approximately 2,000 colleges and universities in the US, and it’s a significant amount.

      What happens to him in the afterlife is God’s business. But “Oh, he wasn’t that bad and maybe did some good” glosses over the hatred and deliberate misconceptions that he promoted.

    • David Allen

      Wow, Andrew, how you fail to see the sickeningly syrupy sweet, but condescending, self-righteousness you yourself exhibit in the midst of calling everyone else to task!

  7. Andrew Gerns

    Personally, I imagine Mr. Chick coming into heaven and while walking around spotting a little booklet on a table and picking it up. Simply drawn and simply written, he is drawn into the story and begins to read.

    Titled “Surprise!” the little booklet tells the story of a very religious and zealous man named Jack who, after a lifetime of popularizing a fundamentalist vision of the Gospel, dies and is confronted by God.

    As he looks around he finds the place filled with Catholics who ate “Death Cookies”, gays, Muslims, kids who bailed on Sunday school, and run of the mill agnostics. There is Mother Theresa and Ghandi chatting. Jack is startled and confused, and asks a passing angel if this is really heaven.

    The angel accompanies Jack to God’s throne where he awaits final judgement.

    The faceless person on the throne describes to Jack that Christ died for all (Romans 5:6, 8) and all along it was God’s will that all God’s sheep would come to the shepherd (John 10:16), and that there is no law against a holy life (Galatians 5:22-26). He will learn that God desires mercy not sacrifice (Matthew 12:7, Micah 6:8) and love over judgment (Luke 6:37).

    As Jack falls to his knees, shocked at what he has learned and fearful that he might be cast into eternal torment, he looks up to find Jesus helping him to his feet and welcoming him into a Kingdom more glorious…and more populated…that he ever imagined.

    In my imagination, I see Mr. Chick finishing the booklet, and looking around, as if for the first time, comprehending the love that drew him in the first place.

    At least, that is my prayer.

    • David Carver

      Beautiful – thank you. I love this. 🙂

  8. More likely Mr. Chick will just end up in hades, with no appeal and no water.

  9. Ric Schopke

    Dear Lord,
    Please forgive us all.

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