Growing up Fundagelical, I was exposed to “Chick Tracts.” For the uninitiated, these were small pamphlets with cartoons that were used to evangelize. Jack Chick, the originator of these tracts, helped to promote so much of what is wrong with Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism today. He didn’t stop at just sharing a simple gospel message; he used spurious sources to promote anti-Catholicism, the satanic panic, anti-LGBT teachings and conspiracy theories galore.
Chick fell for some of the biggest con artists selling their fake testimonies. He never bothered to fact check because these people were “Christians” why would they lie? He didn’t bother to fact check the outrageous claims because they fit into his own personal twisted world view. Fundagelicals love to tell you how wrong the rest of the world is and how right they are. For the next several posts, hold on because we are going to go diving through the twisted Fundagelical world of Jack Chick. Hopefully, it won’t induce flashbacks.
Shall we start with the anti-Catholicism? How about the classic Jack Chick tract “Death Cookie”? The link goes to the full tract. Chick based his information on the book The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. The book has been debunked numerous times. Chick never bothered to see if Hislop got his facts straight.
According to Hislop and Chick, the idea of transubstantiation, a Catholic belief that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist become flesh and blood of Christ, is derived from the Egyptian worship of Osiris. On page 8 of the chick tract, it states that the Egyptians “worshiped the sun and they called it the great god Osiris.” Now as I often say, Fundagelicals never let facts get in the way of their narratives. Osiris wasn’t the Egyptian sun god; The Egyptian sun god was Ra. Osiris was originally the god of fertility and agriculture. After he was murdered and resurrected, he became the god of the underworld. A quick check of an encyclopedia would have fixed that error.
Chick continues to explain that the Egyptians made round shape wafers, would pray over them, declare them to be the flesh of Osiris, and his followers would eat them. Actually, when the Nile River, the source of much of Egypt’s agriculture would dry up, they would make small cakes and even water them as an offering to Osiris. It was never claimed that they became his flesh or get eaten by his followers.
Hislop made-up so much of his information and Chick never bothered to fact check. Chick wanted to believe Catholicism was evil so he swallowed the story whole. Even worse, he promoted the story through his tracts. Other Fundagelicals read the tracts and believed it too. They never bothered to fact check because they wanted to believe Catholics were evil. That’s the Fundagelical way: everyone not like us is evil. How can we believe the people who spread lies or take seriously those gullible enough to believe them?
Both the Chick Tract and the book The Two Babylons are available today. Apparently, there is no expiration date on lies, rumors, and bigotry.
If we as Christians want the world to hold to high standards of honesty and integrity, maybe we should start practicing those things ourselves.
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