Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jack Chick Collection

Although we never heard much about Dave Hunt, in the end, I see that Candy is now reading Smokescreens by Jack Chick. I thought I'd put up some Jack Chick links for reference.

Catholic Answers has an extremely in depth, six part article on Jack Chick publications.

Another article about Pius XII touches on Smokescreens specifically:

Jack Chick, infamous for his anti-Catholic comic books, tells us in Smokescreens, "When World War II ended, the Vatican had egg all over its face. Pope Pius XII, after building the Nazi war machine, saw Hitler losing his battle against Russia, and he immediately jumped to the other side when he saw the handwriting on the wall. . . . Pope Pius XII should have stood before the judges in Nuremberg. His war crimes were worthy of death."[2]

One is tempted simply to dismiss these accusations, so wildly out of touch with reality, as the deluded ravings of persons with no sense of historical truth. This would underestimate the power of such erroneous charges to influence people: Many take these writers at their word.

Stepping out of the nightmare fantasyland of Hunt and Chick and back into sunlight of the real world, we discover that, not only was Pius XII no friend of the Nazis, but that his opposition to them began years before the War, before he was elected to the papacy, when he was still Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the Vatican Secretary of State.
Articles from non-Catholic publications Cornerstone and Christianity Today are available here.

Is Alberto's story true? No! Our intensive investigation reveals his police record, his investment schemes, his bad check-writing, his contradictory testimony, his fabricated educational record, and his reported family abuse . . . Alberto Rivera, also known as Alberto Romero, has a history of legal entanglements. He is currently involved in a court action in Southern California, accused of fraud.

    Jack T. Chick has issued a three-page reply to Gary Metz's expose of Alberto Rivera . . . In his letter of March 25, 1981, co-signed by Rivera, Chick alleges that 'the systematic destruction of John Todd's ministry' is being repeated by the Vatican to destroy Alberto. (Todd claimed to have been one of the leaders of an international conspiracy of witches to set up Jimmy Carter as the Antichrist; Chick promoted Todd's story in earlier comic books.) Chick accuses Christianity Today and Cornerstone, both of whom ran exposes on John Todd, of furthering the cause of the 'antichrist in the Vatican.'

    A typical example of Chick's defense of Alberto: the evidence for Alberto's degrees disappeared because the Vatican 'erased Dr. Rivera's name from all directories in schools, seminaries, and colleges'; Rivera's former associates and acquaintances contradict his story because they are Vatican spies; the women he was involved with were from 'the Legion of Mary or Catholic Youth.' So with the magic wand of Vatican conspiracy, Rivera is exonerated from any evidence that can possibly be adduced against him.

    We feel that if Jack Chick really has a burden for Catholics, he needs to steer clear of fabrications and find a more reliable source of information.

Another non-Catholic organization, the Christian Research Institute weighs in on whether or not Catholicism is a cult. Jack Chick merits a mention, although more space is given to Dave Hunt.
Even with the significant areas of doctrinal agreement between Catholics and Protestants (see Part One), a notable number of Protestant fundamentalists insist that Catholicism is an anti-Christian cult. Organizations and individuals (some of them quite popular) who classify Catholicism as a cult include: Chick Publications, Alberto Rivera's Anti-Christ Information Center, Tony Alamo's Christian Foundation, Bill Jackson's Christians Evangelizing Catholics, Albert James Dager's Media Spotlight, and Dave Hunt's The Berean Call. (This is not to say that all of these people belong in the same category the latter three are more respectable than the former three.) Actually this is just a few of many individuals and organizations that classify Catholicism as an anti-Christian cult. Because their position receives a wide hearing in some evangelical circles, we must address their claim.

The Catholic League also weighs in:

In mind-numbing detail are a host of traditional anti-Catholic cites. From rural churches and personal websites, to sites for fundamentalist publishing houses, the traditional anti-Catholicism that was said to have died with the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 thrives on the Internet. A major website is for the Jack Chick Company.16 Jack Chick was one of the first to realize in the post-Kennedy years that old-fashioned anti-Catholicism could still make a buck. He released a series of traditional anti-Catholic "comic books" in the 1970s, the most popular being Alberto. Alberto is the story of a man who claims to have been a Jesuit priest who worked under assignment from the Vatican. Murder and assassination – as well as the usual priestly licentiousness -- are common tools for the Holy See, according to the Chick comic book. Chick followed this up with a few other comics, though none as successful as the original Alberto. Chick, who publishes today out of California, also produces a range of small black-and-white tracts that viciously attack Catholic practices and beliefs. Perhaps the most tasteless among the tasteless is the "Death Cookie," that portrays the Eucharist as a Satanic-inspired ritual rooted in pagan beliefs. Chick also has reproduced classic anti-Catholic works such as "Father" Chiniquy’s "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome."17

Chick’s website is primarily a tool for selling his materials. As his advertising is routinely rejected as offensive in mainstream Christian periodicals, he has limited vehicles in which to reach an audience. He proclaims – as do most of the church-based anti-Catholic Internet sites – that his only goal is the conversion of Catholics to "bible-based" beliefs. But Chick does not bother to engage in honest dialogue, or honest argument, over Catholic beliefs. Rather, the Chick website, like so many others, peddles bombastic charges against the Church as knowingly teaching false doctrine and purposely sending souls to hell. This is ugly stuff.

Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin actually met Jack Chick:

I moved to the seat next to him (well, technically, next to his jacket), and when the well wishers moved on, I said “Excuse me, sir. Are you Jack Chick?”

“I am he replied,” smiling warmly. “What’s your name?”

“Jimmy Akin,” I replied. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, sir.”

We shook hands, and he asked me “What do you do?”

“I’m an evangelist.”

At this is face brightened. “Praise God!” But his eyes studied me a moment. Wearing a Stetson, cowboy boots, faded blue jeans, and a Texas belt buckle, I didn’t look like the typical suit-and-tie evangelist from Chick’s Fundamentalist world.

“I’ve read a lot of your comic tracts,” I said as he settled back into his seat.

While it isn't available to read online, Karl Keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism discusses Jack Chick at length.

Ready to rinse that bad taste out of your mouth? Stop by the Curt Jester to read the parody Jack Chick-fil-A! Actually, I found plenty of parodies, but few that were clean enough to link to. This will have to suffice.

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Anonymous said...

There is little in life that I can say I have absolutely zero tolerance or understanding of. Regardless of my often biased opinions, I can almost always see the other side of something and that usually allows me to control any off the cuff reaction.

When it comes to Chick, however, I have zero control. I do not see the other side in any way, shape or form.

As far as I am concerned, anyone who supports Chick, references him, reads him, links to him, hands out his tracts - basically, has anything to do with him - is automatically ignored, tuned out, and quite a lot of bias is immediately formed in my mind.

Sometimes, there is no excuse or explanation. Chick cannot be justified, nor can those that resort to his "teachings" of hatred, bigotry and ignorance.

Tanya said...

I'm right there with you, perplexity. I don't get him or any of his minions.

NancyP said...

I now have yet another answer to the "Why homeschool?" question. I homeschool so that I can be sure my children know how to read critically and think for themselves, so they never, ever fall for such absurd lies.

Tracy said...

Excellent post Kelly!!

Sal said...

jack Chick had to surface, eventually...Good links, Kelly.

Ladies, a prayer request: my daughter's father-in-law died in his sleep last night. He was gravely ill, but this was unexpected. Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Gary, for the family and for our safe trip to AZ and home again. Thank you very much.