Friday, November 04, 2016

Jack T Chick takes on the Mormons

Jack T Chick died last month. He was 92, and he was religious in that old-time religion way. He was not shy about telling everyone who didn’t believe as he did that they were going to hell.

Chick got religion sometime after he was married in the late 1940s, following his World War II service. He was a cartoonist, and became (in)famous for little booklets explaining how to be Chick’s opinion that was to believe in the Bible as the literal word of God (any Bible after the King James version was no good to Chick), and then you had to come to Jesus. He was fairly rabid in his dislike for Catholics, and he didn’t care much for Mormons either. The booklets, of which there are many (dozens? hundreds?)* take a negative tone. The booklets follow a formula: someone believes falsely, and some religious stalwart sets them straight. Since there isn’t much room to tell a story it has to be fast, with the wrong person getting the right information and then miraculously seeing the light. (The ones who don’t get the message end up in the lake of fire being prodded by Satan’s demons.)

In The Visitors a couple of Mormon missionaries get the full Chick-treatment from a (forgive me for using this word) chick, who sets them straight with facts about Mormon theology they usually don’t reveal to prospects being proselytized.

I am not religious, but I am an ex-Mormon, and I spotted at least one error. The booklet is copyright 1984, but repeats the LDS belief that black people are cursed with dark skin, a policy which was overturned in 1978.

The artwork is not done by Chick, but by artist Fred Carter.

Anyone could order these booklets by paying for a special printing with their name on the back cover. They were usually given out by churches and religious organizations, but in this case an individual, Douglas King, a “servant of God.”

*Chick also published a line of full color comics in a traditional comic book format, which had the same dire tone as the booklets...they just had more room in which to issue condemnations.


People who believe the Bible to be the be-all and end-all of any discussion can be hard to communicate with. For instance, while even many pious and devout religious people believe in a scientific explanation of the origins of life on earth, when it comes to answers about tricky things like evolution (people were created when the earth was created, and began with Adam and Eve), or dinosaurs (lived amongst people, and their fossils are wrongly thought to be from millions of years ago) there is no equivocation from the Bible-is-the-only-answer-you-need folks. They believe in Creationism as a valid set of facts about everything.

The Creation Museum is open in Petersburg, Tennessee. You can go there and “see the wonders of God’s creations.”

There are also books published with answers to thorny questions about early humans and dinosaurs cohabiting the planet, not unlike the Flintstones or Alley Oop.*

One children’s book, The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible by Paul S. Taylor, from 1987, attempts to explain the so-called “mystery.” As Taylor explains on page 16: “When God created the world, dinosaurs were one of His creations. God created all the animals (Genesis 1:20-25). God made everything in the entire universe—people, stars, planets and all that there is (Exodus 209:11a Genesis 1, John 1:3). Like Adam, the bodies of the first dinosaurs were formed from the dust of the earth. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time.” (Emphasis mine.)

As always, click on the pictures to make them dinosaur size.

I will give the author credit for creating a well-illustrated and fun book, but scientific it is not.

The world of faith must be exceptionally strong that so many people can accept the invisible world of the supernatural rather than the visible work of thousands of dedicated scientists worldwide.

*If you don’t know who Alley Oop is, he is a comic strip characters who was created by cartoonist V.T. Hamlin. Oop lives in a place called Moo, and has a pet dinosaur named Dinny. Here is an early (1934) Sunday page.

No comments: