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Tract Dissection: The Awful Truth
27th March 2012, 16:11 (This post was last modified: 27th March 2012 16:12 by Rev. Rye.)
Tract Dissection: The Awful Truth
I decided to do a dissection of this tract by Jack T. Chick; it's one of his latest anti-catholic tracts and there's so much bullshit in it that I just had to riff on it. Due to problems with the server, I'll post it in three parts.
And the awful truth is that this guy has hydrocephalus and is only just now learning it. Either that or his bolo is too tight. At least, I think it's a bolo; the pic is low-quality and Jack Chick is a shitty artist, so it could be anything.
Panel 1: There's only one thing that the staff of Pinky and the Brain is more ashamed of than adding Elmyra to the cast, and that was making them human and pairing them with Fang the Dog.
Actually, come to think of it, does anyone else think it's likely that Jack really is a big fan of Pinky and the Brain? Another recent tract name-dropped Family Guy, complete with a rudimentary drawing of Peter and Stewie, so it doesn't seem out of the question.
Panel 2: Odd. He doesn't look like a big, fat, liar! He hasn't even turned blue yet. Oh, wait. No one else gets that reference to the movie with Amanda Bynes? Maybe Henry Rollins would be less obscure:
Oh, and by the way, who thought giving Satan control of the world was a good idea? Evidently, for this statement to be true, God must have, which leads to the following dilemma:
Is God so woefully incompetent that he cedes control of this apparently important planet to his archenemy?
Is God completely batshit insane enough that he thought it was a good idea?
Does God just not give a fuck about Earth, which should render Jack's entire enterprise entirely pointless?
Or does God actually hate his creation enough that he willingly ceded Earth to his enemy just to piss them off?
Because if the first three options are true, there's no reason we should care about God, and if the last one is correct, the only moral alternative would be to revolt.
Panel 1: So, Satan can be an angel surrounded by protractors, or he can be a fire-breathing dragon? Is he really just restricted to these two forms? Because I know that if I were restricted to angel and dragon forms, I'd stay in dragon form full-time, unless, of course, being an angel has some distinct advantage.
He's the second most powerful being in the universe? Given that his only competition is all-powerful, it really raises the important question of why God hasn't just nipped the whole problem in the bud already. You see, this whole God-Satan conflict really seems like it can only work if God is either A) not all-powerful, or B) a fucking idiot who can't see how powerful his arch-nemesis is.
Panel 2: Gaah! Did Sergio Leone do a panel of this tract? Is Jack really running low on ideas that he couldn't think of anything else? And what's with this guy's eyes? Did he get a transplant from a cat? And what's with those eyebrows? One is in an almost perfect half-circular arc, and the other one looks almost realistic.
Panel 1: Just what is happening with God? Is he like an action from a Silver Age Batman comic? And what's with the auras? Is this the aurora borealis in the Fertile Crescent? A magnetic field made visible? The walls of a cave? The opening screen of any given Looney Tunes cartoon? Given that all those lumps look like rocks, I'm guessing that it's a cave.
Panel 2: Odd. Because, in Genesis 3, all he told her was that they wouldn't die that day, and that they will become cognizant of good and evil. Given that, according to Genesis, Adam lived another 930 years, and God started to treat them like creatures capable of understanding right and wrong, just how was that a lie?
And there's no way eating fruit like that could end up well, because that's clearly a pinecone, and those are really hard to eat, unless you're a squirrel or summat.
Of course, the big question is why even put the tree in the Garden in the first place? It's not like threatening two people with no concept of death with death is going to work. It almost guarantees that they'll just try to test the waters.
Panel 1: Adam and Eve, will you please go now?
The time has come. The time Is now.
Just go! I don't care how!
You can go by foot. You can go by cow.
Adam and Eve, will you please go now?
Panel 2: ...and God's archenemy took over. Ah, so it was a coup d'etat. This still doesn't answer the question I posed earlier, namely, what the fuck is wrong with God?
All of a sudden, God's behavior in Hans Von Hozel's Bible story seems downright level-headed.
Panel 1: So, God sends a flood to kill all but four men and their wives, and the inbreds who resulted in this clusterfuck turned out the same as before. You'd think that an omniscient being could have seen this coming. Maybe there was some tachyon interference or summat.
Panel 2: Notice how Jack completely failed to mention that the land of Canaan only belonged to the Jews on and off throughout history, even if you do assume that the Bible is accurate in saying that there was a big Jewish empire in the area, and the evidence for this just isn't there.
So all things were created by God and for him? So did God create sin? If God did create sin, then that raises all sorts of question about the ethics of God, but if he wasn't responsible, then, in that case, not all things were created by him, now, were they?
Panel 1: Is this the same hydrocephalic guy from the cover of the book? Is this
Well, at least Jack seems to know better than to count Buddha as a false God this time around. Of course, he apparently listed two different Catholic beliefs as “False gods” when they're not really Gods so much as peculiar little avatars for God.
Panel 2: What's too easy to believe, zombie Dudley Moore? You do a little cameo in this Chick tract and this will let you have enough money to make Arthur 3: Undead and Lovin' It. Maybe we can get Liza Minelli to stop beating her latest husband long enough to get her to look as appealing as she did 30 years ago. Audiences hated Russell Brand in your trademark role and anything will be better than that. Hell, after Arthur 2, things can only get better. Of course, they said that about the Highlander series. Yep. I'm beginning to ramble. The point is, do this cameo and not even death will stop your comeback.
Panel 1: And what did this accomplish, exactly? He got executed, raised from the dead, all so he could bring himself to ignore a problem like sin that he should have been able to nip in the bud millennia prior?
Panel 2: What's happening with the art? Is this guy kneeling on an empty stage? Why? Is this some long-lost Beckett play?
Evidently Jack doesn't seem to understand just how belief works. Appeals to consequences can have an effect on external behavior, but they don't really work when the other guy isn't already inclined towards it.
Panel 1: And that is what happens when you don't fasten your patient to the ground when you try to perform a stretching to try to cure The Shrinks. Yes, that was a Roald Dahl reference.
Panel 2: I notice that Jack missed another step here. I notice that he forgot to mention that the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in AD 313, and about 80 years later, it was the only religion allowed in the empire. And then, the Roman Empire fell apart.
Panel 1: By 100 Ad, Christ gave his church the holy scriptures. And it took another couple of centuries to figure out just which ones were real and which ones weren't. And the debates over which ones are really legit rage to this day.
Panel 2: So Satan created a plan to thwart the Bible by creating a gospel that isn't really that different from the regular gospel, from a fake bible that isn't too radically different from the original, about a Jesus that isn't too different from the ones in the original bible.
Panel 1: And so, we see Brother Timothy Spall helping Bishop Magoo (or is it Reagan?) step from his confessional without telling him about all the pranks he's letting him step into.
Panel 2: So, from left to right, we have the freshly-shaven Fr. Anton LaVey, Woody Allen in traditional Imperial Chinese garb, Bishop Vanessa Redgrave, Emperor Palpatine, and Sister Mary Quaalude looking bored.
And why were Bibles outlawed? If they were going to create this perverse religion based around their own Bible, you'd think they'd want a stockpile of them around.
Panel 1: And the titles of “First Pope” and “God's apostle to the Jews” are mutually exclusive how?
Panel 2: Yeah, Catholics don't like to talk about that little section of the Bible. The thing is that Catholics believe that it is vital to their faith that Mary left life as a virgin for whatever reason, and thus, she remained the Blessed Virgin. The traditional Catholic explanation is that those four kids were stepkids from Joseph's former marriage to someone that the Church hasn't seen fit to give a proper name.
Panel 3: To be fair, Purgatory is supposed to be the Catholic way of taking the whole “God cannot let anything sinful into Heaven” thing and trying to make that make sense; apparently, we're all still sinful, so we have to work our way to Heaven. It seems pretty interesting. But still, trying to pay for good time? That's just plain corrupt.
You'd think that Jack would sort of agree with the sentiment. Even Bananaman Ray Comfort acknowledges that there are some “false conversions” and that the only real way to tell is to wait and see if they died without rejecting Christianity again. Sure, there's a blatant degree of contradiction between that idea and the Bible verse, but you can't expect Christianity to be internally consistent.
Islam: Yes, Islam is a direct descendant of Roman Catholicism. Which is why Rome spent centuries trying to recapture the Middle East for Christendom.
Communism: And Communism? A system created in its current form by a Jewish guy who distrusted the Christian Church for being too complacent in its treatment of the inequalities of this life in favor of a second life that most likely doesn't exist? And kills them for it? Another descendant of the Roman Catholic Church?
And I can see “state capitalism” being considered a synonym for Communism, but “progressiv[ism]?” Whatever. It's simply an umbrella term for advocating social or economic reform. Communism can count as one type of progressivism, but it isn't progressivism itself. And “Progressive” isn't the right form, unless, of course, Jack Chick is trying to imply that Progressive Insurance is in on this conspiracy theory of everything. And something tells me that I'm actually going to turn out to be right on this.
Nazism: Well, at least for this one, it isn't totally groundless. There's a lot of legitimate debate about the extent of the Catholic Church's complicity in the rise and maintenance of Fascism. At the moment, it's harder to keep track of the Catholic Church's allegiance during World War 2 than it is to keep track of the allegiances of David Xanathos in Gargoyles.
And, by the way, some may consider me as shirking my duty if I fail to mention that the current pope was in the German Armed Forces during WW2. And I would consider myself remiss in my duties as a Germanophile if I failed to note that his entire age cohort (who would be known as The Flakhelfer generation) were dragged into the conflict and didn't have much of a choice in the matter. That said, I really think that saying that his going beyond a simple “my country, right or wrong” would be giving him too much credit.
No, as a matter of fact, don't see the Alberto comics, unless you're aware of what you're in for, and it was with Alberto that Jack went from just being a religious reactionary with a printing press and sub-par art skills to a raving lunatic.
Panel 1: You know, the interesting thing about this: after re-reading Matthew 4, I found something odd. Satan correctly quotes Psalm 91 when goading Jesus to jump, but Jesus counters by adding words to Deut 6:13. Even if the Devil may be able to quote scripture, there's something wrong when he's better at it than an avatar of God himself.
And another odd thing that shows how provincial (for lack of a better term the Jews of two millennia must have been: From the top of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, you can only see Nepal and Tibet, two countries.
Panel 2: “Umm, Mr. Demon, I think we've got this whole thing wrong. If we're going to bury you in the sand-”
“I'm just saying that maybe we'd get it done faster if I wasn't crouching down, and pushing the sand at you while you're standing.”
“My way's better!”
“And why's there all that darkness behind you?”
“That's my magnetic field.”
Technically, the Vatican isn't a city of its own. It's an enclave built within another city entirely.
And, I'm sorry, but when did the Catholics claim to have the authority of the Ancient Caesars?
And it is indeed the most respected and honored church in the world, one which happens to have a real big problem with molesting children, and a bigger problem keeping quiet about it.
“Goddamit, that's the last time I drink an entire bottle of communion wine the night before a big Easter service. Look at me, I look like Jimmy Stewart with a traffic cone on his head. Maybe I can use the goblet in my hand to mix up a hangover cure of some kind.”
“Gives Gollum back his Precious, Bilbo Baggins!”
And what's with Pope John XII's hair? Why is he only balding on one side of his head? I've heard of male pattern balding, but this is ridiculous.
I'm sorry, what was that about Islam being a direct descendant of Catholicism? Oh, I'm sorry, we had to totally undermine that because Jack has to mention Fr. Kirk Douglas' Crusades.
To be fair, the Catholic Church is much less hard on heretics now. As Jacques Gaillot knows now, the worst they can do now is to reassign you to a diocese that doesn't even exist.
And the interesting thing about Martin Luther: his posting of the 95 Theses was more intended to allow for debate and agitate for reform within the Catholic Church than anything else. And it was only when Luther was excommunicated that Catholics really started to “leave.”
Panel 1: What the hell is supposed to be the torture on the left? Is he trying to get him to sit upside down? Why? Did the Church have plans for an Upside-down circus? Yep. Another Twits reference.
Oh, and the number of victims would most likely have been much lower than 60 million. The actual numbers for the Spanish inquisition were closer to 90,000, with far fewer executions. But still, the inquisition was a horrible thing, and the only good thing to come out of it was the Monty Python sketch.
Panel 2: And what the fuck is that about the Catholic Church assassinating Lincoln? I know that John Wilkes Booth was a Catholic, as were the Surrat family that aided him, but what possible gains could the Catholic Church have gotten from the assassination of the president of a country that wasn't really that steeped in Catholicism at this point?
Panel 1: Umm, why? Who in the Catholic Church thought that killing the second Catholic Presidential nominee in recorded history was a good idea? And why would they be so surprised at the fact that a Catholic president put the Constitution over Canon Law? Even if all the other presidents before him were Protestants (except for Jefferson and Lincoln, who weren't really religious), you'd think that they'd have heard of separation of church and state. And, if they did contact Oswald, why would a Communist like him follow orders from Rome? Christ, the take on JFK's assassination brought forth by Zoolander makes more sense than this!
And the White House burned, burned, burned
And we're the ones that did it!
It burned burned burned
While the President ran and cried
It burned burned burned
Things were very historical
and the Americans ran and cried like a bunch of little babies, wah wah wah
in the war of 1812!
Oh, Crap. That's not the White House. That's supposed to be St. Peter's Basilica. Nevermind.
“No, you see, I'm looking at this fire damage, and it looks like it's pretty consistent with arson, maybe self-inflicted. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I see the remains of some lighter fluid on the site. Not only am I not giving you your payout, but I think I can have you arrested for insurance fraud.”
So, if God doesn't want you or your family to be damned, then what's keeping him? He's supposed to be all-powerful, so why even allow damnation to occur? If sin is a problem, why not get rid of it? If the whole Jesus thing was somehow necessary for an all-powerful being to get rid of sin, then why not just do it as soon as possible?
Has anyone really been inspired to buy “The Next Step” from Chick Publications by a Chick tract, except maybe Chick enthusiasts who are really curious about that book they plug at the end of every tract? I'm beginning to guess that the answer is no.
27th March 2012, 18:37 (This post was last modified: 27th March 2012 18:38 by Doubting Thomas.)
RE: Tract Dissection: The Awful Truth
Is it just me or did the images not load?
Oh and these parodies are the best:
Christian apologetics is the art of rolling a dog turd in sugar and selling it as a donut.
27th March 2012, 20:05
RE: Tract Dissection: The Awful Truth
(27th March 2012 18:37)Doubting Thomas Wrote: Is it just me or did the images not load?
Well, I know that one didn't load properly, because I didn't properly encode it, and the "edit" function wasn't working. Here it is.
If you can't read the post, here's the original tract
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