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The Imp on Jack T. Chick Christian comics

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If you grew up in the Bible Belt during the 70s, 80s and even well into the 90s, there is a very good chance that you have more than a passing familiarity with the hateful, frightening and just plain bizarre “Christian” comics produced by one Jack T. Chick.

Chick’s twisted message, infused with his peculiar style of fervent, the-end-is-near Fundamentalist Christian insanity, by virtue of appearing in what most parents considered to be innocuous “religious” comic books, enjoyed a long period of widespread cultural popularity. Chick tracts were distributed in Sunday schools, summer camps, motel lobbies and bus stations all across America. There have been over 750 million of them sold!

There can only be one reason such deranged literature was allowed in so many places: Adults never read them. If they had, they’d have been utterly horrified. (My own mother gave me dozens of these comics when I was a kid. I’m sure in her mind they were better for me than the Marvel of DC comics I was reading. LIttle did she know that she was actually providing me with!)

Chick’s scary, angry Fundie diatribes have given many a kid terrible nightmares. His favorite topics tend towards subject matter like “You’re going to Hell,” Halloween is evil, eternal damnation, abortion, the Vatican is evil and created Islam, demons walk amongst us, child molesters, the Antichrist will rise soon, New Age beliefs, Judaism, Mormonism and Islam are Satanic, witches are everywhere, homosexuality is an abomination (Chick’s solution? Fire-n-brimstone, baby!), Darwin’s theories are Satanic, Harry Potter is Satanic, feminists are Satanic, the Satanic plot behind rock music (The Beatles were Druids!), “You’re going to Hell,” the Commies are everywhere (Catholics are to blame for this, of course) and just about any other crazy, fucked up conspiracy theory you can think of. He’s kind of the Glenn Beck (or maybe better still Alex Jones) of paranoiac Christian comic books. Did I mention that a lot of his comics were about how YOU (that’s right you, the person reading this) are going to Hell? Chick’s God is a VENGEFUL God. The Old Testament Jehovah has got nothin’ on Chick’s version.
 
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Not much beyond the basics are known about Chick, who is now 86-years-old. He’s an extremely private man and few photographs have been taken of him. So it’s not like anyone knows about the reclusive Jack T. Chick himself, but show almost anyone in America one of his Chick tracts and they’ll respond with an immediate recognition of the distinctively shaped and wildly deranged mini-comics. For Jack T. Chick, it’s all about saving YOUR soul from eternal damnation, not about being popular.

It wasn’t until 1998 that the first serious examination of the world’s best-read theologian (think about it) appeared and that was in the pages of The Imp a self-published journal of comics criticism from Daniel Raeburn, fashioned via the shape, design and a Daniel Clowes illustration to resemble a Chick tract. I’ve had a copy of this issue of The Imp since it came out, sitting in pride of place on my bookshelf, but it’s now long out of print. Happily Raeburn has put all four issues of his much admired publication online, also including his erudite takes on Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, and Mexican historietas.

Says Raeburn:

“People who dismiss hate literature offhand are going to miss the point of this tribute to Chick, which is that hate literature reveals not only its own corruption but the sick society that hatched it. Examine the historical and theological forebears of little Chick and you’ll find an awful, and I do mean awful, lot of mainstream beliefs. Like the Protestant zealots who colonized and raped this country, Chick tracts and the violence in them are as American as apple pie.”

 

 
Above, an episode of Boing Boing TV featuring Syd Garon and Rodney Ascher’s animated take on the Chick “classic” You Goofed.. This is Jack T. Chick in a nutshell. (Reportedly he’s seen this and liked it!)
 
This might be a recent photograph of Jack T. Chick

Huge online compendium of Chick racts

Thank you Taylor Jessen of Burbank, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The folks behind the ‘International Burn a Koran Day’ expose racism!

 
“Are you angry that I would make a video such as this to expose racism for what it is?” so asks a man who has just exposed himself to himself. This must be the dumbest thing I’ve seen… all afternoon.

Mind-numbing, cognition destroying, soul-sapping video from Pastor Terry Jones & his Dove World Outreach Center congregation. Depressing to watch. I can’t even get a hard on to mock them, as much as they deserve it.

Jones and his “church” are the folks making plans for “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11, so more of the same should come as no surprise.

Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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AGENDA: Grinding America Down (new wingnut documentary)
08.30.2010
09:52 am

Topics:
Belief
Hysteria
Kooks

Tags:
low IQ buffonery

 
Why is it that no one on the Right can make a decent political documentary? Name one (serious) contender for the title “Michael Moore of the Right.” You can’t because that person doesn’t exist. Are conservatives congenitally incapable of constructing a coherent and convincing narrative in documentary form? Something that might actually sway some people their way? Or is their philosophy just so bankrupt that it falls apart onscreen and screams false to our bullshit detectors? Or is their stuff just boring? The main reason that Hollywood is dominated by Liberals is because conservatives tend to be not very entertaining. (Hollywood even tolerated Mel Gibson up to a point because he made money. He’s one of the few conservatives to do so in recent memory).

Ask almost anyone and you’ll hear, “Communism is dead! The Berlin Wall came down.” And though the word communism isn’t used anymore, this film will show the ideas behind it are alive and well. 
Join Bowers for a fascinating look at the people and groups that have successfully targeted America’s morality and freedom in their effort to grind America down. It’s not just another conspiracy theory. It’s a well documented agenda. 



I’m Curtis Bowers and I made this film because I hoped that once you saw the facts you would realize what I did after researching this topic… what has happened to America hasn’t been an accident. Now is the time to get involved before the “Left” accomplishes their goal of destroying the greatest country in ALL world history!

Remind of why the Left is out to destroy America, again?

This filmmaker behind AGENDA: Grinding America Down, Idaho legislator Curtis Bowers, comes off as an earnest, but extremely unhip, Republican weenie beating the same old dead horse John Birch Society conspiracy theories that no one takes seriously anymore. I mean, how could anyone really expect a person under the age of 50 to know who Alger Hiss was or care what anyone has to say about him, or Joseph McCarthy, for that matter. in 2010? Phyllis Schlafly might care (she’s interviewed in AGENDA: Grinding America Down) but she’s nearly ninety. And a crackpot.

This trailer is almost not insane for the first five minutes and then all of a sudden it weirds out until the end like a demented action flick. Without any action. Or point.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Brick Stone vs. The Westboro Baptist Church

 
Brick Stone rules! This is hilarious!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Anti-mosque poster boy: Every picture tells a story, don’t it?

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This country is fucked up beyond repair. There’s an IQ stratification that’s as obvious at this juncture as oil and water not mixing. On one hand you have a bunch of know-nothing, pitifully stupid Republican morons who revere Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Fox News, meanness, mindless racism and IGNORANCE. On the other hand you have smart people, Democrats and nearly 100% of all non-whites. Am I missing ANYTHING?

I used to think that the jingoistic Tea bagger-types would eventually just burn themselves out and overstay their welcome, before dispersing again. I’ve revised that opinion, they aren’t going anywhere. How can a 21st century democracy function when the dumbest 20% of the nation’s electorate is cohering into such an easily manipulated voting bloc? Be afraid, very, very afraid. No good can come of this, none.

Look deep into this man’s eyes. What do you see there?

Via Charles Johnson at Little Greenfootballs. Photo by Paul Gentile

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Holy shit: Preacher proves once and for all that religion makes no sense

 
As far as I’m concerned religion is nonsense but this preacher takes it to a whole new level of silliness. And his congregation is eating it up.

Source: Dallas public access TV circa the 80’s.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Gay Marriage Ruins Everything
08.20.2010
12:35 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Current Events
Politics
Queer

Tags:
Gay marriage

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(via TDW)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Semi-nude fitness guru reveals the secret oral teachings of Paula Abdul

 
Spike Kinsey not only offers solid tips on getting in shape and some pretty tasty floor moves, he does so with a philosophical underpinning based on the teachings of Paula Abdul. Spike is not only a dancer, he’s a thinker. Less than a hundred views on Youtube. Show Spike some respect. He’s workin’ hard for all of us. I like this guy. He’s got a positive vibe.

“Sorry, that’s my dog Cheryl.”

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Bigotry gets no sanction from the Founding Fathers: What George Washington said on this day in 1790

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Like many of you, I am sick to death of watching ill-educated and misinformed Tea party-types attempting to hijack the notion of “what our Founding Fathers would have wanted” in favor of what they and their ignorant brethren actually want. Whenever someone pulls out the “Founding Fathers” card these days, I recoil immediately because I know I am dealing with an intellectually dishonest scoundrel from the get-go, as this is usually an admission that what they have to say is totally bogus and very often has next to nothing to do with actual history. Referring to what the Founding Fathers would have wanted has become a fall-back straw-man argument of the historically-challenged Glen Beck set and it’s being rendered meaningless the more and more often it gets repeated by ignorant people wanting to shoot their mouths off on TV and at Tea party rallies regarding issues they know nothing about.

While we can’t know exactly what the Founding Fathers would say about the racists on the radical right who are protesting the plans for the Cordoba House in downtown Manhattan, we can read what George Washington himself said about religious freedom on this very in history, August 18th, 1790, in his letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, Rhode Island:

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Not very ambiguous is it? Even something like the above would probably still fail to faze the Facts? Who Cares About Facts? brigade of the Republican party. If you are going to invoke the matter of what the Founding Fathers would have wanted, you simply can’t pick and choose from history willy-nilly to suit your argument and be considered credible. But whether they are misinformed or simply lying, however you slice it, when these folks start to evoke what they Founding Fathers would have wanted, they are almost always just plain wrong.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Hallowed be thy ground: History Eraser Button takes a look around lower Manhattan

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Over at Daryl Lang’s History Eraser Button blog, he’s posted some shots taken the same distance from the World Trade Center as the site of the proposed Cordoba House cultural center, AKA the “Ground Zero Mosque”:

What’s my point? A month ago, I wrote about my support for a group of Muslim New Yorkers—whom I consider my neighbors—and their right to put a religious building on a piece of private property in Lower Manhattan. Since then, the debate over the Park51 community center, inaccurately nicknamed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” has jumped from talk radio to mainstream conversation, and turned nasty in the process. Sarah Palin wrote that, “it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground.”

Look at the photos. This neighborhood is not hallowed. The people who live and work here are not obsessed with 9/11. The blocks around Ground Zero are like every other hard-working neighborhood in New York, where Muslims are just another thread of the city fabric.

At this point the only argument against this project is fear, specifically fear of Muslims, and that’s a bigoted, cowardly and completely indefensible position.

Bravo! Here’s a link to some of the responses he got to the photo essay.
 
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It’s painful to see how a hate-filled harpie like Pamela Geller (of the ridiculous Atlas Shrugs blog) and her rubbish wingnut bigotry and foaming at the mouth anti-Muslim racism has been allowed to hijack and steer the national debate for a few weeks. In recent weeks she’s been elevated to the new “hate lady” on cable news channels. I can’t stand seeing her fucking face. I have to change the channel I find her so revolting. Facts? Why let facts get in the way of irrational hatred? Pamela Geller represents a new intellectual low even for Fox News!
 

 
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Via Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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