Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween and Fundamentalist Christian Comics

Every year on the last day of October we Americans celebrate Halloween -- by dressing up in goofy costumes and either: A) walking from house to house, collecting candy, or B) going to a party and getting stinking drunk. Fun times are had by all, though things weren't always so jolly.

When the United States we know and love was just a little tyke, the Puritans and other strict Christian groups ruled the land. Not surprisingly, they weren't too hot on the whole paganism and devil thing. Dressing up as such despised creatures as witches and devils won you no favors -- sometimes things really didn't work out for you, as Arthur Miller always tells me at parties when he's had a few.

I would thank God that such displays of ignorance are dead and buried, but well, first there is the problem of atheism; and then there is the problem of John T. Chick and his company, Chick Publications. My sister and her friends each received one of Chick's lovely cartoon tracts in their candy bags this Halloween. Entitled "Happy Halloween" (you can read the whole thing at that link -- it seems all Chick tracts are viewable online), you would expect something a little on the light side what with the name and the cheerful-looking witch on the cover.

Instead, we learn about a little boy named Timmy, who goes to a haunted house with his friends and ends up being hit by a car. "At least he's in heaven, right Mrs. Baxter?" If only, kiddo! But Timmy rejected Jesus Christ, and, even though he was a nice guy and all, well, tough shit -- I don't make the rules. So he'll burn in a lake of fire for eternity and all that -- I dozed off a little -- but there's still hope for you! So think about Jesus really hard, read that Holy Book, and don't forget to buy a few hundred more Chick tracts. And, you know, knocking off a few Catholics while you're at it couldn't hurt your chances.

I leave you with my favorite page from this booklet. It was a tough choice but, really, how could anyone write "Welcome to the Abyss, Timmy!" and not burst into laughter?

I also suggest reading some of the other Chick tracts. There's a wide variety from which to choose and, when you're not cringing from the thought that the person who wrote them was completely serious, they can be pretty funny stuff.

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