You might know them. They are sometimes found in waiting room magazine racks, often with a stamp on the back from a local church. In my life, I have been an occasional reader of Jack T. Chick’s little Christian tracts. These comic books have quite a cult following, and it’s hard to find someone who has never seen one. But in case you haven’t, take a look:
At one time in my life, I used to pull my collection out to show people because they were so insanely over-the-top with their paranoia and overblown conspiracy theories about Catholics and Muslims and gays and atheists that I thought they illustrated how crazy and goofy Evangelical Christians were. Yes, even I had the cultural virus of “rube-mocking” at one time. We educated Southerners can be especially susceptible; we feel we have to put some distance between our post-grad selves and our “roots” in order to be taken seriously.
In 1996 or so, when I first really got into them, it was impossible to predict just how stunningly adroit Chick’s reading of the zeitgeist would prove to be. Don’t get me wrong; I am not a dispensational Christian and I think evolution of species is a pretty obvious scientific fact. There are some things I can’t agree with Fundamentalist Christians on…But there are some things that Chick seems to have accurately seen coming.
The best part of having this occur to me is that Chick has left a nifty artistic record of the dystopian America he saw coming, complete with dates. And what a record it is!
Check out this panel from the Chick classic “Doom Town,” which tells the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, those famous Biblical cities destroyed because gays make God sick.
With this panel, Chick even seems to have foreseen the furious rewriting of the laws of nature that the weirdos were going to try to pull in regards to gender. Three men are back there behind Lot (who looks a little like Ricardo Montalban), two of them kissing passionately, one in drag (although bearded.) A third man expresses anger at the kiss, shouting “She’s my wife, you lousy pervert!”
Now, in a single panel, Chick has predicted:
· Gay Marriage — Link to “The Gay Blade” (1984), which is amazingly prophetic…
So, back then, as Chick was warning us about the course America (and the West) was following by referring back to Sodom and Gomorrah, his message seemed ridiculous. America isn’t Gomorrah, we smart-asses snickered. And no society was going to allow two men to marry each other and call each other “she.” How stupid!
In 1994, Islam hadn’t really gotten its guns loaded in the West and such a worry–“This dude thinks Muslims are gonna come over here and KILL PEOPLE!”–seemed like xenophobia. Not anymore. Jack kinda saw this one coming.
Look at this:
Read those word bubbles. Is it just me, or do they read like the dialogue you might overhear in the quad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison?
He’s got the profile right, the last name, a hint of massive financial system implosion. Jack seems to know what’s up, what’s ahead (this was written in 1976 or so) and who’s responsible. Like Nostradamus, so far.
I like the courageously un-PC dialogue. “Taco supreme.” But Mexicans ARE violent…so..it works.
So…Even if you aren’t open to the message, look at the context of some of the tracts. Chick saw a lot of what’s going on now coming…and it might mean his warnings for the future to come might bear a bit of thought. Once again, I’m not saying I agree with his take on the universe. My point is that people can sometimes see what kind of future the present portends, even if they look crazy when doing so