127 thoughts on “The Best Part of Waking Up…”

    1. So, when I was a kid trying to be all holy and impress my fundy parents, we stayed in a hotel that had a huge beer advertisement hanging from the lamp in the room (classy, I know). Anyway, my sister and I filled out the hotel comment card and said that we didn’t like the advertisement, thinking our parents would be sooooo impressed. πŸ™„ When we checked out of the hotel, my dad discovered the comment card. He and my mother spent the next hour or so sitting in the car with us in the hotel parking lot, screaming their heads off at us for how “embarrassing” it would have been to them if anyone had found our comment card. I particularly remember my mother saying, “and if WE had gotten a CALL from a MANAGER about this, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN IN EVEN MORE TROUBLE.” We escaped the physical abuse that usually accompanied my parents’ tirades (there was a sort of unwritten rule that corporal punishment was [mostly] verboten during vacations because someone might see) but I have always been baffled by the message that my parents were trying to communicate to us: all our lives we had been browbeaten about “standing alone” and such but when we actually objected to a beer advertisement in a hotel room, my parents’ only reaction was anger. That was one of those moments in my young life when I began to realize what a sham fundamentalism is and how it is really all about making authority figures feel powerful and look good.

      1. I’m sorry, Deacon’s Son. You were just children, raised in that oppressive atmosphere, trying to please your parents. To have your sincere attempts met with anger must have been so crushing. You probably grew up thinking authority (and perhaps God) was arbitrary and harsh and impossible to please.

      2. I’ve known a few church folks who just freak out over stuff that could just be a nice teachable moment. Instead of kids learning about grace and love when doing something that is wrong in ignorance, they just end up confused and afraid of their parents. Very sad.

        1. fundyfacinated, you are so right! I think the issue is perception. Most fundy parents are so afraid they are going to be perceived as “soft” or “compromising” in their parenting that they freak out at the slightly indication that their kids are human. In fundamentalism your children are not allowed to act like children, they are to be perfect or your reputation is called into question. You might be used in an example in a sermon as a parent who doesn’t make the fundy cut. So, as a parent in that movement, you freak out at the slightest thing. No room for love or grace – that’s for weak parents and liberals and non-KJV users.

        1. Exactly. I had knots in my stomach reading Deacon’s Son’s comment. Lord have mercy. What those parents did was just so heinously, horribly wrong.

    1. Someone left an IFB tract on the sinks in the men’s room at my (public) college, Towson University, a year or two ago when I was still there. It was soaked in water by the time I saw it. It was a tract from the individual’s church rather than Jack Chick though.

  1. There is a store within walking distance of my house in which one of the ladies who works there leaves uber fundamentalist KJV only tracts in the bathrooms when she cleans them.

  2. At least they didn’t replace the coffee with atract with some “clever” note about how God should be your pick-me-up or something similarly insipid. Drive-by tracting like this mildly annoys me. It’s the fake money tracts, or the tract in place of a tip ploy or other things like that, where the tract isn’t just there, but is there in place of the thing you want, need, or expect to be there that really anger me.

    1. Yeah, they could have left a note in the toaster: “Don’t be ‘toasted’ in a literal hell when you die. Accept Jesus now as your Lord and Saviour!”

      (I’m not British. I used the KJV spelling of Savior to be KJV Compliant.)

        1. You don’t have to be afraid of a little fire if Jesus is your asBESTos friend!

          (Sorry. In addition to all my other faults, I have a weakness for bad puns and word games. Save me, sweet Jesus!)

      1. That’s the “kitchenette,” probably in a long-term transitory hotel, for those who have business travel for longer than a week or so. I’ve had to stay in a few, some are comfortable enough. Turns out that “Suite Systems” is the coffee service, aimed at the totally inadequate in-room coffee makers. (four cups? Four cups? That’s not even close to enough, assuming it’s drinkable)

        1. ^ Those appear to be oven dials next to the toaster. So probably a kitchenette. I’ve seen them in suites.

      2. As in “that’s where they belong?” Yeah, I could agree that Chick tracts belong in the toilet. That way their exterior setting (deposits) matches their inside content.

        1. BG,

          Wasn’t there an old television commercial where a beautiful woman, Cheryl Tiegs maybe, was riding a horse out in the desert and singing a song that ended with, “and where there’s Muriel smoke there’s fire”?

          It must take a special kind of talent to be able to come up with jingles that are so catchy that they stick in peoples’ brains decades later. People exercising that talent should be punished.

        2. Ben, a little Googling failed to turn up any Cheryl Tiegs ads for Muriel. However, she was in print ads for Virginia Slims cigarettes in the 1970s.

          While looking for the “Big Spender” ad, I did find this TV commercial featuring Edie Adams (sometime wife of TV pioneer Ernie Kovacs) with Stan Getz (yes, THAT Stan Getz):

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7EbLIdE88Q

        3. I’ve never smoked cigars* (or anything), but cigars smokers have informed me that Muriels (which, as the songs said, cost a dime) were fairly vile.

          *During my one trip to Cuba, I did briefly consider trying one of the legendary Cuban cigars. Then I realized I had no way of knowing the best cigar in the world from the worst cigar in the world, so I passed on the offer.

      1. Sorry BG, but this song makes me think of something along the lines of:

        The minute you walked into church
        Right away you were a man I respected–
        A Real Big Tither!

        Successful– so well dressed!
        Wouldn’t you like to join the church and really be blessed?

        So let me get right to the point.
        I don’t kiss the butt of everyone I see.

        HEY BIG TITHER! (HEY BIG TITHER!)

        P L E A S E support my mi-[hi]-ni-stry!

  3. The “Soul Sisters” tract is a wonderful read. With great insight and sensitivity, author Jack Chick develops the theme of Jesus as your Bestest Friend Ever! Chick’s use of engaging artwork and scintillating dialogue is first-in-class, and will leave the reader feeling entertained and amused. Try it, you’ll like it.

  4. I’ve heard a lot of people tell their “how I found Christ” testimony over the years. I’m still waiting to hear the one that starts “I happened to find this tract lying around…” Not saying it can’t happen, and God can work however He wants, but my take it’s hard for me to imagine how a sales pamphlet style method would make anyone want to be interested in what someone has to say about the gospel.

    1. Wow, you have obviously never listened to the Pacific Garden Mission’s Unshackled series of radio dramas. (“This is Unshackled, episode number 9,845,321. *Cue ancient radio organ.*” Those who have ever heard this program will understand.) It was like Chick Tracts, but for radio!! And that was the ONLY place where I ever heard someone claim to be saved from reading a tract.

      1. Actually, I do remember hearing that show occasionally, on Christian radio as a kid. Don’t remember hearing anyone on it claiming to be saved from reading a tract, though. But then I wasn’t a regular listener, either.

      2. “The program that makes you face yourself and think1!” “If your life is empty, it really can be filled to overflowing.” Came on every Sunday night in our area, after Jack Van Impe with Chuck Ohman reminding us, as only he could, “God Is So Wonderful!” Of course back in those days, I really like the program. Harry Saulnier was still alive, Jack O’Dell was the announcer and original music was by Lucille Becker, who played the end of “The Lord’s Prayer” at the end of the broadcast. Whenever the main character, “hit bottom,” it sounded like she fell on the organ.

      3. “Saved from reading a tract.”

        An unauthorized addition to the Great Litany:

        “From the reading of Chick Tracts, and the fear and loathing that they awaken in us,
        Good, Lord, deliver us.”

  5. I do remember reading Chick tracts that I got at church when I was a kid. But the only ones that I can recall now, for some reason, are “This is Your Life” and “That Crazy Guy.” “This is Your Life” scared me – I knew I was “saved,” but I still thought that God was going to review my life on a big giant screen in front of everyone. Since it was something I got at church, I thought this had to be biblical. And I was embarrassed already, thinking about it.

    “That Crazy Guy”, IIRC, was all about scaring people away from sexual immorality with the threat of STDs. And being a kid, it basically just confused me. I knew it was about things that were way over my head, and sort of dirty, but that I didn’t quite get it all.

    1. Was “That Crazy Guy” the one where the old cougar lady in the neighborhood encourages an innocent fresh young lady to have sexual relations with her boyfriend who looks like Kid Rock and has a bumper sticker that says “Lover: Do It in the Dirt!”???

      My favorite panel is the one where the girl thinks she may have gotten an STD so she goes back to the old neighborhood whore for advice and is chased away with a spray can of disinfectant while the neighbor lady screams: “DID YOU PICK UP A DOSE OF THE CLAP?!?!” Remember, this is part of (what purports to be) A GOSPEL TRACT!

    2. The Chick tract that I never forgot, that haunted me as a child, was one with a little boy who was beaten by his drunken dad and thrown out in the rain. He crawls into a box in an alley and then you see his little hand flop out of the box because he died. Horrifying to a sheltered little girl like me whose parents didn’t even own a TV.

        1. Hmmmm. Web filter at my work blocks this as “pornography.” ❓
          Of the spiritual/emotional sort?

      1. PW, I didn’t see that one until I was a parent. When my Fundy FIL (who owns a defunct church fully stocked with those rags) brought it during a visit & gave it to my kids because he “thought they’d enjoy it.” 😑 😑 😑

        My sensitive oldest son brought it to me with tears in his eyes saying, “This is a really sad story, Mom.”

        I flipped through the tract & then flipped the freak out. My husband heard & asked what the problem was (FIL had left at this point) & I showed him the tract. Hubster’s face looked like this: 😯

        We threw it out, but the damage had been done. My son didn’t sleep for a week worrying about all the kids in abusive situations like that, sobbing into his pillow at the thought of some children never knowing love in their short lives.

        Thanks, FIL.

        1. Aw, poor guy! Yeah, that track being in picture form really hits home, especially for sensitive kids. It’s so weird to me that my parents wanted to shelter me from the Dukes of Hazard (for example) but thought that Chick track was acceptable.

  6. But distributing Chick tracts is the highest good that can be done in this old world! We had stores calling the church complaining about tracts left in merchandise (shoe boxes, etc). The pastor saw this as a sign that our church was making a great impact in the community. Also every Sun night the pastor would count the number of tracts given out by raised hand. People who gave out more than 100 were highly spiritual compared with the rest of us – over 1000 and you almost had a Catholic sainthood thing going on.

    1. Re: the numbers game vis-Γ -vis tract distribution. It always seemed to be that biggest tract droppers were doing just that: randomly dropping tracts around town with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. I felt that tracts were only useful (in a limited way) if you actually handed one to someone else in a personal manner. Since I was a sheltered home-schooled kid, I didn’t interact with people who needed to read tracts, so I always felt like a failure in this area. But I also felt like it was completely pointless to just leave tracts wherever. (And, FWIW, I honestly don’t like the idea of leaving tracts in bathrooms, especially on toilets. It seems a bit disrespectful to me, although the toilet is exactly where many tracts belong, I suppose.)

      Also, I always had this sort of feeling that our church at least wanted the church members to be exposed to tracts ourselves as much as they wanted us to be handing them out. It was almost as if they thought that by plastering the “gospel” all over the church, if one of us was not “truly saved,” then we would be overcome by reading a tract as some point and repent.

      Re: Catholic sainthood. You forget that the highest tier of tract-mongers are those rare and holy individuals who write their own tracts, complete with ink-jet printing using a Microsoft Word trifold template on their desktop home computer. This one guy in our church was “called of God to write a tract” (with the attention-grabbing title of “Friend, Can I Ask You A Question?”) and ever after you would have thought that he was second only to Jesus Christ Himself.

      1. I once had to write a tract as an assignment for my Christian school Bible class. This was in the days before inkjet printers and a computer in every home, so it was handwritten.

    1. Do you mean the flavored coffee creamer? You can have my share. I especially dislike the non-dairy coffee paints that pretend to be cream, but have none of the taste benefits of actual, dairy-based cream. Echte sahne, bitte! I’m thankful for discovering that coffee is an enjoyable beverage in its own right, without additives. And that came from being in the Army, where we could get coffee anytime, but not additives.

  7. It’s actually not as bad as I would expect. I was looking for a sign that would have read: “This toaster can’t give you the bread of life, but I know where you can find it! Read the Bible. It talks about Jesus. Hebrews the best blend of eternal life and fire insurance to make sure that you won’t turn into a dark blend once you die!” Go…zealous Jesus-jukers!

  8. The very name “Jack Chick” is one of the 1,000,001 reasons I am SO thankful to have been raised Catholic. My first exposure to Chick’s world-class creative & artistic output (ha!) was in a class where we explored some of the forces out there aligned against Catholicism.

    Several of Chick’s tracts are virulenty anti-Catholic, but the “redeeming” factor is that they’re so simplistic and hysterical that no thinking person could ever take them seriously! πŸ˜†

    On second thought, given the staggeringly large population of NON-thinking people… πŸ™„

    1. I had a Catholic upbringing too so my first encounter was when I was — eh, 11 or so? Someone had left it under my mom’s wiper. She let me look at it when I insisted but we threw it away when we got home, because even at that age I could see how over the top it was.

      Then a couple years ago the priest at my parents’ church mentioned a tract calling the Eucharist a “death cookie.” My mom asked me what in the world that was all about so (thanks to Jabberwocky’s reviews) I emailed her the link. πŸ˜• Wish I could have been there for her initial reaction.

    2. Tony said “Several of Chick’s tracts are virulenty anti-Catholic,”

      Chick’s level of anti-Catholiscism is only slightly less than Hitler’s level of anti-Semitism….
      Chick’s “literature” reminds me very strongly of a notorious document called the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which was doing the rounds a century ago and is still available via the Net. Same idea, different Bad Guys.

      “but the β€œredeeming” factor is that they’re so simplistic and hysterical that no thinking person could ever take them seriously!”

      think back to 1930’s Germany…..

      “On second thought, given the staggeringly large population of NON-thinking people… ”

      Thinking leads to questioning, which can lead straight to Hell…..

  9. I think I’m going to keep some rosaries on hand at all times just in case I come across one of these in a random place. I’ll remove the tract…. and leave the rosary. :mrgreen:

        1. Easy A is hilarious and lampoons fundamentalist/evangelicals quite aptly, albeit in a somewhat caricatured manner!

  10. What we really need more than Chick-tract dropping maids is a Ministry that goes to hotels and replaces all the Gideon perversions with the King James BIBLE. Even the Gideon Bibles that are the King James are still perverted because they put John 3:16 in several different languages at the beginning of the book (including in the evil Greek language! which is the language of Egypt!!) and thus, they are denying the spiritual power and fullness thereof of God’s holy English. I mean, they don’t call it the KING’S English for nothing, hay-men???

    (Okay. Stopping to catch my breath. That really went off the rails there. You don’t realize how easy it is to start puh-reaching until you find yourself doing it, hay-men???)

  11. The first time I ever heard of Chick tracts was from Bill Grady in a “Bible” class at HAC.

    Another thing I remember from that class is that he thought patterned stockings on women were evil.

    I don’t remember anything else from that class.

    1. Semp,

      Were you there when this guy was hired? If so, do you remember him bragging from the pulpit about mailing a radio preacher (no doubt one he considered a damnable heretic) a package filled with animal excrement?

      Ah, the memories of good ol’ HAC!

        1. Ben, George ate my message. I don’t know what happened to it and I only have a vague recollection of what I said. Don, you need to keep George under control. This is ridiculous.

  12. As a young fundy I liked Chick tracts. Well, kinda-sorta. The bad illustrations always made me feel uncomfortable. But I read them and I gave them out.

    It wasn’t for some period of time that I read one and realized it was really unrealistic and hateful.

    My Christianity started out with me thinking I needed to be a warrior for God. I was much more than a warrior, I fear. I was a warmonger. I was on the attack. I was always right in my own eyes, and was certain everyone had to see it my way. I saw God as a warmonger, too. At the end of the Book of Revelation Christ is portrayed as coming to dance in the blood of His enemies, not as the One who came to Save Sinners.

    But as I have come along over the years, I see much more the need to be a peacemaker. If I have to fight, I would rather fight for the helpless and the hopeless instead of those who already have everything. I would rather fight ignorance than feed intolerance. I don’t want to make any more enemies, I want those who are enemies to others to learn to be at peace and to do right.

    The only people that Jesus blasted were the religious leaders, the conservative, fundamentalist religious leaders. He was kind to everyone else.

    1. warmonger! That’s exactly it! There is a good sized group of USAmerican Christians who really are warmongers! Any who disagree on any little topic with these Christians are agents of satan and trying to destroy ‘Merica.

      And these tracts are right along that line–doing warfare. Thanks for your comment. It is so true.

    2. Dear rtgmath:

      You wrote: ‘The only people that Jesus blasted were the religious leaders, the conservative, fundamentalist religious leaders. He was kind to everyone else.’

      I reply: I am keeping my big, fat, ugly, stupid mouth SHUT!

      Christian Socialist

    3. Very good – strikes a chord. I’ve never been a warrior or warmonger with aggressive, uh, “soul-winning”, and being in a church that that was ALL that was honored really did a number on me.

  13. “Witnessing at its finest” because we all know the scripture

    “All authority has been given to me. And I give it to you, along with these tracts. Go therefore into all the world–into every bathroom stall, every restaurant, every hotel breakfast bar–and make converts. Teaching them to follow all the dogma and legalism you adhere to. And lo, the KJV will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  14. Oh my goodness…Am I just late to the party on this?

    Chick tracts now offers wall art. Oh yes, and how they do!

    Next time you’re offended by the beer image in the hotel room, just slap one of these puppies on it for an instant Chick-tine chapel.

    Don’t worry folks. If you’re worried about the dimensions of your art, “Lost without Christ” is over 2 feet long!

    http://chick.com/catalog/artprints/default.asp

    1. Like people are going to be comfortable with Faceless God breathing down their necks? πŸ™„
      Hope they include Fang the Dog. How many of us flip through those things looking for Fang? 😎

    2. The first print they show on their home page, the one of “heaven”, reminds me of “The Princess and the Pea” with all those brightly colored layers looking just like mattresses.

      1. Whoa! Did you see the red one of the lake of fire with a terrifying dragon on the right and a huge demonic face looming on the horizon! Printed on it is the verse: “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever.”

        And the two-foot long one: I saw a ballet dancer, a Mariachi band member, and a clown as well as some KKK members and a nun. I didn’t see Waldo.

        1. just saw that one….I find it odd in the depictions of hell in most of the Chick tracts and even in other venues of our culture–the Devil and Demons are enjoying themselves. But doesn’t Scripture state that hell was made for the devil and his minions to torment them? Doesn’t it say that Satan is to be cast into Hell for eternal torment?

          Their theology of hell is even not consistent.

    1. Yes, I’ve had to complain to online bookstores when finding books like “Answers to my Catholic Friend” in the “Catholic” section. Apparently in their case, the computer saw “Catholic” in the title and filed it in the wrong spot. The appropriate place is in the circular file, but what are you going to do?

  15. I soooo love Chick Tracts!
    No, I donΒ΄t give them out – I collect them! But it IS difficult to get the newer english ones in Germany πŸ™

    Shalom
    Hermann

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