Wherein I invoke the flimsiest strawman around, but I do think there’s a point to be made here.
I was surfing chick.com when I came upon this tract. For the most part, it’s pretty standard “Halloween is evil, Chick tracts are good” stuff, but I was particularly struck by this page. As messed up as Chick is, I’m wondering if this doesn’t sum up the conservative Christian stance on constitutional rights nicely, i.e., authorities with moral weight should be able to dismiss the rights of those they consider evil or otherwise undesirable. For decades now, the majority of conservative Christians have railed against the ACLU. Is the underlying reason that they feel only “good people” should have rights and that the rights of minority groups should be dismissed by righteous fiat?
You do realize that this was an angel talking to a devil, do you not?
And the devil was asserting a Constitutional right to go onto private property. I believe it was found in Screwtape v. The True Revelation Divine Holiness House of the Apostolic Succession and Storm Door Company, Ltd. that supernatural entities did not have a prima facie right to use a right of way to collect souls unless they could produce the proper commercial business licenses.
I’m not sure how you can be fairly confident that you’re make a point with the cite, and also say that it’s the flimsiest strawman.
BTW, it’s so grand a tradition as to practically call it a rule:
Any new thread on JTC goes to the Pit. This allows us to get as insulting as we want, including to each other. If it were not for that tradition, Cafe Society would be the ideal spot for starting a non-confrontational thread. Such a thread would then be moved to GD or the Pit by mods if it became heated.
Well, Jack Chick is just, as you say, messed up (add bold type, italics, large font, high alert red letters, etc). He’s even too far out there for some fundamentalists. I don’t think the example you gave is particularly apt, but your basic premise:
is spot on.
The underlying characteristic of the fundamentalists (with individual exceptions, to be sure) is not so much racism, although there’s plenty of that too, but plain old bigotry. They hate everyone equally. The concept of fundamentalism is that of a people “set apart”…specially blessed by God. Predestined to heaven. “I’m righteous but you’re evil”. “I’m saved but you’re lost”. It is a belief system for pathetic little egos that cannot find self-confidence any other way. At the far end of the spectrum you find the reconstructionists and dominionists who are so twisted that they see no dichotomy in demanding their right to worship as they please and enforce the theocratic rules they support while denying that right to anyone who believes differently. After all, when you’re right and everyone else is wrong, what’s a little righteous injustice between saints and sinners? You’re just giving them a foretaste of the punishment God has in store for them.
Oddly enough, Georgia is one of the more accommodating states when it comes to Satanic commercial rights. That’s why the devil heads down there when he’s in a bind and he’s way behind and he needs to make a deal.
What I found interesting about this little tract was not the over-the-top religious mania.
I have come to expect that from Jack Chick.
What was surprising to me was the portrayal of ‘Stinky’ as a somewhat sympathetic character.
He acts out like a little hellion (like many over-amped unsupervised children do).
After all of his hell-raising (which consists of being mean and stealing candy) he is then concerned about his mission, to return with a gift for Satan.
When the nice kids give him the jack-o-lantern and Stinky returns to hell, the consequences of his actions are disastrous for his mean boss, but inconsequential for little Stinky.
Heh. That is possible.
The guy genuinely seems to be his own special flavor of fundamentalist, that is for certain.
He doesn’t appear to let facts or biblical commentary get in the way of his own brand of theism.
Well, based on my observations on this board, I would attribute that feeling to humans rather than to any group of persons based on political, philosophical, or religious affiliations. There are a number of posters, from all different perspectives, who routinely post as though their philosophical opponents should be ignored or dismissed out of hand and there have certainly been issues where folks holding a lot of different philosophical positions have argued against granting people accused of various actions a presumption of innocence.
At the end, the kid dressed as a cowboy says “Hey kids, hell is no joke!”–but the whole thing gives a weirdly comical view of demons and hell, especially for a Chick tract. One demon guy gets tossed into a Pit (and there are flames visible in the panel beforehand) but it’s not terribly graphic. Talk of hell being a “horrible place” to the contrary, there’s not really a lot of visible torment going on.
(Also, there’s not a single “HAW HAW HAW”. V. disappointing.)
What was even funnier to me was one where he talked about all the Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists who were surprised that they ended up there. Hell would have absolutely no effect at all on a Buddhist master-he’d be perfectly capable of meditating contentedly for the rest of eternity if necessary.