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Anti-Chick Lit

Imagine my reaction when I received a letter with a sealed envelope with the following message:

"Please wait to open this envelope.

(In bold red print:) Then, destroy its contents immediately afterward.

I'll explain why in my letter.

K.K."

K.K.? Wait, those are my initials! Did I send myself a letter from the future with a dire warning, like something out of the sci-fi flick, Loopers? If so, what would I send to me? With nervous anticipation, my trembling fingers opened the sealed envelope to reveal... what else? A Chick Tract! (Last Rites.) I went on to read the letter and see what all the fuss was about. It turns out the K.K. stood for Karl Keating. Apparently, Chick isn't the only one who thinks his tracts are effective. Here's the first half of the 11 page letter urging Catholics to dig deep and fork over cash for some sort of Crusade to combat Chick! (The following is NOT edited or distorted in any way. Emphasis is that of the original author.)

Chick tract "hate lit"

[page One]

Thousands of Catholic teenagers are in danger of losing their faith at the Pope's "World Youth Day" in August.

Here's why... and how you and I can protect them.

Dear Catholic Friend,

In a moment, I'm going to ask you to open the sealed envelope I've enclosed with this letter.

But after you read its contents, I want you to do me a favor and destroy the anti-Catholic literature inside.

That's because, if it falls into the hands of an unsuspecting person-- or someone inadequately educated about the Catholic faith-- it could cause them to reject Catholicism.

After all, that's what it's designed to accomplish.

But why did I send it to you?

It's very simple. My name is Karl Keating, and I'm the president of Catholic Answers-- a lay Catholic apostolate dedicated to defending the Catholic faith.

And I'm very concerned, because hundreds of thousands of copies of the enclosed anti-Catholic tract are going to be handed out at the upcoming "World Youth Day" in Rome this August.

I urgently need your help to protect the Catholic teenagers who will be targeted by this anti-Catholic literature.

I'm serious. Dedicated anti-Catholics are planning to descend upon Rome for World Youth Day...

...and they're going to do their best to turn our Catholic children against the Pope... against the Blessed Mother... and against the Catholic faith itself!

How do I know this?

Because that's exactly what the anti-Catholics have done at every World Youth Day since 1993.

[page Two]

They make preparations for these events months... even years... in advance.

They print slick propaganda pieces designed to look like Catholic literature, if you judge it by the covers. And then they hand these pamphlets out by the hundreds of thousands to unsuspecting Catholic youth.

But inside is the worst anti-Catholic propaganda you've ever seen.

Using clever but deceptive arguments that the anti-Catholics are famous for, these slick propaganda pieces get the reader to doubt many of our most important Catholic beliefs and practices, such as...

* the Eucharist

* the Priesthood

* purgatory

* salvation by faith and works

* the Mass

* confession

* the rosary

* the papacy

* Marian beliefs

* baptism

* prayer to saints

...and much, much more.

In fact, here are some actual examples of the anti-Catholic literature that has been distributed en masse at these events in the past...

One tract purports to do a "comparison study" between what "The Pope Teaches" and what "The Bible Teaches" on three essential areas of Christian truth.

After contrasting Catholic beliefs (paraphrased from the Catechism" to Bible verses (also paraphrased), the tract says...

"As our comparison study makes clear, the teachings of the Pope and the Bible are in complete contradiction on three essential truths of the Christian faith. Go ahead and see for yourself by looking up the Bible references and comparing them to the Catholic Catechism. Make no mistake, you must choose between these two sources of authority. Both cannot be right."

The tract continues...

"If we would spend eternity with God in heaven, we must reject the teaching of the Pope and embrace the Truth as it is revealed in the Bible. If you are trusting in your works and Jesus Christ, you will not be saved, but eternally lost."

Another tract, lists 17 things Catholics believe in and practice as part of our faith. It then says...

[page Three]

"The choice is yours. You may continue to trust in those things listed on page 2. If so, you will go to the grave without Christ and wake up facing God's eternal punishment. Or you can believe in Jesus Christ and be saved."

A more blatant tract titled "Mary's Command for Catholics" says...

"Friend, the reason we gave you this tract is because we love you and do not want to see you go to hell when you die... You had better re-examine you beliefs. Anyone who rejects what JESUS CHRIST says ins ANTI-CHRIST."

This same tracts pushes the flawed Fundamentalist view of "once saved, always saved." It states that Jesus DID NOT give us probationary life which depends on our keeping it or we'd lose it."

The false "eternal security" diatribe concludes with this statement:

"Friend, you can RIGHT NOW be saved and KNOW that you have ETERNAL LIFE, if you will put complete faith in Jesus Christ., and stop relying on yourself, church sacraments, or anything else to save or help save you... The very moment you COMPLETELY TRUST Jesus Christ as YOUR Savior and Lord.. THAT VERY MOMENT.. you are saved FOREVER!"

As bad as these are, by far the worst anti-Catholic material comes from Chick Publications.

In a cartoon -style tract titled "Last Rites," a "devout Catholic" named John gets hit by a car and dies after receiving the last rights and making his confession.

But then, he goes to face his judgment before Christ.

And here he discovers (after it's too late) that all of the Catholic beliefs he had been taught are "a BIG mistake"... and that if he'd been a Bible-believing Christian, he would have been saved.

I want you to see for yourself just how vicious this particular tract is. So I enclosed a copy of it inside the sealed envelope that I've sent you with this letter.

Please open it now and take a look at it.

You'll see that it tires to convince the reader that being a Catholic will cause you to go to hell!

For instance, as the man (John) tires to justify himself before the Lord, he find this Catholic beliefs and the "good works" he did

[page Four]

during his life condemning him instead of saving him.

At one point the man says, "But I prayed to the blessed virgin, just like the Pope does."

And our Lord replies, "That's idolatry, John, and no idolater shall enter Heaven."

Then John says, "I was an altar boy and attended mass twice a week."

Jesus says, "John, where do you find mass in Scripture? It doesn't exist!"

The discourse continues, with Jesus "refuting" every single Catholic belief, one after another.

John: "Then MILLIONS of Catholics have been deceived. This is HORRIBLE news, God! Why didn't you warn me!"

Jesus: " I DID! My servant, who loved Roman Catholics, gave you a tract that warned you about your false religion. I want you to know that you sins could be forgiven and you could be assured of Heaven."

Cut to scene of John tearing up the anti-Catholic tract...

John: "This is hate literature! How dare you attack my church!"

Lady: "But those are God's Words."

John: "Baloney! I believe my priest, not his junk!

Back to John before Christ on the Judgment Seat...

John: "I was upset, Lord. That tract attacked the one true church. Don't you love the Roman Catholic Church?"

Jesus: "How could I, John? Her false teachings are why you are going into the lake of fire."

John: "I don't want to burn in hell! Can I receive Jesus and reject the Catholic system now?"

Jesus: "No! It's too late for you, John. Only those who are still living can do that."

Cut to John's priest giving a eulogy at his funeral...

Priest: "Yes, John is now reaping the rewards of serving the one true church. And I'm sure he can't wait for us all to join him."

As you'll see, that tract concludes with a suggested prayer...

"Dear God, thank you for showing me what You think about Catholicism. I also reject it! I

[page 5]

accept Christ's sacrifice as perfect and complete. Please forgive me in Jesus' name. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life and place my trust in Him alone for my salvation. Thank you for giving me eternal life right now."

"Reject Catholicism and Ye Shall Be Saved!"

It's hard to believe that someone would publish such hateful, misguided literature.

Nevertheless, this small but clever tract could deceive young Catholics who aren't well-informed in their faith.

It could cause readers to doubt our Catholic beliefs, particularly Catholic teaching on salvation.

It could cause them to accept the erroneous notion of "eternal security"-- that all you have to do to be "saved" is say the "Jesus Prayer." Then, no matter what you do, you can't lose your salvation.

Ideas like that could cause young readers to leave the Catholic Church altogether.

A Clear and Present Danger to Souls

We know from experience that these kind of tracts have taken many unsuspecting Catholics out of the Church and caused them to join Fundamentalist churches.

For instance, Chick Publications (which publishes "Last Rites") has distributed 450 million copies of such tracts, the majority of which attack the Catholic faith.

These tracts are designed to convert as many Catholics as possible to "real" Christianity.

And that's exactly what's going to be passed out by the hundreds of thousands at World Youth Day in Rome...

 

{Ed's Note: The letter goes on to say "But we at Catholic Answers are not going to take this sitting down!" and of course, begs for money (something ALL religions seem to have in common). Other Fundamentalist groups are also mentioned in the remaining six pages, but Chick alone receives the lion's share of credit (blame?) for causing Catholics to abandon the Pope after reading his tracts. Little wonder he brags, "Chick tracts get read!"-- even his enemies buy them, read them, (and in this case) distribute them!

Oh, and for the record, if there is a time traveler version of myself somewhere out there capable of sending me tracts, please don't send Last Rites. Send me something from the past, a rare title like Operation Somebody Cares. Rest assured, I won't destroy it immediately afterwards!}

If you wish to read more referrences to Chick by Catholic Answers, check out the following references sent in by reader Ramon.

3.20.01u



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