Dear Mr. Chick,
You probably don’t know me, but I’m writing to send you my thanks. I used to be a hardcore, evil, godless atheist, but after reading some of your wonderful Christian fundamentalist cartoon tracts, I’ve realized just how wrong I’ve been. Now I know that there is a God who loves me and who died for my sins, and that his name is Jesus Christ. I also now understand that playing Dungeons & Dragons too much will lead to you being initiated into a witches’ coven and taught how to cast real spells; that Roman Catholicism is a Satanic cult and keeps its followers in line with demonic Egyptian death cookies; and that Jesus is the one who holds the protons together in atomic nuclei. (I always knew those godless physicists were just making it up when they talked about so-called “gluons”!)
Thanks to you, I’m ready to accept Jesus Christ’s free gift of salvation and be washed clean by his precious blood. However, I can’t do that just yet. There’s one other thing I have to do first, but I’m having a problem. I thought I’d write to you in the hopes that you’d offer me some advice. Please allow me to explain.
One of your tracts which made the greatest impression on me was the one titled “The Contract“. In this tract, an impoverished farmer makes a deal with the Devil to sell his soul in exchange for the money he needs to keep his farm. He receives the money, as promised, and uses it to do just that. Years later, he has a last-minute conversion to Christianity on his deathbed and goes to Heaven anyway.
I think this is a fantastic idea! Forget all those phony get-rich-quick schemes – here’s one that really works. All I have to do is sign a contract with Satan, promising him my eternal soul in exchange for enormous worldly wealth and power, and then repent and turn to Jesus. That way, I can break the contract, get to enjoy eternal bliss when I die, and still get to keep all the cool stuff in the meantime! There’s no downside! And I have you to thank for the inspiration. (That guy who told everyone not to “lay up treasures for yourselves upon the earth” was a real sucker! He went about this whole Christian thing all wrong. I guess he just wasn’t as good at seeing these opportunities as us.)
Anyway, that’s my foolproof plan – but it’s hit just one snag. Namely, I can’t get the Devil to show up and offer me the contract. I’ve tried everything I can think of to draw his attention – stamping my foot in public and audibly muttering, “I’d sell my soul for a billion dollars!”; listening to rock-and-roll music; reading demonic books like Harry Potter and The Origin of Species – but so far, I’ve had no luck.
Mr. Chick, I’m sure I’m not the first person to have this idea. I bet a great Christian evangelist like yourself has already thought of it – heck, you wrote the tract! I’m thinking you must know how to get the Devil’s attention, and I bet you’ve already tricked him into giving you all kinds of free stuff. (Don’t worry, I won’t horn in your racket. I know the whole international, multimillion-dollar comic strip ministry was your idea. I’ll ask him for something else!) Can you give me any tips? Pointers? What am I doing wrong?
If you get this letter, please rush your reply. As you can imagine, time is critical here – if I sign the Devil’s contract but then die before accepting Jesus as my personal savior, I’ll be eternally damned, and I don’t want that. But I also don’t want to get saved before getting my hands on all the worldly goods Satan can give me. The way I see it, Satan is God’s enemy and I’d be cheating him out of all that stuff, so it has to be okay. I know I can’t take it all with me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it while I’m here, right?
Thanks in advance for your anticipated assistance.