A Letter to Jack Chick

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.

Sincerely,

Adam Lee
http://www.daylightatheism.org

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • HairTonic

    “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.”

    Jesus, with all his omnipotence and omniscience blah blah blah will see through your trick and insincere intentions in a jiffy and will not be yout saviour.

    On the other hand, since he loves you so much, he ought to rescue you from the devil even if he sees through your trick.

    Yup, Satan, please place me on your customer roll along with ebonmuse.

  • mikespeir

    A billion dollars!! Heck, I’d sell mine for half that.

    Oh, wait. I forgot that as an atheist Satan already owns me.

    But, no. I’ll repent right now and get myself saved. Then Satan would have to buy me off to get me back into his clutches again. Then…

    You will tell us all when you get Ol’ Slewfoot’s e-mail address, won’t you, Ebon?

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    HairTonic,
    Considering how many Xians think Pascal’s Wager is a good argument, it’s not at all certain that Jesus would see through Ebon’s clever ruse.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    Most certainly, Mike! This is too much of a surefire scheme not to spread it around. And hey, if the Devil knows I can promise him even more souls, surely that’ll make him even more eager to come sign me up, right?

    Incidentally, I’ve had this post on tap for a while. I was inspired to post it by Chick’s newest tract, an evolution-themed pamphlet called Moving On Up. It’s a truly impressive sight – it plumbs depths of self-parody even Jack Chick had not heretofore attained. I laughed my head off throughout at least half of it. Apparently Chick has fallen into the trap of actually believing his own stereotypes and thinking atheists really do act and think like the cartoons he portrays them as.

  • http://www.bellatorus.com Petrucio

    Awesome stuff, very witty.

  • http://www.kuliniewicz.org/blog/ Paul Kuliniewicz

    HairTonic: You’d have to repent not just for selling your soul for a copy of Harry Potter and the Origin of Species, but also for trying to trick God with the last-minute-conversion scam. Of course, now you’d also have to repent for the tricking-God-by-repenting-for-tricking-God-by-repenting-for-selling-your-soul thing, and then repenting for that plan, and so on. Better make sure you can repent inductively to save time.

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    Great post. The sad thing is, Chick tracts are pretty popular in evangelical Christian circles. Some people really buy into his lame presentations and believe that his wisdom reinforces their beliefs. Sad. Very. Very. Sad.

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    Here’s something interesting. The final page of Chick’s tracts are basically the same “The Bible Says There’s Only One Way to Heaven” spiel. In the older tracts, point #1 in the second column says, “Read your Bible every day to get to know Jesus Christ better.” The Moving On Up tract says, “Read your Bible (KJV) every day…” Is Chick actually becoming even more fundamentalist?

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Great scam, Ebon. But you’re missing an important component. You can’t just ask for the dough. You have to come up with some convincing reason why you really, really need it. You’ll notice that, in the story, the sinner in question sells his soul in order to save his farm. The Devil is a sucker for a sob story like that.

    And no, “Please give me a billion dollars so I can quit my day job and blog full-time” is not going to work. I just tried it. Total goose egg. I don’t know why — I mean, you’d think Satan would be thrilled to have an atheist sex blogger blogging full time — but NOOOOO.

  • http://www.316now.com Howard

    Nice idea! Good luck with getting the Devil to show up. I just stumbled across your site and I must thank you for a very hearty and appreciative laugh. Let me return the favor by turning you on to a collection of short films based on actual Chick TRacts. You can find it at http://www.316now.com. There are nine films, each a seperate tract by Jack Chick. I think you will enjoy it. And keep blogging.

  • Brock

    The Moving On Up tract says, “Read your Bible (KJV) every day…” Is Chick actually becoming even more fundamentalist?
    I don’t know if Chick is becoming even more fundamentalist…it doesn’t seem possible. However, he strongly believes that the KJV is the only Spirit-inspired English translation of the Bible, and that all others are Satanic lures and delusions. See the book published by Chick Publications. “Answers to your Bible Questions” by David W. Daniels. Enough of the points are explained on the website to give you a general idea. Also there is a tract,”The Attack,” which you can read online, that explains the entire nefarious Catholic inspired conspiracy. Have a barf bowl handy.

  • Bechamel

    When I was in high school, I approvingly read Chick tracts. Even carried a few in my backpack. Yeah, he’s gotten, um, bat-shitter. When I saw the footnote, “Lie! Here’s an absolute: the words of God (KJV)!” I had to check and see that I was really on the Chick website. I had trouble believing that it wasn’t a parody. Is this some sort of reverse Poe’s Law?

  • http://www.xanga.com/andrea_thatonegirl TheNerd

    Darn, I could have had REAL magic powers if I hadn’t decided to play a rogue in D&D! What was I thinking?

  • Christopher

    It seems to me that this Chick fellow never played a game of D&D in his life – we don’t gather in some coven and cast hexes on people after raiding a dungeon.

  • http://dbandmcq.blogspot.com DB

    So many versions of the Bible, I am having trouble picking which one to take literally. Please help. ;-)

  • DamienSansBlog

    It seems to me that this Chick fellow never played a game of D&D in his life – we don’t gather in some coven and cast hexes on people after raiding a dungeon.

    Clearly your DM is a wuss. ;)

    Also, yes, “JACK CHICK IS DUMB HURRRRRR”. C’mon, people. Poking fun at Chick-tracts is like shooting very large fish in a very small barrel. Full of fish poison.

    Aren’t there some West African penis thieves we can focus our attention on, or something?

  • KShep

    I used to find those awful tracts inserted into my morning newspaper every day. Looked like someone was opening the box and stuffing the papers (or perhaps it was the carrier—who knows?). They CAN be amusing, but after a while it got irritating.

    I was just about ready to alert the paper when they stopped. I doubt it was due to a complaint—I live in a VERY religious area.

    I’d still like to find the clown who did that, though.

  • http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Wow, that Big Daddy comic sure brings out the creationist tropes. From the very first frame (with “our father” being an ape), to the teacher’s “no mentioning the Bible in school” (which is actually “no school mandated prayer”, helpfully explained in the footnote that the evil, secular teacher is getting it wrong. It is, however illegal to teach creationism in science class, thank god), to Carbon-14 (which only works out to 60,000-80,000 years ago, ignoring the other methods for older specimens, like potassium-argon and the like), to the “six basic concepts of evolution” (which conflate biological evolution with the Big Bang, “chemical evolution”, star/planet formation, and abiogenesis. Also, the creationistic “kinds”…which, oddly, the teacher appears to have written on the board), to Lucy being an “unusual chimpanzee (unusual enough to walk upright, apparently. That’s pretty unusual, I’d say. That’s the new species kind of unusual), to the teacher holding up a single bone while he talks of the ascent of man (implying that the whole chain is filled in that way), to the teacher’s “science always has the answers!” (which is something that good scientists never say, but fundamentalists tend to imply of their own philosophy), to frauds and failures (which scientists found and corrected)…including Piltdown man (oh, how creationists love Piltdown man!) and “Neanderthal man” (with text implying that we’ve only found one, and that that one wasn’t a Neanderthal…which means that this one old man really got around)…only halfway through and the outright lies, manglings and logical fallacies have made me die a little, inside.

    I used to read a comic, published on the internet, that parodied people with this “worldview”. For his last post, the artist linked to a typical news story of fundamentalism gone amok, with his comment lamenting his inability to parody what is essentially a parody of itself, already. Poe’s law, I guess. His head would’ve popped if he’d read some of the messed up things that D’souza has written to give himself yet another opportunity to push his books.

  • Alex

    I like your idea, but I think you can further hedge your bets. What if, in the end, it is the catholics who got it right?
    For this eventuality, you can use a little known, but very interesting promotional offer of the catholic faith, The promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ to St Marguerite Marie Alacoque:

    In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

    In your scheme, you have to sincerely believe in Jesus at the end of your life to be saved. This promise garantees just that, so it is fail-safe. It will only take nine Fridays of your life, and there is nothing interesting on TV on Fridays, anyway.
    Very good value, in my opinion.

  • Polly

    I may have mentioned this before, but some Chick tracks are translated into every language you can think of. If you can’t find much dual-language “literature” for foreign language acquisition, then it’s a pretty good site.

    Speaking of bargains with the devil:
    In moments of extreme doubt, when I was a believer, I would almost wish for a satanic encounter so that I could at least see some proof that this crap was for real.
    The reasoning went as follows:
    God won’t do “parlor tricks” beacause he wants faith – for whatever reason. But, Satan and/or his minions probably don’t have any ethical issues about geting involved and even showing off a little. If he would make an appearance, blow some books off the shelf, etc. then I’d know that this stuff is real for sure.

    Needless to say, I never tried this for fear of losing my soul.

  • Polly

    OMFSM! I just had a flashback involving the Chick website. Shortly before I started questioning xianity, I stumbled onto his lengthy explanation about why the KJV is the only legit version of the Bible.

    His diatribe about how questionable all the other versions were and what manuscripts were used is what got me curious about HOW the Bible was put together in the first place. (“Who Wrote the Bible” is what clinched it for me)

    In a very real but indirect way he set me on my path to ATHEISM.

    So, thank you Jack Chick!

  • nfpendleton

    As a comics geek, I have a modest collection of Chick Tracts (approx. 100). It’s the nearest best thing to having a fundy’s head cracked open so you can peer in at the paranoia, fear, and delusional dogma inside.

    I would recommend checking out “Somebody Loves Me,” though. The format is simple and the art a bit crude, but it’s extremely moving and pulls no punches about how cruel the world can be to the innocent. (All tracts are viewable for free on the website as part of Jack’s “evangelical mission.”)

  • Brock

    By the way, check the following site for Chick parodies and other “anti-tracts” http://www.luciferianliberationfront.org/llf2.html#Anti-Tracts

  • nfpendleton

    Another interesting Chick quirk is his rejection of the cross/crucifix as symbol of christianity. He (rightly) traces it back to its pagan origins and associates it with the satanic antichrist catholic church.

    And RE: Chick parodies, my favorite is at Armed and Dangerous. If you appreciate H.P. Lovecraft, I think you’ll like this. http://esr.ibiblio.org/index.php?p=135

  • http://www.deadgod.net Liquid X

    GOD LOVES YOU! HE’S GOING TO KILL YOU!

  • StaceyJW

    What I wanna know is….
    Where was god?- In the tract you mentioned “The Contract”, a poor, old farmer with a crippled son loses his farm to the bank after a hail storm ruins his crops.

    Couldn’t god stop the hail? Miraculously save the crop after the hail? Given him money? Made the banker forgive the loan or give him an extension? Why leave this poor old man alone to be tricked by Beezlebub anyway? (oooh, how scary- Beezlebub- like Beetlejuice)
    BUT NOOOOOOO-god did NOTHING.
    I guess SATAN came through for the poor guy when god wouldn’t.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    If you believe tracts like this, it does seem that Satan has rather better customer service.

  • http://brazilbrat.blogspot.com/ James Smith, João Pessoa, Brazil

    What I want to know is, did you get any reply?

    I suspect that, like most people on impossible logical ground, everything was just ignored. If you have no answer, the best thing it to pretend the question was never asked, right? Come to think of it, that accounts for politics, religion, the WWE, and NASCAR. ROFLMAO

  • http://brazilbrat.blogspot.com/ James Smith, João Pessoa, Brazil

    What I want to know is, did you get any reply?

    I suspect that, like most people on impossible logical ground, everything was just ignored. If you have no answer, the best thing it to pretend the question was never asked, right? Come to think of it, that accounts for politics, religion, the WWE, and NASCAR. ROFLMAO