Quoting Quiverfull: Is It Ever Appropriate To Hand Out Tracts?

Quoting Quiverfull: Is It Ever Appropriate To Hand Out Tracts? August 21, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Trish Ramos of Fish With Trish – The Righteous Aren’t Always As Bold As A Lion LOL

Editor’s note: You remember Trish, don’t you? She’s the one that said that when you see another woman wearing something you think is immodest you should go up to her and point at the immodest display part and say ‘uh oh’ before handing them a tract on modesty. She’s also a big supporter and friend to the guy we posted yesterday who thinks he’s Christianity’s answer to Jon Stewart – Todd Friel. Here’s my question between his show and her tracts – are there appropriate times and places to hand out tracts? What about at a restaurant when people are just trying to get their meal on? Where is the line between being helpful and being an obnoxious tool? Are they just too busy judging others to be able to consider this is may not be the best place and time to hand out what’s likely going to go straight into the trash?

After we had been eating for a bit, a very effeminate guy with a purse walks into the patio area and sits directly behind me. Our eyes got huge. We had just been talking about Ray Comfort’s new movie, Audacity, which had been released that very day. Oh, how we wished we had an Audacity tract to give to him! A Biggest Question DVD or a 180 Movie tract would be just as good though, we decided. People love getting free movies.

“I think I have some in my car,” Kristen said and she quickly jumped up to go look, but came back empty handed. She couldn’t find any.

By now the patio is FULL of people who all seem to be smoking, and one table even had a cute pit bull puppy. Suddenly, fear gripped me just thinking about giving them tracts (and it was not because of their dog, lol). I start digging through my bag trying to find a tract that would allow for a quick getaway and come up with my “Doggit” tract and start tossing them across the table to Kristen.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

Read our hate mail at Jerks 4 Jesus

If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pinkie

    Honestly, if somebody came up to me and handed me a blatantly annoying religious tract, I’d probably just set it aside then and there, while walking off and blatantly ignoring them. Sure it’s tempting to think of some funny put-down, but crazy religious zealots (in my opinion) are as likely to give you a normal conversation as some crazy homeless druggie.

  • persephone

    If I could, I’d crumple it and drop it on their table.

  • mary_menville

    Honestly, I don’t think it is ever appropriate to hand a stranger a tract. You never know if someone is a survivor of spiritual abuse and might be triggered, or has another reason. I’m Jewish (and very visibly so). I always say “No thank you, i’m Jewish and very happy as a Jew” and I would say about 1% of evangelicals respond politely. The other 99% are extremely rude at best, to downright frightening at worst. A man once followed me for two blocks shouting about how I had the blood of christ on my hands. Sad to say it for the 1% of people who I assume are just really excited about their faith and want to share it but the other 99% have ruined it for everyone, and until the 1% can convince them to behave politely they shouldn’t hand out tracts because at this point it just frightens me when people do it.

  • Nightshade

    Make a paper airplane and fly it back.

  • Oh, good, I get to shamelessly pimp something I once wrote on my blog. The city I live in, what with Mardi Gras parades, a Saint Patrick’s Day parade, and Fourth of July fireworks on the river has lots of opportunities for people to hand out tracts:

    John and I politely turned down all offers of “something to read while you’re waiting” from him and the other proselytizers passing by.

    One man that came by alone was a little harder to deflect. He had been chatting with the people next to us, seeming honestly interested in what they had to say. Then he finished up his conversation and turned to us. Predictably enough, he asked if we wanted one of the tracts he held in his hand, to have something to read while we waited for the parade. I told him that I had already read that one, having been given one the year before. He seemed a little taken aback, but asked what I thought of it.

    “Here’s the thing,” I said. He wanted a conversation, I would give him a conversation. “The St. Patrick’s Day parade is mostly a Catholic celebration. The theology in those pamphlets is, as near as I can tell, Baptist. So to me, this is just a matter of tribal infighting, and I find it off-putting, to tell you the truth.” His face fell, but I could tell he wasn’t surprised by my response, and actually seemed to be giving it some thought.

    “I’m not a Baptist, “ he replied. He belonged to a non-denominational church.

    “Well, I’m a Methodist,” I said.

    Somehow we got from there into a discussion of Lent.


  • Hannah

    This is how they get you…It’s entirely appropriate if you’re having a discussion and want to know more, but not if it’s completely random. I do come into contact with a lot of missionaries in my church, and that’s their job, mine is to be an example that we’re normal, respect other people’s faiths and boundaries and aren’t a bunch of crazies, but if people want to ask questions that’s cool and I’ll do my best to answer them. (I think being a Mormon and being a Goth are very similar in that respect, and I’m still educating people about Wicca, including within my church.)

  • Anonyme

    I got a tract a couple of months ago, while I was working at my job (in a grocery store).

    Me: Have a nice day, sir. *puts last bag in his cart*
    “Mr. Customer”: Here, this will help you get to Heaven. *puts Bible tract in my hand*
    Me (in humor-the-customer voice): Thank you!

    It was a typical doomsday style tract.
    I’d like to think that a majority of these people mean well. The man was very nice…but it’s still treading on very personal ground.

    P.S.: My now deceased Grandma sent a Bible tract with my Christmas card two years ago. It wasn’t as ‘fire and brimstone’ as many tracts are, but still…
    It was either because I’m a heathen Catholic or because I came out in support of evolution that year. Or both.

  • Kristina Calin

    The Satanic Temple occasionally gathers near the Ravenswood Church folks that preach on Bourbon Street. When members of the TST see a passersby that has taken a tract from Ravenswood, they offer to exchange the Ravenswood tract with one of theirs.

    It’s fairly amusing (TST doesn’t actually “worship” Satan…they are about separation of church and state), and the TST tracts are clever. Although I do feel sorry for many of the Ravenswood people….they are a group of recovered/recovering addicts.

    A few of my friends are Biblical academics, who get perturbed when people preach about things they are actually clueless about. Some of them will try to “educate” the Ravenswood folks. I usually just say, “No thank you,” and move on. But I do get snarky when someone pushes me.

    I hope you were able to get this man to really THINK about what he was preaching as “absolute truth.”

  • Aimee Shulman

    Man, I’m a religious person but I hate tracts with a resounding passion because most of them are so stupid and trite. And possibly the least attractive way possible to advertise your church, because that’s frankly embarrassing and shows that you don’t actually
    care about others so much as you want to show off how superior you are
    for being religious. If I saw someone handing out tracts, I’d probably turn around and go the other way even if their tracts happened to agree with my beliefs. Unless they were chick tracts, because ain’t nothing as entertaining as a good old fashioned chick tract.

  • pl1224

    Handing out tracts, or any other materials of a religious nature, to people you don’t know and who haven’t asked for them is appallingly bad manners. Period. End of story. I wouldn’t give someone of that sort the time of day (but I would be tempted to deliver a brief lecture on the ineffectiveness of discourtesy as a marketing tool).

  • Finding Home

    She honestly thinks she’s an amusing and talented writer and an interesting person, doesn’t she?

  • KarenH

    “… Where is the line between being helpful and being an obnoxious tool? …”

    I think I know this one!!! If they get insulted if you hand them your own tract on “How To Tell If You’re An Obnoxious Tool”, they’ve crossed the line from helpful to… well, you know.

    Okay…now we just need to publish a tract called “How To Tell If You’re An Obnoxious Tool.” I suggest we get The Oatmeal on this 🙂

  • Rachel

    I adore The Oatmeal! He would do a good job on that.

  • Rachel

    Oh look! A man who dresses contrary to my definition of masculinity. Clearly he has never heard if Christianity. If I just give him a piece of paper with Jesus’ name on it he’ll totally convert right here and now and start dressing according to my standards if masculinity.

    Seriously girl, is that really how you think it’s going to go down?

  • Mermaid Warrior

    What you should do is make some joke tracts for a fake religion and hand them out to anyone who gives you a tract.

  • B.A.

    I’m Jewish,too. Good Sabbath!

  • Astrin Ymris

    People have made brochures for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster which you can download and print off for distribution.


  • ArianaDream

    All of a sudden I’m imagining being given a tract, and responding with, “Great, another one for my collection! Thank you! Here, have one of mine.” Better yet is if you can pull out a scrapbook filled with tracts from as many different sects as possible. Bonus points if the scrapbook is elaborately and creatively designed.

  • Anonyme

    OMG Chick Tracts…I’ve read some of them online. The ones about Catholics (as am I) are my favorites. They’re so over-the-top and crazy that I can’t even feel offended.

  • Anonyme

    Some time back I was in the hair care section at Wal-Mart when a guy walked by with a purse that had a rainbow cross on it. He also stopped to joke to me that women are lucky because they get better/more shades of blonde when it comes to hair color I think this chick’s head would have exploded.

  • Saraquill

    From what I can gather, J*sus never even wore pants. I wonder what those tracts would say?

  • Saraquill

    Handing out these tracts seems to be more about the writer wanting to look good to her buddies than anything else.

  • Evelyn

    It’s obnoxious most of the time, but the only time I really get offended about tracts is when they are given to children at Halloween, because children do not consent to this, especially the scary ones that Chick makes for Halloween. What I really don’t understand, is if these people believe their God loves people and wants them to go to heaven, wouldn’t God then be in favor of respectful discussion instead of nastiness? I mean, what kind of a god says to people, “If you don’t offend those strangers and tell them how awful they are so that they repent, I’m going to send them to hell to burn forever!” What?!?

  • Jenna

    I hate tracts. I absolutely hate them and always have. To me, they just seem lazy if there’s something you really want to talk to someone about. And when you’re too darn chicken to say something because you know you’ll come off like a jerk, they give you an easy free pass to “say” it by handing them a tract. The ONLY places I’ve ever seen a tract placed appropriately were in a bathroom and in a dentist’s office, because people are then randomly searching for something to read out of boredom. Even then, it’s likely that they’ll say something offensive.

    When I was in college working as a waitress, we used to occasionally get the ones that looked like $20 as a tip. Those are pretty darn notorious by now, and you really only learn to hate the people who give them. Dave Ramsay, much as I loathe him, actually got it right once by saying, “Don’t use Jesus as your excuse to be a cheapskate.”

  • Jenna

    My favorite is how Jesus would have reacted to Christian book stores and the like who sell these tracts– using Him to sell merchandise.

  • Jenna

    I’d buy a box of those tracts.

  • Jenna

    Your jib… I like the cut of it.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Is there a difference between men and women’s hair dye? I hadn’t known that.

  • Astrin Ymris

    I was reading on the Jack Chick site, and they were urging their base to give out Chick tracts for Halloween. The proselytizer said that he knew kids read them, because one boy had asked for a different tract, saying it was the same as he got last year.

    My take: The kid was probably collecting them for their sheer jaw-dropping awfulness. If he had been “saved” by them, wouldn’t he have shared this “good news” with the neighbor who gave him the tract?

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Eh, I still prefer my religion of worshipping a prehistoric whale. When the Almighty Basilosaurus returns to flood the world, the believers will be able to survive in the new watery world while the heathens drown!

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I’m currently following Jibbers McCrabst! I will have to print out some Jibbers McCrabst tracts from The Oatmeal to keep by the front door for those pesky IFB and Southern Baptists we get knocking every Saturday. Praise Jibbers!

  • Astrin Ymris

    I believe in Abskolom, God of Fridays, the Protector of Procrastinators and Deferrer of Deadlines!

  • Hannah

    They do one about Mormons and one about Wicca/dungeons and dragons (because those are linked somehow, I didn’t realise RPGs were real) too. This is random but I sometimes wonder what Christians could do in the world if we stopped fighting with each other and worked together. It makes me cross. Oh my goodness, the ones about the Catholic Church are dreadful, I’m sorry. (Especially the one about how Catholicism formed Islam, Communism, the Nazis and Masonry, what the actual fuck? Seriously, my brain cannot do the logic gymnastics to figure that out.) Catholicism is responsible for so much beauty in the world, art, music, architecture, and some really lovely jewellery, as well as numerous humanitarian efforts in the world. Maybe this dude should stop publishing utter dross and use his talents for good.

  • Nightshade

    Thanks, I try!

  • Nightshade

    FSM tracts. Do they make those?

  • Kitty

    So, now I’m going to have to carry around a “How To Tell If You’re An Obnoxious Tool” tract, and, I’m thinking some copies of Religulous in case I get handed a DVD. Everyone loves a free movie!

  • Kitty

    I pretend to be Jewish whenever someone tries to tell me about Jesus.

  • Kitty

    At my veterinarian’s office, they always hand out a tract with a crisp dollar in it as you are checking out. I kind of like that they understand that that kind of thing is annoying and compensate you for it.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Full disclosure, before I weigh in on this pap from Trish “What’s my age again” Ramos: 30 years ago, as a full-on Charismaniac, I was one of Those People that absolutely, positively, had to give tracts out, sneak them into library books, yada yada. And if someone called me out on it, oh yeah, martyrbation time again.
    Now, however, I try to politely but very firmly refuse tracts when people offer them to me. It’s not to be mean, but getting “saved” is not really on my to-do list these days. Better to let the person offering the tract down in an easy way when possible. If they really want to talk to me, they don’t need a piece of paper with Bible verses, or passages from the Bhagavad Gita, or an offer of a free personality test. They can say hi.
    Pity, then, that Ms Ramos seems to believe that pestering strangers is part of her duty as a Christian. What of empathy, hospitality, extending kindness to others without attempting to make it all about oneself? What about actually listening to others? But no, she’s determined to make sure that everyone knows how clever and fab a Christian she is…urgh.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Handing out tracts on Halloween: you may as well place cans of shaving cream and rolls of toilet paper out for trick-or-treaters who wish to make their displeasure known. That’s as bad as handing out toothbrushes and floss.

  • Poster Girl

    I love getting tracts! I have a little collection of Chick tracts going. And when I worked in the local French bakery in college, the JWs dropped off a bunch of Watchtowers every Saturday morning. If I wasn’t working that day, the owner would save them for me.

    In fact, just tonight, when I dropped my kids off at my sister’s for a sleepover with Auntie, she gave me a Scientology publication she’d picked up especially for me when she was out in California.

    Unfortunately for all the nutters, they don’t realize how many tract recipients like me there are out there. This stuff is pure comedy gold.

  • Poster Girl

    Well, they do already have this comic:

  • Jenny Islander

    Jesus walks into a Christian bookstore and points to all of the assorted books with fish on the spines and promises of a perfect life in their pages. “I have need of these,” He says. The clerk, granted the ability to see Jesus for who He is, promptly packs them all up instead of kicking out the shabbily dressed brown weirdo. Jesus has some of the books delivered to a local high school for use in their “Improve an Old Book” art contest. The rest go to the recycler.

    Then, just to make His point, he goes back to the bookstore and flips a table.

  • Astrin Ymris

    By contrast, opening your garage and setting up bookracks and allowing each child to select a free book in lieu of candy is all kinds of awesome! ;-D

  • Astrin Ymris

    I firmly believe that Christians like Ms. Ramos are one reason that the percentage of “nones” keep rising in Pew Forum religion polls. People who were once willing to identify as “Christians” though they haven’t been church members for decades are so disgusted by such obnoxiousness that they’re formally disavowing allegiance in the religion they were raised in.

    The rest of the reason involves Tea Party politicians, the Westboro Baptist Church, and abortion clinc bombers.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Now that is awesome. So long as the books in question are not Bibles, the Left Behind series, or any other mediocre works.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Now that’s a great idea!

  • Astrin Ymris

    I only read about this, but it strikes me as a great idea. I think if I was doing it, I’d make a bulk buy from Scholastic. They used to have a good open-minded selection– I think I bought my copy of ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’ at a Scholastic Book Fair. Per their website, they carry the Harry Potter books and the Goosebumps series, which seems hopeful.

  • Astrin Ymris
  • Andi

    I actually do have a box full of tracts, which I intend to make into a scrapbook someday. I’ve been collecting them for years.

  • Andi

    If you think Chick Tracts are fun, look up the movie “Dark Dungeons.” A geeky independent filmmaking group made a really funny straight-faced adaption of the Chick Tract of the same name, which is the anti D&D one. Very worth watching. 🙂

  • Andi

    Me too! I have friends save them for me. 🙂

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Scholastic…that takes me back. I loved getting books through the service at school. From Pippi Longstocking to Crime and Punishment…good reads.

  • Nightshade


  • Catherine

    I used to treat them like trading cards.

    “oooh, do you have a Dark Dungeons? I have duplicates of “This Is Your Life”, let’s trade!”

  • Mermaid Warrior

    In high school, we got to leave early because of testing but since the buses didn’t come until regular time, we all congregated at nearby fast food places. An older couple heard us discussing religion and introduced us to the wonderful world of Chick Tracts. Boy, we had a good laugh. One of the guys took them all for himself, but I went online and found them.

  • Allison the Great

    Let’s mail several of them to this obnoxious woman.

  • Allison the Great

    I always giggle when I hear Jibbers McCrabst. It’s damn fun to say.

  • Hannah

    Must watch, thanks for the heads up!