(image via Pixabay)
I’ve just been informed that Jack Chick, Evangelical Christian creator of the Chick Tract and the so-called father of the Satanic Panic, passed away Sunday night at the age of 92. May God rest him. Jack wasn’t a fan of Catholics in general; I trust that, by God’s grace, he has a different opinion now.
I’ve written pretty extensively about how my own childhood was immersed in a uniquely Catholic version of the Satanic Panic. It’s always difficult for me to remember that this particular manifestation of fear masquerading as devotion had its origins, not in the Catholic Charismatic renewal, but in a certain stripe of Protestantism; that the people who originated some of my community’s eccentric phobias would have viewed the Rosary and the Eucharist the same way my mother viewed Ouija boards and levitating plates. History is odd that way; hysteria makes for strange bedfellows.
Of course, neither Jack Chick nor Evangelical Christianity is to blame for the spirit of fear who has been with us from the beginning. He was only one famous name behind a recent hysteria. May God and Our Lady deliver his soul and console his family and friends.