Jack Chick is dead


There will be no rejoicing at his death, because his poison and lies and ignorance live on. I just really can’t care much — it doesn’t help that I just got home after a 13 hour day — and I think he’s just been a malignant goofball with a team of believers doing the work for him, and the absence of one foolish man won’t make a lick of difference.

He has ceased to exist and won’t even know that he’s not going to meet a faceless glowing giant on a throne, or a horned Jewish caricature with a pitchfork. He’s just dead meat.


  1. InitHello says

    I cannot gloat.

    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    But I can be relieved that one source of the poison that infests our nation has passed.

  2. gijoel says

    My first encounter with Jack Chick was when I was 18 or 19 riding the train into the city. A pretty girl sat in front of me for the whole trip, but I was too shy, or felt it intrusive, to initiate a conversation with her. As I got up to disembark the train at Central station she turned and said, “This is for you. It will help you.”

    I was flattered at first, and mumbled thanks. Then I glanced at it, and those feelings grew to dismay. I can’t remember the exact tract it was, I think it was the anti-Catholic one, but it was like it was some bizarro world where strangers are hectored by just-so stories so they believe whatever the preachers believe.

    Over the years I got a few more ones, each with bizarre claims about D&D, evolution, and pretty much everything else I liked or was interested in. It wasn’t till the late 90s when the internet really kicked off that I found out who he was. And what he was was a sad, somewhat hateful man who lived in black & white world where evil was stereotypically ugly and brutal, and the pure were beautiful and wise. Where truly appalling acts of abuse and hate could be wall-papered over by asking a long dead man for forgiveness.

    I take no pleasure in his death. As PZ said, he’s works will continue. His legacy will live on. And sadly someone else will pick up his baton, and draw awful comics justifying awful acts.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    “He’s not going to meet a faceless glowing giant on a throne, or a horned Jewish caricature with a pitchfork. ”

    Iain Banks’ science fiction suggested a high-tech solution to this. Dibs on playing the role of Lucifer.

  4. John Morales says


    This might explain the minds of some people like the late Mr. Chick.

    It might, but that phrasing implies that it might not, too.

    (Lots of things might explain it)

  5. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    I think I’ve gone a bit weird… I feel like I’m actually going to miss his hateful little spite tracts. His works are now complete, and the world is lessened by the closing of this chapter.
    And yet, good riddance.

  6. wonderpants says

    As we all know, 2016 has been particularly bad for celebrity deaths.

    However, Phyllis Schafly and now Jack Chick can be added to the list (although it’s arguably more than they deserve to be lumped in with the likes of Prince, David Bowie, and Alan Rickman). Is it in bad taste to hope that fate makes it a hat trick and Ken Ham joins them?

  7. quotetheunquote says

    I’m not sure which Chick publication I saw first, but the anti-evolution one stands out in my memory as the vilest of the vile.

    One panel in particular springs to mind; a stereotypically Jewish-looking teacher stands in front of a class (composed of a black guy, a hippie, and other degenerate types – like, for example, women) and shouts out “do we all believe in Evolution?” like a cheerleader. To which the class replies sycophantically “yes, we all believe in Evolution!!!”

    But in the next panel, the lone, brave, very Aryan student stands up calmly and demurs; says a lot about faith, and the bible being the one true Word, etc.

    I was a teen-aged science student at the time, and the ignorance of it all filled me with rage. Now, I’m just vaguely nauseated by the race-hatred that he snuck in…

  8. Menyambal says

    The caricatures were hateful, but the most insulting thing was the little checkbox at the end that assumed the tracts were effective and that one little thing was all you had to do.

  9. prae says

    So, what are those “bible reloaded” guys going to do now? The main content source of their youtube channel just dried up.

    I actually found a german-language chick tract once, here in Munich (Well, in a suburb of Munich). Not sure which one it was or where I put it. It was just lying on an ATM.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    John Morales,
    If Mr Chick did not perceive any cognitive dissonance, the link would be unlikely to explain his thinking. I dunno. some religious people exist in some kind of cognitive quantum superposition, what Orwell called “doublethink”.
    And finally you have “word salad” speakers, I do not believe they percieve the contradictions in what they say.

  11. erichoug says

    About a billion years ago I used to work security at a night club. I could almost ALWAYS find some of the chick tracks after work or walking home through the neighborhood at 3AM. I still have a rather large collection of them along with other tracts. I can tell you that the Chick Tracts are actually the pinnacle of the art form as a lot of the others I have are WAYYYYY Worse. More than happy to post some examples to prove that point.

    But, The thing I always wondered is what kind of lack-wit, bigoted, moron would read these tracts and decide that this was the religion for them? And why would any church want them. If someone started attending a church because of these tracts, I would keep them away from the kids and make sure there were always at least 2 other people in the room with them.

  12. Nemo says

    @erichoug #19: I agree, it seems doubtful than anyone was ever persuaded by a Chick Tract. But, I don’t think that was their real purpose. Rather, they existed to make believers feel like they were fulfilling their duty to proselytize, without actually having to talk to anybody.

  13. raven says

    I’d never heard of Jack Chick until I stated reading Sciblogs.
    I’ve also never seen a Chick tract in real life.
    They must not be part of the microcosm that my life runs through.

    OTOH, I do occasionally see the JW’s Awakes lying around here and there.

  14. wzrd1 says

    @birgerjohansson #6, alas, that solution ceased to exist when GCU Grey Area joined an excession.
    As near as can be ascertained, Grey Area decided, if it could not be part of the solution, it should become part of an Outside Context Problem.

  15. applehead says

    @22, Bronze Dog,

    that’s hilarious! Vast swathes of the reimagined dialog are perfect encapsulations of the typical authoritarian leader’s sales pitch.

  16. says

    The biggest question i have is: Who are these parents, who, with the last name Chick, name their son Jack? Did they never said the name out loud while choosing it?

  17. alkisvonidas says

    He will be sorely missed.

    Wait, that’s not right. I meant, he will be missed like a sore. In the behind.

  18. John Harshman says

    It seems likely there are more Chick tract parodies than actual Chick tracts (though of course Poe’s Law applies). But when I put “Chick tract parody” into google, this came out.

  19. tbp1 says

    One year in high school, my lunch break came in the middle of a class. It was very annoying, but we had to do half the class, go have lunch, and then come back. There was a group of about four of us who were, to be honest, kind of smart-alecks, even a bit abrasive from time to time (typical high school would-be intellectuals in a very jock-oriented school), and we were known to be at least somewhat skeptical about religious claims. At least a couple of times a week someone put tracts on our desks before we got back. A lot of them were Chick tracts. We would do dramatic readings before the class came back to order. I don’t think I had seen any before then. They didn’t really have much effect on my continuing transformation into a non-believer.

  20. Marissa van Eck says

    I’ve never understood this “there’s no joy in the death of X horrible person” idea. Seems a bit privileged and naive to me. Look, I get the idea of taking the moral high ground, but if we sunk so low we could look up and see earthworm bellies we’d *still* have the high ground compared to people like this. There is no shame in calling out cultural and memetic vandals for who and what they are, or were, I suppose.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish, and may Pat Robertson, Ken Ham, and David Barton swiftly follow. I wish there were real consequences for this kind of behavior, poisoning the minds of millions over the course of decades. He should be forced to spend a while in the Hell he had such a permanent woodie for, in the next magma crater over from where Bahnsen and van Til would be roasting and right across from the one Plantinga and Craig would end up in. Maybe they can rent a caldera together and get a group discount.

  21. Ichthyic says

    Hey, the scales seems like they are balancing out this year.

    sure, we lost Bowie, and Prince.

    but we also lost Scalia, Schlafly, and Chick.

    Scalia being gone has already provided a number of benefits. not sorry to say.

  22. mickll says

    From the link:

    Our promise to you —
    Nothing changes:

    Nothing could more eloquently sum up the innermost desire of Chick Tract fan.

  23. mothra says

    @ Marissa the Eich- the problem with this type of attitudes (long explanation apparently required): First it is the person everyone agrees is evil, then it’s the person most people agree is evil, the person many believe is evil, then it is the person some believe is evil, finally the person only you believe is evil. There is evidence of this slope in your post.

  24. mothra says

    there, fixed

    @ 35 Marissa van Eich- the problem with this type of attitude (long explanation apparently required): First it is the person everyone agrees is evil, then it’s the person most people agree is evil, then the person many believe is evil, then it is the person some believe is evil, finally the person only you believe is evil. There is evidence of this slope in your post.

  25. Vivec says

    By that logic, it’d never be okay to mock anyone. You could use that exact same slippery slope argument to prevent any sort of criticism. So, nah, not buying it.

    Either way, I reiterate the spirit of my first comment – good riddance, dying appears to have been his sole beneficial act as a human being.

  26. johnmarley says

    My grandmother sent me a copy of “Dark Dungeons” when I was 11 or 12 (my Mom had told her I was playing D&D). Funniest thing I ever read.

  27. mothra says

    @42, The comment I responded to was not about mocking someone, it was expressing a distaste in glorying in the death of someone and naming others. I suspect that most people who ever saw ‘Chick Tracks’ laughed at them (as I did), but, the people who distribute them, these people are the ones most harmed by his actions as they received reinforcement to stay in a make-believe world where it is considered good not to question, okay to be sexist, racist or prejudiced in general concerning people or ideas. This particular cause of harm (Jack Chick) is gone. I’d rather win in the real world by converting people through understanding the process of science than simply being gleeful over the death of one evil man. There are plenty of genuinely evil humans as well as ‘well meaning’ but evil humans. Gloating over death is a lot like praying.

  28. Vivec says

    But, the people who distribute them, these people are the ones most harmed by his actions as they received reinforcement to stay in a make-believe world where it is considered good not to question, okay to be sexist, racist or prejudiced in general concerning people or ideas


    The people that are most harmed are the people this bigot and his fellow religionists are racist/sexist/prejudiced to.

    Trying to claim that the people most harmed by a bigot are his followers and not like, you know, the target of his bigotry is pure nonsense.

    In regards to celebrating his death being like praying, I’m also calling bullshit on that too.

    Celebrating that someone is dead and can no longer make the world a worse place is no more like prayer than celebrating a good grade on a test or that a bad manager got fired.

    It’s a tangible, provable event with a tangible provable outcome that people find worthy of celebrating.

  29. Vivec says

    I’m certainly not celebrating Chick’s death on an ostensibly atheistic website to win over theists, if that’s what you’re implying. I could give a shit if any are swayed by how I act on a site that is inherently opposed to religion.

  30. Ichthyic says

    I’d rather win in the real world by converting people through understanding the process of science than simply being gleeful over the death of one evil man.

    it’s not a binary choice. some of us can, do, and have done both.

  31. Dark Jaguar says

    How influential are his chick tracts these days? I honestly think those things haven’t been relevant to anyone’s opinion on anything since the 1980’s. He was more or less cartooning into the wind.

    I’ll miss that special brand of insanity. Some people even took his infamous D&D comic and ironically made a movie out of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=subQrEPKytA

    Frankly, his influence (if he ever had any) died ages ago.

  32. Vivec says

    I find them all over campus, so they’re at least still getting passed around in major universities.

  33. mothra says

    First, my original comments referring to glorying in the death of another refers to #35 and not you Vivec. This should have been clear, I am sorry if it was not.

    Removing one villain just creates a vacancy to be filled. Admittedly some villains have greater ‘ability’ than others and are ‘harder’ to replace. Jack Chick was not in this class. He was not a Hitler, a Stalin, a Mao Ze Dong, a Leopold II, a Pol Pot. He even fails at upper tier Religious villains for the United States such as: Rev. Bishop Fulton Sheen, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, Billy Graham or (with reservations) Ken Ham. Jack Chick is more of a second stringer like Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, , Robert Schuller or Benny Hinn. These classes are based on popularity as well as involvement in world affairs politics and national policy. Second tier religious villains have not done or been both popular and involved in policy. His is just another death.

    @ichthyic (who, about a decade ago gave the best advice I had ever received on the internet). While the choice is not binary, I would rather spend time going forward.

  34. says

    I have regularly been on the receiving end of “Chick lit” sent to me by obviously well meaning but deluded people. That is the problem with Jack Chick his blatant lies delude otherwise decent and reasonable people. I have used panels from his tracts to illustrate points in lectures. I even presented one where I eviscerated the entire content panel by panel to the amusement of the audience. However, his comics are not funny, they are packed with the worst kind of tropes and deception and the targets of his comics attacking other religions find them extremely offensive, as do I. You can’t blame people like me for feeling a wry sense of amusement at his death.

  35. Marissa van Eck says

    Hey Mothra? Vivec said everything I was going to, and better than I could have, so I’ll leave you with this:

    Take your naive, condescending, overprivileged, tone-trolling bullshit and shove it up your ass so far your grandparents choke on it. Love and kisses, Marissa V. :)

  36. mothra says

    So interesting to see someone defend the right to celebrate the death of another. Such a boon to the skeptics movement. I am not tone trolling- In my opinion celebrating the death of even someone you disagree with or disrespect is immoral as it does say more about you than about them. And it is like prayer, this is a dead on analogy (pun intended). You are welcome to disagree. BTW- Here is sanctimony: I think I will go back to finishing my next weeks lectures on larvae of Hymenoptera where I cover differing themes of evolutionary biology in each lecture.

  37. chigau (違う) says

    In my opinion lying, cheating, stealing, raping, etc. are immoral.

    celebrating the death of someone is totally irrelevant to almost everything.
    So really not immoral.

  38. Marissa van Eck says

    No one cares, Mothra. And, Jesus, “van Eich?” Do you think you’re funny or something?

    Listen and listen good, cupcake: here in the trenches of the culture war, as it were, we cannot afford this sanctimonious pi-jaw. You do not have sympathy for someone who is trying, directly or indirectly, to kill you. It doesn’t make you enlightened; it makes you stupid and suicidal. You defend yourself, you fight back, and when one of the bastards finally bites the big one you damn well celebrate. Big bastard, little bastard, doesn’t matter, bastard is bastard is bastard, and the little ones would be big ones if they could.

    I don’t know if you’ve just never suffered or seen friends suffer the consequences of this sort of memetic poison or what, and frankly I don’t care. There are people i was friends with who would give you a well-deserved double deuce for your stupidity, except that they can’t, on account of they’re fuckin’ dead. Some of them did not die quickly. I am watching yet more of them suffer, and can do little or nothing for most of them.

    Feel free to clutch your pearls at me and swoon on yon fainting couch.

  39. says

    What Melissa said.

    Mothra, if my abuser were to up and die — and gods, I hope he does, soon! — I’d celebrate, because FUCK HIM!

    Jack Chick contributed DIRECTLY to my abuse, thank you, so FUCK HIM, TOO! (Ex had a whole fucking HOARD of Chick-lit, and claimed to have worked directly for the man himself.)

    And fuck you very much for saying I, or anyone else, should sympathize with that hateful abomination!