A couple spends 50 years on the mission field, trusting in their good works. But when they die and stand before God, they learn that good works can’t save… only Jesus can.
“[O]n the mission field”? Where is that? Is that in Idaho?
This one almost seems like self-parody. There’s no way anyone can believe this kind of shit with a straight face, and anyone who does should be locked up in a place where they can no longer hurt themselves or others.
How gross! HAR HAR HAR.
“There’s a man on the wing of this plane!”
Hah, this has got to be one of the best openings to a Chick Tract ever. I’d like to think her response is the result of some bizarre fourth-wall breakage that’s allowing her to look down and see all the remaining panels. “Oh, no! Not another Chick Tract!”
“Are we in TROUBLE?” If you looked out the window of an airplane and noticed the engine was consumed in fire and smoke, wouldn’t you just assume “trouble” and ask the subsequent questions about likelihood of survival, bracing positions, and things like that? And suddenly the window is on the other side of her seat.
Meanwhile, the tubby, mouth-breathing goon with headphones and the furiously bitchy, mustard-cunted, hipster librarian are apparently somehow completely oblivious to the fact that there’s an engine exploding right outside their window, even despite the tubby woman behind them wailing about it.
Wait a second, that’s the same woman, replying to her own question, muffling her voice with her hand!
Everything is under control. It’s perfectly normal that there’s a giant flower with a single, cyclopean eye and a long body made of curly, black hair engulfing the airplane engine.
I hate to nitpick, but do you know how extremely unlikely and rare airplane malfunctions like this actually are?
Oh, yeah, the crowds really gather to see those famous missionaries at airports.
Wow, Zambolo’s got some really lax airport security. “Okay, everyone! Swarm the plane and say goodbye!”
“We ALL love you! Except for Larry! He’s kinda ambivalent! And Natalie doesn’t know you yet because she just got here, but I’m sure she’ll love you when she finally meets you! And then there’s that retarded kid, Ralph! It’s hard to tell what he feels about anything! But NEARLY ALL of us love you!”
Wow, all these people are praying for them, and God’s not going to save them from the imminent plane crash? Why does God only answer the piddling, negligibly important prayers? If a little girl can briefly pray and receive divine instructions to save her from violent rape and murder, why can’t God answer the prayers of, what, like, thousands of people and do something as simple as making a plane operate as expected?
The lumpy woman with the newspaper is nervously eying the large-mouthed, horse-faced, “pretty” woman next to her, like her collagen-inflated lips are about to explode and splatter goo all over the place.
How did they know his name? How did they know his name?
“We only clothe the natives that are dear to us. There are many we don’t care much for. Some we’re just plain apathetic about. Depending on how non-dear a particular native is, they’ll either get ‘World’s Greatest Grandma’ long-sleeve t-shirts, Garfield shirts from the 80s, hot pants, second-hand breast-milk-stained oversize sports bras, or no clothes at all.”
It took them fifty years to build five schools and four hospitals? Were they doing it by themselves using only their feet? I mean, they claim God was helping, but he couldn’t have done much. I’m picturing him just leaning on a shovel, whistling and shouting come-ons at all the girls walking by on their way home from high school.
They’re flying Nondescript, Unmarked Airlines, looks like.
Yeah, I know the first thing I’d say to open a conversation is to discuss how I killed a guy.
The old lady mugging for the perspective is going to haunt me the rest of my days. Her expression seems torn between “Are pants supposed to have pudding in them?” and “What’s that scratching at the opening of my urethra?” with maybe a touch of “I’m suddenly apprehensive about my idea to keep my pet centipede in my sinus cavity” thrown in for good measure.
Check it out, it’s a smarm-off! Look at those smiles – you could grease a train axle with those things.
Ah, here’s the setup: Dude who killed a guy versus people who’ve dedicated their lives to doing nothing but good. GEE GOLLY FUCK, I WONDER WHERE THIS PLOT COULD BE GOING.
“I’M AN ICKY ELF! HUHWEEE!”
Yeah, the only reason anyone should be doing anything good is to acquire rewards in the afterlife. GIVE ME CROWNS! CROWNS TO STACK ATOP MY NON-CORPOREAL HEAD LIKE THE NUMBER OF BOWLS OF BRAND-X CEREAL I’D NEED TO EAT TO GET THE SAME AMOUNT OF FIBER AS ONE BOWL OF TOTAL! A large part of the problem I have with fundamentalist Christianity is that the entire thing seems to revolve around around concern with yourself. You do things to personally avoid going to hell. That’s the big motivation, really – protecting yourself from the threat of eternal punishment. It’s all very selfish. Though, I mean, that was Jesus’ message, right? “Fuck other people – only do things that will ultimately reward you.” I guess it is a rather effective tactic, though, appealing to a person’s self-preservation instincts.
“Have I mentioned how dear these people are? I don’t think I’ve been quite patronizing enough yet.”
This woman seems to always have a mildly disgusted and confused look on her face, like the interior of her intestines suddenly sprouted taste buds or something. Maybe the guy is casually shitting into her purse while they talk.
Wow, that was sudden… one engine fails and one explodes over the course of three lines of dialog. Not only that, but these people must speak incredibly slowly: If you look at the ogreish dicklump up in the first panel, he’s using headphones. They only let you use headphones after about ten or fifteen minutes into the flight, when the plane has reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. There have been only fifteen or sixteen lines of dialog since the missionaries were seated.
“Mwuhhhhhhhh.” Jack’s really good at cartoonishly disgusted looks.
So, basically, everyone should ignore the message of Jesus, which was essentially “help those in need and do good works for others”, and instead simply believe in him. That’s real Christianity. “It’s easy! We don’t have to do anything but believe!” What the cock is that shit? Seriously, I don’t get this. What was the point of Jesus even talking to anyone? If all that mattered was his death, why didn’t God just arrange to have him killed shortly after he exited the womb?
Oh, really? CRASH? ‘Cause, I mean, I don’t think I’d have been able to tell what was happening to the plane without that comic sound effect.
Holy fuck! Those are some insanely huge fish! Or maybe… does Jack not know that he doesn’t have to use models for low-budget special effects if he’s making an illustration?
According to research done on Mythbusters, episode 33, “Killer Brace Position and Cellphones vs Drunk Driving” (yes, I’m aware it’s not the absolute source of all information), only 20% of people involved in a plane crash die on impact. The rest die from subsequent complications like smoke inhalation, fire damage, and drowning. Even given that these passengers appear to be shifty-eyed paranoids, oblivious tubs of hair and fat, and Linda Tripp (see panel 1), one would think there would’ve been at least ONE person capable of deploying emergency rafts and exiting the aircraft in an abrupt water landing.
For instance, the CEO of the company I work for was involved in a plane crash about a year ago (the landing gear jammed up and they had to slide in on the belly of the plane), and he was perfectly all right – in good enough condition even immediately following the crash to stand up and exit on his own.
Then again, maybe this is what you get when you fly Unmarked, Anonymous Airlines.
So Ed doesn’t even have to bother being weighed and judged by God? This is inconsistent with other Tracts, where even the faithful characters have to stand before God for judgment. Maybe if it’s a busy day, the angels are told beforehand whether to bring someone before God? I dunno.
“Not just SOME of our good works, dear – ALL of them. Dear. Have… have I mentioned yet, dear, that things are dear to me? Do you hear me up there, dear angel? Dear! Dear dear!”
And again, let’s appeal to people’s greed and material desires! It’s what Jesus would’ve wanted!
Well, that doesn’t make sense. If God doesn’t know them, then he’s not exactly omniscient, is he? Unless they mean “know” in the Biblical sense. In which case… are people supposed to fuck God?
This is off-topic, but how come Harley owners never refer to their bikes as “Davidsons”?
*gasp* They’re nude! How DARE Jack depict nudity? WORK OF THE DEVIL! WORK OF THE DEVIL!
This scripture is taken completely out of context. Here’s the passage with context included (emphasis mine):
21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Which, I mean, if you actually read it, seems to be saying: People who do the good works I’ve described will be allowed into heaven, whereas people who only claim to have done such good works won’t be.
I don’t see anything in there at all about the act of doing good things being meaningless. That is, unless you set up such a context yourself and only include lines 22 and 23. Which, erm… isn’t that what we’re seeing here? SHITS, YOU MEAN IF YOU TAKE SOMETHING IN THE BIBLE OUT OF CONTEXT AND PLACE IT INTO A DIFFERENT CONTEXT, IT CAN MEAN SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT? And, in fact, given line 21, it seems to imply almost the opposite of what Jack is trying to say, here. That is, not everyone who professes Jesus’ name will be allowed into heaven, but only those who do good works. So, uh, Q.E.D., muthafucka.
“We were GOOD people! We did everyth— oops. My pants have pudding again. And I’m not wearing any.”
Seriously, though, the guy sitting next to them killed someone. Murdered them in a drunken brawl. Actively destroyed another person’s life. And he goes to heaven simply because he decided to hold in his head the thought that he believed in Jesus? And people who spent fifty hears in Africa building hospitals and helping eliminate the misery of thousands of people are tortured for an eternity because they didn’t hold that one particular thought in their heads? I don’t… I just… this… God would have to be retarded. Seriously. There is no way an omnipotent being could demonstrate logic and reasoning capabilities that are easily surpassed by those of Corky from Life Goes On. I mean, come on.
I think that this, at least in part, is simply a way of reconciling the conservative attitudes toward the economy with the ability of one to consider themselves “Christian”. While Jesus actually said that people should be responsible for others in need, if you only take certain passages out of context, it makes it sound like only belief matters, and not good works. See, it’s an extremely easy way to convince yourself that you’re assured an eternity of pleasures, and you don’t have to do anything. What’s more, you can bring yourself to believe that nobody should ever pay taxes or help the poor, because good works don’t matter.
“I did ALL the work necessary. By which I mean: First, I created a planet with incredibly stupid, ignorant, and naive, but naturally curious creatures, and lied to them about what the fruit from a particular tree would do to them. When they disobeyed my instructions after being misled by a creature I allowed to exist and allowed to have contact with them (which is really an event that I set up to happen, since if I created time, I created all the events within time, and, thus, nothing happens that I didn’t set in motion) who was actually, oddly enough, telling them the truth about the effects of the fruit, I decided to punish not only them but their entire kind for the rest of time.
“See, I created, for whatever reason, two forms of existence for them: Corporeal and incorporeal. I made the corporeal particularly miserable, painful, and extremely challenging to deal with, and then I made it so that by default their incorporeal existence is an eternity of torture. There was no way for them to escape this, so I let them needlessly slaughter animals for a long time because they thought it might do them some good and, well, fuck, I’m just God, it’s not like I can undo what I’d done and go easier on them with an afterlife, or even just tell them the animal sacrifice was meaningless.
“Then, for whatever reason, I decided that the only way to cure them of this condition would be to have a version of myself manifest itself in corporeal form, and then let them kill it, and then tell them to hold a particular thought in their head that said ‘I believe in that guy we all killed’. It was the ONLY WAY. Of course, people had to know to do this to avoid the eternal punishment I created as their default afterlife, so I inspired a bunch of people to write a vague, self-contradicting story about all of it (these were different guys than the ones I’d inspired to write the first part, which is good because the new stuff conflicts quite a bit with the older stuff) and then let a bunch of people twist and interpret the text in a variety of ways.
“You see? I DID ALL THE WORK! ALL OF IT! *gasp* *snort* *fart* *splutter* *wheeze* *fap* *spurt*”
This illustration is horrifying. I think his face is swelling.
Erm, excuse me, uh, God? Yeah, uh, you didn’t say that – John did. You didn’t directly write anything in the Bible. Not even Jesus – it’s all second-hand accounts. And there’s evidence that a lot of stuff has been added to it to embellish it or to further the agendas of the organizations translating it. And was it you, God, then, who said: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.” (I Timothy, 2:11)? If so, you’re an enormous asshole. Can I be cast into the corner of hell furthest from this little throne, here, when I die, please? Thanks in advance!
By the way, should we pay more heed to what Jesus was reported to have said about how we should do good works, or to another book of the Bible not having to do directly with a description of what Jesus reportedly said?
If God is really “the creator”, then nothing could exist without it being allowed for in God’s blueprint. That means that sin and evil and the possibility of engaging in both were created by God. If Adam and Eve really did bring them into the world of their own accord, then they possessed the same power of creation as God. And, thus, God wasn’t the creator, but merely a creator.
So God sentenced all of mankind to eternal torture for the actions of the first two, with no hope of escaping such an outcome. And Lucifer lusted after the throne of God. Uh… why is the former not considered “evil worthy of condemnation” while the latter is?
Is that… eggplant? And why does Eve always look so scheming and malicious? That depiction is nowhere to be found in the Bible.
Huh, never seen this before…
“Well, at least I don’t need glasses anymore, so eat me.”
This raises the question: What, exactly, constitutes “belief”? If you’re acting in the name of Jesus and the name of God, doesn’t that mean you believe in them? I mean, you wouldn’t, for instance, build a hospital in Jesus’ name if you didn’t believe in him. What more to it is there? Is there a specific phrase? A secret handshake? Do you have to mail something in? I don’t really understand.
“Uh, actually, God, if I may: You didn’t say anything at all in the Bible. It’s a piece of literature written entirely by the hands of man. Whether it’s your word or not can be nothing but mere speculation, as there’s no way to really demonstrate that anything that claims to be ‘the word of God’ actually is what it says it is. I could write ‘all first-born girls should be raped by grizzly bears’ on a bar napkin, and then write ‘this is the word of God’, and who’s to say that it’s not what it claims to be? This is the exact same argument your followers have been making about the authenticity of the Bible. Do you see how people might get a little confused or doubtful? No? Well, shit, then, I’m on my way to hell. At least I don’t have to play your goofy fucking guessing game anymore. Good riddance.”
Actually, you know, the motivations behind the whole “dying on the cross” thing are a little… unclear to me. Why would an omnipotent being have to do something so incredibly elaborate to accomplish its goals? It’s like if someone ate the bear claw I was saving for breakfast, and I decided that in order for me to be able to forgive them, I had to impregnate someone and have her carry the baby to term, and then somehow play a trick wherein the grandchild of the person who ate the bear claw ended up thinking they’d killed the baby. Why can’t I just outright fucking forgive them?
(While I was typing this, I almost typed “Bibile”. I think that’s my new favorite term for the teachings of fundamentalist Christianity: Bibile. Say it with me!)
*TOSS* Heh, I kind of like that, actually. They just sort of… fwoop! right off the edge of heaven. Though, when you think about it, heaven must be a pretty warm place, too, if the flames of hell are that close.
“On Dateline tonight, after Friends, ten surprising things in your home that may very well threaten the lives of you and your family. Be sure to watch or you may very well die!” That’s like all Christianity is is just a giant ad for evening news that plays upon people’s fears in order to draw in easily frightened viewers.
The moral of the story? Never do anything good for anyone, ever.
I guess there’s a certain logic to it in that I suppose it’d be hard to convert people who’d done a lot of horrible things in their lives to Christianity without implying that it doesn’t matter what they’ve done. Like, how are you going to get any of these apparently numerous, genuinely-converted, formerly-horrible people who are interested in Christianity to actually go through with converting if you don’t convince them that they can still be saved despite their actions?
But it’s a double-edged sword. At the same time, if actions don’t matter, then the implication is that people can get free passes to be just as horrible and murderous and destructive as they want, as long as they inevitably end up believing in Jesus before they die.
And probably the most frustrating part of this is that even the people who believe that good works are essentially meaningless are still obsessed with trying to control everyone else’s lives under the mistaken impression that they’re “doing good in the world”. If the actual works of believers are meaningless, then stay the fuck out of my bedroom.
Tune in next time, and tell your friends. (e.g. Please link to me from your blog, or print out Chick Dissections and hand them out down the sidewalk from the people on campus handing out the actual Chick Tracts themselves. We can’t afford them any more influence and propagation than what they already manage.)