Friday, June 14, 2013

Why is Mary Crying?

If you are anything like my mother, when you read the dissection for the 2013 rewrite of The Last Generation, in between laughing at the ridiculousness of everything in the tract, you may have asked why Chick kept Mary around as the Mother Goddess when that future decried Jesus.

Well, this tract answers that.  And regardless of whether you're an atheist, a non-Christian, a Catholic, or even a Christian who rejects the immaculate conception and veneration of Mary, it will still be an incredibly stupid answer.

For bonus points, we'll also get a glimpse of Chick's massive issues with women!

It's okay, Mary.  I'd cry too if I were in a Chick tract.

Interesting how Mary's veil is adorned with jewels here, as Catholics so often depict her.  I know it's Chick's desperate attempt to convince the Catholics that he understands and sympathizes with how they've been tricked into devil worship, but as usual it comes off as Chick delighting in depicting the things he considers Satanic.

Even in Chick's bizarre view of the Bible, I'm sure he thinks Mary is in Heaven.  Is he implying that you can have a broken heart and intense sorrow in Heaven?  That goes against the entire purpose of a paradisaical afterlife.  Also, making up nonsense about what Mary's doing now is pretty much blasphemy, I'd say.

Poor Mary.  Women don't want love or respect!

Really, Jack?  You couldn't expend the energy to just draw a few Catholics kneeling before a Mary statue?  Or did you just not trust the audience to realize your artwork was depicting Catholics?  Actually, in the latter case going with a photo was probably the right choice.

But they have not done what she asked them to do.

I suppose he has a point.  After all, Mary said "...for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke 1: 48, KJV).  And as we all know, it's the fundamentalists like Jack Chick who respect this verse and call her the Blessed Virgin Mary, and not those unfaithful Catholics - oh wait.

Then again, maybe we're not supposed to take Mary's word for it, as she's not a deity.  But the angel sent from Heaven by God to tell her about her pregnancy also called her blessed (Luke 1:28 KJV).  I trust an angel to know what God wants.  I mean, unless it's Lucifer.

Mary was an example to people of Jack Chick's ideal woman.  She popped out a baby and then she faded into the background of the story.

In what verse of the Bible are we told Mary thinks "(Gasp) But I'm a virgin!"?  Chick couldn't be making this up as he goes again, could he?

What's wrong with that angel's fingers?  It's like he's trying to do two Vulcan salutes with one hand.

That angel doesn't look happy about this whole Son of God thing.  He looks annoyed, actually.  What, did some other angel get to go out raining fire from the skies somewhere else and this one was jealous?

"In this panel, we've replaced Mary with a lump of potter's clay covered by a sheet.  Let's see if the angel notices!"

Mary did something surprising.  And by surprising, I mean already known to anyone who's read the book of Luke.  But in Chick's strange little mind, Catholics aren't allowed to read the Bible and don't believe in it, so he must think it's a huge plot twist.

I could repeat this until Armageddon and Chick would still have his fingers in his ears, but Catholics believe that Mary needed God as her savior.  They just believe that He saved her at the instant of her conception.  That's still salvation by God's grace, the only disagreement is when it happened.  Moreover, what Luke 1:46-47 actually says is "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."  Which could mean that she's already been saved, as she doesn't specify a point in time.

Leviticus 12 talks about childbirth rendering women unclean and how purification and atonement must occur after birth.  So does Chick honestly believe that giving birth to God in human form made Mary unclean?  Does he think she sinned by delivering Jesus?

And speaking of Luke 2:21, the other thing they're doing in the temple in that verse is having Jesus circumcised.  Jewish law held that the uncircumcised were unclean.  So going by Chick's logic that participating in the sacrifice must have made Mary a sinner, Jesus must have been unclean and in need of circumcision and later baptism to be saved, right?

In Greek - the original language of the New Testament - the word used for "all" in Romans 3:23 was "pantes," a derivative of "pas."  Pas has four definitions: 1) individually, 2) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything, 3) collectively, 4) some of all types.  "Pantes" was also used in Matthew 3:5-6, "Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins."  Now, do you think that means every single person in Judea was baptized, or that people from all walks of life in Judea came to be baptized?

Of course, Chick's ilk would insist that the "original Greek" is just a trick of Satan's, so here's a different point:  According to Romans 3:23, all have sinned and fall short of God's glory.  So, since it says all, and Jesus is fully human as well as fully divine, that must mean he also fell short, right?  Because it said all.

There Chick goes again, speaking for what people he's never met think and feel.  Hey Chick, don't you believe that God is the only one who knows what's in our hearts?  Aren't you lying by pretending to know what Mary's doing in the afterlife?  And you're so fond of saying no liar will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

And again, Catholics don't dispute that Jesus died for humanity's sins or that God was Mary's savior.  Not outside of Chick's deluded imagination, anyway.

You know she's really upset when she can only say "Sob" rather than actually cry.

Mary's tears should have ended here, but I decided to draw her crying a bunch anyway, because appeals to emotion are awesome when you have nothing to back up your claims!

By being forced to appear in a Chick tract.

So, she's embarrassed that people are paying respect to her as her son would and that they're calling her Blessed as she said they would do?

Here's a fun fact about the ten commandments:  the Bible itself does not state where the divides between each commandment are.  In fact, read in a straight list, there are fifteen instructions.  People will often say Catholics or Protestants changed the commandments, but they just divided them up differently.  Protestants list "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" and "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..." as two separate commandments, Catholics place them together.  So in the Catholic view, what God is forbidding is making images and worshiping those images as gods.  After all, God did instruct that the ark of the covenant be decorated with cherubs and that Moses put a bronze snake on a staff, so He doesn't oppose all images.

Moreover, in the early days of the religion when most people were illiterate, it would make sense to have statues, paintings, and stained glass to help teach.  In time, that art became tradition.

Mary would never be a part of what, bowing down to statues of herself?  Well, yeah, why would you bow before a statue of yourself?

It's never been a part of Catholic theology, or any Christian theology I ever heard of, that Mary was there from the creation of the universe onward.

Once again, Chick is misunderstanding what ought to be a pretty simple point:  Mary is called the Mother of God because she gave birth to the human form of God.  Not because anyone thinks she created God.

All women are good for is being vessels or being temptresses in Jack's worldview.

See my earlier point about the use of "all" in Bible verses.  And no one turns to Mary thinking that she also died for humanity's sins or can provide people salvation.  They talk to Mary asking her to put in a good word for them - more on that later - not to save them.

Is it just me, or has the shape of Mary's face changed in pretty much every panel so far?

Praying to someone does not always mean worshiping them.  Praying can also mean petitioning a person for help.  If I just got my driver's license and I wanted to ride around town in my dad's brand new convertible, I would ask him for permission, but I would probably also ask my older sister with years of driving experience and no accidents to put in a good word for me.  Asking Mary to pray for you isn't any different from asking your congregation to pray for you.

As to why you'd ask others to intercede instead of asking Jesus directly, well, the Bible shows multiple times that it's possible to change God's mind.  Moses talks God out of slaughtering the other Jews a number of times in the Old Testament, and Mary persuades Jesus to perform His first miracle even though He says His time has not come yet in the New Testament.  So why not ask people you know have interceded successfully before to put in a good word?

When the Church calls Mary a mediatrix, they don't mean she is a direct mediator between God and man.  They mean that, because of Christ's salvation for us, other Christians can mediate, albeit it only with the aid of Jesus.  If you're a Christian and you invite a nonbeliever to church with you, you're trying to mediate to bring them to God.

...Then who is deceiving you?  Maybe the guy making shit up as he goes about how Heaven works?  The one who thinks he can read Mary's mind?

And when did he prove that the Queen of Heaven who appears in Revelation cannot be Mary?

God does not play tricks on people.  Except that time he told Abraham to sacrifice his son.

"Please read carefully the following pages"?  Who talks like that?

Since when does Satan have the power to create anything?  If Satan can create, why wouldn't he make his own world with all the sin and blackjack and hookers?  Or is he just super masochistic?

Remember kids, blondes are evil, and probably any woman who says she's a virgin is evil too.  In fact, all women are evil.

Nimrod is wearing a giant horn on his head to symbolize that Semiramis was not a virgin.  Because it's symbolic of his penis.  That he penetrated her with.  Get it?  It's pretty subtle, so I needed to point it out.

Nimrod is portrayed by Chick as the man who built the city of Babylon.  He appears in four Bible verses total.  Semiramis appears in zero.   Why is this?  Because she wasn't Nimrod's wife.  Babylon was founded around 2234 BC, as best historians can figure.  Semiramis is a mythical Greek and Persian figure, based on the actual Assyrian queen Shammuramat, who ruled from 810 - 806 BC as regent for her son.  So they lived over a thousand years apart.

In a move that I'm sure will shock you, it appears Jack Chick is, unbelievably, talking nonsense.

In the words of Wikipedia, CITATION NEEDED.

The reason you are not seeing citations is because this is all lies.  The Bible doesn't even state the Nimrod founded Babylon, let alone that he was put to death or called Moloch.  And there is no mention of child sacrifice in his name, confessionals, or celibacy.  Chick, if you have so much of a problem with celibate priests, veneration of Mary, and confessionals, then use the Bible to refute them.  If you can't do that, then maybe they're not the most evil thing ever.

It will come as a surprise to no one when I tell you that Semiramis's biography by Diodorus Siculus makes no mention whatsoever of virgin birth or Semiramis giving birth to a sun god.

See that asterisk?  You don't see the source for it on this page, but just wait until we get there.  It's the stupidest thing ever.  And I don't say that lightly, because any Chick tract is on a whole new level of stupid.

All women in history are actually one woman.  I mean, what are the odds of more than one religion having an important mother figure?  It's not like a majority of women in the world at the time were mothers and their belief systems might have developed to represent that role in their deities as well.  That would just be ridiculous.  Any religion that isn't King James only, sola fide Christian fundamentalism is all the same religion, and that religion is devil worship.

Interesting how they list Venus as the mother of Jupiter (she wasn't) but don't list Aphrodite as the father of Zeus.  Also, Aphrodite was never called a mediatrix in any myth I've ever heard of, and I've read a ton of them.  The actual son of Venus/Aphrodite was Eros/Cupid.  Devaki is not mentioned as having a virgin birth in any text I've been able to find, Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris, and the only sources I've been able to find that even mention Shing Moo just refer back to The Two Babylons, which I'll address in a second.

So if veneration of Mary is actually evil pagan worship because there have been goddesses in other religions, doesn't it follow that we shouldn't worship Jesus because of the sons of the goddesses in those religions?

Alexander Hislop, author of The Two Babylons, was a minister in the 1800s.  Other than the fact that his arguments about Catholicism being a new form of pagan worship are easily refuted with just a base knowledge of history, Catholicism, or the Bible, well, you know you're an idiot when even other anti-Catholic fundamentalists call you out on how much you suck.

Those evils Catholics, trying to convert people and - wait, what's the purpose of these tracts again?

So I guess Jack Chick also rejects Christmas and Easter.  After all, the dates of those holidays and many of their traditions come from pagan beliefs.  He couldn't possibly have a double standard, could he?

And now we get to Jack Chick's hatred of women.  I'll ease into this one so you know I'm not just making things up as I go.  Women in Chick tracts are nearly always evil.  Either they're witches sacrificing babies and driving teens to suicide, or they're overbearing nags trying to draw the men in their life away from Christianity and forbidding them to try and save the souls of others.  Even when the women in these stories aren't evil, they don't do much of anything and are always converted away from their sinful ways by a man.  I know of one tract out of over two hundred in which it's a young, attractive woman leading others to Jesus, minus the children's tracts that feature loads of still innocent little girls converting others to God.  The only other adult female heroines I remember are either Biblical figures or old and asexual.

At first I figured this was the usual misogyny that seems to accompany religious zealotry.  Women caused the fall from grace, women shouldn't speak in church, etc.  But then I read Dan Clowe's The Imp? - Criticism of Jack Chick and found the following passage:

Where did all of Chick's motherfucking hatred come from?
There is only one clue, appropriately Freudian, in a letter introducing his anti-abortion tract, Baby Talk.  "How many of the millions of little souls snuffed out in our nation's wickedness were chosen by God for a special purpose?...When I was forty years old my own mother told me how she tried to have me aborted."

And there you go.  Much as Chick portrays Jesus as a bad boy rebel taking down the system and not listening to anyone because he considers himself a rebel doing the same, I believe he hates Mary because he hates his own mother.  It's Jesus who's perfect and awesome and a total badass, you guys, and there's Mary, being the overbearing Jewish mother, trying to control him.  "Oy, Jesus, that salvation thing was nice but what's this eternal damnation about?  You're such a putz sometimes.  You want I should open the gates of Heaven for 'em instead?"  And so Mary must really be a demon pagan goddess.

Yeah, Jesus never got angry in the Bible.  Certainly never trashed a marketplace or caused a fig tree to wither or shouted "Get thee behind me, Satan!" or anything.

By "carefully placed" I take it Chick means "developed from the same faith."  Hey, you know who else is in the Koran?  Jesus!  So I take Jesus is also a trick of Satan's, right?

By Satanic posers, does he mean Satanists imitating Mary or wannabe Satanists dressing up to lead others to Hell?  I hope it's the second one.  That's much funnier.

Does Semiramis just stand around in Hell posing all day?  I'd think her arms would get really tired, really fast. And what's Satan doing, grinding on her hip?

I guess it's a good thing that the Catholic Church has never contradicted Peter and said salvation can be received by anything but Christ's grace then.

There he goes calling the Catholic Church the Whore of Babylon again.  I will address that in another tract, because it's so dumb it would double the length of this one.

Mary would never call God's Word a lie, but Chick will sure twist the hell out of it and make up his own ridiculous conclusions to fuel his paranoid agenda.

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