I have a treat for you today! This is the newest Chick Tract! Which means we have a Chick Tract that is 100 percent not written by Jack Chick. So who are we lampooning then? Meet David W. Daniels:
Wikipedia lists 10 different David Daniels, none of which are our new comic book author, so we turn to what he says about himself (on Chick.com):
David Daniels, B.A., M.Div., is trained in Bible and linguistics. After twenty years of searching the Hebrew and Greek scriptures and studying the history of the Bible, he concluded that the King James Bible is God’s preserved words in English.
Once he understood that the King James Bible is the words of God in English, David Daniels became a careful literalist who believes his Bible without reservation.
He came to realize that just because he may not have the answer to a particular Bible question, does not mean that there is no answer. That’s why he never stops searching and checking his sources. He is finding that the answers to the “problems” people like to bring up about the Bible are usually found right in the context of the scripture. That’s why we have to have a translation that is as literal as possible, to make sure we haven’t missed anything that God actually said. That’s why we trust the King James Bible.
I definitely started laughing at “trained in Bible and linguistics”. According to his Amazon page, Daniels has a “B.A. in Bible and Linguistics” from Pacific Christian College, and a Master’s of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. PCC has a program for Biblical Studies, but nothing called “Bible and Linguistics”. To be fair, he got his B.A. in 1984, and his M. Div. in 1987, so they may have renamed courses. Regardless, “Bible and linguistics” sounds like a children’s made-up course of study. And I submit that no one who actually studies Greek, Hebrew, and the history of the Bible can come away with any idea associated with “biblical literalism”, or that the King James Version is anything like definitive. Elsewhere on the Chick.com site, they claim Daniels spent “many years being trained by Jack Chick.” So we’re definitely dealing with the same BS we’ve dealt with before. And the Amazon profile I mentioned? Oh, we’re definitely going to take a dive into some of those gems here, too. *rubs hands with glee*
Now that we’ve met our new author, let’s see what fresh hell he’s written for us!
This tract is listed in their “Basic Gospel” section, but it’s about “gossip” – really just rumors and misinformation. Which is a great topic! Plenty of people break trust and spread rumors about people, intentionally or not, and those can cause quite a bit of harm. Daniels’ take on it is…. less than nuanced, however. And if that face on the cover looks a bit off, don’t worry. It gets much, much worse.
I can’t really tell what the author is going for here with these faces, but there’s some Uncanny Valley thing going on. I was almost wondering if we should be checking on Carter (the artist), but then I realized the issue. All of the weird-looking faces here are women. Carter draws men with normal features, but women get this.
Geez, Daniels is as bad as writing dialogue as Chick was!
Judy: I hate people telling stories about me!
Laura: I agree! Here’s a story about you!
Also, people don’t call it rumors when they’re involved in spreading it! And I’ll tell you, Laura absolutely would not have told Judy to her face, especially considering the content of the rumor.
It’s also pretty problematic that the “gossip” tract features primarily women – except for the character who gets to give the religious lesson. As always, the layers of crap in a Chick tract go a long ways down!
It is preposterous that if people in these girls social groups were tweeting about this, that Judy hadn’t seen it already. Someone would have forgotten to block her from the retweet, at least.
And I can’t make heads or tails of this dialogue.
Laura: Carrie told me a rumor about you.
Judy: What did she say?
Laura: She saw you with an older man, in a diner, and hotels exist.
Judy: You’ve got it all wrong!
Laura: Admit it! Carrie’s tweets are everywhere! I thought we were friends but you haven’t told me everything!
Laura: Who is the other guy?
It’s nonsense! Like half the conversation is missing. Also, Laura hasn’t really accused Judy of anything for her to admit to. Now, that final question is the crux of the matter, and the reason this might be nothing. And “who is the older guy someone saw you with” is a perfectly legitimate question, even if the answer turns out to be “None of your damn business, Laura.”
We find out later that the older guy is Judy’s dad. But there is zero explanation of why Judy can’t say. This whole thing would literally go away with “I was having dinner with my dad, you absolute dumbasses.”
Also, your “big chance to go viral”? No one’s going to go viral over a random person meeting with another random person, especially not with something as lame as “#twotimingjudy. And not for nothing, but hashtags don’t have hyphens. It’s like they don’t even care about accuracy! (pro-tip: no one at Chick Productions cares about accuracy)
I can’t stress enough how much of a non-issue this should be. She was meeting her dad – why the hell would her boyfriend be upset? And again, why can’t you tell people it’s your dad? And why do you need Laura’s help to straighten them out? We’ve already established she knows less than nothing.
I legitimately laughed at “I don’t interfere in other people’s lives”. In the hands of a more competent writer, this would be explicitly due to a lack of self-awareness. Daniels either thinks this is the way teenage girls actually act, or he thinks Laura actually wasn’t interfering. Neither option makes him look good. And Judy. Girl. You were meeting your dad! Why are you being secretive about it?
Now, let me be clear – online bullying is a serious thing, and I’m not going to say “Well, if you have nothing to hide, you don’t have to worry about it!” because that is victim-blaming BS. But Laura asked what was going on, and Judy refused to answer, with no reason. So this “Why didn’t they talk to me?” sob comes off a little weird.
This story appears to be set in the 50s, given this diner, but we already know it’s set in the modern day because of the tweets. The sign on the door identifies this as “Song’s Soda Shop”, and the proprietor is a young Asian man. To be perfectly honest, I expected some truly abysmal racism here, but the only issue I can really see is the drawing itself – Song is a bit caricatured, and that could be due to the style. I know, I know, I’m probably giving more credit to the artist than is deserved, but hope spot, maybe? (There is no hope, everything is terrible).
I’d also like to point out the table in the lower corner, where we have what appears to be a Jedi and a mohawk-wearing punk having a meal. They aren’t referenced in any way, but it’s the most reasonable “background color” I’ve seen in a Chick Tract.
And here we go, diving into the crap.
Holy crap, this artist needs to learn to draw girls! What the hell is wrong with that second panel?
Oh my gosh, the third panel. “Everyone is gender-fluid” is hilarious – I’m sure my gender-fluid friends would find this fabulous. The addition of a true statement (That gender is a social construct) is standard-fare straw-manning from Daniels, in grand Chick tradition.
Ooh, a verse! let’s see what that actually says!
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a]
Huh, that’s weird. There’s ellipsis in the middle of that quote without anything being removed! Usually it goes the other way. Also, that’s Jesus talking – I wonder what he was actually saying in this pull quote?
Mark 10: 2-12:
2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
3 “What did Moses command you?” he replied.
4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Oooh, so Jesus was answering a specific trick question by religious leaders! Who were taking pull quotes from Moses to try and trick him! I wonder where I’ve seen that little trick before?
Yeah, Jesus wasn’t really saying anything about gender here – he was answering a specific trick question designed by the religious leaders of the day who were trying to get him to answer a question that had really no right answer. And he’s quoting from Genesis, and trying to use mythological “The way things are” stories is no way to build social policy.
Mostly these panels seem to be Daniels taking some time out to address a pet peeve of his – another grand Chick tradition.
Hey, someone mentioned the Sermon on the Mount!…..Only to try and explain why it’s wrong. Okay, let’s see what John has to say.
22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
And Matthew 7:1-5:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
So in Matthew, Jesus says, “Don’t judge, because fair’s fair, and you’ll get what you dish.” In John, Jesus says, “Don’t be a dumbass, if it’s ok to circumcise on the Sabbath because of the law, why the hell would it not be ok to heal someone on Sabbath?”
As an English teacher, this is one of the most frustrating things about the English language. “Judgement” can mean several different things, and the difference between “passing judgement” and “judging a situation” is vital! Just because they both use “judge” as a root does not mean that those phrases mean the same thing. So stop pretending they do, asshole Christians! (Note: this does not indicate that all Christians are assholes, but rather that if you do this, and you are a Christian, you are also an asshole)
And again, the ellipsis with nothing removed. I think Daniels is using it to break up his quotes into different speech bubbles, but that’s not working, man. Don’t do that. It’s weird, and it makes me think you’re removing things when you’re not.
Ah! Carter, you gotta take some drawing lessons, man! Learn to draw a girl! Holy fuck, man! Like, I know you know how to draw a face, just look at Jesus.
Ok, you all know the drill. I know all these quotes can get a bit tedious, but legitimately, Daniels, Chick, and their ilk misrepresent Christianity – I know plenty of Christians, and was one myself for quite a while. And as much as I hate the damage bigoted Christians do, I can’t paint all Christians with the same brush, because I know too many who are wonderful people who aren’t bigoted. And Chick’s legacy tarnishes them, too.
Anyway, Matthew 10:32-38:
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
It’s hard to see in the KJV, but other translations make this explicit. Starting in verse 35, Jesus is quoting from Micah. And that’s what’s important. Matthew, of all the Gospel authors, is writing to an explicitly Jewish audience. He takes every opportunity to quote from the Old Testament to establish Jesus’ bona fides (ironically misinterpreting and quote mining as badly as some modern Christians). I mean, even just looking back at the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”.
Ultimately, Daniels et al are engaged in a heroic fantasy of their own creation. They want “families to be divided” because it plays into their fantasy. So they make sure they drive everyone away, then claim they’re being persecuted. No, Daniels, you’re just a dick.
Oh, Daniels, you condescending prick. “Oh, two places at once, you’d have to be GOD!!!” You’re the only one who thinks that’s what that verse means. Again, we’ve got the ellipsis to change speech boxes, but legit, even in what he quoted “No one has ascended to heaven except he that came down from heaven”. That sentence construction is archaic, man. King James English is 400 years old. We have entire studies devoted to interpreting Shakespeare, who wrote natively in King James English. The KJV is a version which has been translated from multiple sources, sometimes from the original language into Latin, and then into a version of English which is archaic to us. JESUS IS CALLING HIMSELF THE SON OF MAN AND SAYING HE CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN!
I’m also laughing at the fact that Song seems to have aged about 30 years between panels 2 and 4. Carter, you are terrible at this. Between Song rapidly aging and de-aging, and Judy having a stroke in panel 1, I’m beginning to think you’re starting to phone this in. I mean, why not? It’s not like most people who read them either toss them as soon as they realize what they’re holding, or they’re people like me wringing every bit of humor out of your disgusting take on Christianity.
AND FOR THE LOVE ALL THAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT IN THE WORLD, WHY DID JUDY CONSIDER THIS A SECRET?!?!?!?!
Ok, so wrapping up. Daniels writes plots like a toddler throwing spaghetti at the wall, and Carter has given up on life. Ellipsis being used to hide the fact that nothing was being taken out of the verse was new, but the quote-mining and out of context bullshit remains. Daniels is the absolute worst, so I’ll be going after new tracts as they come out! Because I am apparently a glutton for punishment. If you have any requests for specific tracts, I’ll accept them, but be aware, I try to have something relatively new to say. And, there are certain topics I won’t touch, and any request for those will get you a message about why I won’t do it.