January 12, 2010

Jack Chick's Crazy Wolf

I reported on fundamentalist bigot Jack Chick back in Tract Portrays Drunk Indians Needing Christ for Salvation (2001). For those of you who don't know Chick, here's the scoop on him:

Jack T. ChickJack Thomas Chick (born April 13, 1924) is an American publisher, writer and comic book artist, and has been called the most published comic book author in the world. His company, Chick Publications, claims to have sold over 750 million comic-style tracts (known as Chick Tracts), comic books, videos, books, and posters designed to promote Protestant evangelism from a fundamentalist point of view. Many of these are controversial, as they target beliefs and cultures in what many perceive as a negative manner.

Chick claims that Satan and his demons promote the occult through New Age beliefs, Rock Music (including Christian Rock), Wicca, role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, and the celebration of Halloween to deceive people and send them to Hell. Chick is opposed to abortion and preaches against pre-marital sex. He believes homosexuality is a sin, and makes reference to the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah in tracts treating homosexuality.
Now Chick is back with another anti-Indian tract. The story tells about Navajos who send a witch to kill an old woman because they can't stand her Christian beliefs.

You can read Crazy Wolf online, but here are some excerpts:

Navajos threaten Old Mary the Christian with death:

The witch (skinwalker) consorts with Satan:

An angel smashes the shape-shifting witch:

Comment:  The ugly racism in this tract is obvious. I'll just point out some of the less obvious problems.

  • The name "Crazy Wolf" is blatantly prejudicial.

  • The traditional Navajos all have ugly or twisted features.

  • While some traditional Navajos may disapprove of Christian Navajos, the reverse is much more likely. Moreover, Christians have a history of forcibly converting Navajos to their religion, while traditional Navajos don't. In fact, on many if not most reservations, Christian Indians are a majority, not some poor, persecuted minority.

  • Some Navajos believe in witches and skinwalkers, but if they exist, they exist at the margins of Navajo religion. Chick is setting up a false dichotomy between saintly Christianity and witchy Navajo religion. He ignores the central Navajo beliefs that have nothing to do with snakes, corpse powder, spirit bodies, shape-shifting, etc. Presumably he can't demonize these beliefs because there's nothing unholy about them.

  • Incidentally, the "him" in John 1:3 refers to God, not Jesus. Chick the bigot can't even quote his own Bible correctly. The Navajo woman should've responded, "No, God created the sun. That's why we call him the Creator. Our religions agree on God's central role, though you're apparently too biased to realize it."

    The only good thing about this tract is that Chick has depicted the Navajo clothing, buildings, and landscapes with some accuracy. That may not be much, but it's better than most comic books and comic strips manage.

    For more on the subject, see "Primitive" Indian Religions.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Some Navajos believe in witches and skinwalkers, but if they exist, they exist at the margins of Navajo religion.
    The funny thing is that judging by the number of Fundamentalists who follow Jack Chick there are almost certainly many more Christians who believe in witches and skinwalkers than Navajos, or come to that all Native Americans put together.