Not Another Religious Tract Dissection


Today's Candidate:


The Truth About Pluralism

The Narrow Way

 

The Truth for Youth
© Revival Fires International - 2002

Uploaded January 29th, 2018



Tommy, Angelique and Rashad are attending the funeral of the recently departed friend Dylan. They are greatly troubled by the plethora of different religions they see on display at the service and use the opportunity to attempt to correct Chill and their science teacher Mr. Witski.


Panel Index
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | Conclusion


Panel 1
Cate:

Tim Todd's "Truth for Youth," comics have always come across as less mean spirited than Chick's work. Admittedly, that's damningly (heh) faint praise, but one got the sense that Todd at least had enough PR savvy, if not scruples, to avoid being quite as offensive as Chick: if Chick had done, say, "Wasted Words," the bratty little brother, after the leaving the concert, probably would have been killed by Satanists and gone to hell or something.  Meanwhile, one of the Satanists would find a tract and get saved.  Cue Faceless God. Since Jack Chick's death, however, Tim Todd apparently decided he could kick it up a notch.  While (sadly) no Faceless Manga God makes an appearance, this tract is as tasteless and mean spirited as anything (short of Lisa) that Jack ever did.

 

Jessica:

I am all for ecumenicalism, but I find it very hard to swallow that ANY church would so freely display all of those multi-cultural symbols next to the cross like that.

 

Cate:

Yeah.  At all my relatives' funerals, we always made sure to pick out the most sullen, unflattering photos we had and talk about all the ways they fucked up their lives.  It's what they would've wanted.

Also, what's with the jab at cremation?

Ah yes.  God forbid (heh) people coexist.  Clearly, religious warfare is far better.

 

   

Panel 2 Cate:

Religious tolerance will make your child a drug addict.  Got it.  But, wait...what about Tim Todd's alleged life of debauchery?

Who the fuck are these dudes?

"Big Bro-ster in the sky, bro!"  Tim Todd is clearly down with his fellow kids.

Guys, how about you save the trash-talk for after the funeral?

 

Jessica:

It would have been far less offensive if they had set this at a regular old church service instead of a funeral. But I suppose they needed a reason for all of our "heroes" to be present at such a secular function in the first place.

 

   
   

Panel 3 Cate:

I do not know of any religious tradition that teaches you want to be reincarnated so as to avoid the afterlife.  Not saying it's impossible, but I'm not inclined to give Tim Todd the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of, what religious tradition is this supposed to be, anyway?

Listen, you little fucks, maybe, just maybe, Dylan's funeral isn't about you.

 

Jessica:

And all of the attendees just march in and out of the church on command like a giant game of musical chairs.

 

Cate:

Holy shit, I didn’t even realize it. Maybe this is the one true church if they can cause congregations to teleport.

 

   
   

Panel 4 Cate:

And Christianity also teaches that one "must be born again."  I'm sorry.   I just can't take this seriously.  Why the fuck would this guy care?  For one thing, his nephew just died.  I think that would be of greater concern that what these two fuckwits think about theology.

 

Jessica:

Umm... they have a gigantic cross hanging as their center-piece over the altar. I'd say that biblical Christianity in thrown into the mix at least a little bit. Just because they aren't giving complete deference to your beliefs doesn't mean that they don't believe any of it.

 

   
   

Panel 5

Cate:

As much as Tim Todd clearly wants us to hate this "Bro" character, I hate Tim Todd even more for inflicting him on us.

 

Jessica:

"Oh, hey, it's our science teacher..." What a completely non-plussed way of introducing a character out of the blue.

 

Cate:

Oh dear God, I just realized: This is supposed to be some sort of reunion comic. We have Angelique from "Born That Way," Tommy and Mr. Witski from "Bibles Not Bullets," and Rashad from "Someone's Making A Monkey Out of You."  Why?  Was there really a demand for this?  I'm kind of disappointed the dead kid isn't Benny, corrupted forever from attending that Madonna Dahmer concert...

 

   

Panel 6 Cate:

I'm sorry, but I keep coming back to this: WHY ARE THEY HAVING THIS DEBATE AT A FUNERAL?!?

 

Jessica:

Chill... just shut the fuck up.

 

   
   

Panel 7 Cate:

So, one religion says one thing, another religion says this other thing...why should I buy one over the other?

And also, a yam is probably more enlightened than these eejits.

 

Jessica:

I'll say, so now Yoga is one of the "teachings of demons?" Is this 1690's Salem or something?

 

Cate:

Actually, at least in the south, you get a fair number of people worried that yoga is “unchristian,” if not in the demonic realm of, say, Ouiji Boards (or D&D…)  Actually, some people seem to worry about that for anything “Eastern”- I pass a “Christian Martial Arts” place on my way to school.  It’s weird.

 

   

Panel 8 Cate:

"It's not hate!  It's just a massive superiority complex and total indifference to a grieving family!"

 

Jessica:

No, seriously Chill. Shut the FUCK UP!

 

   
   
   

Panel 9 Cate:

I know we're supposed to see this guy Chill as an ignorant asshat, and he is - but he's still vastly superior to our protagonists.

 

Jessica:

Dylan certainly did have quite a diverse family, I'll give him that. Are all of these various nationalities related to him by blood or marriage?

 

Cate:

Is that guy in a far right a yodeler?  Is yodeling demonic?

 

   
   

Panel 10 Cate:

I feel like, "I've been listening to what you all said, and you should know THAT THIS IS A FUNERAL, NOT DEBATE CLUB, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP," is a far more likely response than "Let me join in!"  Seriously, presumably Dylan was a friend of some sort, unless these guys normally go to funerals and pull this shit, so you'd think that they would be a bit more torn up over his death.  But apparently that's all secondary to metaphysical one-up-manship.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 11 Cate:

I think she's turning into one of the Greys...

 

Jessica:

The art style has taken a serious dip in quality compared to the other Truth for Youth comics. That may explain why it took you so long to recognize the characters from the other comics. They look almost nothing like themselves.

 

   
   

Panel 12 Cate:

I don't know anyone who makes that argument. People might agree or believe that there is truth in all religions, but that's more of a picking and choosing thing, or dealing in very general terms ("Jesus said be nice to people.  So did Buddha," etc.)  than "THEY'RE ALL TRUE, THERE ARE NO CONTRADICTIONS, BELIEVE THEM ALL!" which is what is being endorsed here.

 

   
   
   
   
   
   

Panel 13 Cate:

Why would "All religions are true" be a "bro-tastrophe" for Christianity?  I mean, it certainly be a catastrophe for logic, but when has Tim Todd cared about that?

 

Jessica:

Because their brand of Christianity isn't satisfied with being a successful or even dominant religious presence, they have to be the ONLY religion. Nothing less will do for these morons.

 

   
   
   

Panel 14 Cate:

So Lewis' Trilemma can be thoroughly disregarded - see here - but let's ignore that for a moment and just focus on how utterly brainwashed everyone looks. Any second now they're going to start speaking in unison.

 

Jessica:

Yes, all of this religious babble and talk about demons and having these kids staring at me with those faces would send me running for the hills.

 

   
   

Panel 15 Cate:

So, per their religious beliefs, Dylan is now being tortured for all eternity in hell.  But who has time to worry about that when you can harass grieving relatives and be offended that other people have the temacity to have different religious beliefs!  Actually, if these shits are going to heaven, perhaps Dylan is the lucky one.

Also, Jesus is bigger than the cross.  Meaningful Artistic Statement or just shitty drawing?  You decide.

 

   
   

Conclusion
Cate:

This tract pissed me off.  How did Tim Todd and Co. think that anything in here would make Christianity look appealing?  I mean, even if you believe that any deviation from fundie Christianity is a one way ticket to the Lake-O-Fire, surely most people would have enough sense and empathy to not spout off at the funeral of a person who clearly did not share those beliefs.  So if the point of this comic was to portray Christians as insensitive asshats - well done, Tim Todd.  Well done.

 

   
   
   

 
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Last Modified: January 29, 2018

 

 

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