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» October 17, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios

Macho! (MACH)

Macho! - Tract #054 (MACH)
Art by Fred Carter - © 1982 Chick Publications

Tract #054. Art by Fred Carter - © 1982 Chick Publications

Carlos thought Communism (Liberation Theology) would bring justice and equality. But he learned only Jesus can do that.

First Published: May 31, 2023


  Jessica   Anna   Boudreaux  







Page Index
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

o Introduction

JessicaJessica Macho! is one of those elusive tracts that has since been discontinued by Chick Publications and cannot currently be purchased (or even viewed) via their website... even as a part of one of their custom bulk specials. Rather curious given that the content of the tract, while rife with evidence of Chick’s typical Christian persecution complex and patented anti-Catholic conspiracy nuttery, does not contain any particularly egregious material and seems to mostly be on par with the sort of stuff you’d find in similar tracts such as The Poor Revolutionist or Fat Cats. Perhaps he felt that South American communism was fairly low on his list of priorities since the fall of Castro and he just never quite got around to managing a remaster before the reaper came to collect his dues? C'est la vie, I suppose.
AnnaAnna The reaper must be truly spoiling us in that case. A tract that hasn’t been dissected by the Union yet, and a rare specimen on top of that. *smirks* How felicitous. I’ll try to not get carried away in my delight and make proper incisions. *looks down inquisitively* But I do love new subjects on my table, especially live ones…


o Cover / Page 1

Cover / Page 1
AnnaAnna My, my, such a vibrant display! You must be positively seething in anger at having your home engulfed in flame. Pardon my presumption, but your face appears familiar to me. I must ask, are you seething because a child who has constantly troubled you over the years finally went too far, resulting in you reliving your past and wanting revenge?
BoudreauxBoudreaux For me he has kind of an angry Cheech Marin vibe.
JessicaJessica That’s for sure. The belching smoke in the background certainly doesn’t do much to dispel that impression either.


o Page 2

Page 2
AnnaAnna Curiously, you haven’t been captured yet by the rebels. While you have some protections via international humanitarian law, this assumes the rebels in this story actually care to follow said laws. Maybe the reason that the embassy fell is because of you betraying it, akin to Ephialtes.
JessicaJessica That news broadcaster looks like he’s having a really shitty day. Given the circumstances, I certainly can’t blame him. But he really should have thought about running a comb through his hair and maybe hitting himself with a little Ban under the arms before opting to go on camera.
BoudreauxBoudreaux This was clearly false even in 1982 when the tract was written. For instance, refer to the attempted rescue in Operation Eagle Claw. And negotiations happen all the time.
JessicaJessica Ooooohhhhh! The cowardly American government! Leaving its officials and service men to suffer and die at the hands of those barbarous Columbian(?) rebels! If only this unnamed country had more plentiful oil reserves, maybe the powers that be would have put a bit more effort into holding their ground.


o Page 3

Page 3
AnnaAnna Assuming those sequences of dots on the walls are meant to be bullet holes, the pattern is much too straight. Even if this were comparable to the Iraq War, where at least 250000 bullets were fired per kill, I doubt the associated bullet holes were this neat and uniform.

Thus, I must express my distaste that you and your rebels seem to be graduates of a certain Marksmanship Academy.
JessicaJessica Speaking of machine guns and bullet holes, chances are these insurgents originally got those guns from the very same people who their hostages currently work for. What goes around, comes around.


o Page 4

Page 4
AnnaAnna While there is a Catholic catechism detailing the concept of a ‘just war’,  it does not explicitly permit members of the Catholic clergy to participate in armed conflict, especially in the tract’s context of a rebellion to overthrow the US presence in a foreign country. And though there are typically exceptions, the actions of a few are not reflective of the entire group.

Though if you like, I can apply a similarly broad brush to your particular brand of Christianity and say that because of stories like these, perhaps you should be mindful of the beams in your own eyes.
BoudreauxBoudreaux While there are certainly plenty of crappy priests around, the fact that this one is an enthusiastic member of the revolutionaries seems a tad far fetched.
JessicaJessica Pshhh! That’s a bunch of hooey. Chick and his compatriots think Catholic priests regularly fornicated with nuns en masse and then suffocated the resulting babies before burying them in the tunnels running underneath and between their convents and monasteries. A priest being a bit overly militant would be positively milquetoast by their estimation.


o Page 5

Page 5
AnnaAnna *sighs dejectedly* How does that work in relation to the fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:12)? What about 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 or 1 John 2:13-14?

As for the single verse you quoted, you need the other verses (the whole chapter in fact) for context. In context, it’s about dealing with people in positions of religious power who engage in the sin of pride and self-exaltation and believe that their authority is not given to them by God and fail to do their task of leading others to God via appropriate teaching and not following the teachings themselves, showing the difference between outward and inward moral states within a person.
JessicaJessica Say it! Say UNCLE!!!!

Pretty much every single one of these rebels is a somewhat doughy hispanic man with a Gomez Addams pencil mustache. It makes it really difficult to tell them apart.

Dollars to doughnuts they’re all named “Carlos” as well.


o Page 6

Page 6
JessicaJessica You’re very macho, missionary! You have balls. I like balls.
AnnaAnna I do admit a degree of curiosity as to how you would interpret these verses from the Bible, which is generally considered the basis for the concept of ‘Christian Communism’? I’d love to ask the tract creators, but I sadly haven’t made much progress on mastering necromancy since the last dissection was on my table. *glances downward sadly*

That aside, I’m guessing you having “lots of guts” is due to surviving McCarthyism. Interesting... *begins to take notes detailing positions of scars and improperly healed bones, also cataloging the title drop*
BoudreauxBoudreaux And here we see that all the ‘evidence’ for the ‘facts’ in this tract originate from other Chick publications, which are all informed by one Alberto Rivera. To state that he is unreliable would be a gross understatement. Basically every detail of his life he has stated has been demonstrated to be false.


o Page 7

Page 7
AnnaAnna Should I point to this decree? And what of this criticism of socialism, made a few years after Marx had died? Let’s not forget Engels and Marx were not Christians, calling religion the ‘opium of the people’.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Note to Don’t get your information from anti-Semitic sources. Judaism is a religion and not a race. Marx’s parents were born Jewish, but converted to Christianity before Marx was born, and he was baptized in the Evangelical church. Engel's parents were Pietist Protestants and they raised their children in the faith. And as Anna points out, they soon abandoned the faith of their youth.

And of course the conversion was top secret, that absolves you of providing any proof. I mean, I could just as well claim that they were secretly lizard people, and it would have just as much legitimacy.
JessicaJessica Fabricating wild assertions and then simply claiming that the truth was suppressed is pretty much the foundational building blocks of just about every conspiracy theory ever posited. Of course, hucksters like Chick, Alberto, Todd, Schnoebelen, et. al. pretty much made a killing using that exact formula for decades.


o Page 8

Page 8
BoudreauxBoudreaux Again we see this asserted with no references. And actual historians do not agree.
AnnaAnna *smiles* Always wanted to use this in a dissection and I finally get a chance to…
JessicaJessica Given how frequently the Vatican was supposedly betrayed by Communists, you’d think they would have learned their lesson by now.


o Page 9

Page 9
JessicaJessica How, pray tell, could Jesus call the Vatican the “Mother of Harlots” when he died well before the Vatican even existed?

As I’ve said before, one surefire way to get people to convert to your religion is to call them “harlots”. Kill ‘em with kindness, Jack.
BoudreauxBoudreaux Unlike most of the Alberto hallucinations, identifying the Catholic Church with the Whore of Babylon is a fairly common Protestant anti-Catholic view. Revelation is so full of allegory that one can assign pretty much any meaning you want to it. Assuming John of Patmos intended this interpretation, it requires the acceptance that he was able to see Rome's dominance of the church centuries in the future, and he hasn't gotten anything else right. Mainstream theologians mostly assign Babylon to the pagan Roman empire. Though a convincing case can also be made for Jerusalem.

And why are we supposed to be afraid of Liberation Theology, which is "social concern for the poor and political liberation for oppressed peoples". Is it more Christian for them to remain poor and oppressed? One can criticize the results of implementation in cases, but that does not make the theology itself somehow evil.
AnnaAnna Looks like you didn’t learn from the last few verses I mentioned regarding helping the poor and needy that exist in the Bible. Let me demonstrate that the notion is a key aspect present in the Bible.


o Page 10

Page 10
BoudreauxBoudreaux Really? “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” Mark 10:25. Also “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21

And for the second panel, again the reference is a Chick publication. It is absurd. While some atheists like to claim Hitler was a Catholic, he was no more one than Marx was a Jew (neither was Hitler an atheist as some Christians claim). Albert Speer stated that Hitler said “You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” And much of the Nazi wealth was confiscated, first from the Jews, then from conquered nations. No Jesuit money was required. This is breathtaking in its contra-factual absurdity.
JessicaJessica “By twisting the gospel…” Oh, man are you throwing stones in a glass house here.
AnnaAnna Tsk tsk, looks like you need another demonstration showing how helping the poor and needy is part of the Bible which you also believe in.


o Page 11

Page 11
BoudreauxBoudreaux While post USSR has again become very religious, I see no evidence that they have any special relationship with the Vatican. If anything, John Paul II empathized more with Ukraine than with Russia.
JessicaJessica ”The Vatican will only back a winner!” Didn’t you literally just get done claiming the Vatican was supporting Hitler’s Reich? That must be why we’re all goose-stepping down main street and regularly holding book-burnings these days…

Actually… forget I said that. It hits just a little too close to home right now.
AnnaAnna *breathes deeply* My apologies, dear readers. I was caught up in my “demonstrations” for the tract’s logic. Now where were we? … *sighs disappointedly* I see...

I thought the Vatican were trying to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, which from what my sources tell me, is the prevailing denomination of Christianity in Russia. If there was such a conspiracy by the Vatican to destroy it, it’s faring pretty poorly.


o Page 12

Page 12
BoudreauxBoudreaux This two loyalties schtick was employed against John F Kennedy. He ended up being one of the US’s most popular presidents in history.

And those nuns and priests were sent to concentration camps because they opposed Nazism. This has been well documented. Again all this tract has is Alberto’s lies.
JessicaJessica Kennedy certainly did a lot for this country, but I strongly doubt he was one of Chick’s favorites.
AnnaAnna They conveniently ignored that Himmler had abandoned Catholicism in 1923-1924 and have basically tried to handwave away the persecution experienced by Catholics in Nazi Germany, especially the kind orchestrated and led by Himmler and the SS.


o Page 13

Page 13
AnnaAnna The Soviet Union was trying to ally themselves with the Vatican… by persecuting said allies. And not just the Catholics it seems. I’ll have to remember that when I want to make friends.
JessicaJessica Now Carlos is only referring to him as a priest as well. Looks like our hero is beginning to have an influence on him.


o Page 14

Page 14
BoudreauxBoudreaux Oh no, the sheer horror of peace rallies! How un-Christian!

France fell so quickly primarily because they were expecting to re-fight World War I. Blitzkrieg was something that they were unprepared for.
JessicaJessica As previously mentioned, this tract was originally released in 1982. It’s a darn good thing those Catholic Organizations** were so unsuccessful in getting everyone to turn in their handguns back then. It’s done a world of good for the country during the intervening decades.
AnnaAnna I am guessing you are referring to these specific addresses from the Catholic Church, once in 1963 and again in 1982. Notice how they are not addressed only to the United States, and are a call for a general disarmament of nuclear weapons? Aside from the United States, the Soviet Union and both of your respective allies either had or were working on developing nuclear weapons. So it applies to ALL of you.

And to add one additional cut, the stance of the Catholics in recent times on nuclear weapons is more aggressive now then back then.


o Page 15

Page 15
BoudreauxBoudreaux What happened to the reference associated with the asterisk? Regardless, it was more ethnic cleansing than anything to do with the Vatican.
AnnaAnna I admit I’m also curious about that as well. Where art thou, O missing Reference?
JessicaJessica This was far too early for him to have needed to provide a footnote mentioning the breakup of Yugoslavia, so what exactly he was going to point to with that is really anyone’s guess. I suppose they just didn’t have very good proofreaders back in those days.
AnnaAnna On topic, The Book of Revelation (since that’s my guess what you are referring to with the Last Days) was generally understood to be written in a period during the reign of Emperor Domitian in which Christians were suffering persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. And while it does contain details of events that have yet to occur, the primary purpose of the book itself was not to reveal contemporary or coming events.


o Page 16

Page 16
BoudreauxBoudreaux Considering that the US is overwhelmingly Protestant, this would be, let us say, challenging to actually pull off.
AnnaAnna I thought as much *rolls eyes*. The beast you refer to in Revelations 13:1-10 could more than likely be representative of the Roman Empire, who were believers of the Roman Pantheon. They were also busy persecuting Christians. Hence, it can be argued Revelation was written to help stymie the effects of Roman persecution at the time.
JessicaJessica But those Protestant pastors are phonies. Only a true Protestant would put sugar on his porridge!


o Page 17

Page 17
AnnaAnna Your first sentence on this page sounds incredibly asinine. And so you don’t plead ignorance, I’ll quote it to you:
“Like you, Carlos, Jesus HATES Religion!”

If Jesus hates religion, wouldn’t that mean by extension of your argument, he hates you as well? And while I’m here, I will also draw your attention to your own hypocrisy in judging others, as per Matthew 7:1-5.
JessicaJessica Once more… Roman Catholicism did not exist during the lifetime of Jesus. Also, the Book of Revelation isn’t exactly a word-for-word transcription of the direct words of Jesus. I’m pretty sure the drugged out author of that particular tome was actually referring to Babylon in that passage. I know you probably thought they are the same thing… but they aren’t.


o Page 18

Page 18
JessicaJessica “The occult side of the Vatican…” What the hell are you even talking about?
AnnaAnna *smirks* At least I can twist the knife more as they say...

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, of which there are two editions (a fundamentalist edition and an evangelical edition. Pick your poison - it makes little difference), Babylon, as referred to in the New Testament (which covers Revelation) is a symbolic reference to the Roman Empire at the time. Referring to the people who had been persecuting you for significant stretches of time via an alternate name can sometimes help reduce the severity on which they persecute you. Unless they figure out it’s about them, that is.


o Page 19

Page 19
BoudreauxBoudreaux All right, this makes my head hurt. Didn’t we just see in previous panels that redistribution of wealth was evil? I guess it is evil if people do it, but not if Jesus does it?
JessicaJessica He will reign from Jerusalem, controlling everything.” Oh, yes. An absolute, uncontested, world-wide theocracy led by an actual, literal blood god sounds like an absolute hoot… especially for all of the people who just so happen to not actually be Christian. Can’t fucking wait.
AnnaAnna Why do you care about the distribution of wealth if it’s the end of the world and it’s meaningless anyway? And to nitpick, but you refer to verses from Acts. As in Acts of the Apostles, with the Apostles being humans.

You spent time condemning other Christians who advocate for redistributing wealth to help those less fortunate, despite the concept being integral to the Bible. Based on your logic, you should be condemning the Apostles for their actions.
JessicaJessica Crime and corruption will not be allowed.” Because anyone who doesn’t immediately fall in line will just be instantly and absolutely obliterated. The best justice is always heavy-handed justice.


o Page 20

Page 20
AnnaAnna My, my. This melody, that sings of faith alone and without good works being the one true road to salvation? I am very disappointed that I must direct you to another melody, from your own primary reference text that sings differently, about how faith without good works is dead.
BoudreauxBoudreaux I must confess I am a bit confused by the whole Trinity thing. Jesus is seated next to his Father, yet they're also the same being? And we only see one Faceless Guy in Chick’s judgment panels.


o Page 21

Page 21
AnnaAnna And somehow, a raging inferno of that size went unnoticed, from when you stormed the embassy, got browbeaten by this random person and converted. That fire must be a truly courteous person, to stand and wait for the Talking Building™ to finish its conversation with Carlos.
JessicaJessica Seriously. They need to get the hell out of there pronto, or they’re both going to be meeting Jesus a heck of a lot sooner than either of them anticipated.


o Page 22

Page 22
AnnaAnna Considering the raging inferno shown on the prior page, and the absence of showing how they actually escaped or the fire ceasing so they can escape, I’m inclined to think that this page is depicting the hallucination experienced by the missionary caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation. If I may, I’ll quote Zelda from this particular scene for my sentiments about this particular outcome as they all lie dying...
JessicaJessica No! Not the embassy! IT BURNS!!!


o Conclusion

BoudreauxBoudreaux So ends our first dissection of a tract inspired by the mega anti-catholic conspiracy theory promulgated by Alberto Rivera, and whose lies were swallowed hook, line and sinker by Jack Chick. While the Catholic church is certainly subject to valid criticism, Alberto’s assertions are bat-shit crazy. There were eight comics and at least twelve tracts that were based on Alberto’s bile. And this one is relatively mild compared to some of the others.
AnnaAnna I was looking forward to reading a tract that to my knowledge, was out of print and considered lost. But alas, my hopes were raised for naught, as this tract is less a rare species and more a common species that is riddled with malignant neoplasms throughout. I would need more subjects to see whether this is present throughout all members of the species or not and to such levels of growth. But I can say that this was more lively than I expected in terms of narrative, so I guess there’s a silver lining. Even if the narrative itself is crudely held together by the thinnest of threads and frail justifications for its sentiments. 

Pity… it seems the subject has expired. I will take my leave and let the crows feast on what remains. May the world of dreams be most kind to you, dear readers. *curtsies, before turning and leaving*.


o Further Reading