Why is Mary Crying?

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» December 18, 2023
Not Another Religious Tract Dissection by Boolean Union Studios

 
Cover / Page 1
Why is Mary Crying?. Tract #082 (WHYI). Art by Jack Chick - © 1987 Chick Publications

Why is Mary Crying? - Tract #082 (WHYI)
Art by Jack Chick - © 1987 Chick Publications


First Published: December 17th, 2023


Devotion to Mary doesn't please her. It breaks her heart.

 
CommentatorsCommentators

  Anna   Boudreaux   John  

Anna

 

Boudreaux

 

John

 

 
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

BoudreauxBoudreaux This promises to be a rather different dissection from others we have done. The first part is ‘narrated’ by Mary, despite there only being a handful of verses about her in the Bible. This section concerns Chick’s issues with Catholic theology. The second part makes this one of several tracts (and comics) that were inspired by the extremely anti-Catholic conspiracy theories promulgated by Alberto Rivera, who claimed to be an ex-Jesuit priest.
   
JohnJohn Hello, everyone! I’m John, right, remember me?  I did the Dick back in the day, together with Jessica. For some reason beyond my understanding, they’ve asked me back for a second round. So, here I am! I’m sorry, everyone. 

So, to welcome me back, here’s a tract about why Catholics actually secretly worship demons. Fun!
   
AnnaAnna I welcome your return, as I would for any of those who came before in our history and were to return to dissections as part of the Boolean Union. As for the tract at hand…

This tract is not the only one that Chick has written as part of his meager attempts to demonise Catholics. Ones that come to mind include the Death Cookie, in which he tries to explain that they believe in a 'wafer god', Are Roman Catholics Christians, in which he essentially implies they are not Christians due to differences in belief, and Mama’s Girls, where he details how the Catholic Church is responsible for things like Islam, Communism, Masonry and Nazism as part of a plot to take over the world. Given the number of tracts written by Chick that target Catholicism, as well as the general nature of his work, my latent curiosity as to how he demonises the reverence of Mary is tempered by the fact that more likely than not, it will be a series of irrational and barely coherent arguments that attempts to indict Catholics as demon worshippers. As to why, my personal guess is that the Catholics have more devout believers and he got jealous of their numbers.

 

o Cover / Page 1

Cover / Page 1
 
JohnJohn Fun fact: The cover image is that of a Mary statue at Notre Dame de la Salette.
   
AnnaAnna I find it interesting that it is used as the cover image so that Chick can try to push his narrative. To my knowledge, Mary did cry when she saw her son being crucified. I cannot think of many mothers who would not cry if they saw their children being crucified in front of their eyes. We had better move on though - I am getting numerous cries of anguish from the departed who lost loved ones to this very method, and it may result in me wanting to repay the gesture in kind to certain people...

 

o Page 2

Page 2
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux As alluded to in the introduction, there is only a tiny amount of coverage of Mary in the Bible (with the Isaiah one being questionable, more on this later) so ascribing any opinions to her is taking a huge amount of artistic license. And her depiction is more in line with religious iconography than what one would reasonably expect of a first century Palestinian Jew.
   
AnnaAnna This is but one of the most basic aspects in attacking a perceived opponent via imagery. The choice by Chick to draw Mary that appears similar to religious iconography (especially that of the Catholics) and make a point about how she is crying because of them serves to point the finger and blame them for making her sad. I’d rather think that the reason she is crying is because her ideals and purpose are being twisted and corrupted by you, Chick.

 

o Page 3

Page 3
 
JohnJohn They have not done what she asked them to do.” They still haven’t brought her the burgers and fries she ordered 250 years ago
   
AnnaAnna It must be nice to have numerous people celebrating your arrival, praising your name and asking you to help intercede before God. All I get are sideways glances, and people being unnerved by my presence.
   
BoudreauxBoudreaux Looking at the scant Bible verses about Mary, what exactly did she ask them to do? Notice that Chick, who loves including verse references, adds none here. The statue in the second version is the Virgen del Carmen in Spain.

 

o Page 4

Page 4
 
JohnJohn If you think about it, she was committing adultery. The fact that she did so with the Holy Spirit doesn’t change that.
 
AnnaAnna If I recall correctly, when Joseph found out she was to bear child despite him not “knowing” her, he also was about to divorce her secretly, until an angel had to explain to Joseph that his virgin wife Mary is having a child who is the Son of God as a result of a miracle by God. Would this intervention by an angel not also apply to dealing with the law, in that the angel could appear if the law tried to convict her of adultery and simply state it was by the will of God that Mary fell pregnant without "knowing" her husband? Or any man for that matter?
   
BoudreauxBoudreaux Recall the previous mention of Isaiah 7:14 as referring to Mary. There is good evidence that Mary being a virgin is a mistranslation of the original Hebrew word into Greek. Since this was pointed out well before the time the Gospels were written, one is driven to speculate as to why the Gospels determined that she must be a virgin. And while we are talking about poor mapping to prophecy, Isaiah says he shall be named Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’. This is not the same as Yeshua (Jesus’s name in Hebrew) which means ‘to deliver’.

 

o Page 5

Page 5
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Is it just me, or does that angel look just a bit sketchy? And what exactly was the “cost”?
   
AnnaAnna It is not just you. And given his appearance, I am reminded of one of the most common tropes that exists in media, the trope that ‘sketchy’ things are usually evil. I do admit that the thought is a pleasant one to me, that Chick honestly believed anything to do with Mary was evil, even when she was simply being asked by God to be the handmaiden of Jesus. I will stretch this a bit further and say that as Chick was never chosen by God to do anything monumental or equivalent, his jealousy is showing once more.

 

o Page 6

Page 6
 
JohnJohn See this, Christians? When was the last time you brought even one turtledove as a sacrifice? You’ve all been slacking off.
   
AnnaAnna Assuming that I have the correct animal, they are currently vulnerable to extinction, which makes me unhappy. And while I can think of quite a wide array of humans that I would trade in place of the birds, I am beholden to at least provide a chance to the people to justify their continued lives. A kindness that was not afforded to the birds unfortunately when they were rendered vulnerable to extinction as the result of multiple factors tied to humanity.
   
BoudreauxBoudreaux The KJV of Luke 1:46-47 is “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Sounds to me like she is stating that God is already her ‘saviour’.

 

o Page 7

Page 7
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux More mediocre artwork, at first I thought Simeon was holding a log.
   
AnnaAnna Is this not meant to be a reference to the ministry of Christ (including His crucifixion) affecting the Israelites and the ‘sword’ piercing Mary’s soul is the grief that she experiences witnessing her son being crucified? I get the impression that Chick has chosen to take some interpretive flexibility with the verse, its meaning and how it relates to the veneration of Mary.

 

o Page 8

Page 8
 
JohnJohn Gimme a T!
   
BoudreauxBoudreaux Note the phrase “as a sacrifice for the whole world”. Chick doesn’t really mean this, he means only Christians who profess faith in Jesus in exactly the ‘right’ way. Yet four out of the six early Christian schools believed in universal salvation, and took this phrase quite literally.
   
AnnaAnna To my knowledge, of the three currently major denominations of Christianity (those being Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox), both the Catholics and Orthodox do not believe in universal salvation (that being Hell is temporary and all souls go to God irrespective of whether they repent or not). Kind of paints a picture when both Catholics and Orthodox share a common belief whereas the Protestants (of which there are at least seven different major groups) are conflicted about whether universal salvation is correct or not (among other debates about doctrine and key concepts, like communion, whether children go to Hell, baptism and so on). Especially those that belong in the ‘independent Baptist’ parts of Protestants, such as Chick.

The mere fact that your group is in the minority just continues to further my view that Chick was jealous of the numbers of adherents other groups (such as the Catholics) have and started a smear campaign under the facade of ‘tracts’. Case in point, the one that we are reading.

 

o Page 9

Page 9
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux There is no Biblical rationale for this claim.
   
AnnaAnna This is Chick we are talking about, Boudreaux. As far as he is concerned, twisting the Bible to push a misguided agenda full of distorted truths and conspiracies is what is essentially the second step in developing these ‘tracts’. The first step being ‘what topic to pick’.
   
JohnJohn It’s a well-known fact that, when interpreting the Bible, actually reading the Bible would only get in the way.

 

o Page 10

Page 10
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux So God is omniscient, right? Mary, being in his presence, surely would know this. So what is the point of her complaint here? I know Chick is not terribly logical, but none of this makes sense as a narrative.

The statue is of Our Lady of Fatima in St Peter's Square, being blessed by the Pope.
   
JohnJohn And I mean, I don’t know if Chick knew this, but Catholics do worship God (shocker, I know). They honor Mary, in the same way Chick may have honored John the Baptist.
   
AnnaAnna I genuinely think Chick would not have given John the Baptist any respect beyond a token minimum. After all, the idea of saints (such as John the Baptist and others) according to Chick is that they are a force of evil.

 

o Page 11

Page 11
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux  Going to call foul on this one. There are four instances in Scripture where Mary is described as mother of Jesus or mother of our lord (Luke 1:44, John 2:1, John 2:3 and Acts 1:14). If Jesus is God (according to the trinity which Chick ascribes to) then it is splitting hairs to claim that Mary is not the mother of God per their theology.
   
AnnaAnna Even if you were not there at the time God created the universe, you do realise that the title ‘Mother of God’ is technically accurate? You are the mother of Jesus, who you believe is also God. Or does Mary being the 'chosen vessel' and giving birth to her son (God in human form a.k.a. Jesus) not count as being His mother?

 

o Page 12

Page 12
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux This is indeed the teaching of the Catholic church, and was prevalent even before the Roman school became the Catholic church hundreds of years later. However this is hardly unique to Catholicism as Chick is implying, as Martin Luther kept it in Protestantism. And what is that thing on the cross? I get that the Roman soldier has a cloak, but he looks vaguely octopoid. Artwork is really slipping here.
   
AnnaAnna This also does not delve into the circumstances surrounding the birth of Mary, whether she was born via immaculate conception or not, and the definitions of original sin that you are working from. And disclaimer before I am accused of unfairness, I can see that in a twenty-two page booklet, you do not have that much space to fit the most in-depth arguments to push your agenda. But since you are aiming to attack what is a core aspect of Catholicism (and of some importance to various other Christians that do not believe your teachings), either provide something substantial as a point or do not try at all.

 

o Page 13

Page 13
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux This is a split between Catholicism and Protestantism, as Luther denied Mary’s role as an intercessor, at least later in his writings.
   
AnnaAnna *sighs deeply* Perhaps you should read them carefully and in full. You are missing the first four verses from Timothy that give context. *smirks* So that you do not forget about them again, let me simply ‘pin’ them into your arms and legs for you.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Now how are we to interpret this? Is this not Paul asking for Christians to pray for ‘all men’ that they might be saved? Could you perhaps say that Paul is asking Christians to ‘intercede’ via prayer, noting that their intercession is not independent of Christ as mediator? Or would this mean based on your view, that Christians praying for ‘all men’ is useless and means nothing? Do you see how perhaps Mary could be considered an intercessor?

 

o Page 14

Page 14
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Hang on, we are about to go down the rabbit hole…
   
AnnaAnna So far, what I have read from you is untrue, mis-informative, fear-mongering lies, twisting the Bible to get people to believe your drivel. And I will read the pages carefully, if only that I may find weaknesses in which to add further pins and needles to you. And yes, that includes the feeling of them being driven under your fingernails and in your eyes.
   
JohnJohn Mary cannot intercede for me? She’s his mother! Just tell her he won’t let the other kids play on the swings, or he’s been bullying humanity with plagues again, she’ll be sure to ground him for 3 eternities! Then we’ll see if she can’t intercede.

 

o Page 15

Page 15
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux And…. here we are. The rest of the tract is mostly based on the imaginings of Alberto Rivera, and on the writers who he cribbed from. To say that this is unmoored from either the Bible or known history, is to put it mildly. If you want to read this in far more detail, it is spelled out in the Chick comic The Force (though frankly I don’t recommend it!).

The Wikipedia article on Semiramis is a good start. Note nothing about being a virgin, and her traditional spouses were Onnes and Ninus. Identifying Ninus as Nimrod is controversial. Of course none of this has anything to do with Satan.

And what is with Chick (though this probably comes from Carter originally) putting a huge phallic horn on Nimrod's forehead?
   
AnnaAnna I am also aware that ‘nimrod’ has a slang definition of ‘idiot’, something that may very well apply to Chick.

As for Semiramis, it is very possible that the myths and legends of her being a witch come from sources who were defeated in military campaigns when she ruled. It reminds me of how the Romans would call the Jewish and Christian people ‘heathens’ and their views of non-Romans for things like sacrifice.
   
JohnJohn It strikes me how incredibly weak this God character is. He devises this ultra complicated plan with incarnation and sacrifice so that none shall perish, but have eternal life, and it’s severely crippled by Satan going, “y’know, the woman who birthed our Lord and Saviour was pretty swell too.”

 

o Page 16

Page 16
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux More nonfactual imaginings. There is no evidence that priestly celibacy can be traced back to Semiramis and/or Nimrod. Same with the Nimrod and Tammuz association. Ditto for the Tammuz/Baal link. This again is lifted from that 19th century dreck, The Two Babylons. Linking a bunch of deities from different cultures together is useful if one wants to create a conspiracy, but not if one cares about historicity. There are many examples of cultures borrowing deities, but the consensus is that Hislop, who wrote The Two Babylons, did not make his case for those claims.

Priestly celibacy was a relatively late tradition, even in the Roman school, so the claims of ancient provenance are specious.
   
AnnaAnna *sigh* Nonfactual imaginings aside, that is one interesting fire pit. A pity to see it used in such a manner, particularly with how disinterested the figure seems about throwing a child into it the way you would throw a burlap sack full of potatoes. It would be a much better fit if it were used to pour acid or lava from the mouth of the snake as part of dealing with unsavoury types, including those who deal in fear-mongering and fabrications to push a narrative that they are condemned to the fiery pits of Hell if they do not follow a very specific set of teachings. Alas, I can only dream, but it will be such a sweet dream…

 

o Page 17

Page 17
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Satan must have gotten busy very early on, it seems, long before Babylon. Fertility was critical for the survival of hunter gatherers, whose survival required a high birth rate to counter the high death rate. Arguably the first religious figures we have date back to Venus sculptures at least 35,000 years old (which predates the creation of the universe by 29,000 years according to Chick). And it bears repeating that mother goddesses of different religions have very different characteristics.
   
AnnaAnna My contribution will not be as informative I think, but let us see. Why is The Madonna in brackets all by itself? If you are using it as a title, it would be fine without the brackets. And I feel somewhat sad that in the examples Chick provided, you have a named mother and child, except in the case of Indrani, whose child is simply called Child.

As for Satan, he is not safe from my contribution either. Namely, if the goal is to establish a religion that counters God, why would you go to all this trouble to make multiple different religions with this much variance between them and their beliefs? Why not just have the focal point of your planned religion be about yourself, and if you really want to have the whole Divine Mother and Child aspect, have it be that the mother is Lilith and the child is the Antichrist. I get that you might have needed a plan after God scrambled the languages as a way to punish the people of Babel for building a tower, but you could have still kept a central theme involving yourself and Lilith without going to unneeded effort in having numerous difference depictions.

 

o Page 18

Page 18
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Here we see The Two Babylons directly referenced. Any claim in that book needs to be taken with more than a single grain of salt.
   
AnnaAnna  I will simply leave this article here that delves into how poor the methodology of that book is. That “book” is predominantly composed of numerous misconceptions, fabrications, logical fallacies, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and grave factual errors. I consider it an abomination of credibility, and dare I say, has the credibility equivalent of that article written in the Lancet by Andrew Wakefield.
   
JohnJohn Oh, so these wildly random gods and goddesses have something in common with the ancient Babylonian religion (though I have no clue how Venus and Jupiter fit into this) and therefore something something Satan…

Can we talk about how Jesus is clearly based on various older religions? I believe Osiris was the one who took on the form of man, only to then die on the cross for our sins.

 

o Page 19

Page 19
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux 300 AD is a bit early for the start of Roman Catholicism. The Roman school didn’t really become completely dominant until around the 6th century. And the veneration of Mary dates back to the very earliest days of Christianity, well before then. Yes the Catholic church gradually subsumed pagan traditions, but there was no need to do this in the case of Mary.
   
AnnaAnna Depending on who you ask, you can use the Great Schism as a reference point for when Roman Catholicism was likely to have come into being as you know it today. Before the Schism, they were existing mostly as ‘Christians’, barring the occasional differences for cultural reasons (such as language).

 

o Page 20

Page 20
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux More cherry picking. One can find many examples of ‘angry Jesus’ in the Bible, as some Christians are fond of pointing out. Here are some examples. You can get whatever you are looking for in the Bible, you can get angry Jesus or loving Jesus, whichever suits your predisposition.
   
JohnJohn Again, she’s his mother. Do you know how many fights I’ve avoided by threatening the angry person with calling their mother?
   
AnnaAnna Actually, the ‘Mother of God’ is the same Mary. After all, the Mary from the Bible was technically the Mother of Jesus, who was and is God. Queen of Heaven is an honorific title as Mary is often considered above other saints but is still only venerated and asked to intercede in asking God to have mercy and save. Must I repeat my question from earlier about what is considered intercession? Perhaps I should levy the accusation that since you take such issue with intercession and love to attack those who do not share your beliefs, you are one of ‘those’ Christians, the ones who would see a man or woman, destitute and starving on the streets (or perhaps a person battered and bruised due to being robbed), and instead of helping them by giving them food and aid respectively, you would either say “Jesus is with you” and just keep walking, or try to avoid them. Which makes me think that you are akin to the goats at the left hand of God.

 

o Page 21

Page 21
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Mary is indeed revered in Islam. The rest of this panel is the fever dreams of Rivera and Chick. And note the gratuitous depiction of Semiramis as Mary is often depicted in Catholic iconography. There is an implied dig that Mary wears a crown, yet Chick often talks about earning crowns in Heaven.
   
AnnaAnna Boudreaux, you are far too kind. The dig at those who revere Mary is all but implied. Words like ‘revere’ and ‘intercede’ are somewhat different from ‘worship’, if the definitions are anything to go from. But I guess according to Chick, if people do not believe exactly what you believe, it is perfectly fine to attack a core aspect of their belief. Sort of like if someone was to accidentally bump into you while you are walking down the street, and despite their apologies, you follow them to their home and burn it to the ground.

And on topic, “New Agers” is such a broad term, kind of like if I were to say that Protestants are often conflicted about what the Bible says as a result of their very history, fractured nature, lack of cohesion and conflicting views and are likely to continue to fragment into several splinter groups that do more harm than good. It is not such a nice brush to paint with, now is it?

 

o Page 22

Page 22
 
BoudreauxBoudreaux Another specious claim. What Catholics believe, from a Catholic source.
   
JohnJohn Come to think of it… did Jesus ever say people should pray to him, rather than God? Sure, “none can come unto the father but through me”, but that’s not completely the same thing. So what if, by praying to Jesus, rather than to God in Jesus’ name, you commit the exact same thing as Chick thinks Catholics are doing? And in doing so, I suppose, you’re condemning yourself to Hell?

I dunno, maybe something to think about.
   
AnnaAnna I see you could not go without trying to claim that the Catholics are referenced in Revelation, and in your mind, probably as The Whore of Babylon. *sighs deeply*

At the time Revelation was written, the harlot from Revelations 17:18 was possibly a reference to Jerusalem (where Jesus was crucified) and the Beast (Revelations 17:9) would have possibly been a reference to the Roman Empire. The seven hills could have been a reference to the seven emperors of Rome, the sixth of which was either Nero or Domitian. Without delving much further into the theology of the Bible and associated verses, I would pose a more ‘logical’ question for you:

Near as I am aware, the Book of Revelation was considered canon and included into the Bible before the Great Schism that resulted in the separation between the Western and Eastern denominations of Christianity (i.e. Catholics and Orthodox). Protestants are an offshoot of Catholicism following the actions of Martin Luther. For the sake of argument, suppose you are correct that the Book of Revelation talks about Catholicism being the Whore of Babylon and whatnot. Why would the Catholic Church keep it in the copies of the Bible they developed and used throughout history after the Schism? After all, it essentially calls them evil (based on your view), so why would they keep self-slander in their primary reference text? That seems incredibly asinine.

 

o Conclusion

BoudreauxBoudreaux As an anti-Catholic screed, this one is pretty mild by Chick Publications standards. You need to read the Alberto comics to get the full range of the nuttiness he espouses. There is certainly plenty to criticize the Catholic church for. Historically: religious persecution, religious wars (most notably the Crusades), the Inquisition, opposition to scientific discoveries, and much else. And most recently, the widespread clerical sex abuse scandal and its subsequent cover-up (and even as recent as a few years ago, Francis pushed back on media reports), which will have continual ongoing impact. Then there is the cozying up to far right extremists amongst some groups. But this tract is largely based on falsehoods, originating in an odious nineteenth century anti-Catholic tract, and given more recent publicity by Alberto Rivera and Chick. What is actually factual in it is not all that central to the core dogma of Christianity. But then actual wars have been fought over for far less.
   
JohnJohn As Boudreaux said, this is mid-tier insanity compared to some other anti-catholic tracts. Maybe next time we’ll read one of those where Chick directly blames the catholic church for Communism, Islam, the assassination of Lincoln and Kennedy, and maybe why toast falls butter side down while he’s at it!

But before that, I’ve been told we’re doing one about how Nazism is bad m’kay. What else is left to say, but… Merry Saturnalia, and Baphomet bless us, everyone!
   
AnnaAnna While there may be plenty to criticise the Catholic Church for, I was right in my initial guess that the arguments made by Chick would be little more than a series of barely coherent arguments. Indeed, the amount of stretching done to somehow link Mary to seemingly every supposed 'Mother' deity under the sun, and the use of a poor reference text (The Two Babylons) simply shows how twisted the beliefs Chick held are. Yet, I am aware that this set of beliefs is far more common than I would like, and I hope that my vision of a future where this is the popular and majority view was false and never comes to pass.

With respect to the upcoming holiday season, whatever you celebrate, I genuinely hope that they will be enjoyable for you, dear readers. As for myself, I am expecting my holiday period to be the same as every other year and day; weeping and lamenting for humanity over the broken and shattered altar that is life. Though sometimes, I do get called to facilitate the wayward having time with loved ones and getting to experience some joy and happiness.

Until the next dissection that I am involved in, whenever that may be, I hope that the roads you may travel on in life and in the land of dreams will be smooth and not filled with perils, dear readers. *curtseys, before turning and leaving*

 

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