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

Truth For Youth - Castaways. Comic #04. Art by Tim Todd - © 2004 Revival Fire

Castaways - Truth For Youth #04 (ABRT)
Art by Tim Todd - © 2004 Revival Fire Ministries

Using a nautical frame story that is certainly not based on any major motion picture, this tract tries to deal with the issue of abortion, but even the best intentions can't keep it afloat, leaving in its wake a trail of fridge logic, non-sequiters, and general nonsense.

First Published: April 10th, 2010


  Jessica   Andrew  




Page Index
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

o Page 1

Page 1
JessicaJessica Jackson Dawes and Rosa.... hmm... that seems strangely familiar... where have I heard that before?

Take note that these two lovebirds has an "intimate encounter" below deck, because although it is essential to the plot it is only mentioned in this one throw-away sentence and can come as something of a shock when the twist comes up circa Panel 6.
AndrewAndrew Yeah, it’s a rip-off on Titanic. Looks like we’ve changed the social positions of our two leads, though.


o Page 2

Page 2
JessicaJessica So they were on a school sponsored cruise and all but three of the passengers perish at sea. I think it's safe to say that school (whether public OR private) is completely and totally boned.
AndrewAndrew Well, maybe they shouldn’t have taken the boat into the south Pacific, or wherever they are supposed to be. But hey, if they can’t get marooned on a desert island, there’s no story!


o Page 3

Page 3
AndrewAndrew Well, that’s convenient. Daddy survived as well. But why was he at the prom? Are any other random people going to pop up before we’re done here?


o Page 4

Page 4
JessicaJessica They were on a cruise for their Junior Prom (???) and the ship sank and now they are on a deserted island. Where the hell was this cruise headed anyway?!? Are they in the Caribbean or something? Middle of the Pacific? I had a cruise for my high school GRADUATION and all it did was circle the harbor a few times. This school must have been loaded- which is a good thing, considering all the lawsuits from grieving families they're about to get slapped with.
AndrewAndrew I had the exact same thought. Hey, maybe it was some kind of private prom for the rich kids.

Well, now we’re heading straight into Swiss Family Robinson territory. We don’t have to worry about food or supplies, because stuff is washing up from the ship! Practical, useful stuff, like you find at proms. Because I know that what I want on prom night is canned vegetables- PARTY!

Somehow I think the best you’d get in that particular situation is an endless supply of punchbowls, stainless steel liquor flasks, and condoms, all coated with the desperation of the unpopular. Now, build a shelter out of that!
JessicaJessica A choice between reading a Bible, and the ingredients on the back of various containers over and over again. Personally I'd stick with the containers.
AndrewAndrew The Bible, another thing typically found at proms. Did the Gideons do the catering? I can’t decide if this is a group of debauched rich kids, or puritanical stuffed shirts.


o Page 5

Page 5
AndrewAndrew Oh, ok, here’s our retroactive justification for him being here. This thing sort of develops its plot on the fly, doesn’t it?


o Page 6

Page 6
JessicaJessica "It was the woman who was deceived.." Because naturally all women are inherently stupid. Good thing this bible brings people comfort. You're stuck on an island, your father is dying and now God is calling you an idiot. Man, you suck.
AndrewAndrew Oh snap, and from out of nowhere comes a plot twist.
JessicaJessica <GASP> The plot thickens!


o Page 7

Page 7
JessicaJessica Uh-huh... women just know. Menstruation can be affected by weight loss, stress, anxiety and a host of other things. But it can't be that, because women just know. By the way, did you know one in four women can misread a pregnancy test. They are easily deceived you know.
AndrewAndrew Yeah yeah, women “always know.” It couldn’t possibly be that the stress of living on a desert island combined with poor nutrition might be making her late.
JessicaJessica I said it before and I'll say it again... "WHHHAAARRR-GAAARRRBLE!!!!"

"You CANNOT bear my child!!!" I know they are trying to paint Jack as impulsive and unreasonable but he has a bit of a point here. Despite the face women have given birth unaided for thousands of years these are a couple of teenagers on an deserted island with no sanitation, medical supplies or antibiotics. They have no idea how long they'll be stranded here but I would think fetal health would also be a concern considering physical exertion, a constant diet of those coconuts he's carrying, exposure to the elements, etc. Things could go o.k. but assuming she doesn't miscarry she and the baby could die horrible, painful deaths on this godforsaken spit of land. So let's not break out the champagne and cigars just yet, shall we?
AndrewAndrew Oh, he’s got political ambitions! Dun Dun Dun. Like a little out-of-wedlock child ever hindered a thing like that!


o Page 8

Page 8
JessicaJessica Though it may not be readily apparent here we get another example of Rosa's extremely poor decision making skills. She's alone, on an island with the rich and affluent teenager who knocked her up. It isn't that hard to assume he clearly wouldn't want the kid under ideal conditions. After telling him what are your chances he won't just choke you to death and tell everyone you drowned once he's rescued? You may want to keep that little scrap of information to yourself for just a little bit.
AndrewAndrew Oh, such a terrible hypocrite. Derides her father for running an “abortion mill,” but seeks out his services. Tisk tisk.
JessicaJessica I have never heard anyone outside of a fundamentalist or a pro-life protester refer to Planned Parenthood as an "abortion mill."
AndrewAndrew I like to think that the “SNAP” is indicative of Jack’s mental state upon hearing the news. It’s the equivalent of Jack Chick’s “SOB.”


o Page 9

Page 9
JessicaJessica Ummm... what? "Hey, doc! I need you to get off your death bed to perform an abortion on your 16 year old daughter without tools or drugs!" These are two of the stupidest teenagers I've ever seen.
AndrewAndrew First, he says she can’t have a baby because it’s not in his long-term plan. Then he says if she wants a baby, “she’s on her own” (like he was going to give birth for her, or something?)
JessicaJessica And another brilliant move by Jack. "Just the three of us on this tiny island? I'll be better off on my own!!!"


o Page 10

Page 10
JessicaJessica <KOFF><KOFF> Must be the german spelling.
AndrewAndrew Ok, I don’t feel like dredging up the whole “fetus vs. infant” thing here, but don’t you think a guy who has apparently committed his entire life to providing abortions (because remember, you’re not a doctor who does abortions, you’re an “abortionist”) might actually be ok with his work, or at least see it as a service to desperate women? I know, I know, this is meant to be some sort of deathbed guilt thing. But still.
JessicaJessica "That's wonderful sweetheart--" And that's three for three. These people deserve each other.


o Page 11

Page 11
JessicaJessica "Daddy-- DON'T--!" "Oh, okay!" <gets up and does a little jig>
AndrewAndrew Ah yes, here it comes. He’s known, known all along that he’s a terrible terrible person, doing terrible terrible things, and he did it all why? Not for the money, if we can trust Jack’s word on the subject!

Also, here comes the dodgy science typical of such tracts. Facts don’t fit your position? Make up your own that better prove your point! It’s what Jesus would have done.
JessicaJessica "A baby's blood type often differs from her mother's..." So often in fact it occurs in less than 0.1% of pregnancies.

Fetal sex can be determined genetically at about 12 weeks and visually by ultrasound at about the same time. A lot of pregnancy tests can barely tell you you're pregnant in five days.


o Page 12

Page 12
JessicaJessica Fetuses don't display spontaneous movement until the ninth week. It's also unlikely a fetus can feel pain prior to 29 or 30 weeks. In the US, abortions are legal until around 24 weeks.

"Let me read to you from this bible. You won't believe what God thinks about you!"
AndrewAndrew “This Bible will assuage your crippling guilt!” Because that’s what the Bible is for, making you feel less guilty about yourself.


o Page 13

Page 13
AndrewAndrew Ah, here comes the chapter and verse numbers. We’ve clearly entered the “redemption” part of the narrative.


o Page 14

Page 14
AndrewAndrew “I’ve accepted the word of this book without question, so I know what I’m saying is true!” So I guess good thing for the plot it was a Bible that washed up from that prom ship, if she takes everything she reads literally. It’s one of those Star Trek things- the left behind book becomes the model for the whole society!
JessicaJessica Wonder how long she holds out before she finally breaks down and eats him...


o Page 15

Page 15
JessicaJessica "Eventually Jack did come back..." for some reason. He was off gathering food and building the signal fire that got them rescued. She buried her dad, then just sat there reading the bible.

Speaking of which, she must be pretty hearty to have been able to bury that guy all by herself. Digging a grave isn't as easy as you'd think. They typically use a backhoe.
AndrewAndrew Jack’s looking more and more like a grizzled arena-rocker. Maybe if this whole “rich boat builder” thing doesn’t take off he has a future on the touring circuit.
JessicaJessica "Oh, your dad died, huh? Bummer. You got any more coconuts?"


o Page 16

Page 16
JessicaJessica "Yeah, Rosa! You're unplanned pregnancy will destroy my rich and politically influential family! Just look at what happened to Sarah Palin!"
AndrewAndrew Yeah, again, I’m sure Jack’s family can cover this one up. And besides, it’s not like having lots of bastard children is an impediment to being rich and famous. Just look at the NBA!
JessicaJessica You're life is just beginning, Rosa... as an unwed teenage mother with no father or financial support. I guess it's a good the Lord's going to help you raise your bastard child. It doesn't look like you're going to get much help from Jack, here.


o Conclusion

AndrewAndrew Having a kid when you’re that age is one of those derailing events that few people recover from. Whatever you planned to do with your life- forget it. You’ll be working minimum wage jobs just to keep the kid fed. But hey, at least Rosa’s white and from a middle-class family. It should be possible to find decent medical care, caregivers, etc. (especially with the life insurance money from dear old daddy).

Now, if Rosa and Jack had been poor, without any resources, and had had an accident, then they’d be really S.O.L. Of course, it’s under those kinds of circumstances, after they realize they can’t possibly take care of a baby and probably after a lot of agonizing, that people decide to have abortions. At least in the U.S., women have that option.
JessicaJessica Though you know, her name was Rosa Devargas. I don't think it's readily apparent in the comic but I think she might be Hispanic. When you look at her next to Jack who is clearly white, she seems... not...

And again, her father was a doctor who (most likely) had a pretty nice life insurance plan. She couldn't have been that poor off. Unlike your average minority fourteen year old, living with one parent in the slums of Chicago. That's what most Pro-Lifers can't seem to understand. More often than not a simple medical procedure is infinitely better than any life a lot of the people seeking abortions can EVER provide for their children. Which can better be classified as "suffering?"


o Further Reading