It’s an often quoted passage from an ancient Jewish text used to add justification to opposition to the homosexual lifestyle:

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”

Leviticus 20:13

Seen in ancient times, one would scarcely cringe at it. In 2007, only the most ardent psychopathic Biblical loon could embrace it.

But why? If the Bible is the inerrant word of God than shouldn’t followers gather wheelbarrows of stones and march down to the nearby strip looking for effeminate men or butch women to hurl them at? I mean, after all, it’s in the Bible so it can’t be wrong.

I’m being facetious of course. I am not a fundamentalist and would never advocate stoning anybody. Interestingly, Christ, in pardoning an adulterous woman seemed to have put God’s indellible stamp of disaproval on the whole act of summarily executing people for their sins.

Rather than saying I have the answer to the homosexual question, I can only ask this question: whose sins are greatest? In the past month I’ve done things that would certainly be shunned by those who’ve written the Old Testament, and perhaps God himself. I’ve been guilty of premarital relations and of sexual intercourse. Should not then I be put to death with stones? I’m sure that could be discerned somewhere between Genesis and Malachi?

I guess my point in writing this is that religion seems to me to be a great force for change but also a greater force for alienation. It can be the justification for all types of evil behavior and self-righteous violence. Scripture, which to me is not inerrant, can be used to justify all types of foulness including the death penalty, child abuse and perhaps even abortion.

That doesn’t mean sin doesn’t exist. It’s something we struggle with. Certainly one must imagine that such a thing as sin exists as we can feel it’s detriment on our interpersonal relationships, body and soul. That said, if the God of Jesus is a God of love and forgiveness, there’s no need for humans to take up the stone. They have one Judge who is God.

I suspect that if there ever were a Biblical Fundamentalist Christian state it would be something like that of the earliest settlers to the shores of New England or, more recently, the Taliban. I think even the most ardent Bible thumper can agree that’s not really something we want.

I love reading Jack Chick’s comics. They have always been a source of inspiration and humor for me. Being a Roman Catholic, I certainly don’t agree with Chick’s fundamentalist version of Christianity (in Chick’s view I’ll be in hell unless I convert), but I do enjoy reading and collecting his comics, which are distributed by various churches and sidewalk evangelists.

An Albanian translation of Chick's seminal This Was Your Life

When I lived in Boston and went to Emerson College, there was a mentally disturbed guy (he was mentally disturbed, not simply on fire with the love of Christ) who used to stand outside of the main building on 80 Boylston with an End is Nigh sandwich board, proclaiming God’s Kingdom. He carried the tracts, which depending on how you order, range from about .10-.30 cents a pop.

That was my first introduction to the Chick tract, I think.

In the hot and sweaty summer of 2001, after moving to Brooklyn, my roommate and I would collect them, usually from subway trains, although there was a magazine store that sold them for irony value somewhere on the Lower East Side.

It was at See Here, the store, that I was introduced to some of the finest works in Jack Chick’s cannon: Death Cookie, Dark Dungeons, Reverend Wonderful, and Where’s Rabbi Waxman to name a few. No longer did I have to wait to be prostelityzed to, but could purchase them and so I did.

I’ll share with you some of my favorite Chick Tracts and I’d like to start with Doomtown.

Doomtown is of course a statement on homosexuality and if a fundamentalist cartoonist was going to get his point across, there’s no better way than this one, with it’s over-the-top (I suppose depending on where you live) depictions of homosexual men. They’re not so much fabulous as they are predatory. They’re the kinda guys either Chick feared running into in rest stop bathrooms or intentionally ran into in reststop bathrooms.

Let me share some frames:

I really love this one. You don’t get the best view of them, but if you look closely you can see Chick’s attention to detail.

Check out the guy who is six from the left. He looks as if he’s wearing a sleaveless dress and long earings with Coke bottle glasses. I like him even better than the one who is second from the right, with the policeman hat (more on that later).

Here’s another two frames I like. I mostly like it for the hairy bear with the leather and spikes and the policeman hat, but the guy with Bible is cool too. He looks a little like Charles Bronson.

This one on the right is amazing and speaks for itself. I love the permed queen with the Rollie Fingers stache and the hook earings making out with someone who is either sweating or has horrid moles on his face.

And last but not least is this one.

You know, because homosexuals molest kids all the time.

Now, all of the joking aside (I’m not sure anything I’ve written is actually funny), I think these comics are funny but speak to a horrible paranoia on the part of the artist or artists. I’m not sure Jack Chick actually drew this one but if he did you can see it is inspired by a deep fear, basically a phobia of gay life. I love the backhair on that one guy!

If you’ve never read a Chick Tract, I suggest you do now. I think they’re a lot of fun!