*YAWN* Did I miss anything? What could have happened to make me crawl out from under the rock I got stuck under? Federal abolishment of same sex marriage bans? No. Countless businesses refusing service to the LGBT community based on their sexuality? No. That shrieking, orange-hued, multidimensional, hypernationalist word salad that is the GOP nominee?
Tempting … oh, so tempting … but no.
Today, Miss Pink got a message on Facebook indirectly alerting me to the apparently unexpected demise of Jack T. Chick, from a site called “BoingBoing”. I’ve heard of it before but for some reason thought it oddly fitting that it’s on the top of my Google search when I go looking for this stuff. (I was also told that because of this, I would need a new hobby. This was true for a long time, regardless of whether Jack was alive or dead). I’m well aware of the standard platitudes we usually offer for situations in which someone passes who went out of their way to be a complete asshole to their fellow man … feeling sympathy for his family, not being happy at his passing but maybe at his no longer being able to spread a message of intolerance and bigotry. Maybe that’s all true. In the end it doesn’t really affect my life at all but it has likely affected others. In the end, I feel sorry for him and his life.
It’s clear I’m no fan of religion, but it’s also just as clear that good people can and do use it every day as a way to improve themselves and relate to one another. It can be a useful tool in developing in people a sense of empathy that is one of the cornerstones of what Jesus was trying to teach. Jack, on the other hand, turned into a weapon to bludgeon anyone and everyone who didn’t align with his own misguided interpretation of every aspect of the world around him. He regularly portrayed this world as hateful, judgmental, and fundamentally evil; he turned Christianity on its head to the point where the only way he could lead people to his Truth is to lie about everyone who didn’t believe in it. Do this often enough, and you become consumed in your own hatred; it doesn’t matter what message might lie underneath.
So Jack, I’m not sorry I made fun of you over the years, but I am sorry you ended up turning into the Christian fundamentalist equivalent of Gollum by the end of your life. I was Christian long enough to know that loving one’s neighbor was among the most important teachings we were supposed to follow, and you lost that a long time ago in favor of ignorance, fear, and paranoia to the point where it irrevocably consumed you. Afterlife or not, I hope at least now you’ve found a little peace.