Yes, so, with a few of the image styled let's play series I see on this forum every now and then, I've decided to start my own "Let's Play", or rather, a "Let's Read" of sorts.
I was raised in a Liberal Roman Catholic Family. We're very religiously diverse and have learned to come together and respect our personal beliefs through it. My father is a confessed Agnostic, my Mother, My Grandmother, and Myself are all Roman Catholic (although I have been reaching out towards other religions recently), my Grandparents on my Father's side of the family are Methodist, and my Uncle is a Buddhist. As you can tell our family is one big Religious Chop-Suey.
Recently, I've come across some... Er... Well I guess you can't say they aren't "Interesting" comics written by a very... Er... "Devout" Protestant by the name of Jack Chick. He follows a brand of Evangelical protestantism that seems to state something along the lines of, even if you're a good person in every way, if you follow the wrong religion you'll die and suffer for most of eternity. This is an... Interesting take. Especially since most Evangelicals say something along the lines of "If you aren't part of this religion and don't want to convert your evil and going to hell" while this belief seems to be more "If you haven't heard about this religion, you can still be a good person but you'll suffer forever for not choosing the right answer."
So... Yeah, it's a very interesting read. Well, without further adieu, let's jump right in to the latest Chick Tract!
Are Roman Catholics Christians?
Since I imagine this series will end up horribly offending the beliefs of... Nearly Everyone; I've decided to start it off with my own religion and be the first among you to be horribly offended.
Now, this tract starts out innocent enough, asking if Roman Catholics are really Christian...
Which we are because we're the root of all other christian faiths! Seriously, this whole "Catholics aren't christian!" things really gets on my nerves because Catholicism is pretty much the "father" faith to the rest of the Christian faiths, most protestant sects broke off from the Catholic church, they all descend from the Church. If we aren't christian, neither are you guys buddy! (Which is odd enough consider "Christian" means follower of christ, the Catholic Church worships christ, I don't see how that makes us any less christian then protestants.)
Anyways, the story then goes on that Helen's first sacrament is baptism. It says that Helen can't receive Jesus because she's possessed by evil spirits. So the priest anoints her with oils and pours salt down her infant throat-- WAIT WHAT?!
Has Chick even read up on Catholic Baptisms? I'll admit, I'm not the greatest Theologian, but I know we use holy water, not "Oil", and if anyone tried shoving salt down an infants throat I'm pretty sure they'd be arrested. Then Chick goes on to try and use sentence structure to defeat the church by going on about something like "HA! THEY BELIEVED AND THEN THEY WERE BAPTIZED! YOU CAN'T BE BAPTIZED AS AN INFANT!" When... Really Baptism was a new concept back then, would it really make sense for grown adults to not believe and be baptized at the same time? We're baptized as infants now to carry on the tradition of our ancestors, to show that from birth we'd be "believers in christ" or something along those lines...
Alright, let's put that behind us, I mean, he had to research the church some time didn't he? I mean, it's not like he's saying that Catholics are fanatically devoted to the pope--
I don't even know where to begin, now he's saying that the church demands you be loyal to it before anyone else, including your own country. I also find it hilarious that he claims that the Church acts like a foreign power and names each catholic a citizen of the vatican or something like that. If the pope held as much sway over his flock as a president did over his citizens, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be so many catholics supporting Birth Control as there currently are.
Anyways it goes on to talk about a few Catholic practices, basic stuff like confession, priests, and how this is all part of an ancient Babylonian cult that worshipped some "Sun God" known as Baal. HA! Bet you didn't see that one coming Non-Catholics!
Yes, apparently now confessing your sins, begging for forgiveness, then working to redeem yourself through prayer, meditation, and Good deeds is evil and part of a wicked cult that was... Established by Noah's children... After the great flood... And used to... Blackmail people? Wait what? Also, why does "Pagan" suddenly equal evil? I mean, I know christianity isn't big on the "More then one god" thing, but Hindhusim (to an extent) and Shintoism are relatively polytheistic, and they get along just fine.
Actually no. Despite your dubious claims of there being some "Sun God Baal of Babylon" (why do all pagan religions seem to worship the Sun in these kind of books?) Catholics get confession because, after Jesus rose from the dead on easter, he forgave his disciples of their sins and the sins they forgave themselves.
"Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained" (John 20:22-23).
See Chick! I can play the scripture game too! Anyways he goes on to say that the Bible never mentions priests so they're evil or should be gotten rid of or something like that... He then goes on a tangent about it not mentioning nuns, monks, popes, or candles or rituals or... Anything like that. (Not true on the pope remark! According to Catholic tradition, it's the unbroken line of succession dating back to Saint Peter himself. Just because the name "Pope" isn't mentioned doesn't mean it isn't mentioned at least from a figurative sound point... Although I would agree it would be totally badass if we called all popes "Rocks of the Church")
Anyways then it goes into Communion, the biggest issue between protestants and Catholics in most cases. They believe that the Eucharist is supposed to represent the figurative body and blood of christ. We believe that after it is blessed and consecrated, it becomes the literal body and blood of christ, etcetera.
YOU DO NOT KNOW SINGLE A THING ABOUT BASIC CATHOLIC BELIEFS!
First off, the ancient Egyptian alphabet is RADICALLY different from the Latin one, they mostly still used hieroglyphs around the time of babylon and before the Roman Conquest. They wouldn't even have I, H, and S in their freaking alphabet... Also, what's with the "Pax" symbol appearing next to the Egyptian Priest in the panel with the wafer? No seriously, look, it's right next to two Ankhs. Why in the world would ancient egyptians be using the latin alphabet when Rome hadn't even conquered them yet?
Secondly, have you actually seen a communion wafer? If you haven't, it looks like this.
You can get more expensive, elaborately designed ones, but due to expenses most churches prefer this simple "small cross" one. Yep, no IHS, none of that (EDIT: According to some of my sources, I discovered that communion wafers used to have IHS on them, but was phased out of Churches because many Catholics felt it was degrading the wafer to a "Good Luck Charm" It's a long story). Plus, we don't believe our priests are magical, in fact any priest claiming to have the power to pull christ out of heaven and crucify him all over again would probably only end up excommunicated for heresy or called a madman. I have talked with a priest once, and they do believe they can perform miracles... So long as they have complete, total, and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. The priest I spoke with claimed that, yes, technically through faith, technically he could walk on water, but doing so would just be degrading the faith to mere "Magic tricks" or wouldn't work since he would begin to lose faith or something like that.
Plus, if you ask most Catholics what the "Monstrance" is, most would only say "That sun thing at the back of the church" if you're lucky. We don't "Worship" the wafer like it's god, and using the Monstrance is just some optional thing to do during or after mass. In the church I went to it's only in a special, sound proof room away from the other parts of the church and used mostly for meditating and reflection. Very few churches even use the Monstrance, and when they do it's mostly just for decoration or extra flair.
If you want to know how getting the Eucharist really works in Catholic masses, let me explain it as simply as I can. Some Leymen bring out the wine and wafers, the priest does the sign of the cross over them, says a few things about Jesus and Peace, then the church chants something like "Praise to you lord Jesus Christ! King of Endless Mercy!" and then we get in line and wait for the wafer... Which really tastes a bit like cardboard once you get it.
It then goes on about the Council of Trent burning heretics *cough* Bullshit *cough* (not going to go into a long response, the Council was essentially the church going "Crap, the protestants do have a point" and began to lighten up some rules, and clarify catholic beliefs. No witch hunts, and no burnings)
(I included another picture in case my rants were annoying you and you wanted more of the actual comic I'm talking about)
Anyways, no priest dresses like that, Jesus never calls the church the "Great Whore" (that line about the Whore of Babylon has been interpreted so many times... And it's sort of pointless considering the church doesn't believe in the rapture and has some weird stuff about the events of Revelation already happening) and what the hell is a big deal with an "ongoing sacrifice"? The Eucharist is more about remembering Jesus' death and keeping a part of him in ourselves then literally "sacrificing him" (seriously, why even included that "This is my body, this is my blood" and ask us to "take it in memory of" him if he's just going to go "Lawl naw, no need to do that, I just was trolling")
Anyways, let's skip ahead. It goes on about Confirmation saying we're citizens of the church and can be called at a moments notice to go to war (bullshit)
Wait what? I have to throw an obligatory "You Bastard!" line out here. Now he's criticizing us for seeing Protestants as "Separated brothers and sisters" then he goes on into saying that Helen is "Brainwashed into thinking the catholic church is the only way to heaven".
You... Hypocritical Ass! No offense to anyone, but really, in the same panel he says we see protestants as "Separated Brothers and sisters and not heretics" but then he says that means we believe only catholicism is the true path to heaven. Chick. You're the most "Single Road to Heaven" person I've ever heard about, how can you accuse us of it? (and for the record, the Second Vatican Council officially declared that all Christians, Jews, and Muslims have an equal chance into heaven, and that none of them would be denied for their personal beliefs. Sort of destroys your point.
Anyways, now for the conclusion. I'm eager to find out what happens to poor little Helen.
Aaaaaaaaand she dies and is damned to suffer in purgatory for all eternity. Yep, what a climatic end. Now do you wonder what the moral of the story is children? It's simple! It doesn't matter how good of a human being you are, so long as you're slightly wrong on Theological issues (even without knowing you are) you're damned to suffer and writhe in agony. Yep, your religion is really evil for not being right! And your church isn't just confused or Mistaken, it's evil! It's evil and purposely lying to you with the express intent on sending you to hell for shits and giggles!
(Also, the Church NEVER. EVER. Demands money to "Save a soul from purgatory". I mean seriously, why would their be a Catholic religion if we all knew we would inevitably end up in purgatory and had to pay some sort of fine to get out?)
Well, that ends my first "Let's Read". Feel free to tell me what you think of it, comments and constructive criticism would be well appreciated.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: This thread is simply to amuse people! NOT start a religious debate, if I wanted to do that. I'd put it in the R&P forum. You can make comments like "This is why I hate fundamentalism" but please avoid comments like "This is why I hate fundamentalism... Any and all religions should be totally and completely wiped off the earth."