I just need to put this out there, for what it’s worth. Our two-year-old went out for his first real trick-or-treating in our neighborhood this Halloween. He came back with a giant load of candy, a huge, exhausted smile, and an odd little plastic bag that held a couple of pieces of what as kids we called “beat candy” and a tiny book.
Fortunately for my family, I vaguely recognized the tiny book from pictures I’d seen online years ago, and intercepted the bag as it came out of the pile. It was what’s known as a “Chick Tract”, one of a few-thousand little religious propaganda cartoon books published by a fervid, puritanical nutjob named Jack Chick. I gave it a quick read to confirm.
This hateful little tome tells the story of a child being beaten and sexually molested in a foster home by filthy, evil atheists, and how he is saved by a crusading cop and a foster home full of Jesus freaks (with a weird side trip into how the UN tacitly approved the rape and murder of millions in Rwanda, because they’re filthy *European* atheists, of course), who teach the boy he’ll only stop feeling guilty for being molested if he prays for his molester’s soul, but it’s OK, because once he’s forgiven them, God will make sure they have a terrible accident or heart attack, die young, and go to hell.
Needless to say, I first threw away the candy, lest my child discover it was laced with something by the detestable purveyors of this monstrosity, then spent the rest of the evening keeping my rage from showing to my family. All I could think was, what if he were five, and gave it read it on the way home before I saw it? What if I never caught it, and this poison were poured into my impressionable child’s head with no counter-information from us? How many children actually saw and read this poison that night, and how many were mentally mature enough to filter out the hatred and perverse sex-obsession and see it for what it was?
I’ve been sick with seething hatred of these loathesome creeps for days, and needed to say it here to get it out of me. In one sense, I’m glad I have only a vague idea of the block it might have come from, as I really don’t know how I’d handle myself if I could go bang on their door. In another sense, I hate that I don’t know, because I can’t do anything to prevent my child from being exposed to their depravity in the future!
I suppose at least, in the unlikely event there IS an afterlife, I can take some comfort in the fantasy that wherever I end it up, it won’t be wherever they are!