Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
The True Path
Interesting discussion on another list...here is the web site that all this is about: The True Path (keep scrolling down...you will see what it is about!)
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 13:40:33 +0700
From: Matthew McDaniel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [sovernspeakout] Jack Chick Anti Indian Publication
The response below was the response that a lot of other people got as well from this organization, accusing the Indians of being drunks.
This is more serious than people realize.
This kind of tract is not innocent, it is backed by THIS kind of thinking and belief.
That is what is out there.
I do not know who Jack Chick is connected to but we can see it is radical "lynch them all" fundamentalism.
What this person also does not admit is why the land was taken by his kind of people from the Indians, why whites own all the alcohol companies and sell it on the reservations.
Alcohol is not a stimulant it is a depressant for a reason, to keep people down. It also allows for easy TV western type demonization of the Indians.
Same as cocaine and Black people. Black people did not bring the drugs into the community.
I think that these emails need to get around and see what we can do.
Continuing to write the people at any rate.
They obviously have quoted the entire history they know of Indians in their email response below.
They are located in Ontario California, not a very big place, any chance a demonstration could be organized with the local tribal authorities for their business?
P.O. Box 3500
Jack Chick Sucks
I went to their website and looked at the tract, and wrote them a complaint (well it was a little stronger then complaint) and below is their response to me. Also the E-address of the main person ...
We are all sinners and are unclean without the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. "The True Path" was adapted from our tract, "One Way!", that has been in print for years. This tract shows all people that Jesus is the only way to obtain eternal life. Our decision to use Native American's in the adaptation of "One Way!" came as a result of receiving many requests from folks who have a heart to share the gospel with Native Americans and wanted a tract to share with them with Native American characters and after much prayer.
Abuse of alcohol is the single most-mentioned social problem described to us by people who work on the reservations with Indian populations in this country. A report quoted by the National Library of Medicine regarding the "American Indian and Alaska Native Health" reports that "Alcohol and obesity are major risk factors for the American Indian population. Alcohol contributes to high rates of motor vehicle crashes, cirrhosis, suicide, homicide, domestic abuse, and fetal alcohol syndrome." It's common knowledge and there is nothing to be gained by denying it. Instead of burying our heads and ignoring the problem, we need to introduce Native Americans to Jesus Christ, who can change their lives and break the alcohol habit.
You say you are a Christian. Therefore, we trust you will understand that our love for the gospel compels us to continue to tell others that Jesus loves them and without Him they will be eternally lost.
Chick Publications, Inc.
E-mail address: email@example.com
You may be a sinner, Sherry, but I'm not. You may say you're a Christian, but I say you're not. You're not telling Indians Jesus loves them, you're telling them they're drunks.
Ah, me. So much stupidity, so little time. Where to begin with this piece of racist rubbish?
Well, for starters, Native people aren't burying their heads in the sand about alcoholism. They're in front of the issue and tackling it daily. The problem isn't denial, it's Sherry's absurd claim that Jesus Christ is the best or only solution to the problem.
The bigger problem, of course, is the racist assertion that only Native people are drunks. Read the tract, because that's what it portrays. If there's a more picture-perfect example of racism, it's hard to imagine what it might be.
Another problem that people may not pick up on is the idea of "persuading" Natives to convert using a wordless comic strip. What does that say about Chick's opinion of Indians? That they're illiterates or children who literally need a picture drawn for them?
Would Chick hand out a wordless tract like this one in Beverly Hills or at Harvard Business School? If he wouldn't, he's implying his target audience is simpleminded. If he would, he must think everyone is simpleminded.
Related to this is the way he draws Indians: wearing vests and jeans or dresses, with hats and shaved heads or braids. Nothing wrong with this look, but most Natives don't dress that way. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, astronaut John Herrington, actor Graham Greene, and golfer Notah Begay are a few who might not fit this stereotypical image.
The point is that Chick doesn't show any Indians dressed as lawyers, doctors, or engineers. The implication is that they're less educated and need more help than the average person. That they need a wordless comic strip, in particular.
One Indian's opinion
Here are some exchanges on "The True Path." First, an exchange with a non-Christian Indian:
>> This is well beyond just a stereotype. This is hate. <<
Well, yes. But I don't have a Hate of the Month contest, only a Stereotype of the Month contest, so I have to make do. <g>
>> Rob, you are gonna have trouble reducing this mess down to WHICH stereotype you want to nail. <<
Many of the entries have multiple stereotypes—the Mardi Gras Indians, for example. And I try to list them only when they aren't self-evident. Sometimes they are self-evident and speak for themselves.
>> This gleaming demon who is pictured as what I assume is the Jewish-Christian god is not a father in any sense of the Lakota/Sioux way. No father condemns their child to eternal suffering. <<
Right. A key difference between Native and Christian religion is the latter's judgmental nature.
>> That condemnation is the philosophy of a psycotic who has no empathy or sense of the vulnerability or humanity of those who are helpless under their care. <<
In other words, Chick is a typical Christian fundamentalist.
>> What is not so obvious here is that the "saved" clean ones have no real choices and consequently know they also have no real pesonal responsibility or accountability. They are on the "right" path, which they have been coraled into taking. It is set for them already. They are cattle down a chute. <<
Good point. Yes, the tract leaves unstated how the Indians happened to be passing by "The True Path." Why weren't they at work, in school, or at a powwow enjoying themselves? The tract sets up a false dichotomy when actually there are infinitely many paths to choose from.
>> I could make just a couple of small changes in script and text would show an exact depiction of: The Trail of Tears & any of the Ethnic Purges of the Indians from white controlled lands. <<
Yes, well, as I've said on my site many times, the Euro-American mentality is basically a Christian mentality. Pope John Paul II is still telling us Christ is the only path to salvation. If he were intellectually honest, he'd tell us the corollary—that he considers all other religions inferior or wrong.
>> All these subjects include a scene which is predetermined misery induced by a contolling power who multiplies that misery to any who do not go down the correct "chute". Like the cartoon the "chute" is front loaded to look clean and nice. Very much like a military enlistment poster. <<
Many Christians consider themselves part of "God's Army." Their mission is to recruit more people until everyone is a Christian soldier.
>> Whew, what kind of world is this? <<
A disturbed one.
Anyway, you don't have to convince me. I agree this Jack Chick fella is one irrational, prejudiced, and sick person. Maybe you want to send him an e-mail and let him know your feelings. I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from you. <g>
One Christian's opinion
Next, an exchange with a non-Indian Christian:
>> The theology behind the tract is basically standard Christian fare. <<
Right. Irrational, narrowminded, intolerant, prejudiced, judgmental....
>> I don't understand the point of the Native American imagery (were these things supposed to be distributed on the reservations?), but it could have been done with any culture. <<
Either distributed on reservations or elsewhere, with Indians as a prime example of "heathens" who can benefit from Christ. But no, I think they're meant for Indians. See above for an explanation from a Chick, er, chick.
>> it could have been done with any culture. <<
Yes, but Indians are a good choice for Chick. They succeeded so long without Christ that it must've tempted him to portray them needing Christ. Their lengthy existence is a rebuke to the dominant Euro-Christian mentality.
>> Strictly speaking, I agree with it. <<
How about loosely speaking?
>> That is not to say Chick is necessarily the most effective evangelist out there, though. <<
That's putting it mildly. This tract is more likely to convince Christians to quit than Indians to join. Oops.
What to do about "The True Path"? I suggest people fill Sherry's inbox with protests. Since she's probably a flunky, not "the main person," see "Jack Chick Sucks" for more e-mail addresses for protests. Keep these racists busy handling messages so they won't have as much time to spew hate-filled propaganda.
Help sought from Jack Chick
Another response—from a correspondent with a Christian and Native background:
This tract IS certainly undisguised hate literature that offends all reasoning people. I suppose its irony will be lost on the folks who publish such dreck, but I felt slightly better after I sent this mock "request for information" to their web site. (FYI, "In-Tact Communications" doesn't exist.)
Best; Bob Catt.
To: Order desk, Chick Publications
Your web site indicates that tracts are a powerful tool in reaching the public, so we are interested in obtaining any tracts you publish which promote the following:
Inter-racial harmony. Inter-religious understanding and cooperation. Acquisition of knowledge of the world's belief systems, Christian and non-Christian. Peace among religious groups and among nations.
Our organization is interested in bulk purchases of tracts which relate to any of these subjects. Please send further details c/o myself. Thank you.
Robert C. Katt, media consultant, In-Tact Communications
Comment: Needless to say, there's been no response (yet). Perhaps the organization is swamped with requests for its fine literature.
For more on Jack Chick, read Christ Comics. The writer hypothesizes that Jack Chick may not exist—and that Sherry, or whoever the customer service person is, is really in charge.
What Jesus said
For God and country
If you think the Jack Chick tract is an aberration, think again. Here's a delightful exchange with a true believer, showing how Christians spread Christ's message of love, compassion, and charity:
On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 14:21:58 EDT DreamYonah@aol.com writes:
I am from the Garner-Keane line. I was wondering if anyone had ever heard about any Indian bloodlines in the family.
Diane Garner Dross
Subj: Re: Indian Garners?
Date: 6/14/01 2:16:56 PM Central Daylight Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jacob B Griffin)
I hope not. I am sick of Indians.
"Indians had no peanut butter,
Microwaves and big boat motors,
All the things we have are better,
No, I'm not an Indian."
(sing to the tune of One Little, Two Litte, Three Little Indians...)
There are other verses.
June Griffin, Admirer of John Sevier, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, Indian fighters
Boy! Are you a jerk.
Diane Dross (registered Cherokee)
Is it true or not? What did you have before the white man came? Read John Wesley's assessment of the five tribes. Your god produced nothing but misery and poverty as do all who do not worship the God of the Bible.
It took David Brainerd who literally offered up his life in Indian missions and John Sevier to start schools so the Indians could learn to read the Bible. The FIRST ACT OF CONGRESS WAS TO ORDER BIBLES PRINTED SO THE INDIANS COULD LEARN TO READ!
What benevolence! What gracious goodness! It took the white man to bring the Scriptures which enamored Pocahantas to marry John Rolff and change her name to the Biblical name of Rebecca. She put on beautiful clothes and was baptized in the Episcopal Church. She was no fool.
There is no blessing outside the Bible, for their medicine men and witchdoctors and shamans all keep the people in darkness. Thank the Lord for the Pilgrims whose Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony stated that "we got not the land because of our own righteousness but because of the wickedness of the heathen does God drive them out."
But there are a bunch around now who are in love with Hollywood and their fancy lies. Wake up and be real.
Take the so-called "Trail of Tears." Andy Jackson ordered Congress to disperse FIVE MILLION IN GOLD to the Indians and Winfield Scott (another of my heroes -- I hope I am related to him) plead with them for 3 years before they were finally removed. Their own chiefs stole the five million which at that time could have gold-plated a train and old Dragging Canoe, typical of the judgment of the savage, instead of blaming his thieving relatives went after the white man. But John Sevier and Evan Shelby had something to say about that and put an end to his plundering.
I am an American, rightly called in 1885 a "nativist."
For God and Country
Goodness gracious, June, what gracious goodness. Indeed. I'm sure the Indians are happy that people like you tried to fulfill God's mandate by exterminating them.
Yes, you're a typical American in many ways: ignorant, bigoted, and hypocritical. It's fascinating to see how a perfectly innocent request impels you to spew racist venom. Good thing Ms. Dross didn't say something controversial, like "Christians are the biggest genocidal maniacs in history."
I've disputed and disproved views like yours so many times that it's not worth writing a lengthy essay. Go to Native vs. Non-Native Americans: A Summary for, well, a summary. Some quick notes will have to suffice:
If peanut butter, microwaves, and big boat motors are your idea of culture, you may be beyond help. Even so, your silly song is misleading. Indigenous people crossed the ocean many times in boats without big motors, millennia before Columbus bumbled into America on his way to Asia. In contrast, the "brave" Greek sailors were shore-huggers who barely cleared the Straits of Gibraltar.
As one website notes, "There are many claims about the origin of peanut butter. Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 15th century. The Chinese have crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries." If Indians didn't invent it, apparently Euro-Christians didn't either.
Some sources credit George Washington Carver, an ex-slave and descendant of African "witchdoctors"—not Bible-reading Christians—with inventing modern peanut butter. The consensus is he didn't do it, but he did revolutionize peanut use. Carver "ultimately developed 300 derivative products from peanuts—among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils, and cosmetics—and 118 from sweet potatoes, including flour, vinegar, molasses, rubber, ink, a synthetic rubber, and postage stamp glue."
Read Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford before you bray about how the Indians gave us nothing. For starters, something like half our fruits and vegetables were introduced by Indians. And if "all the things we have are better," that presumably includes nuclear bombs, species extinctions, deforestation, and ozone holes. Not to mention homeless people, child abusers, serial killers, and mass suicides. All are products of modern "civilization."
As for what Christians can claim credit for...the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust. 'Nuff said on that point.
There are something like a billion Christians in the world and most of them live in misery and poverty. I'd guess there's no significant difference between Christians and non-Christians on a global economic scale. You're even more ignorant than you seem if you think all Christians are rich Americans and all non-Christians are poor foreigners.
I believe South America has the greatest percent of Christians per capita—nearly 100%. Are you claiming we should all be grateful for the example of Colombia (Christian drug cartels)? Or Argentina and Chile (Christian death squads)? Or Brazil (Christian rain forest destruction)? Or what, exactly?
Hopi tribe, approx. 800 years in one location. Other tribes, 400-600 or more years of continuous history. United States of America, 225 years. 'Nuff said on that point.
For some examples of America's debt to Indians, see Fun 4th of July Facts.
As an early practitioner of ethnic cleansing, William Bradford is hardly someone to quote with admiration. Go to Savage Indians and make sure you really want to claim him and his ilk as your own. As for Pocahontas, she put on beautiful clothes, was baptized, got married, went to England, and died. So much for the wonders of civilization.
You may want to decide whether you admire Andrew Jackson, John Sevier, or Davy Crockett, since they were hardly a mutual admiration society. Some quotes on what they and other Americans thought may be instructive:
So do you admire Jackson for his racism against blacks or his genocide against Indians? And which of his qualities makes him a good Christian? His lack of education, his base and ignoble behavior, his disregard for the rule of law, or all three?
If you want to tout Jackson as a model Christian, that's fine by me. Yes, he does seem like an early John Wayne or Hitler type, and we know what strong, self-righteous characters they were. Are there any other narrowminded, thuggish rule-breakers you want to nominate as the Christian ideal?
That's enough for now. Let's hope Ms. Griffin doesn't strain her brain trying to reconcile her opinions of Jackson, Sevier, and Crockett. Meanwhile, if someone would like to correct her other historical "facts," please e-mail me and I'll post the information.
Website labels Indian beliefs and practices "demonic"
Adolf Hitler: a true American
This ain't no party: a Columbus Day rant
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