A little while back I wrote about the fantastically talented and awesomely ignorant Jack Chick and company.
I've been reading the materials on the website for shits and giggles and upon further reading, and a nod from AronRa (one of my heroes) I've come to another realization about Chick Tracts. I had often wondered whom they were intended to convince as it always seems that the non-believers being convinced in the strips really already believe in God, they just deny it.
That's when I came to this realization that made Chick Tracts smaller, sadder, and more sinister. They're not intended to convince non-believers at all. They're propaganda for the already converted. These tracts teach believers slogans, reduce opposition to unreasoning monsters and hypocrites, while holding believers up as the only ones who know the truth - a truth that they came to by careful examination of the evidence.
I'm sad because before I pictured Jack Chick as a well-intentioned but ignorant cartoonist trying to spread the word the best way he could. Now I picture him as, at best, a sly propagandist proud of the effect he's having on the ignorant masses of bible-thumping fundies. At worst a spineless shill of someone else's propaganda.
Okay, let's get some points out of the way.
Evolution is not a religion. It has no dogmas, no articles of faith, requires no special clothing, has no doctrines for followers, and has nothing to say about the afterlife.
Evolution is a comprehensive and substantially-proven theory that explains the diversity of life on this planet. Not the origin of life, and certainly not the origin of our solar system, nor the entire universe.
Bible quotations are only an effective proof of God if you already accept the bible as true. The tracts argue that given point A, point B follows. Further that point B proves point C, which proves points D, E, and F, etc., etc. However, point A is bullshit.
Science isn't a religion! We who accept scientific explanations for reality don't do so because we have unwavering faith in scientists! There are scientists that I revere, but there are also writers and singers that I revere, and if any of them turned out to be phonies or cheaters I would turn my back on them. Scientists who distort their findings to achieve a desired result are scorned, their careers ruined. Preachers can distort meaning all they want because in the end nothing in their holy texts can be proved and so nothing can be disproved, either.
Where exactly are these level-headed believers so lovingly rendered in Chick Tracts? From what I've seen most of the converted, they're quick to anger, condemn, and exclude.
That's all I have for now. Who'd have thought this was going to turn out to be an atheist blog? Kind of inevitable when you think about it.