Hey, we haven’t looked at any Chick Tracts in a while, have we? Well, the two most recent featured tracks are “The Royal Affair” and “Going Down?”, so let’s examine these two. The former was obviously drawn by the artist who isn’t Jack himself, and works in a photo-realistic style. Despite this, however, I don’t really like his drawings much. The people might have much more defined details than in Chick’s drawings, but they still tend to be weird-looking.
As “The Royal Affair” begins, we see Senator Colonel Sanders Van Beethoven accused of an extramarital affair…with a woman! How delightfully absurd! But we abandon him after only four panels, and go back to the time of David. So why even include this bit about the Senator? I guess the idea is to point out how stuff like David’s affair with Bathsheba still goes on today, but it’s awkwardly presented. So anyway, we see David slay what’s presumably Goliath, but I know an orc when I see one. This also turns out to be irrelevant to the main story, although it uses the same character. Most of the comic is about the David and Bathsheba story, which is really a quite interesting part of the Bible. We’re told that God approved of everything David did EXCEPT for this, despite the fact that he wasn’t really a nice guy the rest of the time. I mean, before he became King of Israel, he was working with the enemies of the state to commit acts of terrorism. But David generally seemed to behave pretty shrewdly, while his treatment of “the matter of Uriah” was pretty stupid. The fact that this legendary king is presented in a manner that tells his failures as well as his successes makes the whole Biblical account of David somewhat unusual for its time.
Most of the retelling here is pretty straightforward, although it’s interesting to note that Chick regards David as having stolen Bathsheba from Uriah. Because women are nothing but property, right? Also, I have to wonder what the artist was going for Bathsheba herself, who kind of looks like a TV star from one of those eighties late-night soap operas. In fact, I kind of suspect he copied all of these pictures out of some celebrity magazine, with the possible exception of Goliath. I have to say I kind of like the bird flying outside the castle windows, but that sheep is freaky-looking. I think it might have scales instead of wool. We also get a brief interlude about how all dead babies go to Heaven, despite the fact that the parenthetical “in heaven” doesn’t actually appear in the Bible. Based on Chick’s general MO, I assume this is intended as Catholic-bashing, since it was taught by the Catholic Church until recently that unbaptized babies end up in Limbo. The Pope changed this teaching a few years ago, because that’s obviously a more important issue than whether priests are molesting children. I would have to imagine that Heaven is a rather scary place is there are a bunch of undeveloped fetuses hanging around up there.
Getting back to the tract, we have an insistence that adultery is no longer taken seriously, part of the evidence for this being that we use the term “affair” instead. Personally, I kind of think “adultery” is a funnier word, but that’s just me. But yeah, Chick’s position seems to be that, since it’s no longer a capital crime to cheat on your wife, that means nobody frowns on it anymore. Except David wasn’t executed, was he? Where’s Oliver Cromwell when you need him? God will throw you in Hell if you have an affair and don’t repent, but since He’s going to do that anyway unless you believe the right thing, it seems like you might as well have as many affairs as you want. That’s the problem with trying to simplify morality that much. We’re also told that “nobody mocks God,” which I suppose means that God can’t take a joke any more than Sarah Palin can. Hey, God, how’s that forbidden fruit thing working out for you?
As for “Going Down,” it also has somewhat of a false start, with this Western scenario that turns out to be on TV. The woman insists that it has “foul language,” making me wonder who in this day and age would consider “varmint” and “death angel” to be bad words. The comic becomes a typical Chick scenario, with the people who think Hell isn’t real ending up there. God always has the last laugh, you cotton-pickin’ varmints! Or maybe it’s Satan who does. I don’t know. One guy insists that Hell is real because he had a vision of it. Yes, that’s some authentic proof right there! I guess all the bizarre places I dream about must be real as well. Pastor Bigears reads a passage from the Bible that Reverend Brinks had never heard, which makes me wonder how he made it through seminary. And the panel after that gives us the best image in the tract, of a demon grabbing some dead king’s soul by the neck. Pastor Bigears also claims that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is true, even though it’s presented in context as a parable. Is this guy really someone we should trust as a Biblical expert?