Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

3/13/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This latest anti-Catholic controversy contains a prophetic message for us .It is time to defend the Catholic Christian faith.

The Death Cookie
©1988 by Jack T. Chick LLC

The Death Cookie ©1988 by Jack T. Chick LLC

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/13/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - Jonathan Hatcher, the pastor at Conner Heights Baptist Church in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee stumbled upon a bee hive and made national news when a booklet being passed out by members from his church was given to a Catholic high-school girl.

This girl was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Pigeon Forge. The contents of the booklet apparently upset her, and she brought it to her pastor, Father Jay Flaherty. Father Flaherty told Fox News that he was afraid the booklet could lead to violence. "Its a very dangerous world we live in," he said.

The title of the booklet is the "Death Cookie." The word "cookie" is a crude reference to the Eucharist. The booklet is a Chick publication. In the 1970's, Jack Chick concluded that Roman Catholics were not scriptural or Christian, and he decided to attack the Church through his publications.

The "Death Cookie" begins with a man who wants wealth and power and asks a demonic figure, presumably Satan, how he can control the people. Satan tells the man to convince the people that he has the power to throw them into hell. Then he tells the man to appear holy, to tell the people that he is their papa. This is a clear reference to the Pope. Finally, Satan tells the man to enlist helpers whom the people believe have magical powers and can make God appear in a "cookie."

The booklet also claims that "The creation of the wafer god was the greatest religious con job in world history." The "Death Cookie" is pathetic and a blatant example of mindless anti-Catholicism. It is amazing that anyone would consider this booklet to be more than what it is, Anti-Catholic bigotry.

According to local news sources, pastor Hatcher initially defended the booklet. He said that he intended to continue passing it out even though he admitted that he did not know much about Catholicism. In defense of his ignorance, he said that he trusted Chick Publications.

But in a March 5, 2010, article, Joshua Miller at Fox News reported that pastor Hatcher later said he would no longer pass out the booklets. Unfortunately, the pastor still did not get it because he also said he was still going to pass out other booklets from the same publisher.

This controversy brought forth a public statement from the Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville, Richard F. Stika. Bishop Stika condemned the publication outright. He said, "The leaflets produced by Chick Publications and distributed locally are hateful, discriminatory, and full of prejudice and bigotry."

Most of the content in Bishop Stika's statement was of an ecumenical nature. He used this controversy as a teachable moment. He said that the doctrine of the Real Presence asserts that Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity--in the Eucharist. But he also touched on other topics as well.

For instance, he explained the Catholic Church's teaching on justification. He mentioned the importance of Sacred Scripture to Catholics, and he gave a short explanation on good works. He also gave us an inspiring example of a local Catholic agency that takes the Gospel message of love and good works seriously.

He said, "Catholic Charities of East Tennessee delivers 17 services through 24 programs throughout the region. This agencys services are provided regardless of religious affiliation, race, or ability to pay: fewer than 5 percent of the more than 20,000 clients served annually are Catholic."

He also touched on one of the most profound and beautiful ideas of Christian anthropology: the idea that man and woman are created in the image of God. Bishop Stika informed us that this understanding of human beings is essential "for the formation of a correct vision of society." He gave the culture of life as an example of a correct vision.

Bishop Stika also conveyed deep respect, love and solidarity with the Baptist community of East Tennessee and all Protestant denominations and all members of non-Christian faiths, with whom we share certain beliefs.

He showed us that while our differences are real, they need not be divisive. Catholics and Protestants are brothers and sisters in Christ. This unity, or solidarity if you prefer, is also real; and it is evident when we pray together and unite around a common cause. One such cause is the promotion of a culture of life.

Although the Bishops statement inspires Christian charity and solidarity, this is not all we can gain from this controversy. There is something more. I believe that this controversy contains a prophetic message for us, and we would do well to flesh it out.

Father Flaherty is correct; the world is dangerous, but not only in the way that he means. Christianity is under attack. This attack is coming from secularism and the many popular "isms" of our time: subjectivism, moral relativism, atheism, materialism (the philosophy), socialism, fascism, feminism, and neo-paganism (the collapse of reason and the rise of superstition and magic).

Wanting the controversy to go away, pastor Hatcher told Fox news, "It is like a sore. The more you pick at it, the longer its going to take to heal." The pastor is correct, but the controversy is not the only thing that can be compared to a sore.

The Reformation was in the 1500s; we live in 2010. Five hundred years later and we have still not healed, but the battle of our time is not Catholic verses Protestant. It is secularism versus Christianity. Pastors like Jonathan Hatcher and publications like Chick need to get with the times and quit picking at the sore.

In this respect, Bishop Stika is with the times. His statement reminds us that Christians living today may have been born into a broken family, but we need not remain divided and weak. Despite our differences, we can stand together in solidarity and defend ourselves against those who want to destroy us.

This is the prophetic message contained in this small-town controversy: United we stand; divided we fall. Jesus put it this way: ". . . Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste. Any house torn by dissension falls" (Lk 11:17).

-----

Michael Terheyden is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. He is Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. He is greatly blessed to share his Catholic faith with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholics Come Home Launches Beautiful New Television Series for E.W.T.N. Watch

Image of Tom Peterson, the founder and CEO of Catholics Come Home

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I am happy to report to my readers that Catholics Come Home has produced a stunning and inspiring television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (E.W.T.N.). It began airing on Labor Day weekend. The series was filmed on location in various cities ... continue reading


Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Sknninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter