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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

Fr. Randy Sly on Thanksgiving and Our Roots of Faith

Image of Ceremonies and periods of thanksgiving are woven through the entire tapestry of history. We find them in the Jewish Calendar of Feasts, in other world religions, in European cultures and native practices of North America, South America, Asia and Africa.

By Fr. Randy Sly

Thanksgiving Day has become a time when we watch parades and then take in large amounts of food and football. According to some calculations, 46 million turkeys-around 550 million pounds-will be consumed during Thanksgiving this year. But that's not how it began! ... continue reading


Thanksgiving Day: We are Still One Nation - Under God Watch

Image of The sincere sentiments expressed by this extraordinary leader, George Washington, should inform our response to all of the challenges we face today in the United States of America. We are still one Nation - under God. They should also inspire us to pray for great leaders to emerge in this our great hour of need. Leaders who can help us see this as an hour of opportunity and an invitation to reaffirm our reliance on God.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This week the people of the United States of America struggle to find a way through the trauma we are experiencing in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Too many self-appointed "experts" seem all too eager to tell us what divides us. However, even in ... continue reading


Following Ferguson shooting, police departments rush to adopt body cameras Watch

Image of The purchasing of body cameras by police departments nationwide has increased dramatically following the shooting of Michael Brown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Whether you believe the story told by Ferguson police officer Daren Wilson, or by the family of Michael Brown, it is certain that the case has changed the face of law enforcement in America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The use of body cameras by police ... continue reading


Catholic Shopping .com is about to have its biggest sale ever for Black Friday weekend!

Image of Sign up so you don't miss any deals during this special Black Friday weekend sale!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This weekend, Catholic Shopping .com is having an amazing sale with up to 70% off of selected items. These deep discounts will help you finish your shopping early, but be prepared, many of these sales will last just an hour or two and then the specials will be gone! ... continue reading


A Boston man has something new to be thankful for after he received a double arm transplant Watch

Image of Will Lautzenheiser, a professor of film production and screenwriting at Boston University had to undergo surgery to remove his arms and legs in 2011 after he came down with a life-threatening streptococcal infection.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Boston man who received a double arm transplant in October is making remarkable recovery, just in time for Thanksgiving. The best part, he says, is that he is able to hug his loved ones again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Will Lautzenheiser became infected ... continue reading


Dreaded cartel overlord Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez sentenced to 22 years in prison in U.S. Watch

Image of Top Sinaloa cartel thug Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in the U.S. for planning the delivery of more than 600 pounds of cocaine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Top Sinaloa cartel thug Alfredo Vasquez-Hernandez has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in the U.S. for planning the delivery of more than 600 pounds of cocaine. Some of the damning evidence against him was provided by twin brothers Pedro and Margarito ... continue reading


Here's 3,000 reasons why Obama just made illegal immigrants more attractive to your employer Watch

Image of Due to a loophole in Obamacare, the president's new amnesty plans mean that employers who hire illegals don't have to cover them with insurance, and won't be fined for doing so.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's new amnesty plan is going to have some drastic effects that most American's aren't aware of, one that may just get you kicked out of a job because of all things, Obamacare. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Under the Affordable Care Act, ... continue reading


Acknowledging Unknown Soldier over known soldiers: Over 1.2 million veterans lack health insurance Watch

Image of As a culture, many of us feel more comfortable honoring the tomb of the Unknown Soldier --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As many leave laurels at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the United States refuses to acknowledge the health and benefits of known soldiers. While most people assume that veterans automatically receive health care coverage through the Veterans Health ... continue reading


Ferguson in flames as policeman who shot, killed teenager found not guilty Watch

Image of Police claimed they came under heavy automatic weapon fire. Some buildings were left to burn because of the danger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People have responded to violence - with violence. After Police Officer Darren Wilson was been cleared of all charges in the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in August. His surrounding community of Ferguson, Missouri has responded with widespread ... continue reading


Priest in Ferguson reports deep mistrust between groups fueling tension Watch

Image of Police in Ferguson move detain a protester.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Catholic priest assigned to Ferguson, MO, spoke with Vatican Radio about the "festering" mistrust between the populace and police. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican Radio shared an interview with Fr. Arthur Cavitt, a parish priest who was asked about 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, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... 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