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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Archbishop Chaput Speaks at the Napa Institute Conference on Pope Francis and Economic Justice

Image of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is one of the preeminent Churchmen of our age. He offers a prophetic voice for this important time. He not only grasps and articulates Catholic Social Doctrine well, he also understands the real treasure we have been given in this Pope who took the name Francis. I believe that his insights into Pope Francis need to be read by as many people as possible.

By Catholic Online

In matters of economic justice, Francis' concerns are the same as Benedict's and John Paul II's and Pius XI's and Leo XIII's. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his ... continue reading


Thousands of Christians Flee Under Death Threat From Tyrannical Caliph and ISIS Jihadists Watch

Image of (Pictured: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or Caliph Ibrahim) At first, Christians were ordered to gather in a central place to receive the directive from the self appointed Caliph. Understandably, given the track record of this maniacal tyrant, few did. So, the text of the statement was issued as a formal declaration to all Christians - We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

By now, everyone who is in anyway concerned about what is happening to Christians in Iraq has heard the horrific news. The madman who claims to be a descendant of Mohammed, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi - who in his delusion and grandiosity has taken to calling himself ... continue reading


Bridget of Sweden, Marriage and Family, and the Need for Canonized Married Saints Watch

Image of St Bridget of Sweden, her husband Ulf, and all the modern Popes call Christian married couples to become the 'Sweet and Smiling Face of the Church' in this age. This is an age which is desperately in need of all kinds of saints. I suggest we particularly need examples of married, canonized Saints. That is precisely because this is an age where faithful marriage is now counter-cultural. We need examples of men and women who not only embraced it in Christ, but lived it as a but a path to heroic virtue.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The clear teaching of the Bible, the Christian tradition and the re-emphasis of the last Council in the Catholic Church, the Second Vatican Council, make clear - we are ALL called to holiness in life. That  is what the Catholic Church regularly refers to as ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: The Courage of the Catholic Bishops, Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby and ENDA Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate. Deacon Fournier is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Theology and Philosophy, BA), the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University (Theology of Marriage and Family, MTS), and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (JD). He has completed requirements for the PhD in Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and is writing the PhD dissertation on the teaching of St. John Paul II.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Catholic Bishops are doing an excellent job standing up for Religious liberty as a fundamental human right. One of my growing concerns is that many Catholics do not even read what they are saying. Sadly, in a propagandized media where sound bites substitute ... continue reading


Obama demands that illegals be allowed to enter U.S. Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of illegal, unaccompanied minors have flooded into the United States since 2014 began, often escaping violence in war torn Central American countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama's administration is considering whether or not it will allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras and other war-torn Central American states to enter into the United States illegally and without crossing into the country ... continue reading


Are you ready for the next dust bowl? California is! Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the Colorado River Basin is rapidly running out of water, which may be disastrous for the seven states it supplies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a report published by the American space agency and the University of California, the water crisis that is punishing the southwestern United States is likely to worsen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report found that the prime source of water ... continue reading


PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Mayflies descend on Wisconsin Watch

Image of When summer arrives, Mayflies take flight and proceed to mate before immediately going back to the water to lay eggs and die.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a plague of Biblical proportions. Ugly mayflies have descended on the state of Wisconsin, covering up exterior services like so much black, metallic dust. Photos coming out of Wisconsin is sure to send viewers itching - so beware of some of the sights in ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Decry Obama's LGBT executive order as imprudent act of religious discrimination Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have been strong in their condemnation of President Obama's legislation on LGBT employees. "Today's ... continue reading


A Tribute to Protestant Bishop Tony Palmer, Friend of Francis and Champion of Christian Unity Watch

Image of The late Bishop Tony Palmer with Pope Francis- He was catapulted into prominence in the broader Christian community when, while meeting with his friend the Pope in January, he was given a recorded message from Francis to deliver to a large group of charismatic, evangelical protestant leaders who gathered in the United States. The video went viral. It moved millions to sincere prayer for the healing of the divisions in the broken Body of Christ and is prompting a renewed commitment to common apostolic action between Christians.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I never personally met Bishop Tony Palmer. However, I look forward to spending an eternity in the full communion of God's love with him. I appreciated his Christian courage and felt that his efforts were prophetic. He wrote his life - and lived his ministry - ... continue reading


Exclusive: Tribute to Bishop Tony Palmer, A Life Dedicated to Unity Watch

Image of (Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died. Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I ... 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

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... 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