In order to understand the practice of "culture wars work," we examined the claims of a particularly vocal evangelist, Jack T. Chick. Chick is a writer and cartoonist known both positively and negatively for his "Chick tracts." Chick tracts are small twenty-four-page black-and-white comic books that attempt to convert the reader to Chick's particular brand of "Bible-believing" Protestant Christianity. We focused on Chick's claim about Catholicism in order to show how theological and ideological boundaries can be constructed between presumably allied religious populations. Chick presents his anti-Catholicism using three main frames: (1) the associative frame——Catholicism is not only one of many social problems but is also cause of a number of them, (2) the subversive frame——the Catholic church is a political villain, and (3) the hidden agenda frame——Catholicism has not remained true to the authoritative teachings of Christianity and has embraced a secretly progressive worldview. Investigating a culture war claims maker like Chick, who purposely disrupts what presumably would be an orthodox or conservative alliance, reveals the process of symbolic boundary making within cultural/moral/religious conflicts.
- ©© 2008 by The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture