This Halloween, Northview Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Ohio, handed out religious tracts. The pastor, Rev. Kenny Cousar, says that the tracts are handed out each year, and are usually a big hit.
However, the 2,200 tracts handed out included the Chick publication, Mean Momma, in which a woman's three children die because she refuses to believe in God. One is killed in a car accident, one hangs himself from a noose in the basement, and another is killed when a tornado destroys the family's home. Finally, the mother accepts God into her life.
A parent of 3- and 4-year old children, C.J. Rooks, said she was shocked to see what the church had given her kids.
"It's just awful. They're young children. It's not appropriate for a child to see, at all," Rooks said. "Even if this issue needs discussed, it's something that a parent needs to go over with the child, not a church just throw it out there. I'm glad I got to it before my children did. I went trick-or-treating with a friend who is also a mother, and she was absolutely appalled that these were handed out."According to Rev. Cousar, the church wasn't aware of the graphic content.
"We deeply apologize for it. We were careless. We did not flip through and look at all the pamphlets. We don't create them. We purchase them from a company, and because they are in comic-book style, we figured kids and teenagers would like them," Cousar said. "But, I have small children, and I would never want them to see that tract. We do not support the methodology, especially as far as scare tactics, that was portrayed in that tract. We were careless and we will not let it happen again."Causar also posted an apology on the church's Facebook page:
"I want to publicly apologize for what has happened in Greenfield and Hillsboro this past Thursday. Annually, our church has a ministry of passing out Gospel tracts with our candy to children as an outreach to our communities. Unfortunately, we did not realize that one of our tracts was not appropriate. That is our fault for not paying attention to the tract in the first place. Our church does not endorse this type of extreme methodology that was represented in this particular tract, and we can assure you that we will not let this happen again. In our zeal to get the Gospel out, we were careless; but our church is a loving church that loves souls and wants to do all we can in our community to help as well as spread and share the Gospel message of Christ. We would've responded earlier but did not receive the message from the newspaper until this morning after the article had already been printed. Our purpose was not to bring harm or anger into the hearts of parents, on the contrary: we passed out candy bars so that Jesus would be a positive thought in the hearts of boys and girls. Again, we are sorry for what has occurred, and know that God has a plan in all of this."
Hey Rev., just because something is in a comic book style doesn't mean it's ok for 3-year old kids. And handing out literature with a sticker of your church on the back is kind of 'endorsing the methodology,' don't you think?
Rev., have you actually ever read any of the Chick tracts? They're not exactly 'loving.' The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Chick Publications as a hate group. The tracts are full of bigotry, hate, and extreme fundamentalism. If you don't endorse the extreme views of the tracts, you might want to consider not handing out thousands of them each year.
'This Was Your Life': The Chick Tract That Horrified Children