Posted by: L. E. Barnes | March 13, 2010

Misinformation Mania

OK, I’m ticked off. I just came across a news story that should trigger the ire of any Catholic who loves their faith:

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – Two Baptist church pamphlets are causing controversy with a Roman Catholic church in Pigeon Forge.

The pamphlet suggests the Roman Catholic church isn’t Christian and the pope is an anti-Christ.

While some people say the pamphlet expresses religious freedom, others say it’s a hate crime.

Father Jay Flaherty, of Holy Cross Catholic Church, said he first learned about the pamphlets when one of his youth brought one to him.

“There’s two of them that really upset me because I knew it would upset the children,” Father Flaherty said. “One’s called the ‘Death Cookie,’ which claims that our communion is from the devil.”

The other pamphlet, titled “Last Rites,” shows cartoon drawings of a Roman Catholic man who isn’t saved because he didn’t accept Christ.

The pamphlets have been passed out before, but Father Flaherty says this is the first time a church’s name has been printed on them.

The church is Conner Heights Baptist Church, located on Conner Heights Road.

Preacher Jonathan Hatcher says the pamphlets are meant to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“This is an isolated event where just one believer had an obligation to share with a Catholic friend, in a difference of what we believe,” Pastor Hatcher said.

Father Flaherty feels differently. “I don’t want another Columbine at Pigeon Forge High School. I can see by this stuff that some people who aren’t straight in the head believing it and persecuting the Catholic kids,” he said.

Pastor Hatcher doesn’t want the pamphlets to cause violence. He hopes they can teach others about what they believe.

“The Bible commands me as a pastor not to be a brawler,” Pastor Hatcher added. “The gospel of Christ is the gospel of peace.”

Father Flaherty responded, saying, “Don’t spread lies. Don’t spread hateful material. That’s all I’m asking.”

Pastor Hatcher says his church doesn’t plan to stop passing out the pamphlets.

Both pastors say they have no plans to meet to discuss the issue.

“Don’t spread lies.“ Amen, Father Flaherty!

The “pamphlets” mentioned in the article were tracts produced by Jack Chick. It never ceases to amaze–and annoy–me that many Protestants still base their views about Catholicism on the tripe that guy puts out. Sometimes I’ve wondered if Chick’s disinformation campaign against the Catholic Church is just due to him not being a competent researcher and writer. However, I’m tempted to say that Chick is the Michael Moore of religious issues: he’ll stoop to any tactic, no matter how low, to persuade readers to see things his way.

And alas, people will read his anti-Catholic propaganda and swallow it hook, line, and sinker. When I encounter people blindly trusting the nonsense they’ve read in a Chick tract, I want to quote a line from one of Geico’s “So Easy a Caveman Can Do It” commercials: “Next time, how about a little research?”



  1. An update indicated that the Pastor has said that he will not continue to distribute the “Death Cookie”. He claims that it was mixed in with other pamphlets and he didn’t know it was there. (I wasn’t able to find that particular story to link you up to it.) The Bishop had a wonderful response. You can read it here:

    • Thanks for letting me know about that!

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