The story behind the cartoon/a fond farewell to Chuck Asay...

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Back in 1988, the 200th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. was held in St. Louis, home of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court of these United States which denied the legal standing of slaves and left our nation on the brink of Civil War.

At the time I was a board member of Presbyterians Pro-Life and we were mounting a considerable challenge to our denomination's promotion of the slaughter of the unborn by bringing Mother Teresa to address the assembly (of course, outside the official venue and time). The second prong of our attack was through our daily publications and exhibit booth, so we contacted Chuck Asay, a Presbyterian brother who did editorial cartoons for the Colorado Springs Gazette, and asked him to do a series of cartoons showing the parallels between Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade, the oppression of slaves and the slaughter of the unborn.

Chuck did a wonderful job with those eight or ten cartoons. We mounted a number of them on our PPL exhibit and featured them prominently in our broadsides handed out to the commissioners each day. Between Mother Teresa's prophetic condemnation of the "murder" of the unborn which was attended by every last one of the commissioners (as well as all St. Louis's Roman Catholic hierarchy, the mayor, and every media person within two-hundred and fifty miles) and Chuck's cartoons, the earth shook at that assembly and the counter-attack was swift.

A few blacks employed by men at the top of our denominational bureaucracy came onto the exhibit floor waving signs and shouting in front of our exhibit calling us "racist" for noting the parallel between the oppression of slaves and the slaughter of babies. Media and television cameramen showed up for the shouting, and now that they were on TV, the shouters shouted more loudly about racism and demanded we...

get rid of Chuck's splendid cartoons—most specifically the one you see above. They hated it. Zealous for the slaughter of the unborn, they jostled and shoved and cried "racism," saying they wouldn't stop the blackmail until we removed Chuck's cartoons.

The Executive Committee of the board of PPL went back to our hospitality suite and one of the pastors moved and another seconded a motion that Chuck's cartoons be removed from our exhibit booth and publications, and no future reference be made in our assembly work and witness to either the Dred Scott decision or slavery.

Of course I opposed their motion. You know you've hit your mark when you get a good rebound and good rebound we had gotten both with Mother Teresa and Chuck's cartoons. Thus the opposition made me hopeful of awakened consciences but, sadly, most of the members of the Executive Committee disagreed and the motion carried. A few minutes later, then, we were on our way back over to the Exhibit Hall where we dismantled our booth throwing Chuck's cartoons in the garbage.

It was a shameful day. After removing all the causes of offense, all of us were off to watch the Cardinals play baseball, but I felt sick and left in the top of the first inning.

Now you know the story behind this cartoon available on Tumblr with the name "Asay" removed from its bottom corner. Who posted it on Tumblr and who removed Chuck's name, I don't know. But I do know when that cartoon was drawn, by whom, what it was commissioned for, and what the response of the wicked was.

If Satan attacks your witness to Christ, count it joy that you have been blessed with the privilege of suffering for the Gospel. And if you think the Gospel has nothing to do with slavery and abortion, open your Bibles anywhere and start reading.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” - Matthew 11:4-6

Note: Yesterday (June 29, 2013), Chuck filed his last cartoon with Creators Syndicate announcing his retirement. We bid him a fond farewell. God bless you, dear brother.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!