After the utter bugfuckery of Somebody Loves Me, Lisa, and… well, just about every other tract I’ve reviewed on this site, This Was Your Life! comes off as a bit quaint. The protagonist still gets his sinning ass tossed into Hell, but for once it’s not because he’s gay or believes in science. Chick claims that the poor man’s eternal damnation stems from his rejection of Christ as his savior. However, I think we can all see this man’s greatest sin was being a colossal douche.
We are introduced to our hero, looking quite dashing with his pipe and windbreaker/turtleneck ensemble as he sips a highball and basks in the glory of his sports car and console television set.
However, the enjoyment of his mammonism is cut short by the Grim Reaper himself. The poor bastard dies with a startled “Whaaa?” leaving behind a mysteriously floating pipe and drinking glass.
No sooner is our protagonist in the ground when he is awakened by the booming voice of God and yanked up naked through the graveyard dirt. You know, like it says in the Gospel According to John.
A rather brawny angel delivers him to a waiting room, where he awaits his final judgment. The poor man tries to convince the angel that he’s not so bad, but the angel really doesn’t seem to give a shit.
Eventually, he is called before the Throne of God. At the risk of sounding pedantic, I have to admit I’m a little confused by the chronology of the whole thing. Chick quotes a verse from the Revelation of St. John, which implies this mass judgment of the dead is occurring in the End Times™. Which means that either the Apocalypse happened right after this guy died, or he’s been sitting in that waiting room for a long ass time.
Of course, since God is taking the time to personally review the case of every dead person, I can only imagine there would be quite the backlog. Our hero is treated to a multimedia presentation of his life…
…including his mispent teenage years of telling dirty jokes and watching women pee standing up.
The sinful charges leveled against the poor guy include false accusations, hypocrisy, deceit, and lying, which are all pretty much the same sin, aren’t they? He also stands accused of disobeying his parents, thieving, being envious, hating God, whoremongering, backbiting, and um… whispering?
And finally, most damning of all, he was bored in church!
The poor man is overcome with remorse and breaks down sobbing. However, it’s too late. His name doesn’t appear in the Book of Life…
…and so he gets tossed into Hell. Which explains why those angels are so buff, I guess. Chucking sinners gives you quite the upper body workout.
Fortunately, Chick tells us, it doesn’t have to be that way! He gives us a Run Lola Run type alternative ending where we see our hero living a good, Christian life…
…and being welcomed into Heaven when he dies by Giant Faceless God.
This Was Your Life! is one of Jack Chick’s most popular tracts, and has been adapted for a number of different audiences.
(Interestingly, the woman avoids the pitfalls of whoremongering and whispering. However, she does get into drugs and witchcraft, because those sins are much more relatable to women. Also, she gets to keep her clothes on during her judgment, because naked women are wicked and offensive to God.)
It’s truly a Rainbow Coalition of Asshattery. Thank you, Jack.