Very little is known about who "Jack Chick" actually is, but you can infer an awful lot from his voluminous literature, which you have very likely found lying on a bus seat or trampled beneath the feet of college students at any major campus.
By his own account, Chick was born to draw comics, but until his conversion to Christianity, he never quite found his niche. As a child, his schoolmates "all agreed not to witness to him, convinced that he was the last guy on earth who would ever accept Jesus Christ." Uh, OK, whatever.
After being delivered from the festering sewer of "bad language" that had apparently constituted his whole life before marriage, Chick decided to turn his talents to pamphleteering, beginning with a tract called "Why No Revival?" which condemned the lethargic lack of enthusiasm of modern churchgoers. Many complaints can be made about Jack Chick, but lethargy and lack of enthusiasm are not among them.
Chick founded his own company, "Chick Publications," to disseminate his theological insights. These largely consisted of lurid depictions of sin and sinners, visions of the Apocalypse, foreshadowings of Armageddon and virulent attacks on Roman Catholics.
One might think that Chick hates Catholics, but (apparently) nothing could be further from the truth! He just hates the sin, not the sinner. According to his Web site, "After much prayer, (Chick) made the decision that, no matter what it cost him personally, he would publish the truth that Roman Catholicism is not Christian. He did it because he loves Catholics and wants them to be saved through faith in Jesus, not trusting in religious liturgy and sacraments. He paid a price for that decision in many ways, as priests and nuns entered Christian bookstores screaming and making a scene, demanding that the store owner not stock Chick tracts."
Chick also believed that Baptists were the first Catholics, but that they had been driven underground by Catholic persecution for 1,900 years. Kind of like the Gnostics, except, you know, Baptists.
Chick fueled many of his anti-Catholic diatribes with testimony from a supposed ex-priest named Alberto Rivera (no apparent relation to Geraldo). In response to many, many, many allegations that Rivera was simply the deluded concoction of a sick mind, Chick Publications responded: "Though many have tried over the last 10 years, none has successfully refuted the claims that Dr. Rivera has made against the Roman Catholic church."
Among the claims forwarded by "Rivera":
One can only hope that when Jack Chick dies, whatever gods there be have enough of a sense of humor to subject him to one of his florid cartoon "O Henry" twist scenes in which Saint Peter rips off his mask to reveal a laughing Satan: "Ha ha! Jack Chick, you thought you were serving Jesus by peddling hate and fear, but..."
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