I recently witnessed a tragicomic youtube video that some 50,000 other netizens have had the misfortune of viewing and it was one of those outrages so grand it demands a snicker-snack of the pen. I’m referring, of course, to the spot by your friend and mine, Mr. Chuck Norris, where he warns that if we re-elect President Obama he will usher in a thousand years of darkness for our country. If you’re not one of the 50,000 who have had the misfortune of being assailed by the video — and since you’re too curious to heed my warning about listening to stupid people talk — you will find it at:
The very first post in response to the video is fairly astute, it reads: At least now I know there is something stronger than Chuck Norris… money. However I believe there is something more than just a financial issue here (though I’m sure Mr. Norris stands to gain from any tax cuts directed towards the wealthiest few). I would amend the statement to read, perhaps: At least now I know there is something stronger than Chuck Norris… religious zealotry.
If you peruse Mr. Norris’s other youtube appearances you’ll find one where he accuses President Obama of attempting to bring about a one world government. There is something that lies beyond the purely tribalistic expression (i.e. America ought to remain independent) and that is a set of prophecies made in the biblical book of Revelations. These prophecies seem to say that the formation of the one world government will immediately predate the apocalypse. I believe it is to these prophecies that Norris is referring though the spot seems to exaggerate the circumstances: the Bible only promises us some 7 years of darkness followed by the very-much-light-filled reign of Christ on earth.
I have to first pose some questions about Norris’s spiritual acumen. First it seems that from his religious point of view this one world government — possibly evil possibly not — is nonetheless necessary to the fullness of god’s plan to bring about the reign of heaven on earth. God intends the one world government just as much as he intends the 7 years of darkness just as much as he intends the salvation of the earth and the ultimate victory over darkness of his people. Why then is Norris trying to avert the whole shebang? If he is a believer shouldn’t he work towards or at least passively accept the fulfillment of all those prophecies? Shouldn’t he be spending his time trying to convert as many as possible — instead of working on political campaigns — so that when the final battle comes, if it is as imminent as he says it is, the ranks of believers will be swollen and stand in unity against the darkness?
Norris seems to have some sort of religious identity crisis or, as I’d more likely guess, he hasn’t really thought his beliefs through. This is the quintessential failure of all zealotry, the failure to think things through. Religion and spirituality that is poorly considered tends to result in a lot more pain and divisiveness than our great spiritual forefathers have intended. If we thought our religion through we might realize that Christ told us to love our enemies, even if they are Muslim. If we thought religion through we might realize that though Christ was willing to die for his beliefs among which was the essential truth that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights even if they are gay. If we thought our religions through we might understand that Mohammed was more likely referring to an inner jihad of the soul, a scouring of what is unworthy within ourselves.
Norris, though, is drawing lines in the sand: if you vote for Obama you’re voting for an anti-christ of sorts. But Jesus himself, choosing to dine with tax collectors and mingle with lepers, was very specific about not drawing lines in the sand. In fact, if Jesus ever did draw lines, it was clearly against the “powers of this world”; he came, by his specific word, to free us from the law and, by his specific word, he was referring to the law of the Sanhedrin most especially, the Sanhedrin being Jerusalem’s governing body of the day. Shouldn’t Norris than be fighting against the oppressive powers of this world rather than shilling for candidates? Christ never had much to say to any politician, not even the ones who were trying to kill him.
Full disclosure: I support President Obama and have rarely disagreed with his views. So let me try and set sectarianism aside when I say that Mitt Romney is an essentially lackluster individual. The few compelling achievements of his life — the Salt Lake Olympics and Romneycare — he has tried his damndest to insulate himself from this entire campaign. That’s left him with few credentials except a vague claim to macroeconomic experience from his time in the corporate world and the occasional quip about his dad having lived in Mexico for a few years. So I ask the reader, if we are sincerely facing a thousand years of darkness as Norris claims, what do we expect Governor Romney to do about it? Bore it to death with stories about his Dad living in Mexico? Raise its taxes since a thousand year dark age is not a major corporation or a member of the top 1%? I’ll say this, he’ll certainly help us to avoid a one world government — a couple more quips about the London Olympics and he should have managed to thoroughly alienate our closest ally.
It’s so indicative that Norris can’t help but quote Reagan during the spot and he does exactly what so many other mouthpieces for big corporations do: he neglects to mention that almost all economists now see Reagenomics as one of the dumbest ideas anyone ever had. Of course, it’s nice that Norris’s religious beliefs dovetail so neatly with lower taxes for himself and fat paychecks from corporations that pay for anti-Obama commercials. It’s so nice that one can’t help but see the hand of providence!
Maybe, though, the problem isn’t Norris at all; maybe the problem is us. Maybe the problem is that somewhere along the way we decided it was a good idea to take political/spiritual advice from movie stars. Maybe the problem is that Norris is thinking for himself and what he’s thinking is that he’s speaking to an entire nation full of dupes — people who don’t think for themselves. Maybe the reason we hate Islamic extremism so much is because it holds a mirror up to our own faces.
What are we doing? Why are we drawing lines in the sand? What can war but endless war breed? (–John Milton) The more zealous we become the more zealous we can expect the other side to be; they are, after all, exactly as unreasonable as we are being — like us — merely human. There are so many billions of people on this green planet that draw so much strength from their religions yet the news is filled with terrorist attacks, qur’ran burnings, you name it. The zealous few are destroying religion, have been doing so since its foundation, and the moderate, god-fearing many are left to pay the price. Where is our zealotry going to take us? There’s only two ways through: either we bring Muslims to the table and talk or we wipe every single one of them off the face of the earth. Are we as a people prepared to commit a holocaust?
I think I’d like to end by adding one more quip to that statement about things that are stronger than Chuck Norris. I’d like to add: Chuck Norris is a fucking idiot.