Chuck Norris vs. the Jesus Jackers

How a washed-up action star saved Christmas.

By Alex Koppelman
December 22, 2008 7:45PM (UTC)
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Who needs Bill O'Reilly to save us from the evil anti-Christmas forces? We've got Chuck Norris, people.

In his latest column for the conservative Web site World Net Daily, which is headlined "Jacking Jesus," Norris writes about his concern over "a new Christmas fetish -- neutering nativities by jacking the Jesus." Some of the choicer bits:


Just over the past week, dozens of mini-messiahs have been nabbed from nativities across the country...

To prevent further sacred thefts, thousands of churches and private residents are turning to technology to help them "save Jesus." But when GPS devices have to be planted in the skulls of the savior, and security cameras have to guard the path of the three wise men, can't we see that society is a bit off-center?


These religious heists beg the question: Is stealing baby Jesus figurines harmless juvenile fun or intentional hate crimes? Whatever the answer to each, there's absolutely nothing funny about vandalism. Skeptics might mock these defacements as negligible crimes, but stealing the soul of nativities is one more dismal sign of a culture gone awry. Religious Grinches who steal these symbolic Christs are pathetic piles of yuletide trash.

So here's the hope. Not that these distressing religious crimes will decrease over the years. But no matter how often Christmas thugs try to pilfer nativities, they can never take away the real Jesus of history.

Sure, cases have been made. Some can hope he never existed, as 70 percent of Britons who recently doubted the biblical story of the birth of Jesus. But, rebutting such uncertainty as naïve, Simon Gathercole, a scholar at Cambridge University, explained that people today are cynical because they don't realize the origins of Christianity are entrenched in real history. Gathercole admonished, "Jesus was born while Augustus was emperor of Rome just before Herod died. … [W]e're talking about events that are anchored in real history not in ancient Greek myths."

Naturally, the column ends with this note: "In December, Chuck is giving away a free chapter from his New York Times best-seller, 'Black Belt Patriotism.' To get yours, go to 'Black Belt Patriotism' makes a great Christmas gift!"

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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