February 26, 2008

Chuck Norris is a Douche

Who do you turn to when faced with one of life's difficult questions? When things look particularly grim and you just can't find a way out, where do you go for wisdom and solace? When confronted with the mysteries of the universe and desperate to make sense out of a tragic event, from whom do you find meaning? What's that you say? Chuck Norris? Yeah, me too.

While a nation unwilling to consider effective gun control struggles with yet another school shooting (this time in Illinois), the tragic events may appear beyond comprehension. Even scientists who base their careers on the study of human aggression have difficulty identifying how myriad causal factors come together to produce this type of abhorrent behavior. The limitations of our knowledge are staggering when it comes to assessing the risk of violence. Fortunately, Chuck Norris is here.

As explained in this excellent post by Austin Cline, Chuck Norris places the blame for the Illinois shooting squarely on the shoulders of we atheists. Okay, that's not entirely fair. Mr. Norris also blames scientists and "secularists." Could this mean that my high school biology teacher had a hand in these shootings, even though he's long since retired and lived on the other side of the country?

I joke, but the sentiment expressed by Mr. Norris is as bad as the worst forms of anti-Semitism or racism. We as a society would not tolerate him saying that Jews or African Americans were responsible for this tragedy, and we should not tolerate him pointing the finger at the reality-based community. That he remains so visible in the campaign of Christian extremist Mike Huckabee, even while making statements of this nature, speaks volumes about the character of Gov. Huckabee and his supporters. At the same time, it is a sobering reminder of just how far we have to go.

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