Why do people do the things they do? Gary Larson could have gone on using his old Far Side cartoons to make calendars forever. People like me would have kept buying them. But this year, he apparently decided he had enough dough and pulled the plug. (God provided: I found an even better calendar: Cats That Look Like Hitler).
Why did Larson give up all that free money? Why did Madoff think he could get away with his Ponzi thing? What made Mickey Rourke become a wrestler? Strange are the ways of human behavior.
Why did I decide to write a book about becoming a Christian? Don’t I have enough trouble? Last year, I was guesting on a TV show, sitting on my canvas chair between takes, reading a C.S. Lewis book called MERE CHRISTIANITY. I can’t tell you how many people, cast and crew alike, came over to ask me about it. There seems to be a hunger out there, even in the vast, atheistic wasteland called Hollywood.
I believe there’s an emptiness in all of us that only the Holy Spirit can fill. Good sex does a pretty good job of plugging it up, but not for long. Cocaine and booze work for a while, too. Fame and money aren’t bad, either. That’s why so many people move to Hollywood. But when they’ve used up all these things, they’re still left with a hole in the middle of them that the Creator stuck there, knowing that eventually they’d feel the urge to fill it and do what they had to do to seek Him out.
I know this sounds a little nuts to a lot of people. But what doesn’t, when you stop to think about it? Science now pretty much accepts the idea of the Big Bang theory. At a certain point, fifteen billion years ago, an infinitesimal speck of something or other somehow came into being. It exploded and within a few seconds, everything needed to create the entire universe appeared, including time and space. Is that crazy or what? But science says it’s true.
Ten percent of the gross weight of every living thing on earth is ants. Ants! Don’t talk to me about crazy. It’s all crazy. Why do we fall in love? Why does love turn to hate? What’s the capital of North Dakota? These are unanswerable questions.
The reason I became a Christian is the same reason I became a conservative: I paid attention. I watched to see what worked. If a loving Creator designed the whole mishbooker, it all makes sense. If it happened by accident and coincidence (quadrillions of coincidences), it’s nuts. So, I felt the urge to write about it, to share the so-called Good News.
God is being siphoned out of the public arena. People don’t even say God bless you when you sneeze anymore. I want to be able to lay a Merry Christmas on someone without its feeling like a political statement.
I think God loves to hear little kids laugh at fart jokes. He didn’t just make sunsets and bluebirds, He made hot babes. And dirty old men like me. That’s the modest message I’ve set out to tell the world: you don’t have to be Ned Flanders to be a Christian.
Orson Bean’s new book, M@il For Mikey, is published by Barricade Books