On faith: God versus zombies
By: Jill Pertler for the Lake County News-Chronicle , Lake County News Chronicle
We live in a strange and crazy world. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Sometimes though, the overall irony shoots right over the top.
Zombies are a hot commodity. Never mind that no one has ever seen a real one – they’re on TV, T-shirts, in books, video games and the movies, so we’re all familiar with this group of undead.
For the last few years, for many viewers, zombies have dominated Sunday evening television, giving a new definition to the term, “dead man walking.” Zombies were to the Neilson ratings what marshmallows are to s’mores – gooey blobs that had people coming back for seconds while sitting around the warm glow of a campfire (or TV screen).
It appeared that zombies had the upper hand. They were the Chia pets of the new millennium — trendy and not very cute, but cropping up everywhere. Despite their gory appearance, ratings were through the roof and zombies were on a roll (or at least a slow-paced swagger). Nothing short of an axe to the head would stop these man-eating monsters.
Then, along came God.
We’ve always known God had a corner on the Sunday morning market, but now He’s hit primetime with a miniseries on the Bible. Big and small screen adaptations of the Bible have been done before, but our current Bible story has viewers flocking around their screens by the millions.
In the beginning, there were zombies, but in its premiere week, the Bible beat the undead. Score one for the big guy.
God and zombies actually have more in common than a Sunday night primetime slot. Zombies rise from the dead. The Bible practically invented this miraculous feat. Jesus wouldn’t be Jesus without it.
Consider the whole eternity thing. God promises eternity; zombies are stuck with it. They’ve got to experience a blow or bullet to the brain in order to escape the unlife of zombiedom.
Blood, gore and more, the zombie channel isn’t the only place to get your daily helping of brutality. The Bible is full of violent acts: brothers killing brothers, kings killing babies, people turning to salt and the siege and slaughter of entire cities.
All this makes dodging slow-moving, dim-witted zombies seem like a piece of cake.
Zombies may not have a whole lot going on in the areas of conversation and intellect, but they’re technologically advanced and never farther away than your smartphone. You can even access an app that shows what you would look like if you were a zombie. (Why?)
Not to be outdone, God and the Bible are both socially networked and online. God – there’s an app for that. You might think it’s impossible to tweet the story of creation in 140 characters or less, but if anyone can do it, God can.
While zombie lore goes way back in Haitian culture, for all practical purposes, zombies came to the U.S. when the first “Night of the Living Dead” movie was made in 1968. God has been around a lot longer than that. Charlton Heston starred in “The Ten Commandments” way back in 1956.
Moses may have surfed the Red Sea, but the guys at my house like to channel surf. Can you imagine flipping back and forth between the Bible and zombies? Abraham prepares to sacrifice Isaac; (flip) Carl is lost. Moses witnesses the burning bush; (flip) Has anybody seen Carl? Samson gets a haircut; (flip) Where is Carl?
It’s said that God gave people free will. As of late, we also have a choice on Sunday evenings. We can watch zombies or the Bible. Or, we could be totally unconventional and read a book.