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Chip Mosher: Manure occureth

On bumper stickers they frequently say it happens. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. once said because human beings are so full of it they’d make unlikely prospects for interstellar travel in confined spaceships. There is so much of it everywhere, you sometimes feel your whole life has been spent behind a smelly sludge truck from the local waste-treatment plant.


Look at terrorism in the world, for example, which has been around since that rabble-rousing Cain slew his brother, the devout Abel. Yet to this day, man still raises his fist against his fellow man, sometimes simply because someone slights his religion. And suddenly everyone in their weird religious garb goes berserk. And the violence erupts all over again. But where will all this crap end? I mean, what’s up with those Amish guys back in Ohio?

Conservative Amish elder Samuel Mullet Sr., 66, and his four children, recently were convicted of hate crimes against their fellow Amish brethren, who were not following stricter Amish practices. Apparently, these criminals would hold down those “who deviated from the true Amish way” and violently cut off their beards and hair with scissors — an act so deplorable it caused nightmares throughout their community.

If you’re not familiar with this story, imagine the screenplay for Witness crossed with that of Saw V, and you’ll get the picture: Young Lukas Haas getting his little head painfully buzz-cut by a barber named Jigsaw. (Cue the screaming.) Oh, the horror, the horror. Or so it would seem to simple-living, docile Amish folk.

However, behind this comparatively mild incident of violence lurks a hint that the human race is in deeper doo-doo than one might suspect. If these Amish pacifists have been resorting to brutality to bring neighbors to their pious knees, should not the rest of the world be wary of this new hate-mongering group?

Isn’t this often the way of religion in the world? Violence begetting more violence? First, Cain and Abel, then the Jews against the world, then Christians against Jews, then Catholics against Muslims, then Protestants against Catholics, then sect against sect, ad infinitum? Too much of history’s savagery has been men figuratively lining up in religious restrooms, bellying up to theological urinals to prove their spiritual schlongs are bigger than everyone else’s. My god is bigger than your god, by god!

And now the damn Amish are getting into the act. Which, given the Mayan prediction for 2012, could be the beginning of the end for mankind. Some say the world will end in fire, some say in an Amish apocalypse. Manure occureth.

That said, one can’t help but hope there’s a silver lining to this bleak cloud. What if we could utilize the Amish to help change the world’s violent ways? Maybe make a movie titled Innocence of the Amish, and spread it over the Internet. If we had sent Amish boys to terrorize Iraq and Afghanistan with scissors rather than American weapons of mass destruction, would America be more respected in the world? Or could an Amish Peace Corps teach terrorists worldwide about the militant use of hair clippers? Might this make both the secular and sacred worlds safer? Rather than be blown to bits by a suicide bomber, who wouldn’t choose to have their hair chopped off?

Perhaps the Amish with their “shearia law” could bring true religious reform to a world drenched in blood. A pacifist’s kind of terrorism. Now ain’t dat da real manure?

CHIP MOSHER hopes the Amish don’t read this and threaten to buzz-cut his balls.