Why so Serious?: The Joker and Christian Chaos

The Joker in The Dark Knight is portrayed by H...

Image via Wikipedia

Christians should always be agents of chaos. They should be disruptive and constantly challenging the injustices around them.

In determining the exact nature of chaos, it is helpful to consider the sinister, yet persuasive words of Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker, in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, “The Dark Knight.” In this thrilling movie, The Joker (Health Ledger) is posing as a nurse so that he can talk to Harvey Dent, better known as Two Face, about why he is causing the chaos and panic in Gotham City. The Joker defines chaos almost perfectly for our purposes while Dent lies in the bed, burnt face and all, listening:

It’s the schemers who put you where you are. You were a schemer. You had plans. Look where it got you. I just did what I do best – I took your plan, and I turned it on itself. Look at what I’ve done to this city with a few drums of gas and couple of bullets. Nobody panics when the expected people get killed. Nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying. If I tell the press tomorrow a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics. Because it’s all part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, everybody loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of Chaos. And you know the thing about Chaos, Harvey? It’s fair.

Christianity proposes a mode of living in which all those who show fidelity pose a threat to the old system. This system can be a racist perspective, an injustice law firm, or an overpowering government. At any rate and at whatever level this system operates, the Christian subject, when believing in the paradox of faith, becomes an agent of chaos. When you love others unconditionally, it shatters and turns the world on its head. It creates anarchy. Christians are called to upset the established order of things through love and undying fidelity to the Christian message.

For a clip of this scene from the actual movie, click here.


[1] The Dark Knight, DVD, directed by Christopher Nolan (Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, 2008).

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