Chuck Norris’ Wake-Up Call to America Chuck Norris is a man who needs no introduction because, of course, he was a New Man columnist for many years. Oh yeah, and he’s also an action film icon (The Octagon, baby) and pseudo-folk hero thanks to the many Chuck Norris “facts” that abound on the Internet (our personal favorite: “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”). New Man recently caught up with Norris to talk about his faith and his new book, Black Belt Patriotism, which currently sits on the New York Times’ bestsellers list. New Man: Why did you decide to write Black Belt Patriotism? Norris: Well, I was just looking at what was happening with our country and the economy and debt and immigration and I decided I needed to say something. I didn’t write this book as a celebrity or as a political activist, I wrote it as a father and a citizen who’s concerned about the direction our country is heading. You know, our Founding Fathers didn’t want our country to be corrupted by power, which is what’s happening in the government bureaucracy and Congress right now. It’s time for us as a people to stand up, to rise up and demand a government that represents us, a government like the one our Founding Fathers had in mind. New Man: You talk a lot about our Founding Fathers in the book. What lessons do they have for us today? Norris: I knew very little about it until I finished Walker, Texas Ranger and started reading books instead of scripts. It gave me the opportunity to read all about our history, and the more I read, the more I realized that our Founding Fathers had a vision of America. The reason why they started our country was because England was overtaxing them. They decided to make their own country and when they finally won it, the only tax they allowed was an import tax. It was unconstitutional to tax the people as we are doing today. That’s the reason I got behind Mike Huckabee. There are 66,498 pages of tax laws in our country today. The only people who know all those laws are lawyers of rich people who pay them to find loopholes. Currently there are about $13 trillion hidden in offshore accounts that should have been given to the government as tax payments from the wealthy. Mike Huckabee said that if there was a fair tax, we could bring that $13 trillion back to the country to give a huge boost to our economy. As it is, we are being taxed to death by a wasteful government in this country. New Man: Why do you focus on the government’s debt so much? Norris: Because we have a $9 trillion debt in this country that is completely out of control, by a corrupt and wasteful government. Interestingly enough, the Institute for Truth in Accounting estimated that national debt is actually closer to $66 trillion. Let me give you an idea of how wasteful the government is. It costs taxpayers 1.26 cents to mint a penny, and 7.7 cents to mint a nickel. We waste $100 million a year creating our own currency. That’s the worst-run business in the world. Government waste is incredible. It currently wastes $1 trillion of the budget a year to porkbarreling and other things. Just look at AIG and how much money they’re throwing at them to bail the company out. Congress isn’t concerned about the people, they’re concerned about the companies because they are a part of them. It’s time for the people of this country to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” New Man: You take a tough stand on immigration. Can you share your plan with us? Norris: So far, the political pundits haven’t come up with a good solution. Newt Gingrich came close, but I believe I have the answer. Seventy percent of my kids [in the KickStart charitable program] are Hispanic. Many of their parents are illegal immigrants, but they’ve managed to establish themselves in America with a home and a family and a career. There are 12 million illegal immigrants in the America today, so we can’t move them all out of the country. We need to find a way to keep the ones who are contributing to society here and make the ones who are not contributing to our country fugitives. I explain how to do that in the book. Of course, that’s after we put up the fence. I still can’t believe they haven’t managed to put it up yet. We can spend $85 billion to bail out AIG, but we can’t spend $2 billion to put up a fence to protect our citizens. New Man: You share a lot of big-picture concerns in the book. Why do you talk about obesity? Norris: It’s a very serious issue in America. In researching this book I found that one-third of all adults are overweight and another one-third are obese. One-third of all children are overweight. It’s a serious problem health-wise, and we need to address this issue. It affects us in all areas, not just physically, but psychologically and, to some degree, spiritually as well. At the end of the chapter I give readers some suggestions about how to feel good again. I also include some of the workout exercises I use to keep this 68-year-old body in shape. New Man: Can you share your testimony with us? Norris: I grew up with a very strong Christian mom, and I was baptized at 12. But then I got into my film career, and I ended up putting my faith on the back burner during those years. It’s amazing because I had all this success in film and martial arts and all the benefits of that, but I still had a hole in my heart. I didn’t smile much in those days, and I used to think, “Why aren’t I happy?” I couldn’t figure it out. Then 12 years ago I met my wife. She’s a strong Christian woman and she brought me back to my faith. You know, if you look at people of faith, they have this happy countenance and you can see the joy that comes from what they have inside of them. When you see people without faith, they just have this dour look about them all the time, no matter what their circumstance are. What’s the point of money if it can’t bring you happiness? New Man: Tell us about your KickStart program. Norris: I had been teaching martial arts for 15 years, helping kids to learn about morals and discipline through martial arts. It was great, but I realized it was only benefiting the kids whose parents had enough money to enroll them. So I started KickStart about 16 years ago to teach at-risk kids from tough backgrounds the same values and principles through martial arts. Since then we’ve graduated about 60,000 kids from the program. Most of these kids have gone on to graduate from college. Seven of them have come back after college to be trainers in the program. One of them actually turned down a lucrative job to help kids as a trainer. And that’s what it’s all about-helping save as many young people as we can. New Man: If you had one message to send to Christian men, what would it be? Norris: They can find a lot of it in my book because it’s very faith-based, but I would say that happiness and success and joy doesn’t come from the almighty buck. There’s only one Almighty, and He’s up in heaven. To buy Black Belt Patriotism, click here.