Why "Noah" Doesn't Hold Water
The "Noah" film is set to release in March. The trailer just released.
I've been dreading this, on several levels. The problem isn't the stellar cast, the talented director, the elaborate visuals or the Resurrection-Of-The-70s-Disaster-Film premise.
The problem is that, if the movie holds closely enough to the scriptural account (and that remains to be seen), we'll quite likely see the film propped up by the likes of Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, a hundred megapastors and thousands of evangelical churches. This happens every decade or so.
In my religious days as a Christian radio host, we hosted a live broadcast and special promotion for another biblical film, "The Prince of Egypt," rallying the community to support the movie and even use it as an evangelical tool.
When Mel Gibson released his torture-porn classic, "The Passion of the Christ," churches organized special screenings and field trips to local theaters, and the vacuous bloodbath became one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
And here we stand again, awaiting the faithful's misty-eyed embrace of their beloved Noah story and the emotion-based preaching, pleas and proselytizing that will follow.
And while so many audience members surrender to the screenwriter(s), the moody cinematography, the Oscar-bait cast, the squillion-dollar CGI effects, the pounding choral score and the goosebumps preceding the closing credits, the rest of us will find ourselves, again, attempting to snap the fingers of reason to awake them from their stupor.
It's amazing that the story has been taught as fact for so long. After all, it fails to meet any logical, evidential or moral standard. For example:
- Everyone was evil? Even newborn babies? The unborn? The deaf/mute? The mentally ill? The sick and afflicted?
- How did a 600-year-old guy build a football-stadium-sized boat using only trees and pitch?
- What about specialized diets for the animals? Bamboo for the giant pandas? Eucalyptus for the koalas? Meat for the carnivores? Plants for the herbivores?
- Where was the food stored? How did it keep from spoiling?
- How did penguins, polar bears and other arctic animals travel thousands of miles and then survive in the middle east heat?
- How did eight people over 500 years in age shovel thousands of tons of animal waste out of a 450-foot-long boat with a single window?
- Why didn't the toxic mix of fresh rainwater and salty seawater kill all of the lake and ocean creatures?
- Why did Noah have to send a dove to find land when Noah and God were on speaking terms a few verses before?
- If the ark had no rudder, no motor and no sail, what difference did the dove make? Seeing land would have had no bearing on the ark's final resting place.
- When the ark landed, with all animal and plant life on earth dead, what did the humans and animals eat?
- Was incest really part of God's plan for repopulation? And how did we end up with thousands of various ethnic groups in only 4,000 years?
- Why did the worthy protagonist of this story spend his latter years naked, drunk and in disgrace?
- Why the elaborate flood? Why not just vaporize the evil humans and skip the flood?
- If God is truly omniscient and sees all, wouldn't he have seen the corruption of humankind before he ever created the world, avoiding the whole charade by implementing a better plan? Or does he have a blind spot?
- Why is there no geological evidence (none, nada, zip) for a global flood?
Now, if you're interested in the film as entertaining fiction and big-screen bombast, wonderful. But we skeptics in the audience who decide to attend will undoubtedly be sitting mere feet from devout Christians parents who brought their children to a blockbuster bible lesson, and for many of the swooning faithful, there will be teary-eyed rejoicing and shouts of "True!" over this boat full of bull.