Rock Monsters, Hurricane Katrina, and the Movie “Noah”

The Genesis story of Noah and the Flood is truly bizarre.  And with the recent release of the movie Noah, the legend has become increasing strange.  With all the discussion around the “accuracy” of the movie, the “inerrancy” of the flood story, and the movie’s over-the-top rock monsters (Nephilim or Watchers), an important issue has been largely overlooked:  the morality of God killing everything on earth in a crazed attempt to restart the creation process.

The Noachian story has some fascinating moral questions.  For example, is the God of Genesis worthy of worship?  According to David Brin, writing for ieet.org:

Let’s say the entire human population, including guiltless babies, were drowned in a fit of angry pique by a questionably-balanced deity who was not setting a very good parental example.

The God of Genesis, in many places, acts more like an angry Greek god than the God of Christianity.

After hurricane Katrina, during a LDS Fast-and-Testimony meeting in my Ward, a couple inferred that Katrina was God pouring down his wrath on a besotted and sinful area.  Really?  (Lucky, the gentlemen giving the closing prayer offered a different sentiment.)  And it seems like some Evangelical ministers implied that HIV/AIDS is God punishing the gay community.  Really?  This type of logic is what Christians get when they place too much (or any significance) on the historicity of Old Testament allegories.  It’s time to move the first five books of the OT into the category of fables, parables, allegories, whatever.

As for the movie . . . it dwells briefly with the issue of who (if anyone) should be dying in the flood.  But only briefly.  One of Noah’s sons becomes infatuated with a woman on the god’s hit list, but Noah is unable (or unwilling) to save her.  This turns the son into a post-flood rebel.  In the movie, most of Noah’s angst seems like soap opera.  I guess that all the silly action scenes, including the rock monsters (think disguised Transformers), were thrown in to keep our attention.  Instead, they seem stupid.

The critics generally liked the movie (77 percent approval rating on rottentomatoes).  I would recommend that you skip it.  It has mostly disappeared from theaters (after making a fair amount of money), but should soon be out in video.

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One Response to Rock Monsters, Hurricane Katrina, and the Movie “Noah”

  1. Susan says:

    I have the best job in the church. I play the piano for 2 hours each Sunday, both junior and senior primaries. I love this job. I sit behind the piano on a hard bench and play songs that children sing. Sometimes fun, sometimes serious, but always interesting. But it’s the “sharing time” episodes that sometimes get me. For instance, yesterday’s sharing time was on the priesthood (each month is a different theme and June is the priesthood). A song is chosen which reflects the theme and the children learn a new song each month. In the fall, the children perform a primary program and sing all the songs learned throughout the year. Anyway, I digress. So the primary counselor who taught yesterday’s Sunday sharing time discussed the ages of the priesthood (like what age do you have to be to be a deacon), etc. Junior primary pretty much went as planned. How much is a 4 year old concentrating on priesthood age trivia?

    Then the senior primary was taught the same lesson. The counselor started her presentation with, “I’m just going to put it out there, since lately it’s been in the news. Women do not hold the priesthood. Never have, never will. And that’s the way we want it”. She then went on with her lesson and the trivia game (like, at what age do Elders get to go on a mission?). At the end of her presentation and before we started singing, a young girl about 9 years old raised her hand and said, “how come girls can’t hold the priesthood?” The counselor abruptly said, “because you get to be a Mother and that’s all that you need to do. Men can’t be Mothers, but women can. You don’t need the priesthood and you don’t need to question it”. And that was it. No further discussion.

    It reiterates what I said to begin my long-winded reply to your blog, Roger. I enjoy the singing. The words, not so much.

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