Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Typhoons, Divine Genocide and Russell Crowe’s Arky-Arky

Noah's Ark, by Edward Hicks (1846)We thought it most appropriate to pass around the virtual platinum offering plates at the onset of today’s Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.

Seriously, it’s way more important that you consider handing over a few hard-earned bucks for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts than that you read a single word Pastor Pillow has to say.

Here’s the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan donation link.

Here’s the Doctors Without Borders Typhoon Haiyan donation link.

And Pastor Pillow personally promises that every dollar donated is ten years off your sentence in Purgatory.  Now, let the Sunday-Bloody Mary-Sunday Brunch Service begin!

Having sucked the marrow out of every possible disaster that could befall our Little Blue Planet, the Hollywood Whore of Babylon Machine has finally done the unthinkable:  turned to Scripture for inspiration.  And this even before Billy Graham’s upcoming blockbuster salvation sizzler “My Hope America.”

(I caution you not to click the above link without a tub of over-salted popcorn in your lap.)

I imagine the recent cabal of film studio executives that led to the production of the Russell Crowe vehicle, “Noah,” went something like this:

Lenny:  Asteroid?

Buddy:  [rolls sleeves of smoking jacket]  Did that already, several times.  “Direct Impact,” “Armageddon.”

Lenny:  [inhales cigar, coughs]  How about tornadoes?

Buddy:  “Twister,” “Sharknado.”

Lenny:  Global warming?  Perhaps a Predator series adaptation of “An Inconvenient Truth”?

Buddy:  [ashes stogie]  Nah.  Also, “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Jerry:  [slams highball glass on table]  I’ve got it!  The Bible.  [slaps Lenny on the shoulder]  See, Lenny, pays to stay awake in synagogue.  The Old Testament has disaster up the wazoo.  Battle scenes, pillars of fire, the crumbling walls of Jericho.  The works!

Lenny:  I think you’re on to something, Jerry.  I can just see the trailer:  “Fasten your seatbelts, Earth.  Jehovah has had it up to here.  WITH SIN.  This Fall, 20th Century Fox and Jerry Bruckheimer present a 23-part theological epic series that has been centuries in the making—”

Buddy:  Ooh, I love it, love it, love it!  And Pharaoh’s chariots are Decepticons, right?

Jerry:  Hmm.  We’ll probably have to play it close to the vest to get the Evangelicals to show up.

Lenny.  In that case, make sure casting doesn’t pick any Middle Easterners in lead roles.

Buddy:  [picks up phone]  Shirley, get me Crowe’s agent.  On the double.

Pastor Pillow here!

Man, just when you thought Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ira Flatow were about to nudge us into the Great Age of Rodenberry, then along comes director Darren Aronofsky and a cast of A-list Antediluvians with $130 million to poop away on a film as anti-Evolution as it gets.  Yeah, just what the world did not need to prompt fundies everywhere to save the Creation Museum from extinction.

Hey, Tinsel Town, while you’re at it, why don’t you just give Kirk Cameron the Green Lantern Power Ring so he can “zap” all the gays back to heterosexuality?

Excuse me.  I have a metaphysical migraine.  Let me go swig some Cabernet from the sacristy and get back with you in a few.  Yeah, it’s one of those Sundays.

INTERMISSION.

Seriously, click the “Intermission” link.  I’m going to be a few minutes.

Okay, I’m back.  Divine blessings upon whoever left that bottle of Wild Turkey in there.  Whoa, podium; hold still now.  How about we turn over the service to our youth ministry for a few minutes?

A’ one, a’ two, a’ one-two-three:  “Jesus Loves the Little Children…”

Wait!  Are we sure Jesus loves the red ones, too?

Well, maybe he does, but what about Jehovah?  The Tetragrammaton seems a bit more discriminate with his love.  Just ask Anthony Hopkins, Hollywood’s answer to Methuselah.

CLICK THIS LINK TO WITNESS AN EPIC TRAILER ABOUT DIVINELY-INSPIRED GENOCIDE!

Yay!

And now another ditty from our youth choir, in celebration of a furious Creator!

Katrina.  Haiyan.  Noah.  The Global Theme du Décennie seems to be perfect storms.  So let me just repeat a few words about biblical floods from one of my “X-Rated Bible” articles a few weeks back:

“One decade later, while browsing the library shelves at the conservative Christian college I was attending in St. Paul, I stumbled upon a slender volume entitled The Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the most ancient works of literature.  The narrative tells the adventures of Gilgamesh, demigod of Uruk (modern Iraq), and includes a number of Mesopotamian cosmological myths.  I read the book cover to cover while standing in the stacks, and browsed through several other related books, including Alexander Heidel’s classic work, The Babylonian Genesis.

“Lo and behold, who is this Utnapishtim fellow?  Seems to have a lot in common with Mr. Noah.  Asked by Enki (God) to construct a giant boat that will serve as a refuge for animals and humanity from a pending deluge.  Hmm, that’s odd, Utnapishtim also released a dove from his boat to see if the waters had receded.  Well, now, I wonder if Moses ever considered suing for plagiarism.

“That afternoon had a remarkable impact on my interpretation of Scripture.  It dawned on me that the author(s) of Genesis weren’t writing anachronistically to disprove Darwinism.  They didn’t give a flip about the age of the universe, nor were they interested in producing a play-by-play account of life on Earth.  They were simply writing a tract on monotheism in response to the polytheisms of the day.”

There you go:  Noah in a nutshell.

As to why the world was just recently rocked by a typhoon of unprecedented magnitude, I suggest you head over to Duke University and check out the origins of oceans on our planet.  Here’s another good explanation of typhoon machinations via BBC.

Yeah, a little less sexy than Hollywood’s latest cataclysmic dry run (pun intended) and considerably less divine ragey-ragey than Pat Robertson would have us believe about cyclone cause and effect.

Anyway, watch the NFL this afternoon while you still can.  Severe thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon’s Bear-Ravens matchup in the Windy City.  Maybe at halftime Soldier Field will just float into Lake Michigan; Jim Nantz is my vote for the perfect Noah stand-in.  If terra firm is still around after that, head on down to your local 5:30 p.m. church service.  And if you have time, check out these five waterlogged Radical Right articles.

As ever, I am not making up any of this stuff.

5.  Kentucky Eyes Earth’s Destruction as Economic Boon, via The Christian Post:  “Kentucky City May Offer $62 Million in Securities to Help Noah’s Ark Replica Park”

Williamstown, Kentucky, wants to spend more than $60 million to build a 500-foot replica of Noah’s Ark “to help aid the completion of a Creationist theme park.”

Okay, I’m totally in, so long as the Adam and Eve ride feature sexy models sans fig leaves.

Seriously, though, I have to question urban planners for one major oversight:  the Williamstown City Council forgot to allocate recurring funds for the Sanitation Division to clean up the poo of the nearly 9 million animal species that will supposedly be squeezed onto the vessel like sardines.

Oh wait, Mitt Romney just weighed in with a good idea.  If they put all canine species on the ark roof, it will make room for all those cumbersome sauropods.

Sheesh.

4.  Rumor of God’s Wrath Strangely Absent in Summaries of Super Typhoon Haiyan, at Christian Broadcasters Network:  “Typhoon Haiyan’s Death Toll Could Top 10,000”

Oh, praise God.  Pat Robertson’s CBN is taking up funds for Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief.

Wait a second.  Isn’t this the same Pat Robertson who declared a few years back that Hurricane Katrina and Tropical Storm Isaac were products of “God’s wrath”?

Reverend Robertson, so you mean Typhoon Haiyan was just a bad luck super storm with no Divine-intended consequences, but any time a thunder clapper appears over the United States, it’s a matter of divine retribution?

But thank God the “CBN Disaster Relief is on the ground in some of the hardest hit areas, working with the military to distribute relief goods—including water purification devices to disinfect thousands of gallons each day, along with medicine, food, blankets and more.”

Yet I remain curious:  just where was CBN during Hurricane Katrina?  What, CBN was delivering relief there too?!

You mean CBN stood in the way of Divine Retribution upon the Gulf Coastal Region?!

O, here comes that metaphysical migraine again.  I am so sorely spiritually confused.

3.  Jesus Accidentally Lets Fly Ultimate Spoiler for Upcoming Noah Disaster Epic, according to Institute for Creation Research“Jesus and the Flood”

Leave it to Jesus to spoil the plot of the upcoming Russell Crowe biblical disaster epic, Noah.

Or as Henry Morris, Ph.D., of the Institute of Creation Research puts it:

“The Lord Jesus Christ not only believed in the special, recent creation of all things by God (note Mark 10:6-8), but also in the worldwide Flood of Noah’s day, including the special preservation of life on the Ark. The Flood in which He believed was obviously not a ‘local flood,’ for He compared it to the worldwide future impact of His Second Coming.”

I really only have five words in reply:  Sedimentary Rock, Tons of It.

For what it’s worth, there’s a guy on the InterWeb Ether who goes by “anglagard” who has created a rather wonderful pro-Evolution list that ought to shame just about anyone who believes in a literal Noah & the Arky-Arky Narrative.

My personal favorite is his question (No. 55) as to how Noah kept an abundance of eucalyptus leaves for koala bears on his boat.

In case you weren’t aware, the Institute for Creation Research is a full-fledged member of the National Religious Broadcasters.

2.  Next Raindrop Portends Arrival of the Whore of Babylon, over at the Wisconsin Christian News:  Startling Numbers of Americans Believe World Now in the ‘End Times’”

Yeah, anyone with commonsense probably isn’t willing to pony up $25 for a one-year subscription to the Wisconsin Christian News, but those Hollywood moguls are well aware of what the Summer 2013 OmniPoll is reporting:  “that 41% of all U.S. adults, 54% of Protestants and 77% of Evangelicals believe the world is now living in the biblical end times.”

(For what it’s worth, 73% of Roman Catholics aren’t buying this Obama-Syria-Revelation bullshit.)

To quote myself:  “As one of my theology professors once put it: ‘In the past millennium, not one generation has gone by without Christians insisting that the Book of Revelation points to Christ’s imminent return, and that all of the text’s cryptic references can easily be mapped to the current political world. And every single generation has been spectacularly wrong.’”

But it looks like Evangelicals will spend all of their free time leading up to the November 2014 Elections channeling the narrative of Noah into visions of sugar plum antichrists dancing in their heads.

By the way, someone should quickly point out to the folks at the Wisconsin Christian News that this article’s URL ends with “666.”  Heebie-Jeebies!

1.  Think Before You Send Covenantal Rainbows to the Philippines, via Christianity Today: How Churches Can Help Without Hurting After Super Typhoon Haiyan”

Usually we like to end each week on a positive note, which is great, because finally we have something positive to report from Christianity Today.

Author Jamie Aten provides some exceedingly salient points about how to help in the aftermath of divine wrath finger-pointing.  Seriously, give.  But give wisely.

But do in fact give.  Hal, pass around the virtual platinum offering plates again:

Here’s the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan donation link.

Here’s the Doctors Without Borders Typhoon Haiyan donation link.

Well, folks, that’s a wrap!

And just why do we present the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up each week?

According to Forbes, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) alone brings in nearly $300 million per year in revenue. CBN isn’t alone in the 9-figure Radical Right Revenue Game. According to the website Ministry Watch, CBN is dwarfed in comparison to the nearly $900 million raked in annually by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

But TBN and CBN are mere bright stars in a galactic empire of hundreds of Christian news and media organizations. If you have a few minutes to spare, review the membership lists of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Evangelical Press Association.

Each and every one of these Christian media organizations have one thing in common: they report news to members of the Christian Right across the Fruited Plain.  And the Christian Right account for nearly one-third of America’s voters.

Not only that, but here’s a list of what’s on the line in November 2014:

—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives

—33 seats in the U.S. Senate

—46 State Legislatures

—And 38 State and Territorial Governorships.

Sorry to preach politics from the pulpit, but if that doesn’t scare the shit out of you enough to submit an early 2014 ballot, I don’t know what will.

See you next week.

And a final message for people everywhere, don’t forget:  the November 2014 election is this many days away.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!

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  • Evilmumrah

    What the heck … its just another fantasy movie. Just like Thor only this one only has one God instead of several.

    • The Author

      Here I disagree. No one actually believes in the Norse pantheon anymore. But millions of people are of the belief that Noah’s Deluge actually occurred and that the earth is only 10,000 years old.

      Anyone has the right to make a “Noah” film, of course, but as I said above, there is a constant “push” to turn this fantasy movie into K-12 history curriculum.

      • JoeBS

        Correction. MOST don’t believe in the Norse pantheon. There is a growing movement of Pagans in the world, particularly in Scandinavia, who would be happy to remind you that SOME people in the world do indeed currently revere Odin and Co.

        And anyway, the fellows in Thor are not gods. They are aliens.

      • The Author

        In that case, then I intend to invite Wolverine and Aquaman to my house for Thanksgiving this year.

      • Pipercat

        Goddammit Arik, there you go snubbing the Hulk again…

  • Michael James Haywood

    I doubt that fundamentals are going to be pleased with Aranofsky’s “Noah”. It’s not the Passion of Russel Crowe or anything (yeccch). If anything, I think it will present the story in a mythical enough context that it won’t really prop up any arguments and it looks like they’re taking liberties with the tale anyway (hell, they’ve added a villain). I’m so atheist I’m not even sure that I exist, but I’m excited for the movie.
    Sometimes an ark is just an ark.

  • John

    Hey there are tons of crappy movies out there, everyone has the right to create whatever they want to. Some people will like it and others will think its crap. It’s only entertainment and that is a vital part of any advanced country.

    • The Author

      I have no objections to the making of a film about Noah, and will probably view it as if it were a fantasy film.

      But read it in the context of a national Creation Museum, and the various Deluge Disneys that are popping up–and the perpetual stubbornness of fundamentalists to accept and integrate Evolution into their cosmology. These things really do matter.

      The other side of the coin is the long-held belief that terrible storms are displays of an angry Deity–which is preposterous. What is of course awful is that Pat Robertson goes on record as saying these storms are punishment from God–then goes out and gathers relief for the victims. Well, which is it, Reverence Robertson?

    • The Author

      Another way to think about it: if we don’t stand our guard, Creationism and Noah’s Deluge will be reintroduced into K-12 curriculum and taught as “history.”

  • JoeBS

    You do realize, right, that the story of Utnapishtim predates the story of Noah by many, many centuries? So it is not Moses who should think about suing for plagiarism. It is Moses who should be SUED FOR plagiarism.

    • The Author

      Joe,

      You read the article, right? How could you come to any other conclusion that this is what I was acknowledging?

      • Weedlady

        I have to agree with JoeBS Mr. Bjorn. I am sure what you MEANT to say was the opposite of what you did write: “Well, now, I wonder if Moses ever considered suing for plagiarism.”

      • The Author

        Not to beat an extinct Eohippus, but the quotation was presented from my previous worldview. As in: as I was reading about the parallels between the two myths, those were the thoughts in my then-fundamentalist head.

        Yet I’m grateful for this exchange, as I’ve now coined the perfect phrase for debating Creationists: “not to beat an extinct Eohippus.” 🙂