I have an itch to stick with this whole Noah’s Arc thing, since the story had a lot to do with me repudiating Christianity at a fairly young age. Having never received any religious indoctrination from my parents or grandparents, either positive or negative, I suppose it could be said I had a pretty open mind about the whole affair. I remember in grade 2, talking with kids in my class about going to church, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I asked my dad if I could go to church with some kid’s family and he said that was fine, so long as I didn’t ever expect him to go. However, when I learned that I would need to be picked up at 8 in the morning, I bailed on the whole thing. Getting up at 7 on a weekend for church? Fuck that. That is just uncivilized.
It was around that same time, when I was about seven or eight years old, that I had my first run in with old Noah. My mother was involved with some kind of hippyesque commune in a big-ass used bookstore downtown, where my sister and I would go to play with all the other hippy spawn in a mostly unsupervised free-for-all. Those were pretty awesome times. At some point we were told that, if we were interested, a lady was going to come to read stories to us. I was always down for stories, so bring it on, lady!
Unfortunately, the lady pissed me off right from the get go since she wasn’t making with the stories properly. It turned out this was the first step of some kind of Christian indoctrination, where they tell you all the pretty Bible stories. She had all these fascinating picture books, with Roman legionaries, giants, and pyramids and shit, but she was sitting there yakking on about fuckin dogma. Make with the stories, bitch! I remember thinking that if I could just get my hands on one of those story books for myself, I could cut that cunt loose. Man, she was pissing me off!
I had already pretty well sussed out by that point that adults bearing reading materials were almost always full of shit. Holding that shit up like some kind of talisman, while they piss in your ear about this or that. When I learned how to read for myself, about 90% of the adults in my life ceased to be necessary. Shut the fuck up, leave the reading material with me, and fuck off already; I’ll get back to you when I need some more.
Anyway, Christian-storyteller-lady finishes with her preamble and trots out Noah’s Arc. Oooo, look at all those cute animals lining up to get on the arc, nice as can be! Doesn’t it look cosy inside? Isn’t it lovely?
Whoa. Whoa! Hold up, lady. I’m still processing that bit right at the start, can we go back to that? Yeah, that bit where God got mad and decided to kill everyone. I know they were wicked, you said that already. How were they wicked? Just bad, huh. What did they do, exactly? What about their kids? Were they wicked too? The babies? What about all the animals that couldn’t get on the boat. Just, fuck them? If my parents are wicked, which I know they are by your standards, does that mean I’m fair game for God to murder me whenever he gets into another fit of spleen?
The parable/historical fact of Noah’s Arc is a such lightning rod because the story is so fucking stupid. It belongs in a kids’ storybook alongside Hansel and Grettle and the Gingerbread Man. The only reason that I can see why Christians don’t quietly hit the whole episode in the back of the head with a sledgehammer and bury it out behind the shed (along with such gems as stoning your daughter to death for premarital sex and David collecting hundreds of Philistine foreskins as kill trophies for the king) is that the imagery seems to make for such compelling propaganda for kids. It is a lovely image, all those animals on a big, cozy boat. With the Patriarch at the tiller while the rain lashes down outside.
Critics tend to focus on the impossibility of the whole story, and that is fun. It’s fun baiting cretinous fundamentalists; forcing them to double-down on their moronic horseshit. But from a kid’s perspective that kind of nonsense isn’t a deal-breaker. We’re reading stories about talking animals and all manner of magical stuff. A tardis boat isn’t a big stretch. It’s the heart of the story that’s important; the message that it is intended to impart.
And just what is that message again?
God gets mad and kills everyone. Everyone. Children and babies and kitty-cats and doggies are all punished for the sins of others, regardless of their own behavior. They all die and there aint shit they can do about it. Noah watches them drown. Because fuck them, that’s why.
Now, stop asking questions, submit, and blindly accept what I’m telling you. Not because it makes sense, but because I say so. You want I should rain a flood down on your ass?