Monday, March 31, 2014

Noah: Hollywood vandalizes the Bible

Noah: Hollywood vandalizes the Bible

Shawn Mitchell

3/31/2014 12:01:00 AM

Noah is an absurd act of intellectual dishonesty and creedal theft. It's a middling sci-fi fantasy with a typically commanding performance by Russell Crowe in the title role. If the movie didn’t hijack a sacred story from Jews' and Christians' sacred book, I wouldn't hate it.
The problem isn’t just that Noah departs from the biblical story in about the same way the ship Titanic departed from South Hampton Port. The Santa Claus account of Christmas is closer to Luke, chapter 2, than Noah is to Genesis. The real offense is that Noah is a body switch that perverts biblical themes while blaring out pagan environmentalism in their place.

Is it fair to find that offensive? Yes. Consider the volcanic fury that would erupt from liberals and media if a conservative director (work with me—it’s a fantasy counterfactual) made a movie reimagining the Civil Rights movement. Rosa Parks is a sultry lounge singer with shares in General Motors who only wants to strike a blow against the city bus monopoly in order to promote auto ownership. Martin Luther King is a business provocateur who aims mostly to expand market opportunities for big retailers and corporate America. It’s not just that the details are invented, it’s that they offensively strip away the essence of why the towering figures are admired and beloved by millions.
Noah substitutes its atheist, environmentalist, vegan director’s world view and values for the moral themes and theological underpinnings most believers will bring to their viewing.There is nothing recognizably Judeo or Christian about “The Creator” in Noah. Indeed, there’s nothing discernibly theistic about The Creator, either. Rather, Noah is a sort of Earth Whisperer who receives promptings, maybe from Gaia the earth goddess, or hallucinations from berry tea, or perhaps just nightmares, to purge man’s awful footprint from the Earth.
Early in the film, he’s an austere action hero, scolding his son for picking a flower, pummeling and dispatching a band of bad guys who hunt animals for food, and glowering at all around him. Near the movie’s end, he’s so obsessed with saving the earth and killing off humanity, he plots to murder his unborn grandchildren and torches the raft on which his son and pregnant daughter in-law planned to escape his malice. Noah explains his “prophetic” mission thusly: "Paradise will begin again. But this time there will be no humans. The creator has judged us. Mankind must die. But all the good things will remain."
If that’s not heresy, nothing is. The Old and New Testaments tell the story of God’s efforts to entice his children to believe, obey, and covenant with Him so he can save them. In the Genesis account, men’s sin was wickedness, violence, and continually evil thoughts, not poor environmentalism. God covenanted to save Noah and his family because of Noah’s obedience.The earth is a school room for refining God’s children.But, in Noah, natural creation is more valuable and beloved than God’s children. The Lord’s intent was not to restore an obedient lineage He could save, but to end humanity so His Eden could serve a better purpose. Man is condemned not because he disobeys the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but because he tramples the statutes of Al Gore, PETA, and the Sierra Club.
The heresy that Hollywood passes off as a Bible story! If Jews or Christians had a twitching fraction of the anger management issues of some the descendants of Esau, then the makers, funders, and cast of this ugly movie would live their days in the same peril as Salmon Rushdie. Such a spectacle is averted by the decent demeanor of the believers this movie mocks.
The film’s defenders argue all biblical epics necessarily fill in spare accounts with animating details and side stories; there’s a lot in The Ten Commandments or Ben Huryou won’t findin the Bible.
Even setting aside the sad-eyed rock angels that look like Optimus Prime’s ugly cousins, the argument is fatuous. Those classic movies added subplots and intrigue separate from, but not inconsistent with, the biblical landscape they occupied. The God and doctrines of the Old and New Testaments, respectively, permeate the stories. The god and imaginings ofDarren Aronofsky, however, give us a raving, homicidal patriarch who took his family on an ark, not to save upon the cleansed earth a tribe of believers obedient to God’s commands, but to appease a vengeful earth spirit by killing off every last human.
I think Hollywood should commission David Duke and Fred Phelps to make a movie about the Civil Rights and Gay Rights movement. It would have as much integrity as Noah. I paid admission only to be able to comment knowledgeably. I urge you not to give your money to these culturo-literary vandals.

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