‘Peaceable’ Floats My Boat

Russell Crowe as Noah

Russell Crowe as Noah

WATCH: Jon Stewart Hilariously Mocks Confused Christian Critics of 'Noah' | Alternet.

An excerpt from the above linked-to article (with attached link to video) follows:

Jon Stewart did not really talk about whether or not he thought the top-grossing action flick “Noah” is a good movie or not last night. But he did point out that despite a lot of clamoring and complaining among Christian kooks that Hollywood just does not “churn out” enough religious movies, they are still not happy with “Noah.”

My online response to the above linked-to article/video follows:

A zillion people pile on about this movie, everyone having their own agenda, beliefs and biases. Having that happen, without ground rules – like compartmentalizing areas of agreement and disagreement and proceeding from there so that we aren’t just screaming abuses at each other – can only lead to the cacophony we are hearing and the hostility we are reading.

I was once a Bible student. Yes, I’ve read the entire Bible, in comprehensible modern English (which isn’t to say that the Elizabethan English isn’t beautiful nor completely unintelligible).

I have forgotten more of the Bible than most people have ever learned. I believe, however, that it’s more important to ‘understand’ the message than remember exactly what the words were.

I am religious. But I don’t believe in forcing my religious views on others. You can know me for a long time and not know that I’m religious. If the subject comes up, I’ll engage, depending. I will not engage flamers.

Initially I figured I’d pass on this movie. I take God seriously (not fanatically). I don’t enjoy opportunities to dump on God even when it’s friends who are doing it. I will leave that to others who possess that need. Then I thought that maybe there’d be good special effects in this flick. I figured I’d not agree with the author’s version (What’s the chance of that?) anyway and I also figured that while I’d disagree with the author’s interpretation, he isn’t likely seeking to make an uninteresting, totally offensive movie. I was right. I don’t really care what the author’s views on God and Noah are (and don’t know). I just went into the theater expecting to be entertained. And I was. It was really just another episode of Supernatural (the tv show) to me. And I love Supernatural, even though it’s nuts and I have no doubt that am not going to be in agreement with writers contributing to the series about God etc.. I don’t care. People can think and believe what they want. And that doesn’t prevent me from befriending such ones, provided they are friendly.

Jon Stewart has his tv show and is a STAR. I have my blog, and while I’m not a star, I too can say whatever the hell I want on my own blog (within limits, since it’s WordPress.com and not WordPress.org).

Jon notes that Christian critics complain that Noah is not a documentary. But why do they say so? (Their position is absurd, but…) Jon doesn’t make the obvious point that Darren Aronofsky only ‘based’ his story on the Bible. It isn’t meant to be a documentary. Instead, He slags the Bible by sneeringly pointing out that it says that Noah is 950 years old, implying that even if a movie was made that faithfully represented what was in the Bible, then it still couldn’t be a documentary because the Bible’s fiction. And the comment about pairs of animals being loaded into the ark was added in to give force to his slag and hopefully, keep the audience from questioning Jon’s ‘authority’. In fact, The Bible wouldn’t have to say anything about ‘pairs’ for us to understand that you’re going to need pairs of animals who can reproduce. Duh! Does the Bible suggest that ‘absolutely’ every specimen had to make it’s way into the ark? If you want to read it that way, you can. I, and others, do not. Without the operation of biological evolution – which isn’t happening and has never happened – you will still get a ramification of species from the representative samples taken into the ark. Why wouldn’t you expect that? Oh, yes. Because you need to make the Bible account out to be ridiculous and there are areas where the account is just ambiguous enough, just lacking in enough details that you might possibly be able to jump on it and do that.

With Jon, You have ‘no way’ to do a documentary of the Bible story of Noah because the Bible isn’t factual – because Jon says so and because Jon’s definitions prevail on Jon’s show. Why is it hypocritical? Because in the next breath he tears a strip off critics who complain about the movie’s inclusion of Noah’s incidence of drunkenness. How? He quotes the Bible. And Jon is right. That incident is there. But, Jon thereby implies that the Bible is the reference to which we should refer in dealing with Christian critics of the movie. Is it or isn’t it? The Bible can be quoted ‘if’ it supports Jon’s arguments. If it doesn’t, then the Bible’s just fiction that we should ignore.

That’s okay Jon. I take you as entertainment. And I note that sometimes, when you make fun of power, you’re right. And that’s all. If you want to go all the way over into the dark army’s camp, the way Bill Maher has, Feel free. Then I’ll label you ‘the enemy’, appropriately. In the meantime, I say to those ones: Cash that paycheque – while we still have a money system.

My belief is that when people knowingly and willingly reject God, they thereby lose their peaceableness. The condition of peaceableness is one in which, when there isn’t some external, irresistible force forcing you to cause trouble for others, then you will not choose to do so. Without that internal health, a person who rejects God is ever after trying to prove to himself and to others that there is no God. That person is trying to deal with the disturbance he or she has created within himself and it manifests as trouble making for others.

You can believe that or not. But that’s my belief. If disturbed souls, who have no intention (and no humility) of self-examining and re-evaluating, prefer the moral support of others who have chosen to embrace an overview similar to their’s, They can then choose to grab onto that support as proof that they are right if they wish to do so. It’s easy for one thing. Whatever gets you through the night, as they say. But there are consequences. The nights and days we get through by the methods we choose don’t mean we are right. Time, not a great crowd applauding your words, will tell.

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