Creationist Glenn Beck Calls Noah Film Dangerous Disinformation

Glenn-Beck-NoahIt is kind of funny to watch figures on the Religious Right react to Darren Aronofsky’s Noah movie, which is due out on March 28, complaining that it is unbiblical. Rick Warren got on Twitter on March 16 and misquoted Aronofsky, tweeting,

Director of new ‘Noah’ movie calls it ‘The LEAST biblical film ever made’ then uses F word referring to those wanting Bible-based (entertainment).

This is factually untrue, as even the Christian Post admitted.

Glenn Beck is offended too; he said he won’t see it because it’s “dangerous disinformation.”

Beck complains that if everyone takes their church and goes to see the film, “our children will look at that as being the Noah story.” And, “They will believe this version over the version that mommy and daddy are telling them, or that old dusty Bible is telling them.”

But, which Noah story in the Bible, Mr. Beck? There are already two competing Noah stories found in Genesis 6-9, the “P” text and the “J” text; what harm is there in a third? And why so much fuss over this? There are already so many practical difficulties with the story(s) of the flood found in Genesis:

Incest and the scientific absurdities aside, these are at least as serious as the differences between Aronofsky’s film and the Bible:

  1. When did the flood begin? The day Noah entered the ark or seven days later (compare (Gen 7:7, 10 and Gen 7:11-13);
  2. Contradictory instructions issued to Noah regarding which critters to bring: In one of the stories (Genesis 6), Noah has a male and female of each animal species but the other story (Genesis 7) has seven pairs of each species of those that can be sacrificed to YHWH (“clean” beasts) and two pairs of all the others;
  3. Flood lasts two different periods of time: did it last 40 days and 40 nights with an additional 40 days for the waters to recede, or did it last for 150 days?;
  4. In one story, God is referred to as elohim (“God”), and in the other, by his name, YHWH;
  5. Did Noah release 3 doves or a single raven? (Gen 8:8-12 or Gen 8:7?);
  6. Did it rain as one of the stories has it? Or was the firmament (the place the Bible says humans live between the waters above and below) broken by God (the “apertures of the skies” and the “fountains of the great deep”), as the other story claims?

You would think that Beck’s belief, contrary to all observable fact that the earth floats in the emptiness of space, above and below, and not sandwiched between two layers of water, would be enough to make his attacking somebody for peddling “dangerous disinformation” egregious enough. But let’s not beat a dead horse.

So what about the difference between Bible’s mish-mash of flood stories and film’s single, coherent vision? Well, for one thing, the LA Times says Aronofsky’s version is “fuller” than the “brief” biblical versions. That’s true. If you stick to the Bible’s two flood stories, and even assuming you overcome the contradictions, there just isn’t enough material to make a film.

But a problem that goes unmentioned by both Warren and Beck is that there is an even older flood story, that is, a Sumerian version in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Two different types of boat are build in the Sumerian and Jewish stories of the ark. And we also now have the so-called “Ark tablet” which tells how to build a third type of ark – an ark that is a very Mesopotamian “coracle” (still used in Iran and Iraq today) – and nothing like the ship-shaped ark (longer than it is broad) described in one of the two Genesis versions of the story.

Jennifer Connelly, who plays Noah’s wife Naameh, told Good Morning America last Thursday that,

What you’ll find is that the controversy that was generated [was] by people who were speculating [and] hadn’t seen the film yet, for the most part. We’re now getting feedback from religious leaders who have seen the film and are really embracing it and supporting it.

Really, it’s true to the spirit of the story in the Bible.

We already know Bill Maher’s conclusions regarding the “spirit” expressed by the biblical flood stories differ from Warren’s and Beck’s. You cannot harmonize a “psychotic murder” God with a “loving and forgiving” God.

Or can you?

All this really seems much like the old arguments over which stories, events, and characters represents Star Wars canon. Of course, Disney has now made all Star Wars material equal, even when it is contradictory, and there is precedent for this in the Bible as well, both Old and New Testament. We have already seen how Jewish writers made competing creation stories and flood stories into a consistent narrative, pretending it all works if you just ignore the contradictions. And Christian writers have done the same in the Gospels, taking four contradictory accounts of Jesus’ life, teachings, and especially death, and pretending the contradictions don’t exist.

Probably the best solution is for each to stick to his or her preferred version. I don’t read Star Wars stories I don’t like. Similarly, I prefer the old, original Sumerian flood to the later Jewish flood, in part because nobody is trying to force me to believe it, and those who like the film should be content to pretend the biblical versions don’t exist. Those who like the biblical flood stories can go back to pretending there is only one biblical flood story and avoid seeing the film.

In the end, everyone can be happy, and as they do with Jesus, have the flood most amenable to them.

52 Replies to “Creationist Glenn Beck Calls Noah Film Dangerous Disinformation”

  1. How is this any different than declaring The Lord Of The Rings from being an accurate account of the Middle Ages?

  2. I could imagine that, approximately 6, 000 BCE, when sea levels overtopped the Dardanelles, some family in the area of what is now the Black Sea sought refuge on some craft with their kids and a few livestock and rode out the flood for days or even a week, until they came to shore. They may, in the process, have been rid of a few neighbors like mine. By the time this story was written down, it had grown to legendary proportions (Note that Ararat has been claimed to be in both Turkey and Armenia; that does seem to point to the Black Sea event).

  3. The flood and the ark aside, how did Noah round up all those animals? Back in my younger days me and a buddy decided to have a pig roast. We went out in the country and rounded up a pig, about 150 pounds. That pig did not want to go in that car. After about 15 minutes I got him in and he went crazy and tore the interior to pieces. We left without the pig.
    That was one animal. I don’t know how Noah rounded up pairs of animals. Can you imagine telling a couple bears to get in the boat?

  4. That’s what makes it more likely that we are talking, at most, about a pregnant milk cow, a couple of goats, and some geese. At the time of the Black Sea catastrophe, not much else was domesticated in that area. Donkeys, horses, pigs, sheep, and chickens weren’t domesticated in the Levant until much later, and prudence would dictate not bringing a bull aboard what was probably a simple raft, or even a floating rooftop. Hell, the animal cargo might even have been just the family dog. As we’ve seen, these things grow in the telling.

  5. We all know Beck isnt a creationist, he jsut checks to see what way the wind is blowing and makes silly statements. Religious leaders today are the whiniest bunch of idiots I have ever seen.

    The only people whining are the right wing wing nuts with an agenda. They are meaningless

  6. It’s a cute myth, but implausible on so many levels that it’s amazing that it is an object of any serious discussion in the year 2014.

  7. The idea that two of every animal…

    Insects are the largest mass of animal life on earth. If two of every insect on the planet were to be saved, it would take three or four arks just to hold all of them. Plus, it would take another three or four arks to hold the vegetation necessary to keep them alive for forty days. I’ll ignore the fact that many insects eat insects…

    There may have been a flood, but the biblical story of Noah and the ark is pure fantasy.

  8. Anyway the bodies left over from the flood would have contaminated the remaining water and everyone would have died from disease so ww know it didn’t happen anyway

  9. My feeling precisely. I generally don’t go to movies, so had not planned to go to this one, but now I will make a point of it.

    And perhaps I will figure out how a potentially unbiblical piece of fiction is “dangerous disinformation.” Even if kids believe this version of the story, what is “dangerous” about that? Poor Glen, he’s such a sorry bit of unintellectual garbage

  10. If Noah never existed, why can his sons and their descendants be traced through Chronicles in the Bible and archaeology to people and places that exist today? Why do the seven Noahide laws, which Abraham and the civilized world followed, still resonate?

    1 You shall not have any idols before God.
    2 You shall not murder.
    3 You shall not steal.
    4 You shall not commit adultery, incest or bestiality.
    5 You shall not blaspheme God’s name.
    6 Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive.
    7 Set up a governing body of just laws.
    READ “Finding Noah” at http://www.NoahIsReal.com

  11. They resonate straight from the code of Hammurabi. From a long time before the Isralis

    There is no archeology of Noah

  12. Hammurabi reinstated the laws after an Assyrian invasion and reiterated the laws in his tablet. Isn’t it interesting that Torah and Hammurabi have about the same number of laws, 613?

  13. Not to mention the, what is it?, million-plus species of beetles alone? That must have taken up some space on the boat.

  14. 1) Seven days later. Why did you think it started immediately? It said Noah went *ahead* of the flood and starting gathering in all the animals.

    2) Both. Clean by sevens, everyone else by twos. Unless clarifying or additional instructions are somehow a theological no-no?

    3) The *downpour* lasted 40 days and 40 nights, and the waters overwhelmed the earth for 150 days, then it slowly receded. Seriously man, did you even read the scriptures in question?

    4) So? Sometimes He’s called Jehovah, God, Heavenly Father, the Highest One, the Almighty One, the Creator of Heavens and Earth, “I Am”, “He Who Causes to Become”, ‘Ha’Shem’. I don’t get what you think your point is, other than people are very enthusiastic about God.

    5) 3 doves, and a raven. It says it right there from verse 7.

    6) You realise rain comes from the sky? Where else did you expect the water for globe-spanning flood to come from?

  15. You guys think it’s so trivially easy to discern contradictions and problems in the Bible because you haven’t actually put any thought into it.

    Protip: Just because people tell you something is true (like the implicit assumption of Biblical self-contradiction and ignorance), doesn’t mean you should take them at face value. Theology and scripture have been debated for thousands of years; you’re not an amazing new breed of scholar, and downloading checklists from atheist sites won’t make you educated.

  16. I think a few of you may be forgetting something rather important. If there is a creator of the universe it would have been fairly easy for him to round up all the animals and manage to fit them on a boat and feed them. I think it really just boils down to whether or not you believe in God. If you do then the story is plausible, but if not you would be correct in thinking it doesn’t make sense.

  17. christmas was never about jesus;s birthday in the first place. History has been warped, likewise this film will the same thing.

  18. Kind of like suggesting that Baz Luhrmann’s modern interpretation of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ contained “dangerous disinformation”.

    Dude — none of it is real!

  19. You know, idiots like Glen Beck are dangerous, not because they believe that the world is only 6000 years old, or that fairy tales if believed enough can be true, or even that Jesus rode a dinosaur, but because they’re willing to believe anything that advances their agenda!

  20. I was not going to go to this movie i was going to wright it off as religious trip till that moron beck came out against it

  21. “Just because people tell you something is true….” like the bloody BIBLE and GOPT POLITICIANS and THE CHURCH “….doesn’t mean you should take them at face value.” Just another “Protip” you condescending ass.

  22. If anyone wants to really find out how the animals got to the ark, read the story in the Bible. It plainly says that God gathered them into the ark. If you want to understand, it’s easy to do. It’s not difficult. Maybe you don’t want to read and try to understand because you’re afraid that you will find out that it IS true. There is NO contradictions, either. You have to rightly divide the word to see, and you also have to believe to get the full understanding. Because, the Bible tells us that wisdom comes from God and the Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide in gaining that wisdom as we study it’s text. And, without believing the Holy Spirit will not be with you to teach you as you study the word of God. It is a living word. Jesus is the key to everything the Bible teaches, he is the Way the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father, but, through him. Believe in Jesus as the savior of the world, and your soul, and you will be saved, and see the Father after death.

  23. Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.
    –Saint Augustine: De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim —

  24. RE: Follow-up reply to JACOB GREENWOOD from SHIVA,
    Sun, Mar 23rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    “It simply proves that judism[sic] is a pick up religion. Starting with Zoraster”[sic]

    What is a “pick-up religion?” I’ve never heard of it.

  25. Not really, Shiva. I have it on good authority (Ken Ham, no less!) that T. rex was a vegetarian until after the flood. Noah–or Utnapishtim–needed only a few bales of hay to sustain them. /snark

  26. Beck knows a lot about disinformation. He and his Fox buddies spew it daily & the low info people happily lap it up. They are truly the dangerous people of our time. If I watch this movie it will only be for entertainment value. I watched the Passion of Christ and was amazed at the art form that went into making the movie. I am an atheist so the story line of course meant nothing to me and neither will Noah. But I appreciate a well put together piece of entertainment,the special effects, the actors and the acting. More and more young people are rejecting religion. Rejecting the brainwashing and are becoming better critical thinkers because there is so much information to be found through the mass media that now exists. Be it the internet, news outlets, social networks and reading material. If Beck and other religious ppl think there is a danger of the bible being misunderstood or portrayed, it is not from some movie, it is because of the bible itself and those who teach it. imo

  27. For once Glenn is correct but he doesn’t know it. The story of Noah is JUST and ONLY that a Story! There is NO evidence and it’s only a different version of another Story. Frankly I like Bill Cosby’s telling of it. And here’s the real clincher and it is completely factual..there is NOT enough water on this planet to make this “flood” happen. But your Buy-Bull freaks will claim that “God can do anything”..Yeah right! then why cant he make these idiots stop spewing their own versions of his “word”

  28. I loved it that some Christian nut got wind of the fact that there was a scene where Noah gets drunk. They made a huge fuss about it, claiming it was a false and unnecessary embellishment. It amazes me that an atheist such as myself knows more about their fantasy book than they do, because I was aware that in Genesis 9:21 “and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” …at which point his son came and covered his nakedness, etc. etc. But I’ve learned repeatedly in my years of trying to reason with Bible loonies that they actually never read their book page by page. They cherry pick the quotes that help coddle their illusions. If they actually read the book they’d quickly learn that it’s a primer for teaching people to obey their king in order to go kill other people and enrich the king, because god loves the king. It’s a handbook for oppression, plain and simple.

  29. Noah is a film, period. Anyone who wants to read anymore than that into it, needs to be sent out and shrink rapped.

    It highlights, one segment of a time that supposedly happened and brings that fantasy to life on the screen. Other than that….the world is getting to be a scary place because of these creationist.

  30. I saw through the Noah story as a young child, causing my Mom & my Sunday School teacher a lot of anxiety & a lack of answers to my questions. I refused to take it and many other biblical teachings “on Faith” as I was told to do.

  31. From re the person who said that santa took over christmas

    http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

    The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,”

    This is something pope Francis is following – to help the poor all over the world

    Pr. Obama and Pope Francis are meeting in Italy the end of the month

    I bet the blatent racism of fox news, Limbaugh and becks general insanity will be a subject of conversation

    Becks parents-Fundi mormons – no more marry/rape little girls but they sure turn out monstrosities eg beck. Kids are brought up in compounds closed to the outside world – no tv, radio, etc Nto turned loose until they ar…

  32. if there was every animal on the ark it would have been the size of a small state how would they be fed, how would the vicious animals ALL be kept from eating the others and how would htey prevent the droppings from being a pile the size of a large city

    pure BS, stories written and re-written, translated etc etc

    About 20 years ago when word processors were generally available xtian and prob other conservative relgiious groups re wrote the bible eg if your told “homosexuality” is in the bible, its a word created by a german psychologist in 1869

  33. I guess it is not the Biblical version of the story. It’s more like the Jewish version and we Don’t have a Bible.
    It’s still just a movie.

  34. Glenn Beck has trouble with being honest and his comments sometimes reflect this character flaw. His comments about the Noah movie are a good example of this. Noah is a proven myth, so it’s free to interpretation as any myth is. The film is simply a film. It’s nothing to be concerned about.

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