Living Large in Carson City: Gone and forgotten: Fred who?

Fred Phelps, Sr. of the  Westboro Church and hate-filled ministry is dead. Here is my post I made on Facebook asking for readers’ thoughts on his death:

“Phelps was a misguided man who saw evil where it did not exist, profanity were none was intended, and most of all, he kept his own counsel, which precluded rational thought and empathy for his fellow human beings. His actions caused pain and harm when love and sympathy were most needed for those who did not follow his egomaniacal path to what he saw as righteousness. How should he be eulogized? Leaving his death unremarked upon seems most fitting. In a week no one will remember the name Fred Phelps which is probably the kindest thing that can be said of him.”

While I would like to believe that with Phelps passing the wacko religious element of the world will lie down and take a break and give sane, rational people a respite, yet, I know it isn’t true, and sure as the sun rises in the east, some other yahoo will jump into the breach to take his place. And so it goes . . .

Noah Living Large

The Christian film industry has their panties in a bunch yet again. In their zeal to push their idealistic dogmatic agenda, they routinely demand their views be protected in the very real fear that people will see through the propaganda they put forward as the truth and only truth out there. This time, the object of their derision is Paramount’s new film Noah directed by Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan fame. 

A publication that covers the Hollywood scene, The Wrap, posted an article stating that Paramount ran a disclaimer to appease a national religious group who took exception with the film director and writer’s “creative license”, unbeknownst to the director who read about Paramount’s action in the news. The objection centered around the depiction of the flood and the ensuing escape by Noah and his family along with most of the known species of animal life of the time. The Wrap reported the  disclaimer by Paramount stated:

“The film is inspired by the story of Noah,” the statement added to the film at the request of National Religious Broadcasters, reads. “While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

One has to wonder why get all riled up about a myth. It’s not as if Christians have a monopoly on The Flood story. The earliest written account of the flood can be found in The Epic of Gilgamesh which originated sometime around 2500 BCE or earlier.

Frank Lorey has a very informative article on the topic titled The Flood of Noah and the Flood of Gilgamesh found at the IRC website. He includes a table of similarities between the two accounts which is quite remarkable.

Shared historical myths, of course, are not unusual and co opting them through the ages by various religions to enhance their dogma is nothing new. The flood myth is a widely known story that many people over the ages have shared. The vast majority of them like the Bible’s version allude to god becoming angry with humankind resulting with him or they (polytheistic accounts are also widely available) deciding to destroy civilization. It is a little like a reboot of your computer except all of humanity dies except for a chosen few of the elect who miraculously survive. Mark Isaak  has been collecting flood stories for years. His current list, Flood Stories from Around the World©, can be found here. You owe it to yourself to check them out.

So, the question remains why the uproar by the National Religious Broadcasters about a story that is a common as white bread? Granted, the Bible’s account is well known, but certainly not unique, and certainly open to a bit of creative interpretation.

Lighten up people, it’s the movies.

Why they did it . . . duh!

For the past week, MSNBC and Rachel Maddow have been hyping a new documentary they claimed would tell the American people why the United States entered into the Iraq war. It aired and ended just a few minutes ago. The earth shaking expose came up with a totally unexpected reason . . . oil. Really. After an hour presentation of declassified documents and interviews with the usual suspects, the earth shaking revelation is we started the Iraq war because we wanted the Iraqi’s oil.
My first reaction was, “Is that all you got?”
Everyone with a scintilla of wit and wisdom knew this from the get go. Paul Paul Wolfewitz, Cheney’s second in command, admitted in an interview in Singapore shortly after the fact that this was true.
“Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defense minister said: “Let’s look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil.”
My first year college composition students can do better than this. What were they thinking?