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.