WARNING: This blog might be offensive to people who are strictly literal by nature or default. I prefer absurdity over anything.
I had a difficult time coming up with an image for this blog because I didn’t want to take the easy way out and post a picture that ridicules the subject of this blog, because if anything destroys an open dialogue it’s mockery.
I was reduced to bat-shit bafflement the other day when I watched the news coverage of the opening of the Noah’s Ark (amusement/bemusement) attraction in Kentucky. I might cringe at Bible Villages and Water Parks (Old or New Testament) and other religious themes attractions, but I am rarely left dumbfounded.
It’s not that a certain conservative Christian raised money to reconstruct Noah’s Ark using a Biblical blueprint. It’s the fact that one man’s religious conviction/faith is dismissively arrogant and steel-trap closed minded.
The founder of this Biblical attraction is of the school of a literal interpretation of the Bible. His many visitors/followers are of the same school. That there has been a very vocal negative reaction to this Arktraction (my word) can be found by a simple Google Search.
What saddens me more than the literal reading of the story of Noah in Genesis, is the ripple effect such an interpretation has on almost everything else. Not only does it reduce scientific research and discoveries to a pile of saw dust, it supports such “arkaic” notions regarding life in the 21st Century.
But, and it was a big but that went off in my head like the big bang, Noah’s Arktraction is too easy a subject to attack when “we” are so willing to “accept” other sacred stories, dogmas, religious rules, etc. on face value.
If we want to poop-poop the Ark ( and there must have been a lot of shit in the hold of that boat at the end of the voyage), we have to be willing to poke a stick at some of the other “big beliefs” proclaimed as truths by the other major world religions.
Walking on water, raising the dead, multiplying loaves and fishes, immaculate conceptions, virgin births, transubstantiation and resurrections, also have to be free game for thinkers and non-believers.
And lest we forget, Christianity is not the only belief system that obliges followers to strict adherence of dogmas and laws. Have you ever taken a glance at the 613 Mitzvots (Commandments) of Judaism? Oy! Made me shake my head so many times I risked having it fall off.
Not to mention some of the eye-opening “beliefs” put forth in the Book of Mormon (not the musical) and the Koran.
Proving or disproving any belief system is a waste of time. People who are wired to a particular belief system are usually not willing to abandon their beliefs…and people who are adamantly opposed to a particular belief system are equally unwilling to embrace the “thoughtology” of another person.
Because I have pushed the boundaries of a belief system imposed on me as a dumb ass kid and opened my mind to dozens of belief systems, I can no longer be a literalist in any fashion.
Joseph Campbell, a man who devoted his life to unraveling religious thought, once said, “Mythology is someone else’s religion.”
And to be very honest, I am not particularly concerned with religious truth. I wake up each morning excited about possibilities. I live my day making an effort to be kind and compassionate and when I see a wrong, i.e. where someone’s life, liberty and the pursuit of joy is jeopardized, I will speak up and out.
I don’t need an afterlife. I might need an occasional breath mint after dinner, but I don’t do anything during the day to secure an orchestra seat in a place many people call heaven.
I no longer believe in a God presented in any so-called books of sacred scripture. If there is any truth to the idea that I was created in the image and likeness of “God” I don’t have to take it literally. I’ll just think that I have to power in my little hands to do my part to create a world where all people can bathe in the sunlight of life.