Noah and the Flood

“But body counts aren’t the point in  a genocide, a crime for which, at the time of my visit to Rwanda, nobody on earth had ever been brought to trial, much less convicted.  What distinguishes genocide from murder, and even from acts of political murder that claim as many lives, is intent.

The crime is wanting to make a people extinct.  The ideas is a crime.  No wonder its difficult to picture.  To do so you must accept the  principle of the exterminator, and see not people, but a people.”

-Phiip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families


I was mopping the floor.  The place was eerily quiet and my body or mind was filling the quiet with agony.   The exhaustion from not sleeping, my own depression, and the thoughts that kept swirling around and around again, all mixed into a sort of pain cocktail, and the cocktail was me.

I had had another shift, earlier that day, at the home of an elderly lady.    She was declining, had declined steadily in the past month, after a visit to the hospital.  A number of the other workers had come for one shift, seen how she was, and then asked not to be put with her again.  It wasn’t that she was unpleasant. She was, you could tell, a sweet lady. It’s just that everything had to be done for her.  She could not stand for more than a few moments, was completely incontinent, could not comprehend a lot of what was happening.

She had to be changed several times a night and would beg  you to covered her back up while you changed her- pulling her quilt weakly  over herself and the urine and diarrhea you were trying to clean off her.  No matter what you said.

In the morning she would look up with bright eyes.

“Are we going on a trip to town?” she would ask, excited and innocent as a child. “Are we going for a ride in the car?”

No, not today.  Maybe another day.

I was on a night shift, now, in a Memory Care Unit at a nursing home.  I had been assigned a list of incontinence checks to do every few hours, and some cleaning to do between times.

I have never been so close to walking out on work in my life.

But I was mopping instead of running away.  The mop scraped over the tiles under the quiet of  electric lights.

Out of nowhere, a memory of my sister broke through the  haze.

“I don’t think I’m going to like it. ” She had been talking about a soon to be released movie. “I read a review…  they made it so that Noah’s daughter got pregnant, and he tried to make her have an abortion on the ark… only the animals were supposed to survive…”  She objected to the idea of Noah as an eco terrorist.  And to abortion.

I stood in the middle of the tables and fake flowers and chairs, leaning on my mop.

So- all the other pregnant women outside the ark- drowning- with their unborn children. who were presumably innocent of any of the wrongdoing of their evil parents?

An abortion on the ark bothered her, but not the Flood?

Someone explain to me again how we are possibly to understand this God as even vaguely moral?

There is the story of the Sons of God fucking humans.   These Angels are nowhere said to be fallen angels, and God presumably knew the whole time and didn’t bother to intervene. You could say that he let it all happen in order to let free will play out or whatever, and then was so disappointed in the choice humans made, that he just HAD to PUNISH them.

Except, he’s God.  And these were Angels. The power imbalance is. Well. Infinite.

The closest analogy I can think of is if the principle of a school wandered around watching the invulnerable immortal teachers publicly fucking their students for a thousand years- then announced one morning that all the students had to be lined up on the play ground and shot for violating the school’s standards.

But you could argue that, I guess.

It still doesn’t explain the flood.  Consider the death of the firstborn in Egypt.  A whole other can of worms, there, but,  God sent out the Destroyer to kill a select group out of an entire population.  He obviously has the capability of killing only certain people.  And yet he uses a flood.  By definition- a flood kills everyone, regardless of innocence or guilt.  And the children, of whatever species or blend of species, were innocent.

You could argue that it was about the baby human-angel hybrids.  God just HAD to kill everyone because… racial purity… and stuff…?

God is a cosmic Adolf Hitler.

I suppose it makes sense.  He’s massacred at least as many Jews as Hitler did, at this point.

But I fail to see then, if the Flood was racially/biologically motivated, how we can say say anything about righteousness or guilt.   And that is the whole justification of the Flood, isn’t it?

Humans were wicked.  They hurt God’s feelings with how wicked they were.  So he had to kill them.

Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”

Except, do you know how well the Flood solved that problem? Of the wickedness of the human heart?

Romans 3:10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

  1. Romans 3:12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
  2. Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9
  3. Romans 3:13 Psalm 140:3
  4. Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)
  5. Romans 3:17 Isaiah 59:7,8
  6. Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1

It didn’t.  At all. So- there literally was no point to the flood as far as ‘fixing human wickedness’ was concerned.  There was no point to the Flood as far as justice was concerned, because it destroyed the innocent (the children) as well as the guilty.

Which leaves the racial purity argument.  The angel babies possibly had a longer life span than normal humans- and ‘They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’

God essentially didn’t want to be humans to be any stronger than they are now.

Let me rephrase that.  A being who is willing to commit genocide (the genesis flood)- or to force humans, on pain of death, to commit genocide (Israel’s conquest of Canaan)- or mind control humans into disobeying him and then killing their children as punishment for disobeying him (the death of the firstborn of Egypt)-

Didn’t want humans to be any stronger than they are now.

He wouldn’t, would he?

Sometimes I think that the most incurably wicked thing we have ever done is worship Him.

On my final round of incontinence checks, just before dawn, I stuck my head into one of the rooms. I blinked a little bit- to see if I could clear up the double image I was seeing. Then I realized I wasn’t hallucinating after all.  One of the old men had wandered into the room while I was away.  The old lady, who’s room it was, was asleep, under all her blankets, and the old man had lain down on top of the blankets, next to her.  He was snuggled up against her, asleep.

I went over to wake him up.

“Who’s there?” the old lady asked, under her blankets. “Is that a man?  Get out!! Get out!”

“I think you’re in the wrong room” I told him.

“Oh! Oh!” he said.  He stood up. He started wandering around the room, looking for the door.  When I got him out to the hallway he started off in the wrong direction, checking the doors for his room number.

I walked him back to his room.

Sometimes I think our need to- to not be alone-  the need to be connected with someone- is a lot stronger than our grasp of reality.

We see, on a total stranger, the face of someone who loves us. And we love him back.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s