Fighting Fear

Confronting phobias and other fears

Leave Noah Out of It

If I were God, and I was really angry.

Whoever said, “God moves in mysterious ways,” really knew what he was talking about. According to the Bible, God employs very subtle and indirect means to achieve His purposes. For instance, when God wanted Joshua to win a battle, instead of doing the obvious thing, like punching His gigantic fist down out of the firmament to smite the Canaanites, He threw hailstones at them. And then, at the request of Joshua, He made the sun stand still in the sky in order to give Joshua more time to win the battle on his own. It’s true, punching out the Canaanites personally would have freaked out everyone, but stopping the Earth in its tracks was even scarier and more trouble. Think of all the spells He had to cast just to stop everything from flying off the planet. 

The Noah story, which I am reminded of because I just saw the movie, is similar. If God wanted to destroy the whole human race, as the movie suggests, He had more direct means at his disposal. He could have done what He did when He got mad at the dinosaurs. He tossed a giant asteroid at Mexico and wiped out all the dinosaurs in one fell swoop. (Swipe?) It’s true that at the same time He wiped out half of all the other species that lived on the planet, but the way I figure the size of the ark Noah built, most of the animals alive at that time were doomed to extinction anyway. Besides, God is good at wiping out everyone. (99% of all species that have ever lived on the planet have disappeared.) If God wanted to keep the human species alive—at least one family—he could have holed them up at Yucca Mountain or someplace closer. That way He wouldn’t have had to figure out what to do with all that water when He was finished with it.

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Another really effective means of destruction is the giant volcanos, like the one out West that blows up every 600,000 years or so, destroying most living things all the way out to the Atlantic.

But, of course, the best way to wipe out a single species, if that is God’s intent, is germs. The American Chestnut tree has been wiped out by the Chestnut blight. Something similar has happened a hundred times. One good blight and the whole human species would be gone. Smallpox, which only attacked human beings, could have been made just a teensy bit more contagious, and the world would have been made safe for the lambs and the giraffes and all the other innocent creatures. Human beings would have been only the distant memory of a few dogs or cats.

A number of candidate blights are around right now just in case God is still mulling over the desirability of obliterating the human species. There are SARS and a SARS-like germ that has spread to us from camels. A half-dozen mosquito-borne diseases are marching north from the southern hemisphere in the wake of global warming. The flu is always a good bet. Around a hundred years ago just one strain killed between fifty and a hundred million people; and right now there are two new flu strains in China that have spread to humans from pigs and fowl. If I were God, I would have no trouble finding just the right bug to cleanse the Earth of human evils, including all that sexual stuff He disapproves of. If God really wanted a challenge, He could figure out a way to wipe out the cockroaches, who have been around for the last 300 million years. They are really tough.

About the movie:

I loved some of the sound effects in the movie “Noah.” You could hear cries that seemed to come from the back of the theater. I had some questions about the story though:

  1. The movie depicts human beings as having entered the iron age after only ten generations. This is not accurate.
  2. I do not understand why the bad guys, who are very numerous, don’t build their own ark instead of trying to capture Noah’s.
  3. How come the bad guys were able to get hold of a bazooka, which was not actually invented until about five thousand years later (according to the bible) or 500,000 years later, according to everyone else? This is a serious mistake.
  4. The movie makes a big deal of the generations that will follow Noah’s arrival onto dry land; but does not say exactly who is mating with whom. There are two granddaughters, but as far as I can see, the only mates they will have are either a brother, an uncle, a father or a grandfather. This is just the sort of behavior the Bible frowns upon.

I cannot recommend this movie because it did not have much martial music; and I really like martial music.(c) Fredric Neuman Author of "The Wicked Son." Follow Dr. Neuman's blog at fredricneumanmd.com/blog/ or ask advice at fredriceumanmd.com/blog/ask-dr-euman-advice-column/

Fredric Neuman, M.D. is the Director of the Anxiety and Phobia Center at White Plains Hospital.

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