There was no great flood. There was no Noah's Ark. There was no Tower of Babel.
These stories drifted down through centuries of mythological waters and ended up in the Hebrew Bible. They are not factual. They are, and always have been, myths promoted by ancient people to try to better understand the world in which they lived or their god who made life so damn miserable!
In the 21st century, millions of people all over the world continue to cling to the notion that these biblical tales represent real events from away back when. And in the USA such ignorance is endemic to fundamentalist Christian culture. Especially in the south. Some southerners, usually fundy christianists, still can't get over the fact they lost the Civil War. They can't even grasp the fundamental concept that the Civil War was about the enslavement of human beings. And the Civil War happened a mere 150 years ago. Thus, to believe in mythologies that go back about three or four thousand years, is no problem whatsoever.
In the US of A, you can believe such silliness if you so desire. You have that right. Neither the government nor any other human agency can force you to give up your beliefs no matter how stupid or unrelated to reality they are.
But it's unfortunate that so many live in an intellectual and historical void where darkness and ignorance reign. These are the same people who refuse to accept the scientific theory of evolution even though all of science is built upon it. These are the same people who disavow global warming even though the earth is already feeling its effects. As one woman from Tennessee told me, people in Tennessee don't like Al Gore! Why? Because he's stirring up a lot of unnecessary trouble complaining about global warming. Plus, he's a "librul."
It is no secret that our state legislatures are infested with christianist fundamentalists who think evolution is of the "devil," who refuse to accept the fact of global warming, who want to toss our Constitution and allow christianist prayers in public schools and the right to post their religious beliefs on courthouse walls and disallow abortions and stem-cell research because their christianist god, they think, opposes such things. These are the people who trample our Constitution giving away taxpayer monies to various religious groups including parochial schools.
Most unfortunate is that the state of Kentucky has succumbed big time to their influence. A group of christianist fundamentalists got together awhile back and decided they could make a lot of money by building an amusement park featuring "a full-size 500-foot-by-75 foot reproduction of Noah's Ark, a Tower of Babel, and other biblical exhibits on a 800-acre campus outside of Williamstown, KY.
They floated this idea around and suggested it would be much easier to do if the state of Kentucky gave them some financial incentives.
The state of Kentucky should have told them to go to hell!
But, noooo. The state of Kentucky, rife with christianist fundamentalists who hold very weird beliefs, and actually think there was a great big ark a long time ago on which a guy named Noah collected two of each species so that life would be preserved while a loving god who was thoroughly pissed off at his creation went about the process of destroying most every person and critter on earth in order to get revenge on the people who had failed to heed his warnings about how to live, whatever they were. Why all the animals had to die, too, was not explained. I mean, really, what the hell did they do wrong?
The guv of Tennessee, Steve Beshear, who happens to be a Democrat (damn it!) thinks this biblical amusement park is a great idea. The reason for that is because he believes the park will create a few jobs for which he can take credit. Needless to say, he sees no constitutional issues whatsoever in the use of taxpayer money to help fund the park.
So on May 19, the State of Kentucky approved $43 million in tax credits for the park. Not only so, but it is likely the people of Kentucky will also have to pony up another $11 million to "improve a highway interchange near the site."
The people of Kentucky are getting screwed! Alex Seitz-Wald, writing at Think Progress, says that these "tax breaks for an amusement park come at a time when state leaders are asking residents to sacrifice as they cut important social programs. 'The state has gone through eight rounds of budget cuts over the past three years, [including cuts] to "education at all levels" and a pay freeze for all teachers and state workers."
Not only so, but Kentucky has cut funding for Medicaid by sending recipients to managed care plans which creates a bigger bureaucracy and makes it more difficult to obtain care and which will also increase costs by some 20 percent.
Many leaders in the scientific community are dismayed. Dan Phelps, a geologist, said Gov. Beshear's support of this park "embarrassing for the state." Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is threatening to sue Kentucky. The Rev. Barry Lynn, who heads up Americans United says, rightly, that "The state of Kentucky should not be promoting the spread of fundamentalist Christianity or any other religious viewpoint. Let these folks build their fundamentalist Disneyland without government help."
And all the smart people said "Amen"!