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Noah

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Peter Foster
Peter Foster is the Telegraph’s US Editor based in Washington DC. He moved to America in January 2012 after three years based in Beijing, where he covered the rise of China. Before that, he was based in New Delhi as South Asia correspondent. He has reported for The Telegraph for more than a decade, covering two Olympic Games, 9/11 in New York, the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, the post-conflict phases in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Does half of America really believe Noah saved all the animals in his ark?
By Peter Foster World Last updated: February 11th, 2014

Can it really be true? Depending on which polling organisation you prefer, between a third and a half of Americans believe in so-called “young earth creationism”.
This is the idea that the humans were created within the last 6,000-10,000 years and that all the animals on earth were rescued by Noah and his ark – including the dinosaurs – which according to one strand of the theory, were squeezed onto the ark as babies or adolescents, to make room.
Viewed scientifically, this is, of course, childish nonsense.
And yet a Pew poll says that 33 per cent of Americans believe that humans “have existed in their present form since the beginning of time”, while Gallup finds that 46 per cent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form “at one time within the last 10,000 years”.
I’ve always been suspicious of these numbers and a recent trip to Virginia to meet with both young secularists and evangelicals at Liberty University (the bible school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell which espouses creationism) has made me doubly so.
You can read all about the trip here, but what was startling was the idea, advanced by several of the interviewees, that lots of people brought up in that world didn’t actually believe in this kind of literalism – even though officially, they said that they did.
This was explained by phrases such as: a) it was expected of them by the church b) it was the line of least resistance c) they didn’t want to be ostracised by friends and family d) they didn’t feel it was really that important either way.
Pollsters call this the “halo effect”, and it can be seen, for example, in the gap between the numbers of Americans who say that they go to church and the number who actually do, which can be measured by all sorts of underhand methods, not least counting the cars in the car park on a Sunday.
According to this article by an Evangelical website, regular church attendance is actually observed by about 20 per cent of Americans, which is only half the official pollsters’ figure of 40 per cent. It’s a big discrepancy, and I’m willing to bet it is mirrored to a significant degree in these creationist polls.

At Liberty University, where there is a Creation Hall espousing the doctrine, there was palpable awkwardness at times among some of those having to defend the scientifically indefensible.
Should defending one’s faith, require one to defend the kind of cod science on display at Liberty, such as the “fact” that all species of horse, donkey and zebra are “all descended from an original pair of horses that were on Noah’s ark”, or that the comparative lack of evolution in sharks and the coelacanth “fossil fish” disprove Darwin’s theory?
Well, that’s exactly what institutions like Liberty University and the Evangelical church do demand, even when officially they say that they “teach both sides”, which is not really true, as Kevin Roose, the Brown student who spent a semester at Liberty explained in his brilliant (and sympathetic) undercover memoir The Unlikely Disciple.
One Liberty man, who was reluctant even to show us the Creation Hall, tried to diminish its importance, apparently wanting to avoid conflating or confusing it with the profundity of his own religious faith – “it’s not a big deal, it’s not something we think about that much” – which I took as code for: “it’s not something you should judge us on, and certainly not judge the validity of our faith in Jesus Christ.”
I suspect this explains a lot of the polling. Believing in creationism is for many a statement of tribal identity before a statement of actual belief.
This might explain why, according to another poll recently quoted by The Economist the number of Republicans who believed in biological evolution actually fell from 54 per cent in 2009 to 43 per cent today – a change that perhaps tracks the surge of identity politics over that period.
And if you watched the recent Creation debate between Ken Ham, the Christian author who started a Creation Museum and Billy Nye, telly scientist and CEO of the Planetary Society, you can see how divisive and tribal this debate has become.
It was just a dialogue of the deaf that mirrors and echoes the emptiness of political discourse in the US today, where both sides have retreated to their trenches to lob ideological mortar shells at each other, with their hands clamped firmly over their ears.
I daren’t say that there aren’t Americans who really do believe all the animals were saved by Noah in his ark, but I’d also suggest that those “beliefs” don’t quite amount, in practice, to what both sides of this debate – evangelicals who wish to vehemently defend the faith, and atheists who equally vehemently wish to trash it – would have you believe.

 

 

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Noah wayyyy!

Noah wayyyy!

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December 19, 2013 · 09:36

Noah’s Tardis

Noah's Tardis

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December 12, 2013 · 21:54

Little Old Wine

 

from “Christianity Today”

 The Bible Wine Tour
Two highly imaginative experts explore viticulture, the Bible, and Jesus’ taste in wines.
David Neff
[ posted 9/11/2013 9:23 AM ]
Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age
OUR RATING

3 Stars - Good
BOOK TITLE

Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age
AUTHOR

Randall Heskett
PUBLISHER

Palgrave Macmillan
RELEASE DATE

November 13, 2012
PAGES

288
PRICE

$18.87

 

In January of 2011, archaeologists announced the discovery of the oldest known facility for producing grape wine. Working in a network of caves in Armenia, they found fermentation jars, a 15-gallon basin for treading grapes, and the remains of crushed grapes, leaves, and vines. They dated the site’s age at about 6,100 years. This is not the oldest evidence of grape wine—that would be the 7,400-year-old chemical residues recovered in the Zargos Mountains in Iran. The Armenian site, however, is the oldest known wine production facility.

 

Why mention this in Christianity Today? Because the “winery” was just about 60 miles from Mount Ararat, where, the Bible says, Noah’s ark landed and thus near where he planted the first vineyard. “After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent” (Gen. 9:20-21, NLT).

In Divine Vintage, Hebrew Bible scholar (and former wine importer) Randall Heskett joins with oenologist (and president of the Institute of Masters of Wine) Joel Butler to trace the Bible’s “wine trail” from Mount Ararat in the north to Egypt in the south. They devote the first half of their book to the wine trail documented in the Bible and other ancient texts, awakening the reader to the significance that wine plays in the economy of the ancient world and in the religious and economic life of Israel. The wine trail in the book’s second half is literal rather than literary: the authors visit contemporary wineries in the lands of the Bible, providing a helpful guide for wine tourists in the Middle East.

The authors argue that wine is “a key protagonist for the evolution of society from rootless and nomadic to settled, spiritual, and cultured.” Wine, they say, “is the heart, soul, and body of Western civilization.” While they don’t quite prove that exalted status, they do link developments in ancient civilization to the evolution of viticulture. Wine also played a very important role, both theologically and culturally, in Israelite history. The authors have no time for the conservative Christian belief that in the Bible, wine is always a bane and never a blessing. (On the second page of the preface, they announce that they simply will not treat “all of the pointless claims that promote abstinence from alcohol or assertions that wine in the Bible was not fermented.”) Their ultimate, light-hearted goal is to answer the question WWWJD: What Wine Would Jesus Drink? The authors saved their answer for the end of the book—so I’ll save it for the end of this review.

In the Bible, wine appears far more frequently as a vehicle of God’s blessing than an occasion of human folly. When Noah planted a vineyard, it was an act of faith in God’s promises. So argues biblical scholar Peter Green (currently pursuing a PhD at Wheaton College). After the flood, the God who had just destroyed (or “de-created”) the earth promised to permanently establish regular agricultural seasons. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” (Gen. 8:22, NLT). A vineyard requires at least three years to produce its first usable crop of wine grapes. Planting one means betting on a long run of the right kind of weather and climate conditions. So when Noah took up his role as a second Adam to cultivate the garden and populate the earth, he was demonstrating faith in God’s blessing.

Unfortunately, wine’s first appearance in Scripture is tainted by human failure. But its second act is an unmitigated story of blessing (Gen. 14:17-24). After Abram pursued enemy kings who had taken his nephew Lot captive, he paid a visit to Melchizedek, the priest-king of Salem (later known as Jerusalem), in order to thank God for his victory. Melchizedek brought Abram bread and wine, an act which Christian interpreters have seen as foreshadowing the Eucharist.

Abraham came from a beer culture, say Heskett and Butler. Because of Mesopotamia’s climate, wine had to be imported and was therefore a luxury item for the rich. But Canaan’s Mediterranean climate made wine an integral part of both Israelite and Canaanite culture. When the Mesopotamian migrant Abraham received wine from Melchizedek, he would have perceived it as a highly valued commodity. It thus served as a fitting precursor to the blessing Mechizedek was about to give.

An offering of wine (and food) similarly precedes Isaac’s blessing of Jacob in Genesis 27. Isaac, thinking he was blessing Esau, said: “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine.”

Centuries later, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob moved back to Canaan, a “land flowing with milk and honey” that also a yielded plenteous grapes and abundant wine. In Numbers 13, the Promised Land is described as a well-watered place full of grape clusters so enormous that it took two Israelite spies to carry just one of them back to camp. This image came to epitomize Canaan’s agricultural richness.

Because abundance of wine signifies God’s blessing, it becomes a key element in the Bible’s vision of the good life. It is a divine gift that the Psalmist famously declares “maketh glad the heart of man” (Ps. 104:15, KJV). When Proverbs personifies Wisdom (Prov. 8–9), it uses mixed wine (probably with spices) as an important part of the banquet that Wisdom has prepared for those who respond to her invitation. The “brash” woman Folly, by contrast, offers her guests “stolen water” to drink.

Isaiah 55 echoes Wisdom’s invitation in Proverbs. God offers covenant blessing with an invitation to the thirsty: “Is anyone thirsty? … Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free” (Isa. 55:1, NLT).

The prophets continue to use wine as a key symbol of God’s promised blessing for his people: “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations” (Joel 2:19, NLT). “The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil” (Joel 2:24, NLT). “‘The time will come,’ says the Lord, ‘when the … grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine.'” (Amos 9:13-14, NLT).

The prevalence of winemaking is assumed in the Law of Moses: it is prescribed as an offering and commanded as an element of celebrations. In Deuteronomy 12, 14, and 26, God commands people to set aside a second tithe of their grain, wine, and oil in the first, second, fourth, and fifth years of each seven-year cycle. They are to use this for a holy feast. If a person lives too far from Jerusalem to carry their produce to the party, they are instructed to convert it into money and then go to the Holy City and “buy any kind of food you want—cattle, sheep, goats, wine, or other alcoholic drink. Then feast there in the presence of the Lord your God and celebrate with your household” (14:26, NLT).

Of course, though the Bible’s fundamental image of wine is one of blessing, it also includes cautions about its use.

Since wine is at times a luxury, it features in the prophets’ condemnation of those who oppress the poor while enjoying dainty food and fine vintages (Amos 5-6). Proverbs warns judges and rulers to avoid habitual drinking, since the lives of others are in their hands (31:4-9). And wine is also a metaphor for God’s wrath, which stuns people and nations and makes them stagger as though they were drunk (see, for example, Ps. 60:3; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:16).

Heskett provides an easy-to-read survey of all these biblical materials—though he doesn’t actually deliver a theology of wine or of the vineyard. Unfortunately, he sometimes resorts to frivolous speculation. This is occasionally harmless, such as when he wonders aloud whether at the wedding feast in Cana Jesus might have turned water into white, rather than red, wine.

But in other contexts, his speculation panders to popular notions of the evolution of religions. For example, just after the Melchizedek blessing, Abram names Eshkol as one of the warrior chieftains who deserves a portion of the spoils of war for helping him rescue his nephew. The name Eshkol means “cluster” [of grapes]. Curiously, Heskett asserts that Eshkol is really the name of a wine god—as is ʾĒl ‘elyôn, the name of Melchizedek’s God. For these conjectures, he relies on Morton Smith, a biblical scholar who long ago established a reputation for imaginative reading between the lines. In this case, Smith argues from evidence that the Greek and Roman cults of Dionysus/Bacchus have their roots in Tyre, next door to Sidon (which Jesus visited) in what is now Lebanon. He then speculates that other wine gods must have preceded Dionysus in Palestine. Why not identify them with Eshkol and ʾĒl ‘elyôn? Why not? Those who have a biblical faith must certainly deal with the explicit record of Israelite syncretism, criticized openly by the prophets. But we don’t need to conflate YHWH with the assorted gods of ancient Canaan. Unfortunately, the degree of Smith’s speculation is not transparent to Heskett’s readers, and the paucity of the evidence is hidden from view.

The same evolutionary view of religion is evident when Heskett indulges in pop phenomenology to equate Christ and Dionysus. When Jesus claims to be the true vine of which his followers are the branches, he says, “Christ here evokes the portrayal of Dionysus as a living vine, his shoots flowing out, becoming Maenads (female worshipers … who were incited to religious frenzy) ….” Sigh.

In the book’s final section, Butler appears to take the lead from Heskett. (Butler: what a great name for a wine expert! The Anglo-Norman word originally meant the person in charge of the bottles.) The authors deliver a rare wine tour of contemporary Greece and the Middle East. Since the earliest winemaking facility was located in what is now Turkey, Butler and Heskett begin there and follow the stops on Paul’s third missionary journey. Many of these places were noted for their wine in the ancient world, but later Muslim prohibitions on alcohol largely restricted wine production to the non-Muslim population. Then the Armenian genocide (1915–18) and the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22) resulted in the near disappearance of the groups that knew how to make wine.

But Turkish winemaking has experienced a revival in the latter part of the 20th century thanks to secularist policies initiated by Kemal Ataturk, and Butler and Heskett assure us that vintners are now producing wines that are, variously, “well-structured [but] not too oaky,” “rich, fruity, and distinctive,” and with “fine texture and promise, with deep fruit and balanced oak.” There is plenty of that kind of writing because this is, after all, a wine book co-authored by a wine expert.

The listing of wines and wineries in Turkey, French-influenced Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Greece will help any thirsty traveler in the region connect with the best wine producers.

Worried that Israeli wines all taste like Manischewitz? Not anymore. On my own travels to Israel, I noticed real progress between the early 1990s and 2007. Boutique wines are now available that match some of the best small wineries in California, Washington, and Oregon for sheer interest.

Israeli wine production is plagued by one serious irony, Butler and Heskett note. To be sold in most grocery stores, wine must be kosher. Wine can only be certified kosher if all those who work to produce it are observant Jews. Observant Jews, however, must cease from work on the weekly Sabbath and a number of holidays. This means that vintners and their workers are unable to time their harvesting and other steps of winemaking with the precision that other makers of fine wines aim for. Not all Israeli wines are kosher, though, and some of the better wines need to be purchased directly from producers.

Beyond mere wine tourism, such as one might do on a visit to California or France, Butler and Heskett seek out wine producers who are trying to restore ancient winemaking techniques. One such vintner is the Shiluh-Süryani Sarabi vineyard in a Kurdish region of Turkey not far from the Syrian border. This area was settled by Syriac (Aramaic-speaking) Christians in the fourth century, and, while only 18,000 Syriac Christians live in Turkey today, about 3,000 are concentrated in this region. Today, this winery grows its grapes organically, crushes them in traditional stone gats, and ferments the wine for 45 to 60 days in large clay jars kept cool by being buried in the ground. Then, without any filtration or fining, the wine is bottled. This preserves the wine’s purity for sacramental use in the Syriac church.

The authors call these Syriac wines “truly biblical” because they are produced using ancient methods that are part of a wine-making tradition reaching back to biblical times. That brings us back to the question, What wine would Jesus (criticized by his opponents as a “winebibber”) drink?

Jesus seemed more than ready to break the ritual kosher rules, say Heskett and Butler, especially if fellowship would be impaired by ritual purity. That freed the authors to consider a wide variety of wines made according to ancient techniques. They finally settled on a traditionally made white wine from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, not exactly biblical, but definitely ancient. They describe the 2009 Pheasant’s Tears Rrkatsiteli as “deep yellow-gold” and having “saline-mushroom, floral-herb, and olive scents.” It has a “chewy finish that is more like a red wine’s.”

But what about a red wine? Jesus would be eating lamb, no? One of the authors’ suggestions is a traditionally made red from Sicily: the 2010 COS Pithos.

But really, was Jesus a wine snob? Or did he drink wine as a form of fellowship with those excluded from Jewish society? If the latter, Heskett and Butler are right to say on the very last page that Jesus would, as a guest of honor, be humble enough to drink whatever he was served.

David Neff is the former editor in chief of Christianity Today.

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September 14, 2013 · 10:57

Groan! Some terrible so-called “jokes”

Q.  What kind of man was Boaz before he married  Ruth?
A.  Ruthless.

Q.  What do they call pastors  in Germany?
A.  German Shepherds.

Q.  Who was the greatest financier in the  Bible?
A.  Noah .  He was floating his stock while everyone  else was in  liquidation.

Q.  Who was the greatest female financier in the  Bible?

A.  Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of  the Nile and  drew out a
Little  prophet.

Q.  What kind of motor vehicles are in the  Bible?
A.  Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in  a Fury. David’s Triumph
Was heard throughout  the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the  apostles
Were all in one  Accord.

Q.  Who was the greatest comedian in the  Bible?
A.  Samson. He brought the house down.

Q.  What excuse did Adam give to his children as to  why he no longer lived  in Eden ?
A.  Your mother ate us out of house and  home.

Q.  Which servant of God was the most flagrant  lawbreaker in the  Bible?
A.  Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at  once.

Q.  Which area  of Palestine was  especially wealthy?
A.  The area  around Jordan .  The banks were always overflowing.

Q.  Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the  Bible?
A.  David.  He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.

Q.  Which Bible character had no  parents?
A.  Joshua, son of Nun.

Q.  Why didn’t they play cards on  the Ark ?
A.  Because Noah was standing on the  deck.

PS..  Did you know it’s a sin for a woman to make  coffee?
Yup,  it’s in the Bible. It says . .  ‘He-brews’

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Tacky 3

By Mary Wisniewski

HEBRON, Ky., May 31 (Reuters) – The Biblical account of Noah and his Ark poses a lot of questions, even for believers like the creators of the controversial Creation Museum in Kentucky.

What is “gopher wood”? How did Noah fit all those animals on the boat? And how did he stand the smell?

In an office park in Hebron, Kentucky, the designers of the proposed “Ark Encounter” theme park are trying to answer questions like these in order to build faith in the Bible’s literal accuracy. The project has run into delays because of lack of financing, which could cost it millions in potential tax breaks. Despite the uncertainty, a recent Reuters preview of the project showed that plans for the ark are continuing.

“We’re basically presenting what the Bible has to say and showing how plausible it was,” said Patrick Marsh, design director for the park, which will feature a 500-foot-long wooden ark and other Old Testament attractions, including a Tower of Babel and a “Ten Plagues” ride. “This was a real piece of history – not just a story, not just a legend.”

The project is currently in the design phase. Not enough private donations have come in to start construction, and building permits will not be ready until November, according to Ark Encounter co-founder and Senior Vice President Michael Zovath.

The project has $12.3 million in hand and $12.7 million more in committed donations; it needs $23 million more to start building the ark alone. Zovath does not know when that will happen.

Like Noah before the Flood, the builders are in a bit of a time crunch, since Kentucky tourism tax incentives for the project are set to expire in May 2014.

The longer it takes to start building the $150 million park, originally planned to open in spring 2014, the less the project stands to gain from the rebates, which allow it to receive up to 25 percent of project costs over 10 years from sales taxes generated by the business.

Zovath said the project may refile for the incentives, which critics argue are a violation of the constitutional divide between church and state. If the rebates applied to the full project cost, they could amount to $37.5 million.

SPECULATING ON THE ARK SPECS

Ark Encounter is a project of Answers in Genesis, the ministry founded by creationism proponent Ken Ham. The ministry built the Creation Museum in nearby Petersburg.

The museum, which has been harshly criticized by educators and scientists, argues that the earth is around 6,000 years old and was created by God in six 24-hour days with dinosaurs existing at the same time as humans. It rejects the theory of evolution and explains phenomena like the Grand Canyon as a consequence of the Flood.

Attendance at the Creation Museum has declined since it attracted 400,000 visitors in the first year after its 2007 opening, said Zovath. He attributes this to the poor economy and believes some visitors may be delaying their visits until the ark exhibit opens.

The Biblical account of the ark does not provide much detail on how it was made, so the designers have had to speculate.

The Bible calls for gopher wood, for instance, although it is unclear if this is a now-extinct type of wood or if the term refers to the way the wood was cut, said Marsh, who has done work for Universal Studios. Ark Encounter will go with a mix of woods.

Another big question is how Noah got mating pairs of all the animals of the earth, including dinosaurs, onto a boat half the length of a cruise ship.

Scientists have cataloged 1.3 million species of animals, but Ark Encounter protagonists figure Noah could have brought on just 1,000 to 2,000 pairs to represent every animal “kind,” as the Bible puts it.

“If you start with a wolf, you can basically generate all of these dog-like kinds,” said Marsh. As for large animals like dinosaurs, Marsh said Noah could have brought them on as eggs or juveniles, to save room.

Though the park is meant to teach that the Noah story is true, it is also for profit, and Marsh takes inspiration from secular theme parks. In the exhibit depicting the wicked pre-Flood society that God wanted to destroy, for example, Marsh plans a pagan temple with pagan ceremonies done in a “Disneyesque” way.

“You want everyone to have fun and buy souvenirs and have a good time, but you also want to tell everybody how terrible everything (was),” Marsh said.

He also plans exhibits within the three-level ark on how animal waste could have been taken away by mechanical devices and how fresh air could have been brought in.

CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION?

Explanations about the origins of the earth from Answers in Genesis are contrary to scientific consensus, which says that the planet formed about 4.5 billion years ago.

The Creation Museum was condemned by the National Center for Science Education, which said that students who accept material presented at the museum as valid are “unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level.”

Many Biblical scholars interpret the Creation and Flood stories as poetic myths and not history.

About one out of three Americans accepts the Bible literally, a percentage that has declined over time, according to a 2011 Gallup poll. Nevertheless, creationism has in recent years re-entered public debate over how to teach science in schools.

Marsh said that while you can be a Christian without believing in creationism, you are on a “slippery slope.”

“So many people have gotten hooked with the concept of evolution that it really makes their faith very delicate,” he said.

Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the planned park promotes “junk science.”

“You don’t pay for the ministry of people out of the taxpayer’s collected dollars,” said Lynn, who said his group will consider a lawsuit if the tax breaks for the ark ever kick in.

Zovath argues that the tax breaks do not violate the Constitution, since the state is not giving the park money up-front, but is only returning some of the tourism money the park will bring to the state.

“If somebody wants to come into Kentucky and build a Harry Potter park and teach all the fun things about witchcraft, nobody would say a word about it – they’d just think it was so cool,” Zovath said. “But if we want to come in … and build a Biblical theme park, everybody goes crazy.” (Editing by Arlene Getz and Prudence Crowther)

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Noah

Noah

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March 29, 2013 · 11:12

Back Up

Back Up

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March 1, 2013 · 08:41

Noah

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Noah

In the year 2012, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in The U.K. , and said: Once again the earth has become wicked and over-populated,and I see the end of all flesh before me.Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard – but no Ark.

Noah! He roared, I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?
Forgive me, Lord, begged Noah, but things have changed.I needed a building permit.

I’ve been arguing with building control about the need for a sprinkler system.

My neighbours claim that I’ve violated the planning laws by building the Ark in my garden and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the appeal department for a decision.

Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark ‘s move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl.

I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

S.E.P.A. ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they’d conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.

Immigration is checking the status of most of the people who want to work.

The trades unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, they seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, ‘You mean you’re not going to destroy the world?’

‘No,’ said the Lord. The Coalition Government have beaten me to it!!

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