"Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Liberty University" by Shealah Craighead / Public Domain
By Michael Gerson
It has always struck me as strange that a narrative about genocide — Noah and the ark — should be employed as a children’s story. As the other boys and girls in Sunday school focused on the cuteness of the rescued animals, I remember thinking about the mass of humanity desperately clawing to get into Noah’s boat. This exposed an early tendency to see the glass as half-empty — particularly when it contained so many floating corpses.
Now I understand that all the best stories have sharp edges of tragedy and danger. Even so, the story of Noah is an odd curricular choice for young children. Fresh off the boat, according to the biblical account, he plants a vineyard, gets drunk and lies naked in his tent. This is a source of consternation to Noah’s sons, who don’t want to see the dark side, much less the backside, of their father. So they cover him with a handy duvet.
Rabbinic and early Christian scholars — figuring that there must be more to the story than meets the eye — postulated that adultery, rape or castration were somehow involved. But there is an application closer at hand.
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