October 24, 2014

Creation Police at Toys-R-Us

Parents, you can be reassured. The creationists are keeping watch.

And now a new front has opened on the war against those who don’t take the Bible literally and promote Evil-lution: the toy store.

Brian Thomas, science writer for ICR (The Institute for Creation Research) posted a dire warning on January 9 against perhaps the gravest threat yet assembled against the literal historical accuracy of Genesis. His piece, picked up by The Sensuous Curmudgeon and The Revealer, suggests that children are now being brainwashed even before they go to school by nefarious toy makers who are intent on spreading their secular worldview to our little ones.

Example?

Noah’s Ark has been a popular story for children, with its parade of colorful animals living in a floating zoo. But the small and cute boat often pictured in stories, toys, and games is so unlike the gigantic seaworthy vessel described in the Bible that it leaves a misleading impression. How could such a craft possibly have preserved animals and people through a real, historical global flood?

One example of this parody of the biblical Ark is a game for preschoolers produced by Rubik’s Cube toy maker Ideal. The Noah’s Ark Game looks innocuous enough, with a picture of colorful animals crowding the roof and deck of a boat barely large enough to hold them. But it misrepresents the Ark to such a degree that it undermines the feasibility of Scripture’s account of the Flood.

Pointing out that “unbelievers often use their personal interpretations of the Noah’s Ark account to try to demonstrate that the Bible is false…,” he warns against all “cute images” of Noah’s Ark, like those in this game, that might mislead our children.

And of course, Thomas takes the time in his article (with footnotes, even) to give us a detailed description of exactly how it all worked in the Ark, even as far as to tell us how Noah and the Mrs. fit the dinosaurs in and grew plants for food (that’s why God had ‘em put a window in it, you know).

[None of which, of course, is in the Bible but is pure speculation. But let's not even mention that. The spiritual well being of our children is at stake, after all.]

We simply must not yield to the temptation to let our children play with any toys that fail to reflect historically accurate depictions of Biblical history. Children must not be allowed to be silly or have fun or, God forbid, use their imaginations! They must be taught from the earliest ages a realistic portrayal of the Ark and its structural integrity, and how the birds and animals and dinosaurs and all survived the worldwide Flood, and how you can see the evidence of this Flood in the Grand Canyon, and how the Flood is the answer to all geological questions about the apparent age of the earth, etc., etc., etc. No false images should ever cloud their minds and prevent them from holding fast to these Biblical Truths™.

Of course, with my conspiratorial mind, I have another theory — Mr. Thomas is trying to eliminate the competition. My sources tell me that he is developing his own Noah’s Ark game for pre-schoolers, to be sold at Ken Ham’s Ark Adventure park. Dinosaurs included.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I don;t like “cute” pics of Noah’s ark either – not because of Thomas’s bizzaro world alternate reality conspiracy theory, but because there is nothing cute about xenocide.

  2. Haha! I’ve been complaining about misrepresentation in toys for years, especially concerning Barbie. Her structural integrity certainly misleads our children about the feasibility of certain body types.

    It’s satanic, I tell you.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Haha! I’ve been complaining about misrepresentation in toys for years…

      Recent type example: What color is Princess Celestia?

  3. QUICK-better get rid of all of those sloe-eyed stuffed puppies out there, as they CLEARLY misrepresent real, manly dogs as the Lord created them back in Genesis. Ditto to that heathen pink kitten that says “HI’ to you and comes from a land of Buddhists going to HELL. And “Candy-Land” is now showing the third or fourth generation of helpless children that the world and all its tempatations, including a place where a five year old can indulge every sensual wish he has for the unholy “sweetness” of the WORLD while being KING or QUEEN of his/her own KINGDOM.

    Grab the kids and get them some Praise Ponies and Veggie Tales DVD’s before it is all too LATE!

    • Don’t forget teddy bears! Completely unlike real grizzly bears in real Nature as really created by real God!

      Also, My Little Pony – magic talking ponies? Satanism and witchcraft force-fed to innocent little children under the guise of “cartoons”!!!!!! Sorry, HUG, but you know it’s true ;-)

      What is it about children’s toys and tv programmes that causes some religious spokespersons to start frothing at the mouth? From “Tinky-Winky is gay” to this… all I can say is that I suddenly had an image of Eric Cartman.

      If God had wanted children to have fun, He would have included a chapter in the Bible on Approved Toys, is that it?

      • Not that the man needed defending too often, but in his defense – Jerry Falwell never said Tinky Winky was gay. It was something of a troll interview, he apologized for speaking out … and kissed a Tinky-Winky doll on the mouth in chapel to make amends.

        But yes, I remember when My Little Pony was new-age and Ninja Turtles were Eastern Religion. Nowadays it’s the feminists and atheists who hate My Little Pony (Yes, really — Google it!).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Justin’s not kidding. When the current version of MLP premiered, Ms Magazine ran a guest editorial denouncing the show as Racist Sexist Goldsteinist Whateverist. At which point Lauren Faust, the producer behind the current MLP, responded with both barrels in a rebuttal.

          And the “atheists who hate MLP” hark back to the first-season episode “Feeling Pinkie Keen”, where one pony attempts to debunk another pony’s “Pinkie Sense”. Very funny when a magical talking purple unicorn gives the standard Skeptic speech (“Cannot be Scientifically Proven”) about a bouncy pink party pony’s “goofy psychic abilities”. (After much painful experience, said skeptic unicorn concludes that “just because you can’t prove something in a lab doesn’t mean it isn’t real”. This reversal of the usual/expected Scooby-Doo ending caused a LOT of comments from both sides.)

      • Matt Purdum says:

        Eric Cartman makes me ROFL! So does Ken Ham. But which is which?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Also, My Little Pony – magic talking ponies? Satanism and witchcraft force-fed to innocent little children under the guise of “cartoons”!!!!!! Sorry, HUG, but you know it’s true ;-)

        It is said that a violently dying horse gives a shrill terrifying scream. I have no desire to hear that scream coming from Rarity or Fluttershy or any of the other Ponies as they burn at the stake for witchcraft. And any Witchfinder-General who tries would have to fight their way through thousands of Bronies to get to them.

        These “magic talking ponies” are sparking a wave of creative output I have never seen before in any fandom. In an age of fashionable nihilism, trendy cynicism, curled upper lips, and ironic quips, they gallop off the screen and into a lot of hearts bring innocence, virtue, and their magic of friendship. And softening hard hearts — I heard several examples recounted just last Sunday, at a Brony panel at the con I was attending.

        What do these cartoon ponies have that all these Official Spokesmen for God (Ham, Driscoll, whatever) don’t?

  4. Speaking of Noah, I have been moved by Mr. Thomas’ concern for the young and ignorant to quote this edifying verse inspired by the Biblical tale, as penned by G. K, Chesterton in his novel “The Flying Inn” (1914):

    Wine and Water

    Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale,
    He ate his egg with a ladle in a egg-cup big as a pail.
    And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and the fish he took was Whale.
    But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail,
    And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
    ‘I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.’

    The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
    As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink,
    The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
    And Noah he cocked his eye and said, ‘It looks like rain, I think.
    The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
    But I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.’

    But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned; on tipsy feet we trod.
    Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
    And you can’t get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
    For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God,
    And water is on the Bishop’s board and the Higher Thinker’s shrine,
    But I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.

    • Nice.

    • Disrespectful, Martha, and historically inaccurate. You’re now on the list.

      By the way, did you ever hear a song over there when you were a girl, sung by the Irish Rovers, about a unicorn? It’s extra-biblical, but it could have happened, and would explain why there are no unicorns today (not because the Age of Reason has no need for them, as HUG might say). It turns out they were “playin’ silly games” when Noah finally had to close the doors to the Ark.

      And that’s why

      “You’ll see green alligators and long-necked geese
      Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
      Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born
      You’re never gonna see no unicorn.”

      We should ban the Irish Rovers as well as silly games about the Ark.

      • Irish Rovers were a Canadian group!!!

        • And the “Unicorn Song” was written by Shel Silverstein, he of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” fame.

      • Ah, Ted, bringing me back to the days of RTÉ One, the only national radio station (unlike today), when amongst the many delights with which we would be regaled was the song about why there are no unicorns today.

        But Ted, but Ted! That’s a serious song of scholarly exegesis! If the dinosaurs on the Ark (and I can’t believe I’m typing those words stone, cold sober) went extinct in the past four millenia so that we only have their fossils today, the reason we have no traces of unicorns, phoenixes and dragons is because of their prideful refusal to obey Noah, thus (1) defying God and (2) refusing to acknowledge Man’s dominion over Creation.

        Truly, the wages of sin is death. Why, that song is practically a hymn!

        • But the free gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord. I don’t know why people keep leaving out that part. It must have something to do with sin.

          But, back to the unicorns: So you’re saying that the reason there is no fossil record of unicorns, phoenixes and dragons (and Ken Ham would disagree with you on the last one; he says dinosaurs were the dragons of yore) is because the flood destroyed all trace of their bones?

          You know, there is a certain elegance to that theory. I mean, the critters on the Ark, dinosaurs included (stone cold sober on this side of the puddle too) weren’t subject to the deluge and so their bones survived (is “survive” the correct word for dead bones? I think it means to live beyond, but no matter). Is that what you’re saying?

          Please remember that the wages of any theory but that one is death.

        • “If the dinosaurs on the Ark (and I can’t believe I’m typing those words stone, cold sober)”

          Funny, Martha!

  5. When you say dinosaurs, you mean Jesus horses, right?

    • aaaaaahaaaaa – the teens in my family liked this.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Dinosaurs?

      Traditionally, the UNICORN has been called “Christ’s Horse” — Gold & White (the Heraldic colors of God and the Church), symbol of Purity.

      • Interestingly, unicorns seem to have been used as a symbol of evil (in certain traditions of Protestantism?) or at least of violence and untameable strength and death. I get this from (1) Dylan Thomas’ “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” with the lines Faith in their hands shall snap in two,/And the unicorn evils run them through; and Thomas was Welsh, from a Bible-soaked Methodist background (2) the ghost stories of M. R. James who is fond of larding the text with Latin quotes from the King James Bible, such as Psalm 22:21 “21Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”

        So there are varying interpretations and varying uses of the unicorn in Christianity :-)

        • I once read how the unicorn represented Christ, whom could only be tamed by the Blessed Virgin (i.e. the incarnation).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          I suspect these Protestant examples are a function of “Romish Papists do X, so We Must Do Anti-X!”

          And despite their later appearance, unicorns were no slouches when it came to a serious fight.

  6. We just got our Bob Jones Alumni Magazine. It features the creation museum and the ark.

    • My sympathies?

      (Honestly, I have nothing further to say. Pointing out the foolishness(es) of Ken Ham and His Band of Merry Thugs is low-hanging fruit at this point.)

  7. CM, I found a great quote this morning from Carlo Caretto that sums up how many of us in the wilderness feel about this and many of the topics we cover here at IM…

    “How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.”

    ‘Nuff said from me today…

  8. That Other Jean says:

    Thanks be to God that these Bible-worshipping, fun-denying, imagination-stifling “Christians,” no matter how much noise they make, are a small minority of the Church.

  9. And what those pictures and images of Baby Jesus? How come we never see him getting his diaper changed? Or spitting up? Anybody who has ever held babies….

  10. My understanding is that if Noah and his family took two of every “kind” of insect, they and their food needs (assuming they miraculously didn’t eat each other) would have so filled and weighed down the ark as to have sunk it, as well as left no room for the other animals.

    But if they didn’t… then when and where did all the insects (and spiders) come from? Riddle me that, Batman!

    How could such a craft possibly have preserved animals and people through a real, historical global flood?

    Perhaps Mr. Thomas needs to re-examine his premises and presuppositions.

    • Moreover, Noah was to take seven pairs of every clean animal and seven pairs of every bird. (Genesis 7:2)

      I want to know why my daughter’s Fisher Price Noah’s ark only came with one pair of each?

      • That’s because it conflicts with Genesis 6:19: And of every living creature of all flesh, thou shalt bring two of a sort into the ark, that they may live with thee: of the male sex, and the female.

        Also, it meant that Noah was expected to be psychic since Moses hadn’t yet delivered the law explaining what was clean v. unclean.

        • I don’t have a problem with biblical conflicts in general, but I don’t see this as one. Most animals were two, clean animals were seven.

        • The Previous Dan says:

          Probably much of what Moses recorded in regard to clean vs. unclean, sacrifices, tithing, etc. weren’t new ideas but just further developments or codifications of existing ideas about God’s worship.

          • cermak_rd says:

            I’ll grant you that. I’ll also add that this passage regarding 7 of the clean animals might have been added by a scribe trying to show that Noah was a good Jew and read his Torah. That would at least explain the lack of flowiness of the text. Neither of these approaches to textual realism, however, would be likely to fly with dear Mr. Ham.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Earthworms are hermaphroditic, and there are several insects & invertebrates that reproduce parthenogentically (one sex). Not to mention a LOT of microbes and plants that also reproduce asexually.

    • from a Creationist POV, were there more species of animals at the time of the flood, or only those with us today?

      and as you mention, were not insects to be included? or aquatic animals that needed either a salt water or fresh water environment to survive?

      and those ‘clean’ animals. 7 of them? 7 pairs? and 7 of all the birds too? and birds whose diet was fish? and we are including all the carnivors with the herbavors? with food sufficient for all the various animals aboard. and then only 8 crew members to care for this floating zoo for at least a complete year? all of these logistical details conveniently left out of the narrative so some people can insist it must have been a literal event within the constraints of the scope of the known elements of the story???

      aren’t more questions than ‘answers-in-Genesis’ left unaddressed by those that do wonder at the shear scope of such a logistical possibility? and this without the non-scriptural assumptions attributing the impossible extrapolations to some unspoken miracle on God’s part to make it all ‘fit’???

      Lord, have mercy… :(

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        from a Creationist POV, were there more species of animals at the time of the flood, or only those with us today?

        Don’t Ask Political Questions, Comrade.

        and as you mention, were not insects to be included? or aquatic animals that needed either a salt water or fresh water environment to survive?

        DOUBLEPLUSUNGOOD DOUBLEPLUSCRIMETHINK!
        DOUBLEPLUSGOLDSTEINISM!

      • Highwayman says:

        I remember borrowing a children’s book from the library (many years ago) called ‘The Log of the Ark’. If I remember rightly, it included accounts of various strange creatures such as the ‘wumpity-bumpities'(?) which were around before the flood but not afterwards. Now I have become a man and put away childish things, I suppose I need to repent of not recognising it for the dangerous heresy it must have been…

        What a pity – it was really good!

  11. Another posts that truly looks like it should have been filed under “Laugh or Else”….

    Anyone here ever see NBC’s Noah’s Ark? It was soooo much cooler than the Bible’s version: They get attacked by pirates, harassed by floating salesmen, and in the end, God decides to destroy Noah and his family too. Then Noah gets drunk and dances, and at the last second God says, “Hey Noah, you’re pretty amusing. Perhaps I’ll keep you around after all. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed having you around. Look what I almost did! You see, even God makes mistakes sometimes, too…”

  12. …wait just a minute! Is he seriously objecting to this Bible story toy on the basis of it being too cute? Seriously?

  13. Off topic , and for Chap Mike: you’ve probably already seen it, but I’d recommend the Justin Brierly “Real UK” interview between (among) Justin Brierley, Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace . Though poor Grace didn’t get a chance to talk much.. The most remarkable take away for me was how Mark characterized the interview , and Justin, later. Worth hearing, IMO. have a great Wednesday.

    GregR

  14. Think of all the eternal damage done to poor unsuspecting children (and their awful parents) by those flannel-graph things in Sunday School! My goodness, how many times have those distorted the literal, biblically accurate portrayal of events? The house on the rock high on a cliff; the house on the sand sitting on a beach! Jesus must be shaking his head and be as mad about that distortion of his story as Brian Thomas is about the Noah’s Ark toys.

  15. Well, to be totally true the story, the toy set would need quite a few dead bodies to float in the water, and, of course, a drunken, naked Noah figurine…

  16. The big “Epic Fail” for me re: the Flood story being a global flood that destroys all life is it makes YHWH/Elohim out to be less than God. I.e., the God who supposedly created everything and knows each hair on our head and can single out the first-born of Egypt (humans and beasts) for death and/or the cattle of Egypt vs. the livestock of Israel for plagues can’t spare the innocent animal life when it’s humans’ wickedness and/or the mating of angelic beings with humans that brought on the flood? YHWH/Elohim has to send pairs and/or sevens of animals into the ark (and the ark and flood certainly don’t symbolize baptism for the animals) instead of creating a safe place for them to go to or to where He might send them (if He was able to close up the ark for Noah, He could have directed the animals where to go)? He can protect Jonah in a giant fish’s belly, but he can’t save the innocent animals from land-covering flood waters? The whole thing screams either “local flood” or hyperbole or something other than the popular “real, historical global flood” that people like Mr. Thomas insist on.

  17. First thought: Wow, no one can suck the innocent fun right out of something quite the way the fundagelicals can.
    Second thought: The agenda here is not really what it purports to be; If they were really serious about kids’ toys accurately depicting Old Testament stories, there would be a parents’ revolt because a heck of a lot of it would be rated R or worse for violence and sex.

    Glad these folks are a small minority of the world’s Christians.

    • Didn’t we just discuss the “Lego ‘Bible'” before Christmas!!!

      • i was thinking the very same thing…

        where is the line to be drawn then? too much ‘realistic’ depictions in toy form, or keep it all appropriate for kids to enjoy as play items without the subtle biblical representation preserved in a level of accuracy that does not give the wrong idea???

        this also goes along with the Holy Fool article just added, although it just proves there are many silly fools for God making ‘waves’ in the headlines for their 15 seconds of fame…

        Lord, have mercy… :(

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      First thought: Wow, no one can suck the innocent fun right out of something quite the way the fundagelicals can.

      “Only Fundamentalists can turn a Father’s welcome feast for his son into a Fascist Rally.”
      — comment on this blog years ago (from memory)

  18. This sort of thing reminds me of the talk I heard by an Islamic Scholar when I was living in Saudi Arabia:

    Jesus did not eat pork. He followed the laws of Moses and he did not eat pork. In Leviticus 11:7-8, “7 And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.”[142] Jesus’ only dealing with pigs was his permission to the unclean spirits which were possessing a man to enter them. When they entered the herd of pigs, they ran into the water and drowned. However, most people who call themselves Christians today not only eat pork, they love it so much that they have made pigs the subject of nursery rhymes [e.g. This little piggy went to market...] and children’s stories [e.g. The Three Little Pigs]. Porky Pig is a very popular cartoon character and recently a full-length feature movie was made about a pig called “Babe”. Thus, it may be said that those who call themselves followers of Christ are not in fact following the way of Christ.

  19. “We simply must not yield to the temptation to let our children play with any toys that fail to reflect historically accurate depictions of Biblical history.”

    Or one group’s interpretation? This falls under those attempting to enter the kingdom of God by force. This is bare-knuckle orthodoxy: the one who can bully everyone else into submission becomes the standard bearer of truth. Sadly, this has nothing to do with countering the cheap marketing and merchandizing of the faith, or maybe it does? Perhaps Ham is trying to corner the market on Noah’s Ark trinkets. It’s all about power and greed. Truth once again is trampled in the street.

    • And after the Ark we read about the curse of Ham.
      Yes, indeed.

    • Sounds awfully like what he really means is “We simply must not yield to the temptation to let our children play with any toys” and never mind if it’s a toy ark or a doll. Where are dolls in the Bible? Did Moses have a Meccano set when he was set adrift in a basket? No? Then all children should just be learning Bible verses and not playing with secular toys at all!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Don’t laugh, Martha. JMJ/Christian Monist has encountered Christianese homeschoolers who do just that. The only book allowed in their home is the Kynge Jaymes Bible. Period. THAT is their homeschooling textbook. Period.

  20. Again, some blame goes back to St. Francis of Assisi for daring to depict bible stories in the dress and scenery of medieval Europe. Call it an early attempt at cultural relevance? But is that bad, I ask quite cautiously? Are people going to flock to the faith the more alien and other-world we depict it? That image of the “real” ark posted with this article looks other worldly. Is that on purpose? Many missionaries present the gospel in a manner that would be accustom to the cultures being reached. Again, I understand the dangers here, but is depicting the symbols of the faith in the context of ones audience necessarily bad? Perhaps Michelangelo was too influenced by the renaissance in his religious paintings. I know Eastern Orthodox Christians look at Michelangelo’s works in horror.

    • Dumb Ox,

      No, that’s not bad. It’s called contextualizing. Blue-eyed Jesus? Black-skinned Jesus? Not a problem if it’s meant to lead people to Jesus. As the apostle Paul said, “all things to all people in order to win some to Christ”.

      On page 31 of the January Christianity Today there are illustrations of Jesus from three cultures: One with Mary and the boy Jesus with Asian features; one with a black Jesus on the cross surrounded by his mother and a few disciples (also black), with an African-looking thatched-roofed village in the background; and one with Jesus sitting in a lotus position and wearing an orange robe. Looks like the Buddha.

      None of this should become a problem, nor should “colorful animals crowding the roof and deck of a boat barely large enough to hold them” unless someone makes it a problem. Shame on them.

      • Good point. Once the blue-eyed Jesus is assumed to be more than contextualizing, then there is a legitimate problem.

      • It seems like even when we attempt to portray Jesus in biblical culture and customs, we still can’t escape contextualization. Bible School pictures of the Blessed Virgin in Palestinian dress and 1950’s hair style and western features come to mind.

  21. where is the Danny Willis fellow that made such a valiant attempt at standing up for AiG, Ken Ham & the Disney-ization of Ham’s theme park in Kentucky article???

    he was the one sole champion for anything AiG to the point of almost canonizing Ken Ham right there on the spot! a good example of what supporters of such YEC dogma champion that have jumped on the Genesis bandwagon, er, ‘ark’ while riding out the flood of alternate viewpoints…whatever they may be…

    “Our Way or the Water Way” seems to be their mantra…

    Lord, have mercy… :(

  22. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Regarding the Ken Hams, YECs, Spiritual Warfare Types, Christian Culture Warriors, et al:

    Have you ever wondered if they have made Satan greater than God in their theology? That Satan is so much more powerful than God that if it weren’t for the Faith and Actions of the Faithful Spiritual/Cultural Warriors they see in the mirror every morning Satan would triumph? That God needs their help every election/step of the way or Satan will crush God? (Sure makes them important, doesn’t it?)

    Or take it one step further. Ever wondered if the reason they’re so loud and so shrill is that they have made Satan so powerful that all the volume and shrillness is to convince themselves deep inside that they didn’t throw in with the losing side?