Noah’s Ark for the new millennium

Published May 1, 2000

The House Resources Committee held a field hearing in 1999 in Hemet, California, to hear southern California citizens describe the way the Endangered Species Act is enforced by the federal agencies whose “real agenda [is] to stop growth, eliminate jobs, and take private property for public use without payment of just compensation,” according to Rep. Richard Pombo (R-California).

One of the people to testify before the congressional delegation was Rev. Moore-Kochlacs, director of Environmental Ministries of Southern California, who lectured the congressmen in saying humans are “so anthropocentrically focused that we lose sight of the biocentric world that God had created and called good. And so that is where the arrogance comes in.”

Moore-Kochlacs’ remarks produced the following response, a modern-day version of the Bible story of Noah and the regulations he would need to build an ark, from Rep. Gary Miller (R-California).

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, “In six months I am going to make it rain until the whole Earth is covered with water and all of the evil people are destroyed, but I want to save a few good people and two of every kind of living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build me an ark.” And in a flash of lightning, he delivered the specifications for the ark. “Okay,” Noah said, trembling in fear and fumbling with the blueprints.

Six months later it starts to rain. Thundered the Lord, “You had better have my ark completed or learn to swim for a very long time.” And six months passed. The skies begin to cloud up. Rain began to fall. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in the front yard weeping. And there was no ark.

“Noah,” shouted the Lord, “where is my ark?” A lightning bolt crashed to the ground next to Noah. “Lord, please forgive me,” begged Noah. “I did my best, but there were big problems. First, I had to get a building permit for the ark’s construction project, and your plans did not meet code. So I had to hire an engineer to redraw the plans. Then I got into a big fight over whether or not the ark needed a fire sprinkler system.

“My neighbors objected, claiming I was violating zoning by building the ark in my front yard. So I had to get a variance from the City Planning Commission. Then I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark because there was a ban on cutting trees because of the spotted owl. I had to convince U.S. Fish and Wildlife that I needed the wood to save the owl, but they would not let me catch any owls. So, no owls.

“Then the carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone could pick up a saw or hammer. Now I have 16 carpenters going on the boat and still no owl. Then I started gathering up animals and got sued by an animal rights group. They objected to me taking only two of each kind. Just when I got the lawsuit dismissed, EPA notified me that I could not complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on the proposed flood. They did not take kindly to the idea that you had jurisdiction over your conduct and you were the supreme being.

“Then the Army Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed new floodplain. Right now I am still trying to resolve a complaint from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over how many Croatians I am supposed to hire, and the IRS has seized all of my assets, claiming I am trying to avoid paying taxes by leaving the country, and I just got a notice from the state about owing some kind of use tax. I really do not think I can finish your ark for at least another five years,” Noah wailed.

Then the skies began to clear. The sun began to shine. The rainbow arched across the sky and Noah looked up with a smile. “You mean you are not going to destroy the Earth?” Noah asked hopefully.

“No,” said the Lord sadly. “The government already has.”