Lawrence O’Donnell takes out after Ark Park, and Bible as well

In the clip below, Lawrence O’Donnell, author, television writer (“The West Wing,” among other shows), and host of “The Last Word” on the MSNBC television channel in the US,  takes out after the Ark Park planned by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. He criticizes its unwarranted tax breaks from the state of Kentucky, its purveying fiction as truth, and, in a rare episode of criticizing religion, O’Donnell goes after the Bible and literalists.

To fully appreciate this, you have to realize how rare this kind of gloves-off approach to religion is in the mainstream American media.

Click on the screenshot below to go to the 8-minute MSNBC clip:

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 12.00.03 AM


h/t: Olli


  1. GBJames
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink


  2. Gordon Hill
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    He is among the more even handed of the commentators, a fair minded progressive. Thanks for posting.

    • Blue
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Ditto — and with my concurrence as well … … as re your assessment / analysis of Mr O’Donnell / his body of work, overall, of commentaries and writings.

      Lovely. And, as re within any media, … … finally.


  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, rare indeed. I don’t keep up with O’Donnell, so I’m glad you posted this. Thanks.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I have just seen one of the rarest animals on earth. That was amazing.

  5. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    host of “The Last Word” on the MSNBC television

    Is that an obituary programme, or just a late-night talk show?

  6. Mattapult
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Well stated. I especially enjoyed the comment about there are no Biblical literalists. I make similar points often, but he made it better and stronger.

    One disagreement… sharks wouldn’t have survived, nor any water-breathing sea life. The erosion caused by 5″ of water every minute for 40 days would have made the water unbreathable with mud. This fact only make the Biblical story more unbelievable. No sharks were on the Ark, so their “kind” wouldn’t have been preserved at all.

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      There certainly must have been a lot of erosion. After all, the entire Grand Canyon had to be carved out in just a year or so. )

      Naturally, there is the small question of where all the water came from and where it all went – but hey, it was a demented “miracle” in which nature’s laws were suspended.

      • Posted August 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Obviously, the water came from the “firmament above.” It was spread out far enough for a time to hang high above the Earth, but as the gradual pull of gravity made it condense, it reached a tipping point, not at all unlike the hypothetical tipping points in the global warming conspiracy, but a real tipping point. It all cascaded down as waterfalls from the sky. Where did it all go? Deep into the Earth’s crust naturally, but it went towards the weak points, like a lopsided water balloon. This “inflated” the Earth and made it go from flat to spherical. It also tilted the planet 23.5 degrees, creating seasons as we know them.

        *Disclaimer: I’m going from memory from when I was taught creationism, so pardon me if some of these facts are off. I wouldn’t want to be accused of making things up. 😉

  7. Grania Spingies
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Tax breaks and concessions and hand-outs are common for state-recognised religions in Europe too, alas, and it rarely gets mentioned on the news channels here either.

    Criticism of such tends to be the domain of comedians and occasionally political talk-shows.

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Well. They don’t have a constitutional prohibition on establishing a church, so they are perfectly free to do what they please with their money.

  8. Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I like how he goes after the sports socialism as well. Always been a peeve of mine: Public subsidies for the “sky boxes” (pleasure lounges) for the extremely wealthy. And the whole stadium is a huge subsidy for over-paid performers.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Yeah, sports socialism is a joke. And even when these massive projects are put on the ballot and people vote NO, they always seem to get built anyway with tax payer’s money. Yessir, our democracy at work.

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t any better when when huge amounts of money are spent in “public” facilities. At Texas A&M, somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 million is being spent just to upgrade Kyle field to include the same kind of skyboxes, among other things. (That’s within striking distance of the cost to build the Seattle Seahawks Century Link field from the ground up.) Even student fees are being tapped help pay for it. Season ticket holders among the hoi polloi who previously had midfield tickets were pushed to near the endzone to make way for the high rollers.

    • Kevin
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I did not know that about sports stadiums. Partly, I do not care, but if only a few benefit from the upgrades, then it is unfair.

      Unfortunately the majority of Americans think that there is a possibility that they may have enough money to pay for those exclusive seats, when, in truth, they have no reasonable opportunity at all. It appears to make them feel better, even if the allocation of resources is unevenly distributed.

  9. Siegfried Gust
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I was was unaware of this guy. It’s a little comforting to see that there are mainstream media broadcasting this sort of thing.

    • Todd Steinlage
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree, he made some pretty strong statements. I wonder if he’s looking at leaving MSNBC? I think they’ll probably get some heavy flak over this. Good for him, though!

  10. Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good for him and MSNBC for doing this piece. What I would love to see would be some libertarian types arguing the same thing. It’s irksome enough when the state gives tax breaks for sports areans and such but This would take the cake for me. How much money is it? How many kids could that amount feed?

    FWIW I ‘enjoyed’ ten minutes on the radio with Ham talking about radiometric dating – whew- that was like holding on to a greased pig. Slippery!

  11. Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Think about this…carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores sharing the same space. Supposedly there were predator and prey together on this fictitious boat. Where was food stored for these animals?

    Regardless of their lifestyle, all animals, ultimately provide food for other animals. Animals are connected to one another by food chains, which involves the passing of food from one animal species to another. Animal food chains rarely contain more than 5 or 6 animals, mainly due to the fact that animals pass on only a tenth of their energy as they use the rest of it.

    Typically food chains start with a plant which is known as the producer. The producer in a food chain gains the energy it needs from the sun and is the only link in the food chain which does not consume organic matter. The producer is consumed by a herbivore known as a primary consumer, which is then consumed by the secondary consumer, generally a small, omnivorous animal. The tertiary consumer, usually a smaller carnivore, then eats the small omnivorous mammal. The tertiary consumer is also sometimes eaten by a larger carnivore which would be the quaternary consumer.

    Food chains differ from one another all over the world, and are largely dependent on the habitat and the species which live there. Food chains for marine species work in the same way, although the producers in marine food chains are usually small aquatic plants and phytoplankton.

  12. Posted August 4, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on My Selfish Gene and commented:
    I don’t usually chase after creationist types but thought this was interesting.

  13. capierso
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    New here, not sure if links are allowed. Ham has a nice little “Sunday school” lesson based on the “rant”

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I’m proud to be a “scoffer.”

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Ah, it’s so great to see a TrueChristian intentionally lie. Shows that Mr. Ham has no more belief in his god than I do.

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Kentucky would benefit more from a suitable psychiatric hospital.

    • Posted August 5, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Ham succinctly sums up the religion/science conflict with this Bible verse: “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2 Timothy 3:13–14).

      Note, it is from whom you learned them, not what you learned that matters.

  14. jay
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s easier to get away with that in Europe (or not) . But don’t you dare come down on Islam.

  15. Brygida Berse
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I love this guy. Always have, always will.

  16. Kevin
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with fundamentalists on this issue: either you believe in Noah’s Ark or you are not a Christian. You must believe the guy was supercentenial and megagenocidal. The remainder of the majority of people professing to be Christians are pedantic ciphers voluntarily discarding the bulk of their self-professed faith.

    True Christians must hate the other Christians, and the other Christians must hate themselves for making endless excuses for their beliefs.

    • jay
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Have to agree. The wingnut Christians are the most consistent. All the others arbitrarily pick and choose.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Even they pick and choose. You can’t help it given the internal contradictions in the stories.

  17. Filippo
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


  18. Sheila B and Zin
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Lawrence only mentioned the world’s animals being killed off in the flood. Would covering the earth with water also drown the plant life as well? What is everyone going to eat when the waters subside?

  19. HaggisForBrains
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    God had decided to murder every man, woman and child and foetus on Earth…

    Interesting point. Obviously these foetuses were too evil, and had to be destroyed.

    The company contracted to build this ark employs over 60 people, is experienced in modern civil engineering, and hopes to complete the project in two years. I wonder how long four men, each over 500 years old, using basic bronze age tools, would take? The bible is curiously silent on this important point, although it does allow them seven days to get all the animals on board! The logistics of simply getting all the materials on site would defeat them before they even got started on the construction.

    • Posted August 5, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Let’s see…ten million animals, spaced an average of 1 meter apart while waiting in line to board the ark, that’s a 10,000 km line, with 168 hours to board. Each animal had to move at an average speed of 60 km/h to successfully board in that time. Seems reasonable.

  20. Roger
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Great but he seems to be unaware that creationists have already thought up answers to his supposedly embarrassing questions he is going to ask them at the Ock Pock. Thaey are obvious questions so surely they haven’t been overlooked by the creationists. He’s in for a bit of disappointments and frustrations with his “gotcha” questions I think. 😀

  21. Posted August 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Darks Side and commented:
    LOD is awesome!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] Via Why Evolution is True, and with a video clip: Lawrence O’Donnell takes out after Ark Park, and Bible as well « Why Evolution Is True. […]

%d bloggers like this: