Montana Republican: Why Should Americans Retire? Noah Never Did And He Was 600 Years Old

In today’s experiment in the depths of idiocy we get to see what happens when Republican free market capitalism runs head first into Biblical literalism.

A Montana multi-millionaire who is planning a gubernatorial run against Democratic incumbent Steve Bullock in 2016 is looking to the Bible to shape his political policies in ways that would make Rick Santorum say “take it down a notch.” For example, did you know that Noah built his ark when he was a spry 600 years old? So why are you complaining about not being able to retire until you’re 70? Greg Gianforte isn’t the first Republican to suggest people stop hoping to retire, but he certainly is the only one basing it on the story of Noah’s Ark.

Greg Gianforte made his fortune as a tech entrepreneur (read: he made a company that he later sold to another company for $1.5 billion), but now thinks he would like to take a stab at being governor. His expertise is technology and the Bible. Notice only one of those things can help you get a job in an emerging field with a high salary. The other is a religious text written thousands of years ago whose major technological concern was which kinds of fibers you can and can’t mix in your clothing.

Despite the obvious differences, Gianforte wants to use Old Testament scripture as a road map to governing his state. In a talk given at – where else? – the Montana Bible College in February, the Huffington Post notes Gianforte remarked:

“There’s nothing in the Bible that talks about retirement. And yet it’s been an accepted concept in our culture today,” he said. “Nowhere does it say, ‘Well, he was a good and faithful servant, so he went to the beach.’ It doesn’t say that anywhere.”

“The example I think of is Noah,” he continued. “How old was Noah when he built the ark? 600. He wasn’t like, cashing Social Security checks, he wasn’t hanging out, he was working. So, I think we have an obligation to work. The role we have in work may change over time, but the concept of retirement is not biblical.”

Gianforte admits an 80-year-old probably shouldn’t be working as an oil rig operator, but he should be working somewhere – that’s the biblical way. After all, the work “may change over time” so if you, say, sell your company for a fortune you should not kick back. Instead try to buy your way into the Governor’s mansion. That’s what Jesus would have done.

It probably doesn’t even need to be said, but for the record, despite the Old Testament’s claims to the contrary, humans probably weren’t living hundreds of years. Even most Christians today view the story as more of a metaphor than a historical document depicting a real 600-year-old Noah building a boat housing two of every animal on earth within.

Unsurprisingly, Gianforte is also a huge fan of creationism. That Montana creation museum an elementary school recently came under fire for after trying to take its students to go see while studying dinosaurs? Gianforte financed it. In fact, he donated the T. Rex fossil that sits in the museum’s main hall.

He’s also not a big fan of “the gay agenda.” Once again, Gianforte is using his bible to justify his position. In 2014, he opposed LGBT nondiscrimination legislation and assured his local politicians that if anything discriminating against gay people helps businesses. “Homosexual advocates try to argue that businesses are leery of locating in towns that aren’t friendly to homosexuals. I believe the opposite is truer,” he promised. He may want to ask Indiana and the millions of dollars it lost from boycotts over its own anti-gay legislation how that approach worked out.

Despite Gianforte’s truly laughable beliefs, he actually seems to have a pretty good shot at winning. According to a Montana State University political scientist the Associated Press spoke to earlier this month, Gianforte’s massive wealth and name recognition give him a leg up on his Republican competition. It’s unclear whether his “Work until your 600” platform will do him any favors, though.

Feature image via More Good Foundation/Flickr