Lately some folks have expressed concerns about the Bible. Are they atheists or non Christians? Nope, just a group of kooks who think the Bible is too liberal and they have decided to remedy the situation.
I have long believed that the right wing Christian fundamentalists, if confronted with the actual ‘return of Jesus’, would promptly stomp him to death.
Andy Schafly and the folks at Conservapedia have formed a group called the Conservative Bible Project in order to “take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.” As a non Christian, I am not that familiar with the Bible, but I am fairly certain this effort would all but eliminate Christ from the Bible.
More on this red hot issue from the Toronto Star.com
Let he who is without sin cast the first wiki.
And thus Andrew Schlafly, son of Phyllis, begat the Conservative Bible Project with the mission to expunge liberal language and interpretation from the Holy Book.
The project is foremost these days on Schlafly’s Conservapedia, the three-year-old conservative alternative to Wikipedia that provides “trustworthy” and “family-friendly” accounts of evolution, homosexuality and whatever else strikes the fancy of his team of home-schooled students culled from his online history courses at Eagle Forum University.
Schlafly, in an interview with The Star, details examples of what they’re looking for: the parable of the adultress in John 8:7 of the New Testament is one, in which Jesus warns about casting that first stone. Not exactly family-friendly.
“This is a permissive story used by liberals to oppose capital punishment,” says Schlafly. “It is saying there can be forgiveness without repentence.”
Another comes from Luke 23:24, where the crucified Jesus says “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“The simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing.”
So too the modern translations have taken his preferred 400-year-old King James Bible and diluted it, reducing references to Hell from 54 to a metaphorical handful.
“Hell is there in the Bible as real justice,” says Schlafly. “If people think it doesn’t exist, they think they can get away with anything.” Notwithstanding the sixth commandment.
The current translations of the Bible are laced with “liberal wordiness, compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities,” the project says. To that Schlafly adds the unisex “emasculation of Christianity” that uses gender-neutral pronouns.
He figures the few dozen recruits toiling away at the New Testament book by book should be done within a year. “We may not have as many credentials” as the wildly liberal biblical scholars holed up in universities (“80 to 90 per cent of them voted for Obama,” he says), but they have enthusiasm and energy.
Schlafly’s own favourite Bible passage is the story of the prodigal son because “it conveys a beautiful insight into forgiveness and love.”
Why the prodigal and not the adultress? “God is entitled not to be fair. He asked for forgiveness and the adultress did not.”
Toronto bible scholar Charles Kim, who leads study groups with the United Bible Fellowship at Ryerson University using the New International version, already finds the Bible conservative enough.
“A lot of people experience Jesus’s forgiving grace when they read that passage” about the adultress, said Kim. “The Bible also describes incest in Genesis. In the midst of these shocking stories, we find how God reveals himself.”
I understand this is not the first time the Bible has been messed with, and in fact I think the Bible is an interesting set of fairy tales compiled several hundred years after Christ’s death, but it seems to me if you are a Christian, changing the text to fit your perspective defines hypocrazy.
Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal, according to a group of conservatives. And it needs a little editing.
That’s the inspiration behind the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.
Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative. Not that it’s the fault of the author(s), exactly. The group cites a few reasons why the Bible is too progressive: “Lack of precision in the original language … lack of precision in modern language” and “translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.”
So how can the Bible be conservatized? The group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project. Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text.
1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level
4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”.
5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as “gamble” rather than “cast lots”; using modern political terms, such as “register” rather than “enroll” for the census
6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word “Lord” rather than “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” or “Lord God.”
Among the words to be eliminated: “government.” A conservative columnist at Beliefnet described the effort as “just crazy … like what you’d get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural
institution of Bible learnin’.”
Read more at: Huffington Post
Forget attacking liberal bias in Hollywood or in the media. One group says it’s the Bible that’s gotten too progressive.
The Conservative Bible Project is leading the charge to deliberalize the Bible by using a Wikipedia-like Web site to correct what it calls “errors in conveying biblical meaning.”
Those errors are a “lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts introduced by Christ,” “lack of precision in modern language” and “translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.”
On its Web site – which is emblazoned with an Old Glory logo above the words “The Trustworthy Encyclopedia” – the group is seeking to create a fully conservative translation of the Bible that follows 10 commandments, er, guidelines.
Those guidelines include “a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias;” not “dumbing down” the Bible; not emasculating the Bible, that is, not using “gender inclusive” language, and not downplaying the “very real existence of Hell or the Devil.” But do, the Web site says, “utilize powerful conservative terms.”
And the benefits will be priceless, the Conservative Bible Project touts. Participants will master the Bible and the English language, and will force liberals who challenge the effort to read the Bible, which will “open their minds.”
At least one critic is calling for divine intervention.
The Huffington Post cited a conservative columnist at Beliefnet.com who described the effort as “just crazy … like what you’d get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin’.”
If Jesus returns, Karl Rove will kill him
March 22, 2005
As we enter another Easter Season, it’s become all too obvious that if Christ returns, those who hate in his name will slime him, then kill him.
Christ was a long-haired peace activist who would have been sickened to his soul by the war in Iraq. “Blessed are the peacemakers” Jesus said in his defining Sermon on the Mount. “Turn the other cheek…Love thy neighbor.”
Such hippie-radical ideals are the “Christian” right wing’s worst nightmare. The GOP would never tolerate an upstart like Jesus gathering a following in the face of their corporate-fundamentalist crusade. These are self-proclaimed Christians who love power but would despise the actual Christ, just as they love a Zionist Israel but believe actual Jews are doomed to Hell.
In the wake of Jesus’s inspiring life of non-violent rebellion, a perverse liturgy weighted by twenty centuries of intolerant bloodthirsty bigotry has erupted in his name. Attacks on people of color, on nations with oil, on humans of the same gender who love each other, on youth who enjoy sex….all have become staples of a new fundamentalist crusade doing in Christ’s name things that would have left him horrified.
In large part through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus came to be viewed as Divine because he spoke eloquently for a gracious, loving God.
Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, George Bush and their corporate-fundamentalist minions speak to and for a very different kind of God, one at war with the Deity described by Christ.
Bush-Rove’s Master is a spiteful dictator, defined by hate and greed, intolerance and hypocrisy.
Christ kicked the moneychangers out of the temple. Today’s Republicans have enshrined them.
Christ spoke of a God of compassion and joy.
Today’s “religious” right wingers worship Meanness of Spirit, a greed-driven war-loving totalitarianism. The only way to salvation, they say is THEIR way, through a nature-hating Authority that tramples all Jesus preached.
As Tecumseh, the great Shawnee spirit-warrior, allegedly shouted at William Henry Harrison in the early 1800s: “When Jesus Christ came upon the Earth, you killed him. The son of your own God. And only after he was dead did you worship him and start killing those who would not. ”
If Christ came back today to resume preaching the Sermon on the Mount, Karl Rove would slime him in the media, then kill him outright, then turn his words into conservative hatespeak, then kill those who refuse to follow in his name.
If Christ came back to organize against Bush’s war, Rove’s pet bloviators would shriek about Mary Magdalene. Isn’t that her next to Christ in DaVinci’s “Last Supper”? Wasn’t she pregnant with Christ’s bastard child. Who let her catch his blood dripping from the cross?
Rush Limbaugh would demand to how this “Son of God” could have a relationship out of wedlock? Who was he to feed loaves and fishes to the undeserving poor, prolonging the existence of inferior racial stock? Who said he could attack those moneychangers who are the Elect of God and the sponsors of Rush’s air time?
Then O’Reilly would slime the Easter thing. A self-anointed “peace prophet” rising from the tomb? Poppycock, he’d say. Just another pinko hippie terrorist conspiracy theory.
But if Christ persisted, and built a following like, say, Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez or Nelson Mandela…well….they’d kill him.
They’d blame a patsy, like, say the Jews, or the terrorists, or the Willie Hortons. They’d designate a straw man to take the fall for the assassination.
Rove would cloud his death in shadowy scandal. Stories would surface of unconfirmed debts. Or tainted investments. Maybe something about hashish, no stranger to the region.
Hannity would feature some jilted lovers. There’d be rumors Jesus was gay. Talk of a love triangle. Ugly gossip about Mary and Judas. False leads about Jews wanting him dead. New doubts about that “virgin birth.”
Whatever it would take to slime the sheen off an anti-war “Son of God” and to turn his death tawdry, Rove would do.
But would Jesus stand for the slaughter of 100,000 Iraqis in his name for oil and dubious Biblical prophecy? What would Christ think about a president in love with the torture chamber and electric chair? What would Jesus, who hated hypocrisy, say about a Bush who scampers back to prolong the life of a brain-dead woman, but who gleefully executed 150 people as governor and still more as president? How would Jesus cope with a self-proclaimed Divinity demanding the death penalty for children?
And what would Jesus say about torture in American prisons, where much the same is being done to innocent inmates as was done to Christ himself on the way to Calvary? Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” could serve as a documentary of the daily torture and slaughter among the 2.2 million prisoners held in the US military and civilian gulag, a barbaric prison system that makes the Romans’ seem benign by comparison.
Systematic sexual abuse by both prison guards and Catholic priests? The wholesale slaughter of Iraqi children? The debasement by corporate money of both church and state?
Christ would lead the non-violent charge against these cornerstones of GOP rule—until Rove killed him.
What would J
esus do about gay marriage? “Love they neighbor,” he’d say.
What business is it of those who use his name, he would ask, to prolong bigotry and intolerance just as 50 years ago those same cynical haters claimed Biblical sanction for laws preventing people of different colors from marrying one another.
Christ would never stand for such bigotry. So Karl Rove would have him killed.
Hitler claimed Christ was an Aryan supremacist. Now Rove, DeLay & company use him to sell dictatorial, greed-driven, gay-hating, war loving hypocrisy.
Easter says otherwise. It should remind us that if Jesus returned to preach the Gandhian love-thy-neighbor subversion with which he challenged the Romans, Karl Rove would do what Pontius Pilate did.
But Rove would be better at the spin.
HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US is at www.harveywasserman.com, as is his GLIMPSE OF THE BIG LIGHT: LOSING PARENTS, FINDING SPIRIT.