A regressive revelation?

i-1395b0d1e38d8697c11208d1d7d44f80-ConservaJesus.jpgConservapedia is the gift that keeps giving. Recall that Conservapedia formed to correct the nefarious liberal bias of the collectively edited Wikipedia. That is, they kept losing edit wars because they could support their claims, and since they couldn't conform reality to their beliefs, they'd just write an encyclopedia enshrining them. Much fun. But now there's a bigger threat to their goal of completely isolating conservatives from any differing views: The Bible (h/t):

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]

  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[3]
  4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] 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";[5] 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."

As further evidence of the Bible's liberal slant, "the conservative word 'volunteer' is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word 'comrade' is used three times, 'laborer(s)' is used 13 times, 'labored' 15 times, and 'fellow' (as in 'fellow worker') is used 55 times."

Let us pray that the Bible never talks about a "fellow laborer"!

The question, though, is what inerrantists will think of this. After all, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy is clear: "We affirm that God's revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive." That statement of principle adds, "We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings." But surely St. Ronnie is the exception to that rule. The man named 1983 the "Year of the Bible"! Leaving 1984 as the Year of Conservatism, as everyone knew it would be. Also the year of crack.

Inerrantists will also object that their affirmation "that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture" should make political parties subordinate to the Bible also, but this gets it all wrong. Obviously Jesus' statement that one must give unto Caesar what is Caesar's means that political power is coequal with divine power.

i-e922d67871b7f0391d4f29f5542377d5-blackjesus.jpgOn a modestly serious note, this is exactly what evangelical pollster George Barna predicted in 2001. Based on a survey he'd just completed, Barna noted that "believers think of themselves as individuals first, Americans second, and Christians third. Until that prioritization is rearranged, the Church will continue to lose influence, and biblical principles will represent simply one more option among the numerous worldviews that Americans may choose from." Of particular interest here, 75% of Americans polled believed that "God helps those who help themselves" occurs in the Bible. It doesn't. Maybe Conservapedia can fix that while they purge all the nonsense about the blessings of the poor, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, the hungry, the persecuted, and mourners. Something more upbeat would be nice.

More like this

The wackaloons over at Conservapedia have a new project: releasing a new version of the Bible. No, really: Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning: lack of precision in the original…
The far right wing has long rested their authority on Biblical truth — how can you possibly question them if they speak for God, after all? There is one little problem, however. The Bible is suffused with liberal bias. A lot of the Old Testament isn't bad, but the New Testament, when Jesus makes…
This is really off-topic for GM/BM, but I just can't resist mocking the astonishing stupidity of the Conservapedia folks. I'm sure you've heard by now that Andy Schafly and his pals are working on a "new translation" of the bible. They say that they need to do this in order to remove liberal bias…
As I mentioned at the start of Thursday's post, my discussion of the Friedman and Dolansky column about homosexuality in the Bible was really a prelude to discussing this essay by David Lose. Lose seeks to persuade us that the Bible is in some sense a reliable guide to morality. Beneath the…

There are great big gobs of stupidity in the 10-point plan for a "conservative" Bible, but I think my favorite is #8. How are they going to "exclude later-inserted liberal passages" without accepting much-despised textual analysis by researchers who don't regard the Bible as inerrant? Conservative Bible believers, as a rule, think every word of the KJV is divinely inspired by God and would blanch at the idea of omitting "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" (John 8:7). Tampering with sacred text is supposed to be something done by irreverent liberals. When self-described conservatives start to do it in earnest, many of their flock will recoil in horror.

Should be amusing.

I think you mean, "That is, they kept losing edit wars because they COULDN'T support..."

By MiddleO'Nowhere (not verified) on 06 Oct 2009 #permalink

Why does anyone care what other people believe? Is there no longer any right in America regarding freedom of religion? Is there NOTHING that doesn't offend or scare liberals? Most liberals are self-confessed atheists, so why do they care what any person of religion believes? When did it become okay to bash people in this country for their religious beliefs? How about bashing ALL religions instead of just christianity. Or, better yet, how about respecting people's FREEDOM to be religious or not, as they see fit. Liberals are such hypocrites, always whining and crying about losing rights when they have NO RESPECT for anyone's rights. Why would you care if ther were 5,000 christian websites devoted to 5,000 different christian views? Why do you get to FORCE your point of view on people, yet you deny people the right to practice their beliefs in peace?

Is there no longer any right in America regarding freedom of religion?

Not in large parts of the United States, no. In particular, not in the United States Army. If this bunch gets their way, not anywhere.

Which should answer your question:

Why does anyone care what other people believe?

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 06 Oct 2009 #permalink

Hmmm says

When did it become okay to bash people in this country for their religious beliefs? How about bashing ALL religions instead of just christianity. Or, better yet, how about respecting people's FREEDOM to be religious or not, as they see fit.

it became acceptable to bash your religious beliefs when we installed a Bill of Rights that affords me freedom of speech. I have the right to say whatever I please (with the traditional exceptions) and you don't have a right not to be offended. If you've not noticed, plenty of people do bash all religions instead of Christianity, google Pat Condell and see what you find, but I doubt you'll enjoy that either. I respect your right to believe what you wish, so long as those beliefs don't interfere with the rights of others. So, when, say Christians stop belabouring the same tired points about abortion and homosexuality, amongst other things, I'll leave you alone. Or rather, I won't, I'll still laugh at something as silly as grown men and women having imaginary friends, but I will at least regard that as a harmless belief instead of one that has the potential to cause irreparable harm to other human beings.

While I'm at it: CAPS don't make you right (learn some html, it isn't all that hard), look up the definition of the word "projection", and provide some relevant examples of how your right to believe is being interfered with by Josh or others pointing out how utterly absurd they are.

Alternately, nice Poe whoever you are. I can't for the life of me tell which...

sorry about the "test" post. I've been having trouble posting to SB since TypeKey is blocked by my company's internet police and I can't access my login.

Concerning "God helps those who help themselves":

I've been chastised in a Sunday school class I used to attend for saying that. While the Bible may not specifically spell that out, I still believe that's what it comes down to. If one reaches out and asks for help, isn't that doing something for yourself? I think so. Evangelicals believe that one should ask God for help. The response I got was "God helps those who can not help themselves". But they believe they have to pray and ask God for help. That's a form of reaching out and many times it happens in a Church community, so others know about the need and provide help in some form which reconfirms the believer's original idea that God is providing. I think this is initially a way of helping yourself. It's very rare a person with alcoholism, drug addiction, or treatable disease gets help and keeps the problem a secret from their family or community. And one can argue whether praying alone will provide the help.

Hmmmm says,

Why does anyone care what other people believe? Is there no longer any right in America regarding freedom of religion?

You have a seriously warped view of what freedom of religion means. In fact, H. L. Mencken was writing about people that held your view all the way back in 1925.

"[E]ven a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred...The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from governmental control but also from public opinion. A dunderhead gets himself a long-tailed coat, rises behind the sacred desk, and emits such bilge as would gag a Hottentot. Is it to pass unchallenged? If so, then what we have is not religious freedom at all, but the most intolerable and outrageous variety of religious despotism. Any fool, once he is admitted to holy orders, becomes infallible. Any half-wit, by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us."

Hmmm, you are adorable. I could snuggle you all night.

Editing the Bible has a long history, easily going back to Thomas Jefferson's removal of all miracles from the New Testament, and I'm happy with anyone doing whatever they like with it, as long as they don't expect me to participate also.

Since politics is inherently not private and personal, I have to think that an explicit merger of political ideology with religion is bad for politics, and probably for the affected religion, too. But the latter is your own business.