Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Give Me Some Of That Ol' Time Revisionist Religion

Its been a busy week in the sphere of gay rights and religion. It seems that with all the battles raging across the country gay marriage and health care are stirring the pot. Skeletons are falling out of closets and the right-wing nuts are coming out of the woodwork with complete abandon...

let me begin this post with a great theme song from Kate Bode who recently took on Nashville-based, ultra-conservative talk show host Michael Delgiorno and gotten alot of flak for standing up.

Please check out the conversation that took place here and show your support for Kate. If I find a link to were you can buy her music I will post it. But for now, on to the craziness...

One of the major arguments that is used against gay and lesbian people by conservative and religious folks is the opinion that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality. It does...but not for the reasons that most conservatives claim. They claim that the Bible Is absolutely Divinely inspired and thus, unalterable and perfect. They have used this feature of the Bible to discriminate against all manor of people throughout history...Blacks, women, and now gays. I was taught that using GODS word for you own gain was up there in the list of things you don't do under pain of eternal damnation .But I guess if you work at the Conservapedia, the online conservative version of wikipedia "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia", your not bound by such petty concepts as "heresy". Their recent project is to "rewrite" the Bible to remove all references to liberal bias. Check it out, at your own risk here. Submitted, for your consideration, are the goals they intend to achieve:

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."

Alright...deep breath here...everything about this is appalling. How dare they take scriptures meant to inspire all peoples and write their political views into it? And as number four points out they have problems with words like "peace" and "miracle"? Its outrageous! Its proof to me that they think Christianity belongs solely to them. With this, we take yet one more step away from bringing people closer to GOD and another step into shadows and cowering in fear because we have been made to feel evil. I wonder if somehow Rush Limbaugh will end up portrayed as being present at the last supper? Hear is their rational for doing this. There axe to grind becomes clear. Bold text is my addition to highlight their agenda. (Hey if its o.k. to edit the Bible it should be o.k. to do it them right?)

1.↑ The committee in charge of updating the bestselling version, the NIV, is dominated by professors and higher-educated participants who can be expected to be liberal and feminist in outlook. As a result, the revision and replacement of the NIV will be influenced more by political correctness and other liberal distortions than by genuine examination of the oldest manuscripts. As a result of these political influences, it becomes desirable to develop a conservative translation that can serve, at a minimum, as a bulwark against the liberal manipulation of meaning in future versions.

Has the Bible been changed over time?...oh yes it has. For good reasons as well as fear mongering ones. The Bible has been written and rewritten more times than any other book in history. One popular example would be the Council of Nicaea's decisions on which stories circulating in their day, were worthy of being considered "canon" and included in the Bible to begin with. The burden of good Bible scholarship however, should always rest on good source material. In other words, using the earliest and most authentic historical manuscripts available from the time. Whats the Conservapedia using?

In the United States and much of the world, the immensely popular and respected King James Version (KJV) is freely available and in the public domain. It could be used as the baseline for developing a conservative translation without requiring a license or any fees.

Oh yes...The good old King James Version. A version of the bible that has its own mistakes in translation. The text goes on to state the reason why this version of the bible is used...its cheaper. They clearly are not worried about a good understanding of Jesus words...just promoting their own view of them. Good Bible scholarship is not the aim of this project, its using the Bible as propaganda. Suggesting the the Bible is laced with "liberal terms" and replacing them with conservative ones is to miss the point of the Bible entirely and to treat it as a political tool. These people live in their own reality and now they want to change the Bible to suit it. "The trustworthy encyclopedia" my behind....

In other news....To highlight why you should question conservatives "ownership" of Christianity, and proof positive that the loudest voices against gay rights usually have a few skeletons of their own, comes this article on www.funnyoddthing.blogspot.com. In 2006, Raymond J. Lahey a Nova-Scotia Catholic Bishop who opposed gay marriage, encouraged his parishioners by an open letter to speak out against gay marriage in Canada through any method they could. Recently Bishop Lahey turned himself in on charges of possessing and importing child pornography. But yet the Church claims that we are the threat to children.....sheesh...I really think the Catholic Church needs to get out of the marriage equality fight because more and more of these stories keep surfacing and throwing money at it isn't making it go away. The Church needs to spend some time examining its priorities or it may find itself out in the cold in the hearts and minds of the average person. Indeed, the fight over gay marriage has a high cost to us all. But if spirituall leaders keep using there positions in the pulpit to resist civil liberty issues and ignore true suffering in the world..they may never be able to recover from paying the cost.


  1. Everyone *knows* King James was a bleeding-heart liberal hell-bent on shoving liberal propaganda into the Word of God.

    Ditto for all the centuries of theologians who used this version for study.

    As well as those delightful KJV-onlyists. Such as Jack Chick. Who knew he was such a liberal?

  2. informative. i'd never heard of Conservapedia. thanks for posting Kat's video. i can't find any of her music for purchase either. i think she's working on an album right now.

  3. They are clearly not interested in history or accuracy or they would know that King James himself was gay.

  4. This is off topic but I just discovered a great book for your kiddos here is the link!!!
    It's called In Our Mothers'House and it's by the award winning much loved author Patricia Polacco! I'm so proud of her for writing this book!!!


    ~ Amy

  5. Do you have any idea how good of a writer you are? You should, it is the typeface reflection of what a good, thorough thinker you are.

    They can own the church, but they can't own my beliefs. I take responsibility for the beliefs I accept as realistic, and the ones that are a little more apocryphal. Hey, if I'm wrong, at least it's a good story. But if the Bishop wants to play it straight he's got to lose the hat and prove he's living up to all that hocus-pocus.

  6. Sorry for resurrecting an old thread like this. I just wanted to say that I love that you're Christians, but you're not afraid to examine the faith and recognize that religion can adapt to individual circumstances, rather than being cut and dry, set in stone dogma. Personally, I've moved away from religion in my own life, but I have great respect for people of faith who are rational, thoughtful, and who really are the good, loving people they claim to be.

    These Conservapedia nutjobs on the other hand... Well, if I haven't got anything nice to say, I should probably just clam up, right? Now if only they'd follow the same rule. ;-)