Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Too liberal? Jesus might make the cut with a nice haircut, a three-piece suit, and a job as a CEO preaching "every man for himself!" They might have to change the phrase "cast the first stone" to "preemptive strike."

Some conservatives think the Bible is too liberal, and they want to change it. The Conservative Bible Project seeks to return the Bible to its so-called right-wing roots, and has initiated a plan, and while some of the changes may bring the text closer to the original Aramaic (or so they say) other changes are political in nature and aimed at stripping the more "progressive" bent from the book.

According to Time, the conservatives aren't crazy about the story of the adulteress whom Jesus saved from being stoned with the famous line: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The group complains that liberals have used this story to argue against the death penalty. Jesus sounds like a radical humanist, they complain, or at the very least a moral relativist. Not to mention a long-haired hippie.

According to Time magazine's Swampland blog, the project seeks to "replace liberal words like 'labor' with preferred conservative terms; use concise language instead of 'liberal wordiness'; and--my favorite--'explain the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning.'" "Labor" obviously has a left-wing, even "communist" connotation. Scotch that!

They'll have a hard time scrubbing the "liberal" out of the Bible, and my suggestion is they remove the Jesus character altogether. Why not? Some of his humanity and concern for the poor, some of his preaching of peace and justice, would be extremely difficult to spin, so just delete him. Or make him into a short-haired CEO who preaches every man for himself, crass materialism, and looking out for Numero Uno.

"Go ahead, cast the first stone! Look out for numero uno! Screw the meek! Blessed are the rich, the greedy, and the warmongers! Love thy neighbor--only in the right neighborhood! Blessed are the wealthy, for they shall get health care! Now get out of my face!"

According to The Huffington Post, the group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project, Conservapedia. "Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text."

They propose the following changes:

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."

Conservative Bible Project

The final word...

No comments: