PZ Myers alerts us to a new mission of sorts for those wacky kids over at Conservapedia*:
The Bible is suffused with liberal bias. A lot of the Old Testament isn’t bad, but the New Testament, when Jesus makes the scene, suddenly takes a turn into commie-land, with it’s talk of helping the poor and camels and needles and so forth. Jesus was obviously misquoted all over the place.
So what to do? When your claim of godly authority rests on your interpretation of God’s holy word, but God’s holy words contradict your desired ends, you’re in a bit of a pickle. There is a solution, though: rewrite the Bible and change the liberal bits! For this reason some of the deranged editors at Conservapædia** have launched The Conservative Bible Project, which will purge the wimpy stuff and return it to it’s authentic roots, as a book that could have been written by a dumb-as-a-stick American Republican NRA member who wants to kill communists and A-rabs.
Meanwhile, the sadlynaughts provide us a detailed lists of changes the Conservative Bible Project will make.
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.”
As Brad at Sadly No! points out, there’s absolutely no contradiction whatsoever in wanting to simultaneously simplify the language of the Bible (no. 10) while preserving it’s robust philosophical and poetical content (no. 3). None at all. The whole thing is gorgeous, but that little bit is just breath taking. I also love the idea of re-wording Jesus’ parables to remove the wuss factor and flaming socialism. “suffer the little children” becomes a hymn to the glories of sweatshop labor while “the meek shall inherit the Earth” becomes a polemic against the Death Tax. They’ll have to add something in there about the masculine joy of shooting guns in the woods with your buddies and a lengthy explanation of how loving Jesus is totally not gay.
I’ve noticed an interesting trend of late among Right Wingers: attempting to imitate the surface detail of intellectualism while undermining it completely. It’s like they want to destroy the very notion of an ivory tower by building an even bigger one out of total bullshit and then hiring some passing dimwit to paint it white. This is the only explanation I can think of for Bob Jones University or the promotion of Ayn Rand as the bulwark of Conservative Philosophy.
* Conservapedia: it’s like Wikipedia, but without all that stringent fact checking.
**PZ uses the alternate spelling Conservapædia to avoid troll spam from Conservapedia, who in the past have wrecked his forums with racist and insulting language directed both at commentors and at Myers himself. They’re a fun gang of primates.