Re-Writing The Bible…Again

Apparently for some, the Bible like the media, has taken on a Liberal bias distorted over the years by obviously slanted errors in translation. Andy Schlafly, founder of the conservative clone of Wikipedia, aims to fix that with his new project that will make the bible fit his vision of intolerance Conservatism simply by re-translating it into modern English.

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 language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
  • * lack of precision in modern language
  • * translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.

Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.

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

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.”

Thus, a project has begun among members of Conservapedia to translate the Bible in accordance with these principles.

After all, if you don’t get it right the first 10 times or so, try, try, again.

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Abortion By The Book

I have my own thoughts on the subject but I will leave that debate to the usual suspects here locally but I did find this post highlighting some of the biblical references to abortion enlightening to say the least.

The God of the Bible is pro-abortion

God will punish women by aborting their fetus through a miscarriage.

Give them, O LORD–what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

Hosea 9:14

God teaches the use of a bizarre ritual using cursed “bitter water” to abort a fetus who was conceived through infidelity.

Numbers 5:11-21

God orders Moses to kill every Midianite woman who was no longer a virgin. (many of these women would obviously have been pregnant)

Numbers 31:15-18

God promises to destroy the infants of Samaria and rip open the stomachs of pregnant women.

The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.

Hosea 13:16

God allows the pregnant women of Tappuah to be ripped open.

At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.

2 Kings 15:16

God commands the killing of infants and nursing babies.

Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.

1 Samuel 15:3

God repays your enemies by destroying their babies.

Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us. He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

Psalms 137:8-9

I know, I know, all of the above are Old Testament stuff and as I have been told, cherry picking from the Old Testament should be left to those that have been doing it for most of their lives, those professing to be faithful.

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Pope: Atheists Responsible For Global Environmental Changes

Just blame the Atheists for everything.

Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where his existence is denied? If the human creature’s relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the ‘final authority,’ and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.”

So the wingnuts go from denying climate change to blaming Atheists for it. Is there any wonder that the number of non-believers is growing every day? Intolerance and hypocrisy will do that…

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Penn And Teller Have Catholic's Panties In A Bunch – Again

I came across this release from the Catholic League last week in regards to an upcoming Penn and Teller Showtime show, Bullshit!, that takes aim at the Vatican. Of course knowing that the Vatican is well known for their sense of humor (yes, sarcasm) I wondered what could have them in such an uproar.

The Catholic League was calling for Showtime and CBS (Showtime’s parent network) to cancel their contract for the show due to Penn and Teller’s history of being less than nice to the Church and it’s leaders.

CBS management has spoken to the Catholic-bashing duo before, but to no effect. Though we are not calling for CBS/Showtime to cancel the upcoming episode, we are saying that the time has come to pull the plug on their show; their contract should not be renewed.

Ok, not being much of a fan of the Catholic Church myself, I was really wondering now what was going to be on the show that had the church so worried, especially considering that by the wording of the press release, it was obvious that they had not seen the latest episode in question. So being the good little non-believer that I am, I setup the Tivo and recorded the show when it aired on the 27th and below I’ve summarized the 4 main points Penn and Teller hit on. (I have the video but looking around the web it is apparent that unlike Bill Maher and HBO, Showtime doesn’t see the benefits of allowing clips of Bullshit! to go viral on the web)

First they look at the story of an Italian comic who criticized the Pope and his staunch stand against homosexuality in her act. She said some obviously less than nice comments about the Pope meeting up and spending time with some large gay men in hell (use your imagination from there). The Vatican as you can imagine wasn’t laughing and pressured Italian authorities to press charges against the woman who for awhile was in danger of spending 5 years in prison for expressing her opinions.

The Italian courts eventually dropped the case for obvious reasons and to make the story even more bizarre, the Catholic Church then tried to spin it to their advantage by saying they had forgiven her despite the fact she still uses that bit in her act to this day.

They next went into the homophobia exhibited by the bunch of old men with the funny hats that make up the rules for the millions of Catholics worldwide. Specifically they discussed how in 2008 the Vatican opposed a UN resolution that would have decriminalized being gay. Even in the 21st century, 81 countries actually put gays in prison for no other reason than that they are gay and 7 of those still put them to death. Hypocritical? Considering the church does not consider homosexuality a sin (sex out of wedlock is and they are against gay marriage so gay sex is a sin by extension) and that some studies have anywhere between 20 and 50% of all Catholic priests being gay, I would say yes.

In the 3rd segment, Penn and Teller then went after the obvious hot button issue whenever the Catholic Church is discussed, the ongoing sex abuse scandal and cover up. Specifically they touched on the recent revelations from the release of the “Crimen Sollicitationis” written in 1962 that told church leaders how to handle all accusations of child abuse by clerics which provides proof that as far back as 1962, the Vatican has been trying to cover up the hobbies of some of their priests.

“The document thus imposed absolute secrecy on the conduct of the trial, even after it had ended and its verdict, favourable or unfavourable, had been put into effect. An oath of secrecy was to be taken not only by the members of the tribunal but also by the person or persons denouncing the priest, by the witnesses, and by the accused priest himself, who was free to discuss it only with his defence counsel”

Cardinal Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI was not immune in this scandal either. It seems that before he was the Pope, he was the “Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” and issued a confidential order that all sex abuse investigations were to be held secret for at least 10 years after the victim had reached adulthood, again under penalty of excommunication.

This letter reminded them of the strict penalties facing those who revealed confidential details concerning enquiries into allegations against priests of certain grave ecclesiastical crimes, including sexual abuse, which were reserved to the jurisdiction of the Congregation. The letter extended the prescription or statute of limitations for these crimes to ten years. However, when the crime is sexual abuse of a minor, the “prescription begins to run from the day on that which the minor completes the eighteenth year of age.”

Of course despite this damning information, Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict will never be prosecuted in the US because in 2005 President George Bush granted him full immunity from prosecution. Nice…

Finally, Penn and Teller delved into the Vatican’s unwavering condemnation of birth control, specifically Casti Connubii, the Encyclical written in the 1930’s that among other things bans the use of birth control including condoms and diaphragms. More hypocrisy? You mean the fact that those that have vowed never to have sex are still making rules on sexual activity for those that do? Absolutely…

This strict adherence to the Casti Connubii isn’t just affecting the size of the average Catholic family, it is killing people. One needs not look any further than parts of Africa where 1000’s of women die each year from AIDS and birth related complications. These deaths are due at least partly to the Catholic Church’s ridiculous stance on birth control making condom availability and use almost non-existent among the mainly Catholic population.

There you have it, the Bullshit! episode in a nutshell that has the Vatican, via the Catholic League, upset. Of course I left out most of the f-bombs and snide comments like how “being a gay Catholic seems like a Jewish Nazi to us” that Penn Jillette is known for but I am sure you get the idea.

It is obvious why the church would be upset with this show but my question would be to them, like it or not is any of this false? Did Penn and Teller make this up or is it a somewhat embellished satirical look at the true recent history of the Catholic Church? I am leaning towards the latter and would hope that Showtime and CBS do the right thing and give the Catholic League’s protests all the attention it deserves. Throwing it in the circular file…

UPDATE: Here’s the video for however long it stays up

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So Who Should Be More Embarrassed?

St Timothy’s Lutheran church in Charleston, WV, is making news after learning of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) convention vote to allow monogamous gays and lesbians to have larger roles in the church including serving as pastors.

Richard Mahan, pastor of the church first covered the “Lutheran” on his church’s sign and then delivered this message to his congregation, most of whom apparently agree with him.

“I asked that be done because I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has done to a church I’ve loved for 40 years,” Pastor Richard Mahan told his congregation during last Sunday’s morning service. According to Christian Today news service, St. Timothy typically has 300 to 400 members in attendance each Sunday. So the minister used the sermon to teach his congregants about homosexuality, adding that “We welcome the sinner, but we do not welcome the sin.”

Since the ELCA vote specifically leaves the determination on whether to have gay leaders to each church and local synod, the question is who should be more embarrassed over their outward display of homophobia? The pastor, who one would think would know of tolerance, or his congregation that are basically sheeple in the larger flock?

Pastor, maybe you and your congregation should just convert to Catholicism, their gay priests are usually “on the QT” and must remain celibate either way (would not being able to be with the one you love anymore be a deal breaker Pastor Mahan?) so you won’t have to deal with those monogamous gays anymore. Plus I hear they are always looking for collection plate fillers to pay for pedophilia lawsuits members so you and your congregation should fit right in.

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