It’s a couple days before Christmas, and the usual Bible Study group is meeting. The lectionary is the birth story, right out of Luke. Revised common Lectionary taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Good feelings – the regulars having coffee and kolaches, laughter and conversation about families coming home for Christmas, the shopping not completed, the expectations and hopes for the season. The Old Testament selection is read aloud, and then comes the passage from Luke; the nativity scene is laid out before us, complete with the child being wrapped in bands of cloth and then laid in a manger.
A hand goes up, the gentleman beside me patiently asks what version of the Bible are we reading from? “The NRSV”, comes the reply. “Yes, but the King James Version would be so much more poetic here; especially for the Christmas passages.” Immediately the nodding and the murmurings of agreement begin. Well, yes — the pastor can’t help but agree. “What version will be read on Christmas Eve? Won’t we be able to hear about the baby being wrapped in ‘swaddling clothes’ and not these bands of cloth?” The good Reverend knows that this is not going to go away soon. “Well, I guess the NRSV” he stammers… “Yes, the bulletin is being printed with the NSRV version; yes, the deadline for the printer…” The murmuring is growing more restless until another one of the regulars emphatically declares, “So you’re just going to STOMP all over Christmas because of a printing deadline??? We can’t hear the original Christmas story as it was intended in its original, most poetic form because of a printing deadline??”
The place erupts: laughter, shouts, accusations, dramatic cries of ‘heresy’! The preacher doesn’t know whether to laugh, or hide behind the coffee pot. As he shuffles and promises to “see what can be done” and we are laughing and pointing and elbowing each other, the gentlemen that first brought this to our attention quietly, stoically recites the King James narrative. It’s as if Linus has to remind all of us Charlie Browns what the real deal was all about.
Continue reading A Good Christmas Swaddling
“Reality has a well known liberal bias” says comedian Stephen Colbert as he parodies ultra conservative pundits; evidently, the Bible has the same ‘problem’.
If interpreting scripture becomes problematic, quit fighting over interpretation and just change the scripture. At least that’s what Andrew Schlafly advocates through the Conservative Bible Project, a cornerstone of his more global Conservapedia project. Andrew is the son of Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative activist and Eagle Forum founder.
Andrew Schlafly complains that most English translations of the Bible contain far too much “liberal bias”. Bias like Jesus prayer from the cross, (Luke 23:34):
- Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Is this a corruption of the original, perhaps promoted by liberals without regard to its authenticity? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals, although it does not appear in the earliest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke. It should not appear in a conservative Bible, because in point of fact Jesus might never had said it at all.
Forgiveness is so liberal, so unChristian, isn’t it? Continue reading Rewriting the Bible…. Conservative Style
Has the book of Genesis been banned in your Sunday school yet? Have those horrible scientists with all of their high fallutin’ theories and fancy learnin’ been filling your child’s mind with unBiblical nonsense? Has your Bible study come to a grinding halt, unable to reconcile the differences between the theory of evolution and the Biblical narrative?
Cue the book burners and the culture warriors.
Warriors like State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar. They tend to pull out all of the stops, and it is not pretty for our children. Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle has an excellent column on Ms. Dunbar in her role on that board, and what attitudes might influence her public policy making decisions. She summarizes and quotes Ms. Dunbar from her book One Nation Under God: How the Left Is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great, “Public education is tyrannical, unconstitutional and the Satan-following Left’s ‘subtly deceptive tool of perversion.’ And parents who surrender their children to government-run schools are ‘throwing them into the enemy’s flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.’”
As Dana Carvey used to proclaim on SNL as the ‘church lady’, “Well, Isn’t that special?”
When apprx. 97% of biological scientists agree that evolution is a sound and scientific theory, and creationism is not science, how does this issue keep inserting itself into public debate? And trying to rebrand creationism as “intelligent design” did little good for the fundamentalist movement, even before it was proved a sham, concocted out of whole cloth to disguise its apologist’s true goals. BTW, the Texas Freedom Network follows this subject, er, religiously, and you can find their research and links to many articles on our State Board of “Edumacation”.
Continue reading The Evolution of Creationism