Sunday, October 18, 2009

And They Wonder Why We Laugh At Them

Always last to get the story, today’s Tennessean finally covers Andy Schlafly’s Conservative Bible project, two weeks after blogs first broke the news.

You know, Nashville is the home of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, United Methodist Communications, and the Christian music and media industry. We are regarded as the “Protestant Vatican.” You’re just now covering this story?

Note to the Tennessean: this is why I no longer read your paper.

But anyway, now that my daily fishwrap has finally gotten around to it, I get to poke some fun at them.

Let’s watch Schlafly (spawn of conservative crusader Phyllis Schlafly) defend the Conservative Bible’s rewriting of Mark 10:25:
[...] the King James Version says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Liberals have used that passage to attack the wealthy, Schlafly said. The Conservative Bible substitutes "a man who cares only for money" for rich man.

"I don't think Jesus is saying, 'Let's all be lazy so we can get to heaven.' That's not the message. And, if you translate the word rich as simply rich, some people are going to get the message that 'I am going to be lazy so I can get to heaven easier,' " said Schlafly, who graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science and from Harvard Law School as an attorney, according to his Web site.

Whoa there, buckaroo! “Translate the word rich as simply rich?” How else can you translate it?

And since when do you translate “poor” as “lazy”? That’s a giant leap right there, and it certainly tells us everything we need to know about Schlafly’s twisted world view.

I feel sorry for conservatives like Schlafly, who have recently been faced with the complete failure of their ideology. It was bound to happen: you can’t place one foot on a horse called Biblical Morality and the other on a horse called Capitalism and expect to get too far before you're flat on your ass at the inevitable fork in the road.

(How’s that for a metaphor mash-up?)

But for sheer silliness I love the Conservative Bible’s take on the whole “new wine into old wineskins” passage:

“And no man puts fresh grape juice into old bottles. The fresh juice will burst the bottles, spilling the juice and damaging the bottles. Fresh juice must be put into new bottles.”

Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s just so lame and just so wrong! Because fresh juice won’t burst bottles. Seriously, go into the kitchen and try it, right now. I'll wait. In fact, fresh juice won’t burst wineskins either, because it’s the fermentation process that leads to the bursting. Without the “wine” part you just lose the entire metaphor. When you lose the metaphor the entire thing has lost its meaning.

Which is just so perfect. This is your religion on conservatism: devoid of all meaning. What a relief. This moment has been coming for years and now that it's finally arrived I'd like to thank Andy Schlafly. For unbeknownst to him he has revealed the hypocrisy of his ideological brethren, folks like Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, Rick Scarborough and James Dobson. You know, the entire insane clown posse that is the Conservative Christian/Moral Majority movement. I don’t see what Schlafly is doing as being any different from what Dobson and the rest do on a daily basis. They rewrite the Bible every day to suit their ideology; at least Schlafly is being honest about it.

The Conservative Bible project is the inevitable result of 30 years of “Moral Majority” folks being treated as the face and voice of American Christianity. Sooner or later someone was going to notice that what right wing Christians preached wasn’t exactly what the Bible said. How absolutely perfect that it would be a computer engineer who is the son of a prominent conservative crusader, with absolutely no Biblical education save the warped theology he was raised on. How absolutely precious that he'd conclude that the problem can't possibly be his politics but his Bible.

It's all finally come crashing down. Perhaps now, finally, we can all collectively acknowledge the farce that is the religious right.