This post is about the dangly bits of a man’s junk. Not the mundane, hairy pair that every guy has. No, this post is about big, sweaty, swinging, Godzilla sized gonads.
More specifically, I’m talking about the balls that must get in the way every time Andy Schlafly tries to walk from point A to point B. For those of you who don’t know, Andy is the son of uber-conservative Phyllis Schlafly. Now, if you already know who Andy is, then you already have an idea of how monstrous his genitals must be. After all, not everyone has the testicular fortitude to create Conservapedia, aka, the wildly crazy far-right answer to Wikipedia. As just one example, Conservapedia’s entry on the French Revolution states that it culminated in, “a chaos wherein thousands were guillotined for being politically incorrect.” Admittedly, the French Revolutionaries, who started out with good intentions, quickly devolved into barbarous terrorists, but come on, it takes stones the size of Gibraltar to side with the let-them-eat-cake crowd.
Anyway, Mr. Schlafly has recently proved himself to be in possession of Margaret Thatcher sized bollocks when he introduced his latest project, the Conservative Bible Project. In a nutshell (ha, pun!) Schlafly feels that all the modern translations of the Bible (and “modern” apparently means “all of them, regardless of age”) are corrupted by liberal heresies. Schlafly also seems to believe that the best solution is to re-translate the Bible using the collective wisdom of America’s millions of home-schooled children (seriously, who else is going to contribute?).
I find a number of things about this funny (not the least of which is the fact that the good people at Conservapedia seem to be unable to distinguish between the different definitions of the word “liberal” as evidenced by their taking issue with the, ahem, liberal use of words by former Biblical scholars). However, the best part, to me at least, is the idea that a failing with other Bible translations is that they don’t illuminate the pro-capitalist, free market orientation of Jesus’ parables.
I discussed this with my father, who is by no means a religious man, but he has spent more time studying the Bible than anyone else I know. His take on the situation is that there’s no way to read the Bible and not walk away with the conclusion that Jesus was, if not a communist, then at least a socialist.
While I respect my dad’s opinion, I do disagree with him. I admittedly don’t have a lot of in-depth knowledge about Jesus’ teachings, but from what I do know, it seems wrong to ascribe to Him labels that only make sense in the context of economic systems that didn’t exist at the time of His incarnation.
Biblical Judea was not like the modern world (duh). Back in the day, it wasn’t like it is now, where there are some people with very little money, some people with a great deal of money, and a majority of people who fall somewhere in between**. In Jesus’ time almost everyone was starving to death and just a lucky few pooled all the available resources between themselves. When Jesus extolled the virtue of giving one of your two coats to someone who had none, he wasn’t talking to Israel’s equivalent of Middle America, he was throwing down the gauntlet against the ruling elites; they were the only ones who could afford thermal outerwear. Which means that for all intents and purposes, Jesus was not a socialist, but rather a revolutionary. In this he was not unique. Rather, what made him special was his (admittedly somewhat dodgy) committment to inclusion and his refusal to turn to violence.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that I find this whole thing funny the same way I find it funny when closeted politicians argue against gay marriage. Which is to say I find it the kind of sad that requires one to laugh.
Also, the scariest part of the Conservative Bible Project is the thought that they might actually finish their translation (realistically they won’t, but there’s still a non-zero possibility that they will). The way I see it, James Dobson and Pat Robertson are big enough pricks as it is. Can you imagine the hights of jackass-ity they’ll reach if they get a new, more narrow-minded script to work from?
*That’s right, I’m blogging again. Why? Because I’m old school like that.
** I’m aware that if you look at the total world population the situation is more like almost everyone is broke-ass poor while a few motherfuckers are wealthy beyond the masses’ imagination. However, the sum total of wealth in the world today so dwarfs the total wealth of the Ancient World that comparisons become skewed. Realistically, if everyone in the Western World (where, by and large, the money is) were really determined to do something about global poverty, we could effect a great quantifiable change.
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