Archeologists and religious historians know that the gospels of the Bible were written by a variety of authors over a period of hundreds of years. The Vatican then sorted through dozens of gospels, ignoring those they found contradictory or unsuitable, before settling on the Bible as we know it today. Originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the Bible has been translated into Latin, English and virtually every language on the planet.
With each translation, many of the subtleties and much of the original meaning was lost. Still, many churches (especially conservative churches) and their followers consider the Bible to be the divine word of God – a message that they accept without question. Ignoring the many contradictions contained within the “good book,” conservatives use the Bible to condemn those with whom they disagree. They use it to justify discrimination. They use it to justify the accumulation of wealth. They even use it to justify war.
For example, in order to deny homosexuals their civil rights, right wingers cite a verse from Leviticus that bans homosexuality. But what of the many other things that are banned in Leviticus? What about the bans on eating beef, pork, oysters, clams, shrimp and lobster? What about the ban on tattoos and torn clothes? And what about the prohibition of working on the Sabbath? I don’t see any exemptions for pro football, restaurant workers, retailers and pastors or priests. Won’t all of these people be condemned to “eternal damnation” along with homosexuals and liberals?
But fear not. The Bible-thumping right wingers led by Andy Schafly and his Conservative Bible Project are going to fix everything. They are in the process of rewriting the Bible to make it more conservative. Apparently, they alone know the true intent of the Bible’s original authors and they would have you believe that it has been corrupted by liberals.
Hmmm. This is going to be interesting. The New Testament has been called the most liberal document ever written. So what will conservatives change?
Of course, they’ll have to eliminate all of those troublesome teachings of Christ…especially the ones about turning the other cheek, serving the poor and denouncing the rich. So, too, will they have to eliminate the part about those without sin casting the first stone. And what of that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” part? Certainly that must go.
After they’ve finished eviscerating such liberal teachings, how will conservatives explain their new Bible? Will they tell their flocks that, after more than two thousand years, Christ has reconsidered his liberal views? Will they claim that God has spoken to them in a more conservative voice? Or will they simply say that they found a new God…a God who supports the Tea Party?