Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Apex of Crazy

I have a friend who probably never thought he'd have something in common with the fringe of the Christian right: Bible destruction. We were both on the cross-country ski team at our college, which took us on quite a few overnight trips to go racing. On one trip, he was feeling particularly sacrilegious and tore a page out of the motel's complimentary Bible. He may or may not have flushed it down the toilet afterward.

The point? To show that God wasn't going to destroy him for such an infraction.

While the motivation is different, the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, has decided to do something similar for Halloween. These seem to be the kind of folks who consider trick-or-treating, drunken costume parties, haunted houses, and perhaps even a pleasant church event with hot cider and games to be the devil's work, so they've opted for the old standby: a book burning. Which, in and of itself, wouldn't be too noteworthy except for the fact that they're going to be torching Bibles.

If the Bible hates gays so much, why is it so flaming?

OK. So apparently God wrote the King James Bible, and Satan wrote every other version? Or perhaps the translators of the King James version were all true believers and everyone else was an evil Unitarian? What it boils down to is a church believing that one translation of the Bible is so unimpeachable that they're destroying any and all other versions they can get their hands on, despite the fact that it's all pretty much the same message. Seriously, how far to the right do you have to go to think that the Bible is a book that needs to be destroyed? Political thought might well be a circle, because I think you can see the far left from that vantage point.

I wonder what this church thinks of a project by Conservapedia (a right-wing Wiki) to re-translate the Bible. The idea has gotten a lot of flak, considering how the site has an obvious slant with article subheadings such as "Liberal Hysterical Criticisms." So people have been having fun suggesting how the users will translate the Bible, with well-known passages being horribly misinterpreted to become little more than Republican screed.

They'll be lucky if the project even gets off the ground. Right now, users have only taken a few stabs at a couple of passages. Still, despite the bent of the site, the project at least seems to have the reasonable goal of producing a translation of the Bible based on user input. While it would be more accurate to do so under a site like Wikipedia, which is edited by people across the political spectrum, it's still a worthwhile project and one that will have an interesting outcome.

Even if it's totally satanic.

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