Monthly Archives: April 2011
Donald Trump has been running around the countryside, playing the CEO of Village Idiot, Inc. to the hilt these last few weeks, and our lazy, unprincipled national media corps has hung right with him, broadcasting every inane, bombastic utterance that explodes from his mouth. I figured President Obama was going to release his birth certificate at some point, although, for my money, I would have waited a little longer, just to keep Karl Rove from sleeping at night as this cancerous obsession with the legitimacy of our President’s citizenship ate away at any chances the GOP had to regain the White House.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”
President Barack Obama, White House press conference
As the president himself stated, this release of his birth certificate will not satisfy that subset of Americans who need to believe that he was not born in this country. These “birthers” cannot reconcile the legitimacy of an African American man being president with their own self image. In order to truly understand these people, it would help to peruse a book published in the nineteenth century by James Shepard Pike called The Prostrate State: South Carolina Under Negro Government. One excerpt in particular seems to show the long unbroken line of racial animosity from Reconstruction to modern times:
It would be a violent presumption against the manliness, the courage, and the energy of South Carolina white men, to allow the State to remain in the permanent keeping of her present rulers. It would be a testimony against the claims of Anglo-Saxon blood, and it would be an emphatic testimony to the decline of public virtue that would be worse than all.
These considerations alone should be sufficient to inspire every white man in South Carolina with a resolution to achieve a reform that will bring the State back to its ancient respectability.
Substitute the word “American” for “South Carolina”, and “Nation” for “State”, and you’ve got the mission statement of every birther group out there in black and white.
The president is right – “we do not have time for this kind of silliness.” But the cottage industry that has grown up around President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is more robust than the spawn of books and movies about Hillary Clinton and the death of Vincent Foster during the Clinton Administration. It is highly unlikely that the furor over the president’s birth certificate is going to go away for those kinds of people, like the erstwhile presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who desperately needs to believe that the presidency of our nation’s first African American commander-in-chief is an illegitimate one. In fact, I thought the president was pretty charitable to Trump – there are a whole lot of things I would have called Mr. Trump besides “carnival barker”.
They say there’s no fool like an old fool, but I’m starting to think that a rich fool might be worse.
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Dictionary.com has reported that new “versions” of the bible will be coming out soon. These versions will have altered language in them. I don’t know exactly how to feel about this. Two main issues jump into my mind. The first is “How can men change the meaning of scripture by changing pronouns?” The second issue is “How can you “modernize” an ancient text and preserve its integrity?” Well, first some basics from Dictionary.com’s article:
New International Version (NIV) and The New American Bible, respectively, will include gender-neutral language and substitute words that the editors claim will reflect a modern understanding of the book’s theology.
That is a bold claim, considering they are “modernizing” an ancient text that was written through a divine hand acting through a mortal. That begs the question of do the editors have the
right reason stones to change a book reguarded by millions as the end all and be all of their religion?
Gender neutral pronouns, as the article states, would cause loss of meaning and confusion on many passages that scores of people have committed to memory and live their lives by.
The Apostle Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female…” – this passage from Galatians 3:28 makes a statement about gender roles by using the specific masculine and feminine pronouns. However, if replaced with a gender-neutral pronoun, as in the case of NIV, the intended meaning may simply get lost in the translation. The same could be said for the passage: “Man cannot live by bread alone” (Mathew 4:4), as it has become such a popular cultural phrase.
There is a quote that came to mind when I read this article:
Language forces us to perceive the world as man presents it to us. ~Julia Penelope
When man changes the language from the divine- it truly is a case of language presenting the world as a man wants us to perceive it. Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” provides evidence of the Bible’s survivability throughout time. The main point he makes is that the Bible’s survivability is largely credited to its unchanging form. That takes into account verbiage and form.
Since God handed Moses the 10 commandments in roughly 1400 BC, the Bible has been translated into 100s of languages around the world. Is there any way to truly know the meaning and intent of the original work? I think that it was lost hunderds of years ago. Contextual and vocabulary dissimilarities could only cause confusion and misleading statements. Like the Dictionary.com article points out. This goes past pronouns and may have resulted in a bastardized text we know as the scriptures. Let me provide an example:
You must go to the store and buy bread.
Translated into a language with dissimilar vocabulary:
You must travel to a building and trade for a grain and water mixture that uses yeast to rise.
I know you can see how that can mean the same thing- literally. When the original text is used as a metaphorical device and not a literal sentence, I can see how it’s meaning can become marginalized by the translation. We assume that “bread” is universally known as a symbol for Christ’s last supper. I think that same scenario has been repeated over the decades and decades until all that is left is:
You must go.
These “gender neutral” additions are just the latest stride in a marathon of clouded meanings since the original words were penned. Not to mention that The King James Version of Revelation 22:19 says that:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Maybe the believers and re-writers should read it?
What do you think?
Now the random comment on the Dictionary.com post:
Alex Madjarov on March 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm
The best way to modernize the bible is to get rid of the whole thing and start all over. If you remove the genocide, slavery, unicorns, zombies, talking snakes, misogyny, lies, infanticide, deceit and other less-than-nice elements, you’d barely have anything left.