Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Hubris of Conservapedia





Who polluted the Bible with liberalism? Masoretes? Council of Trent? King James I? My money's on Jesus. #conservativebible (Malacandra)

I say unto you, when an interlocutor uses bedeviling facts and history to fool you, Call him a pinko and plug thine ears. #conservativebible (hyperlocavore)

This has become a genuine phenom.  There's a general, non-partisan agreement this is a stupidity that transcends even that of Glenn Beck. The Schlafly based, Eagle-Forum derived Conservapedia Bible Paraphrase is misrepresented as a "translation," glossing over all the required evidence, fact, scholarship and other stuff that's hard and requires critical thinking skills. That's irrelevant to the entire concept that is Conservapedia.

There's an object lesson in here somewhere. I suppose I could liken it to the arrogance of Pharaoh in the face of the ten plagues - but there's an easier cite. "Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make proud."

And of course, it's also an object lesson regarding the danger of believing your own propaganda. And why would they not believe it? After all, powerful men and women of influence have been quietly, living and working by quite a similar code.

But the "Christians" of C-Street are smart enough to realize that they need to be secretive. Why? Well, they probably have a rational appreciation of what actual Christians might think of statements such as this:

If the Family men who stood over John Ensign as he wrote a baldly insincere breakup letter to his mistress were naive about hearts that want what they want, they don't claim ignorance about the strongmen with whom they build bonds of prayer and foreign aid. They admire them. Counseling Rep. Tiahrt, Doug Coe offered Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden as men whose commitment to their causes is to be emulated. Preaching on the meaning of Christ's words, he says, "You know Jesus said 'You got to put Him before mother-father-brother sister? Hitler, Lenin, Mao, that's what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn't murder. It was for building the new nation. The new kingdom."
I can only guess that the strange folks at Conservative thought that the difficulties in reconciling free-market conservatism with The Words in Red could be reconciled by simply restating the words of Jesus and ... well, everyone else ... in such a way as to make it clear what "He really meant."

Let us know how that works out for you.

@World You can't make this shit up #ConservativeBible #WTF

The title is a HT to ... well, it seems like everyone on twitter. But it was @shoq who clarified that the fun was all about this. The Conservative Bible Project.

Conservative Bible Project

From Conservapedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:
  • lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
  • lack of precision in modern language
  • translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.
Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.[1]
As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]
  1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
  2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
  3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]
  4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".
  5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census
  6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
  7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
  9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
  10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."
Thus, a project has begun among members of Conservapedia to translate the Bible in accordance with these principles. The translated Bible can be found here.
Now, ordinarily I'd have to link to Pandagon or Demcratic Underground to find eloquent snark, but today, I find I can refer to ... wait for it... Little Green Footballs.

They start out with a workmanlike left jab...
The far right fanatics who run “Conservapedia” have a new project: they’re planning to rewrite the Bible to get rid of all of that liberalism and socialism: Conservative Bible Project.
There's a follow through with several solid body blows which you might better enjoy in the surprisingly unlikely context - but I must share the final haymaker.

The interesting thing about this project: it’s a tacit admission that the Bible itself is not the unchangeable, literal word of God, but can be edited as necessary to fit political purposes.
 Ok, dudes, when Little Green EFfing Footballs calls you "far right fanatics..." - it's time for a centering excercise. Seriously.

When people who are ordinarly proud of being called "wingnuts" actually pointing, mocking and LOLing just like Godless Liberals, it's time to reconnect to the Reality Base.

You should also look up Poe's Law.




In all fairness, I should point out that Conservapedia does recognize Poe's Law - and has reinterpreted it according to solid Conservative principles.

Like I said, you just can't make this shit up.

Why don't you log into Twitter and give them a hand.


Monday, October 05, 2009

The Plague of Autism Charities

Ask me why Autism Awareness T-Shirt shirt
Ask me why Autism Awareness T-Shirt by webcarve
Create a personalized tshirt online at zazzle.
The central image is free for use by anyone, so long as it remains intact.


I review ads for Graphictruth. I try to avoid things that might offend my readers and I reserve the right to refuse accounts that offend me. I blog about ethics, after all.

I filter out make-money-fast links, anything of any sort that suggests in boldfaced text that you can make thousands working from home with little or no investment or effort, quack cures, patent nostrums, gambling sites, lotteries, sites advocating hate speech, sites that spread dangerous misinformation, promote unreasoning fear, conspiracy theories about black helicopters or vaccines. If I have reason to doubt the ethics of a site, I'll reject it out of hand.

And that is why you do not see charities for autism taking up ad space - because several of the more prominent ones meet one or more of those criteria. There are places (Like Neurodiversity ) that do a better job of due diligence. But I don't specifically blog about Autism. I'm an Autistic who happens to blog about ethics.


Today there was an ad request in my my inbox for http://www.train4autism.org, a group that sponsors charity runs, and allows people to "choose" which autism charity to support. There are disputes within the community as to what approach is best, what ideas are most promising and what money should go toward, so an umbrella group that allows everyone to come together for a run to support ALL approaches would seem like a good idea.

But I looked through the choices presented and found none that I could support. I'm an autistic who favors the "autistic rights" or "neurodiversity" movement. There are groups, such as ASAN that I would support. That would seem to be the entire point to such a thing, and when I suspect that I'm being presented with the illusion of choice, rather than a genuine selection of charities, I become skeptical. Sadly, there are a great many reasons to be suspicious of autistic advocacy in general.

Click the title to read the rest. I do go on, I do.

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