Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friends of mine have wondered (and worried) about my constant reading of the New Testament over the better part of the past year. As I have explained to them, I've been doing this out of a realization that our culture and national discourse is utterly dependent on the Bible and, more importantly, its interpretation by Christian churches. I had managed to live this long without reading the entire New Testament, which is shameful, and so I began reading and studying the books. Along the way I have developed a deeper respect for Christianity, and at the same time a profoundly diminished respect for self-professed Christians.
I have not seen a better example of this than in the new 'Conservapedia'. Founded '...in November 2006, as the class project for a World History class of 58 advanced homeschooled and college-bound students meeting in New Jersey...' and run by a number of conservative bloggers and their ilk, they are apparently fixated on the 'liberal bias' of Google and Wikipedia. Evidence of this is mentioned on the front page:
'...Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance. Read a list of many Examples of Bias in Wikipedia...'
Sadly, No! linked to it, noting with tremendous satisfaction the Conservapedia posts on Orwell's 1984 '...a utopian book because it talks about a place where everyone is watched over by Big Brother, who makes sure people are doing what they are supposed to...Thre [sic] is something about rats at the end, but it is confusing. The end is probably supposed to be ambigous [sic]...' and unicorns '...Secular opinion is that they are mythical. However, they are referred to in the Bible nine times which provides an unimpeachable de facto argument for their once having been in existence...'
For such a 'Christian' focused site, one would expect a rigorous series of articles on Christianity. One would be wrong - here is the article on the Bible, in its entirety:
'The Bible is the collection of canonical religious texts in Christianity. Most Christians believe these men were under Divine Inspiration, and/or that the Bible is God's infallible Word to men. Exactly what is included in the Bible is a matter of some dispute. In particular, certain books counted as part of the Bible by the Roman Catholic Church are regarded as non-canonical by many Protestants and vice-versa. Accordingly, it is impossible to be certain which books of the Bible are truly canonical. However, it is certain that those books that are canonical, whichever they may be, are Divinely inspired and infallible.'
So apparently some of the books in the Bible are the Divinely Inspired Word of God but we don't know which ones.
Because of the open nature of wiki posting, the site is probably going to collapse soon. The original article on religion (again, in its entirety) read, 'There is only one type of religion, Christianity. The others are frauds.'. To that has been added by one wag, 'Christians used to look to the Bible for God's word, but now they have the Blog of the Gods, which relays His word directly in modern language people can understand. It is also less silly than the Bible.'
So as Sadly, No says, 'Enjoy it now before it becomes a wholly-infiltrated parody site!.'