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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Richard Mourdock has gotten himself into a world of hurt over his comments that pregnancy as a result of rape is God’s will. I disagree with his position and I don’t think citing God’s will as a matter of public policy is appropriate. But do I find his comments at all surprising? I do not. I would say they are insensitive, but they accurately reflect the views of Christian pro-life folks and are pretty widely held. If you are pro-life then it doesn’t make sense to have exceptions as to which lives count. If you are Christian, then you believe that God is in control. Mourdock’s statement was just saying those two things out loud together. I disagree with him, but really all he told us was that he was simultaneously pro-life and Christian. It’s not a big deal.  

Of course liberals tend to disagree with the pro-life position, and so it should be no surprise that they are making hay over these statements. But you should also keep in mind that liberals are up in arms over this, I suspect, at least partially because they see a chance to knock off a senate candidate, which is a huge deal especially if Mitt Romney wins. This guy could be the difference between implementation or repeal for Obamacare, and so liberals are latching on to what they see as a winning issue to help protect the senate. 

My bottom line on this is that his statements were run of the mill for a pro-life Christian, and obviously disagreeable to liberals, but not worth all the coverage. Breaking News: conservatives and liberals disagree on abortion. Of course we’re two weeks away from an election, so everything is amplified to the point of absurdity. See Libya.

The Gravel Kraken has similar, more well-written, thoughts.

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I haven’t had a chance to read through the Dem’s platform yet, but the only coverage I’ve seen about it in mainstream media has focused on the lack of the word “God”, as opposed to the R’s platform which contained an historically high number of instances of the word.

This begs the question: which convention was smited (smitten? smote?) with a hurricane?

But seriously, I’m really glad the media focuses on who’s Jesusier. Who will protect whose rights, or start a war with Iran, or what anyone thinks government should do, are all of lesser importance.

Also, too: who can ISREAL IS TEH AWESOME louder?

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Readers will know that my opinion of Mitt Romney is pretty much as low as is possible. That being said, if we’re going to start attacking him for donating to his church, then I’ll defend him.

Attacking a candidate for their participation (or lack thereof) in religion is something that we absolutely should not do. There are more important issues in this election than how much Mitt Romney tithes.

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Because we have no idea what it actually says. You are reading a translation of a translation of a translation, and so on. Andrew Sullivan highlighted the difficulty of this over the weekend with this piece, on the first bible to be translated into the Inuit language:

[A]dapting the Old Testament, with its litany of desert vegetation and animals, to an Arctic readership presented challenges. For one, there are no words in Inuktitut for “goat,” “sheep” or “camel.” Those had to be written phonetically. And what to do about the 30-plus types of trees mentioned in the Bible when there are no trees of any kind for hundreds of miles in the Arctic?

“We used a general term for tree,” explained Allooloo, “and then explained it in the footnotes.” The translation brims with footnotes and explications. The same word was used for “shepherd” as for someone who tends a dog team. “It’s like ‘baby sitter,'” said Arreak. Similarly, “pomegranate” is described as a sweet fruit with many seeds.

This kind of thing isn’t uncommon in English language bibles, because a lot of things simply don’t translate properly between Hebrew and English. Translators often had to just do their best, using context clues to figure out intended meanings in the case of multiple possibilities, adapting wording such that an English equivalent could be found, etc. This isn’t to say that translators were somehow acting in bad faith, purposely trying to alter the bible’s context, just that you run into these kind of problems translating between vastly different languages.

The result is an imperfect product full of lots of judgement calls, best guesses, and human error. It is fallible.

I’m not saying no one should believe it, that it’s wrong, etc. I just want to make the point that, if you’re going to base something on a literal word-for-word reading of scripture, you may be reading something that was altered in translation, and should keep that in mind.


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