Smarter Than God? Tweaking the Bible Is All the Rage

What do atheists, Piers Morgan and a federal judge have in common? All claim to know better than God about what He should have said in the Scriptures.

AMENDING THE BIBLE’S STANCE ON GAY RIGHTS

British journalist and talk show host Piers Morgan, whose show can be seen on CNN, made headlines recently for his campaign against the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which permits law-abiding citizens to possess handguns. Now, though, Morgan has offered a reprimand to God Himself. In a now-famous Christmas Eve interview with Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, Morgan explained how he’d change things up a bit:“Both the Bible and the Constitution were well intentioned,” he wrote,

“…but they are basically inherently flawed. Hence the need to amend it. My point to you [Rick Warren] about gay rights, for example; it’s time for an amendment to the Bible.”

Pastor Warren stood his ground, responding courteously but firmly, explaining that the Bible could not be amended:

“What I believe is flawed is human opinion because it constantly changes…. What was hot is now not…. If it was true a thousand years ago, it’ll be true a thousand years from today; opinion changes, but Truth doesn’t.”

Piers Morgan may be scratching his head, trying to wrap his mind around that; but most Americans, I think, can see the logic. Selwyn Duke, offering a philosophy lesson in American Thinker, noted that Morgan’s relativism does not reduce morality to opinion; more than that, it implies that morality does not exist.

TEN COMMANDMENTS CUT TO SIX, TO ELIMINATE “RELIGIOUS ELEMENTS”

But Piers Morgan isn’t the only one to think that his own worldview is an improvement over that laid out by God in the pages of Scripture. In 2012, a U.S. District Court judge in Roanoke, Virginia suggested stripping the Ten Commandments down to just six to eliminate “religious” elements.

An anonymous student from Narrows High School felt uncomfortable seeing the Ten Commandments displayed on the wall in his school.  The American Civil Liberties Union took his case, alleging that the presence of the Ten Commandments illustrated a government endorsement of religion and was, therefore, unconstitutional.  According to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Judge Michael F. Urbanski ordered the School Board and the unnamed student and his parents into mediation, to see whether a compromise could be reached regarding the biblical texts.

In that case, the Giles County school board, fearing high court costs, caved–voting to replace the copy of the Ten Commandments with a page from a school textbook depicting the Ten Commandments along with Greek and Roman laws which were used by the Founding Fathers to establish the framework of law in America.

Rebecca Glenberg, legal director of the ACLU of Virginia, celebrated the decision and expressed her conviction that “…the public schools in Giles County will now be a much more welcoming place for all students in Giles County.”

AN EXPANDED, INCLUSIVE BIBLE

But wait, there’s more!

The American Humanist Association has just released a new revamped book titled The Jefferson Bible for the 21st Century.  Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s stripped-down version of the New Testament, the book includes edited versions of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Qu’ran, the Bhagavadgita, the Buddhist Sutras, and the Book of Mormon.

In their announcement of the new Bible, the AHA explained that adding a diverse subset of scriptures from different faiths was a more appropriate and comprehensive action.  The AHA further “enhanced” the text by highlighting what they considered to be “positive” and “negative” sections of each book.  The last chapter of The Jefferson Bible for the 21st Century is the humanist manifesto, titled “Humanism and Its Aspirations.”  It includes the statement, “Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation and rational analysis.”

Humanist Press, the publishing arm of the AHA, plans to ship a copy of the new Bible free of charge to President Obama and each member of the religiously diverse 113th Congress.

  • http://ikeepmymemorieshere.blogspot.com/ Ruth Ann Pilney

    In your initial sentence you included fundamentalists, but I didn’t see an example in your post of what fundamentalists do to the Bible. Could you expand upon what you mean by “fundamentalists” in your first sentence and what fundamentalists do to change the sacred text?

    • Kathy Schiffer

      Uh-oh, sorry Ruth! I think I dropped out a paragraph I had intended to include. I’ll have to go back and find my notes. (And thanks for catching me!)

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