Mike Huckabee, “historian” 3

OK, class. Time for a discussion question. What, if anything, is wrong with this picture? The graphic comes from a website — Learn Our History — touted by potential Fox News commentator and no-longer-a-GOP- presidential-wannabe Mike Huckabee for the edumacation of the youngsters in This Great (Christian) Nation™. Huckabee’s been palling around with revisionist “historian” David Barton, whose whole shtick is to convince people that the Founding Fathers (like Franklin, Reagan and Washington, above) really and truly intended the USA to be a Christian Nation run under Biblical Principles. All that stuff about separation of Church and State is a just a lot of hooey, Barton says. Since the sample videos on Huck’s site are hosted on Youtube, I can’t watch them from here in China. Thankfully. I heard they’re awful. Maybe you can check them out for me, and report back. (500 words, double-spaced, MLA style, due next class) Here’s another critique of the vids, with the cartoons embedded. Just in case you’ve been taken in by Barton and Huck’s sideshow history lessons, Chris Rodda has written a book, Liars for Jesus, that meticulously takes apart every one of Barton’s claims. What scares me is that a lot of ...

Monkeys rewrite the King James Bible

CHONGQING — Well, not literally, but pretty close. Via DailyKos, I learned today that Conservapedia (the Bizarro version of Wikipedia) intends to take the King James Bible and rewrite it into plain modern English, making sure the new version has no “liberal bias.” The Conservative Bible will be a wiki, so it will be a group project, rather like giving a large group of monkeys enough time and equipment to recreate the works of William Shakespeare. The rationale and methodology of this ill-conceived project piece of crap are so wrong on so many levels that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. The King James Version (1611) was an English translation from the Hebrew, Latin and Greek texts then available, done entirely by members of the Church of England. It became the “standard Bible” among English-speaking Protestants, largely because of its poetic language and of the breadth of the British Empire. Conservapedia’s head simians plan to retranslate the English in the KJV translation, which is a lot like playing “Telephone” with the Scriptures. Dumb, dumb, dumb. There’s nothing wrong with retranslating the Bible. It’s been done dozens of times already. But the new versions start from the original texts, not ...
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