CMI Special Report Rewriting the Bible: The Gospel According to Liberals Executive Summary
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Liberals and their media allies have long argued that the U.S. Constitution is a “living document,” open to change in order to justify almost anything they happen to want at any given time. It shouldn’t be surprising then that they’ve come to show the same disregard for another important document: the Bible.
When they aren’t actively denigrating religion, liberal journalists, entertainers, and politicians use faith as a weapon to bludgeon conservatives. They decided to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to prop up their brand of politicized theology, claiming, as Huffington Post’s Mike Lux did, that “it is overwhelmingly supportive of … liberal, lefty, progressive values.” At The Washington Post, Marxist ideas have been attributed to the Acts of the Apostles and Jesus’ parable of the talents became a class warfare lesson. The Huffington Post told readers that the Bible champions homosexuality “if only we're reading it correctly,” to the point of depicting Jesus on the cross with the word “faggot” replacing “INRI.” At the pro-abortion site RH Reality Check, a writer misinterpreted Genesis passages to argue that the Bible supports abortion. Whatever the left-wing cause, chances are the left and their media allies have subverted the Bible to justify it.
The Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute analyzed the various ways media liberals twist, selectively edit and otherwise misuse the Bible’s text to justify nearly any immoral or profane behavior. Some findings:
- Networks Hype “Jesus’ Wife,” Ignore Fakery: When a newly discovered fragment of papyrus was purported to suggest Jesus had a wife, all three broadcast networks hyped it on their morning and evening shows (an “ancient clue … right out of the ‘Da Vinci Code,’” Diane Sawyer gushed.) When sources like The Washington Post, The New York Times and even NBC News online reported a few days later that authorities declared it “fake,” no broadcast network covered it.
- Liberals Treat the Bible as a Policy Paper, not a Sacred Text: Liberals who would use the Bible as a “tool of progressive social change” misunderstand, denigrate and trivialize the word of God. The Bible’s imperative to care for the poor doesn’t mandate government as the vehicle for that care. To claim that “Jesus was an occupier,” as Jesse Jackson and Washington Post contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite have done is shoehorning Christianity into a narrow, left-wing political framework.
- Using the Bible to Give License to Immorality: Liberals have twisted the Good Book to justify a variety of modern sins, including abortion. The site Jezebel in 2012 insisted the Bible is pro-abortion because “there are zero Bible passages that mention abortion, as in ‘don't do it.’” There’s a cottage industry on the left and in the media that read celebrations of homosexuality into Bible texts, going so far as to describe “gay Bible porn” and assert that Jesus was “most likely” gay.
- Scripture as Punch Line: The entertainment industry uses Biblical imagery and themes in ways it wouldn’t dare to do with other religions, and certainly not with the Koran. From Lady Gaga’s celebration of Judas to Glee’s ongoing “God Squad” punch lines to Dan Brown peddling politically correct conspiracy theories, Hollywood gets rich mocking Christianity and its Scriptures.
The practice of twisting, adding to and obscuring the traditional meaning of Bible passages to sanctify modern liberal ideas is sacrilegious and deeply offensive to Christians. It’s difficult to imagine liberals doing the same with any other religion’s Holy Scripture – certainly not the Koran. To improve their practices, journalists and entertainers should:
- Treat the Bible as a Holy Book, Not a Punching Bag: Journalists should stop treating the Bible as an archaic book of outdated customs. Entertainers should stop using Christianity’s holy book as a set-up for sex jokes.
- Treat Christianity, Other Religions the Same: Journalists would never target the Koran, the holy book of Islam for mockery – and would immediately be censored if they did. They should strive to treat the Bible with the same respect that they treat the texts of other faiths.
- Context, Context, Context: Journalists should examine the context of each Bible passage before cherry-picking quotes to support their ideological position.
- Stop Citing Bible-bashers: Journalists should cease citing scholars as authoritative who have a vested interest in altering or discrediting the Bible – or at least make clear their leanings.