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Andrew Schlafly/Colmes Interview
This is the transcript of an interview with Andrew Schlafly concerning his Conservative Bible Project, conducted by Alan Colmes on Fox News Talk Radio on October 7 2009. The original recording is here. RationalWiki recommends listening to the original audio if you possibly can.
Colmes: The Bible has too much liberal bias?
Schlafly: The translations. The translations get increasingly liberal.
Colmes: So you read it in the original... err... what?
Schlafly: Well I've read the King James version and sometimes I go back to the Greek - I've studied Greek.
Colmes: So you read the Bible in the Greek?
Schlafly: No, not the whole thing.
Colmes: So how do you know the translation's liberal? Maybe the Bible... maybe Jesus was liberal? Did you ever think about that?
Schlafly: Listen, I've got an open mind about it. You know, look at what he said. You look at each successive translation and it gets more and more liberal.
Colmes: Well Aramaic I believe was the original Bible language so unless you've read the original Aramaic you don't really know how liberal the Bible originally was.
Schlafly: Well we can look at the texts we do have and as I say...
Colmes: But they were in Aramaic?
Schlafly: Well... there's actually a debate about that.
Colmes: Well what was the original language then?
Schlafly: Well the oldest versions we have were actually in Greek for the New Testament.
Colmes: But you just said you didn't read those. Anyway. Here, you mention the ten things... not commandments... the ten things you want to do here. Framework against liberal bias you've talked about. Not emasculated - avoiding unisex gender inclusive language and other emasculation of modern Christianity?
Schlafly: Yeah that's a big problem.
Colmes: Christianity's been emasculated?
Schlafly: It has. It has. There's err... a desire to take out anything that's masculine. Okay, the feminists are responsible for this. I was in church a couple of weeks ago - let's just give you a one sentence example...
Schlafly: I read in my own church... okay.. this is my own Bible in my own church. It says taking a child, he, referring to Jesus, placed it in their midst and putting his arms around it he said...(talked over by Colmes)...the child is it.
Colmes: Well okay that may have been the translation! I mean again, the Bible is an archaic text, it didn't use politically ... oh you want to be politically correct about pronouns, is that it? You want political correctness? That sounds awfully liberal to me.
Schlafly: Well no, it's being politically correct and using "it" as a pronoun for a child, it's either male or female.
Colmes: Okay, You also say... I'm not going to read all ten here... you also say "accept the logic of Hell... applying logic with its full force and effect and not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the devil".
Schlafly: Right, the King James Version, which was written four hundred years ago mentions Hell 54 times but each successive translation mentions Hell less and less.. we've got to the point where the Bible doesn't even mention Hell...
Colmes: Where is Hell?
Schlafly: (pause) Where is Hell? It's spiritual. It's err...
Colmes: So it doesn't really exist?
Schlafly: ...it's a spiritual damnation.
Colmes: So it just exists in your mind?
Schlafly: No! It exists!
Schlafly: It's what happens...judgement...
Colmes: Where is it?
Schlafly: ...after you die, your soul gets judged. I mean logically, wouldn't you expect that?
Colmes: Where is Hell?
Schlafly: *chuckles* it's a spiritual... it's a spiritual damnation... it's... it's an eternal reward or punishment in the case of Hell. I mean you'd expect that wouldn't you?
Colmes: I thought it was CPAC
Colmes: Anyway in any event... that's a little joke there, Andy.
Schlafly: Okay, that's alright!
Colmes: Here are some possible approaches, you say, to creating a conservative Bible translation. Identify pro-liberal terms used in existing Bible translations like "government". Government is a liberal term?
Schlafly: Yeah. Government. Sure.
Colmes: That's a liberal word? Government?
Schlafly: Yeah. Government. (said dismissively)
Colmes: *laughs* You say that with such disdain!
Schlafly: You're all (can't hear) I mean come on.
Colmes: Government. The word "government" is a liberal term?
Schlafly: (laughing) It is!
Colmes: You say "suggest more accurate substitutes"... what would be a more accurate substitute for government?
Colmes: Wait, wait, wait. Government equals tyranny?
Schlafly: Well... yeah, just about.
Colmes: So our government... government and tyranny are synonymous?
Schlafly: It tends towards that. It tends towards that, yeah.
Colmes: So you don't believe in government?
Schlafly: It should be... what it is... they should be employees. Congressmen work for us. (more, but talked over by Colmes)
Colmes: But you're talking about the Bible... you know Jesus was not a political figure. Jesus was a spiritual and religious figure, and you're trying to overlay your political point of view on Jesus and the Bible.
Schlafly: No, I'm just trying to keep the liberal overlay out.
Colmes: What liberal overlay? Jesus was liberal!
Schlafly: I'm trying to peel that... well you say...
Colmes: You think Jesus was a right wing member of the GOP?
Schlafly: Well you think he was but if you peel back the liberal bias and let's see what he says. Many of his parables were economic parables.
Colmes: When Jesus said "Judge not lest thee be judged"... that's pretty liberal.
Schlafly: (pause then talked over)
Colmes: So you're going to take that out? You're going to take everything Jesus said out of the Bible!
Schlafly: No he's speaking in a spiritual sense. Many of his parables were free market economic parables.
Colmes: He was not a political or economic being..... he... what about when he says "love thy enemies"? Is that too liberal for ya?
Schlafly: No... on a personal level. That's fine on a personal level... but he's not saying that our system of... of... our political system should lay down arms to our enemies. Quite the contrary. He was carrying a sword!
Colmes: He's saying love thy enemy. Love your enemies.
Schlafly: His apostles were armed!
Colmes: Love your enemies! So his apostles didn't always obey everything Jesus said.
Schlafly: Well... you love your enemies but you stay on guard too.
Colmes: Identify terms that have lost their original meaning, such as "word". The word "word"?
Schlafly: Word. Yeah.
Schlafly: It's been diluted, yeah. Because at the beginning of John you say in the beginning was the word and the word was with god and the word was god. That means "truth" there. But now when someone says word they think of word processor. They think of err... Twitter.
Colmes: But it doesn't matter what someone thinks... they think what??
Schlafly: They think of Twitter. They think of...
Colmes: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I don't... because people think of Twitter is no reason to rewrite the Bible!
Schlafly: Well but words... but the English... we're not rewriting the Bible, but the English words change their meaning over time. "Peace" for example. "Peace" in the Bible, means... it's like "shalom". It's like a fulness of...
Colmes: Right, shalom which is a Hebrew word for "peace". Also "hello" and "goodbye".
Schlafly: Right, but what it means... what it means is mental stability. It means fulness of... it means contentment. It means... happiness.
Colmes: Are you a biblical scholar?
Schlafly: Well.... an amateur one.
Colmes: Mmm hmm. Andrew Schlafly is with us. He's got something called Conservapedia; he wants to rewrite the Bible to take out the liberal bias. You say that Jesus said... erm... you give an example of what you call a liberal falsehood. The earliest, most authentic manuscripts you say lack this verse set forth in Luke 23:34, Jesus said "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing" or "do not know what they are doing".
Schlafly: Right. That's not authentic.
Colmes: Err.. They know not what they do....
Colmes: ...that's just different wording of that.
Schlafly: Yeah yeah that's alright. Liberals quote that all the time. Father forgive them they know not what they do. It's not authentic. It's not authentic.
Colmes: Whether Jesus said that or not I dunno, but isn't the concept of forgiveness key to Christianity?
Schlafly: It is. It is.
Colmes: So when Jesus said forgive them, what's wrong with that? It's key to being Christian.
Schlafly: What's wrong with that is it denies... punishment. It denies... Hell. It denies the very real existence of punishing people when they do something wrong.
Colmes: No it doesn't, it's Jesus talking about forgiveness. Jesus is talking about forgiving people. Forgiveness. That is a key precept in all the world's major religions.
Schlafly: But Alan, forgiveness comes when you ask for repentance. Jesus very much believed in punishment for people who do not ask for forgiveness.
Colmes: You say Socialism. Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible without justification. This improperly encourages the social justice movement among Christians.
Colmes: The Catholic church is very much into social justice?
Schlafly: It is.
Colmes: Err... you have a problem with that?
Schlafly: I do. I do.
Colmes: So are Catholics not good Christians?
Schlafly: Well it's... it's... the (??) end of the church (more, but talked over)
Colmes: What's wrong with social justice? So feeding... so feeding the poor and helping the homeless?
Colmes: Isn't that social justice?
Schlafly: No, I'm all in favor of helping but you help them help themselves.
Colmes: Well yeah of course you do! But you do that by giving them a little bootstrap to boost them... you know, get them back on their feet.
Schlafly: Well that's fine but you don't give them a permanent entitlement.
Colmes: Well no one's saying anything about a permanent entitlement. If you give a coat... an old coat... you bring it to the church to give to... you know... to help the homeless, or to help the needy that might come into the church, that's not taking care of somebody for life but it's the very thing Jesus talked about and Jesus spent more time talking about the poor and the homeless than he did talking about abortion and gays and... you know... this other stuff that you seem to be so bothered about.
Schlafly: Well that stuff, that stuff, abortion didn't exist yet really, in a way for him to deal with...
Colmes: Oh it existed.
Schlafly: Well actually there are references to abortion.
Colmes: Yeah but the fact it... But the stuff Jesus talked about is the very kind of liberal things that you want taken out of the Bible!
Schlafly: Well no no no no... I'm all in favor of charity, but what Jesus didn't say is raise taxes so we can give those taxes to the poor.
Colmes: Jesus did not make political statements! You know here's a... whaddya think this: if a liberal like myself if some liberal he decided to say about the Bible "it's too conservative, I've gotta take the Bible and liberal it up a little bit" - do the converse of what you're doing, you'd have people going nuts! You'd have a bunch of evangelical Christians talking about this is blasphemy! If I wanted to make the Bible more liberal, people would be going crazy!
Schlafly: But Alan people are doing that already. I mean that's what people are doing.
Colmes Ya know I hear conservatives scoff at the idea of political correctness and what you're doing Andy is the very things conservatives scoff about at liberals, by changing for your political correct version of the world, or the bible, the way you want it to be.
Andy But I'm not. Jesus was male, there are males and there are females, and they're different. And one of the things I'm trying to combat is this effort to treat males and females as though they're identical, and call a child "it" rather than "he" or "she". So that's the type of liberal influence, I mean look, these people who are retranslating the bible already, are people who voted overwhelmingly, for Obama and the liberal agenda.
- Note that this appears to be Mk 9:37, and the term here is αυτο, which is indeed neuter. The term αυτων (masculine plural) refers to the crowds here. The genders of these pronouns are not in question in Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus, or Codex Vaticanus, and the verse is absent from P45 P84 P88 and all other Greek manuscripts.
- Conservative Political Action Conference