Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Green Bible Is Not So Important as the News Stories Would Have You Believe- And A Modest Proposal for yet Another Specialty Bible

There's a new version of the Bible called "The Green Bible," with environmental-themed or related passages printed in green ink.

"In every book of the Bible, there are references to the world and how we should take care of it," said Rusty Pritchard, editor of Creation Care Magazine, an eco-friendly publication for evangelicals. "When you look at it through that lens, it really jumps out at you . . . that God is calling us to care for the world around us."

The article doesn't quote any specific passages and I'm too lazy right now to trudge over to my copy of the old non-green Bible ("Words of CHRIST in red") so I can't quote the passages but I'm sure the "good book" is littered with things about how man is the steward over all creation (including animals, plants, and the women that came from man's superfluous rib), so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

But others fear the new Bible, which has been endorsed by secular groups such as the Sierra Club and the Humane Society, will mislead Christians.

Does one need to point out the irony of religious leaders worrying that religious people might be misled? Actually, maybe one does need to point that out, so I will:

Religion itself is misleading.

But there has been a growing shift in the past year or two, with evangelicals supporting environmentalism in much greater numbers, in a movement they generally call Creation Care. It is simply defined as caring for what believers say is God's creation by stopping or preventing harmful activities.

What took these people so long? Religion has traditionally done everything it could to prevent "harmful activities," such as questioning the authority of religious leaders, stifling scientific inquiry, taking the pleasure out of sex by mutilation and torture, preventing the use of medicine or contraceptive devices that could prevent the spread of dangerous diseases, and generally blocking anything that anyone finds the least bit fun.

Other signs that the Creation Care movement is gaining a broader foothold:
• A 2006 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 70 percent of evangelicals believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is getting warmer.

Yes, but 100 percent of those people believe in the existence of a supernatural force that has total power to control everything, created the earth and the universe, watches you all the time, and lives with all your dead relatives in a dictatorship known as paradise. Do you really want to listen to them?

And just how well is "The Green Bible" doing?

More than 37,000 copies have been printed. The first 25,000 sold out within just a few weeks.

Wait- they sold 25K "within just a few weeks"? 25K of a new version of the freaking Bible? The biggest selling book of all time? The book that all the Christians are forced to buy? In 2001, 77% of Americans identified themselves as "Christians." That is a hell of a lot of people, pardon my language- at least 100 million. (I'm assuming a total US population around 290 million.) The number can't have fluctuated that much- and all they could sell in the weeks around Christmas for crying out loud was a measly 25,000 copies?

Yeah, this whole "Green Bible" thing is really taking off.

Here's MY idea for a new Bible- "The Pain Bible," with the passages in which god does something horrible for no good reason highlighted in - well, how about yellow, since that's a difficult color to read against a white background. And the printing would be extra small so you have to squint to read it.

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