The Conservative Bible Project II
Because one way to regularly update a blog is to shoot fish in a barrel, today we continue our look at the development of a Republican Study Bible (because may we just be honest? While the project is officially entitled the "Conservative Bible Project", "conservative" is a term that's changed its meaning several times just in the last century. "Republican" is much more accurate), now underway at Conservapedia.
From the Project's website, we learn:
Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians. For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
Now as someone with a B.A. in English and an interest in politics, I've always found the propaganda potential in word choice very real and interesting. Still, I'm unconvinced words like "laborer" and "worker" are so much Leftist vocab as they are common words that Leftists have simply run into the ground.
But hey, who knows? Maybe better alternatives do exist - so out of curiosity I jumped onto Thesaurus.com to find a few synonyms they might prefer, then decided to try inserting them in a sample verse.
I chose 1 Timothy 5:18 (ESV): "The laborer deserves his wages." Clearly runs afoul of the CBP's standards, so let's see what we can do with it, shall we?
"The worker deserves his wages." Hmm. No, that's definitely no better, is it?
"The blue collar deserves his wages." Oof, no. Even worse. The United Auto Workers could put it on a poster.
"The drudge deserves his wages." Apolitical, but seems a little insulting. Looking down the list I also see "peon" and "grunt", neither of which I feel any better about.
"The farmhand deserves his wages." Too narrow.
"The stiff deserves his wages." Too on the nose.
"The wage-earner deserves his wages." Redundant?
"The migrant worker deserves his wages." Uncomfortably pro-immigration.
"The grunt deserves his wages." I told you they were further down the list.
"The manual worker deserves his wages." If we could only get rid of that darned 'w' word. Replace it with "technician", maybe - but I suppose that would be what the Conservative Bible Project calls "liberal wordiness".
"The jobholder deserves his wages." OK, this is technically perfect, but doesn't it sound like it came out of the company manual instead of God's Word? Ditto for "staff member" and the like. I just want something with a bit more soul.
Shoot. Well, I've been through most of the modern synonyms the online thesaurus has to offer, and I haven't found any I think would really communicate the proper capitalist spirit in a striking fashion. I guess for me the words "laborer" and "worker" are justified. Maybe the good folk at the Conservative Bible Project are a little more inventive than me, though.
Come to think of it, to believe what they do I guess they'd have to be.