Monday, December 29, 2008

More on "Biblical Literalism"

From James F. McGrath, Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, on his blog Exploring Our Matrix. In his latest post on Biblical Literalism, he basically lays out that the limits are the Biblical Literalists really not wanting certain passages to be literally true. I'm not sure I agree with that point of view completely.

I've always seen Biblical Literalists are more just selecting the parts that wish to believe as literally true and ignoring the rest. What I find interesting is that most Literalists don't really seem to be saying they want the Bible to be literally true, but that they want you to agree with their interpretation of the Bible. Genesis is most often the part quoted as them wishing it to be true and then interpretation on things like "how long was a day before the Sun and Earth existed" is supposed to literally mean a 24-hour day. That in itself is an interpretation -- but telling a Biblical Literalist that is like reminding a Marine they are part of the Navy. You can be as right as rain, but the Marine will never willingly grasp what you are saying. :-) No offense Navy or Marine, I have family members serving in both!

But that's my take. It's not so much that they want to change the meaning, but they want their meaning to be the ONLY meaning. And if the Bible contradicts itself later -- which it does too many times to count -- then they just ignore the parts they don't like. Plus several times on Topix I was referred to as being a "Cafeteria Christian" because I do consider myself a Christian, but don't agree with the Bible as being Literal, so I am some sort of 'pick-your-own' Christianity. Yet who seems to be doing most of the picking and choosing? Yea, the Biblical Literalists, that's whom.

I do wonder if there is a Bible version for the Biblical Literalist? You know, one with the passages they want ignored redacted out and the ones they need 'interpreted' footnoted? It would be what . . . about a 100 pages or so? There we go, too bad the Biblical Literalists are such a small group or we could make serious change selling "Biblical Cliff Notes."

I do recall . . . and I can't find my reference . . . about a sanitary practice in the Koran (sp?) about going out away from your tent/town a prescribed distance and burying your personal waste. Yet modern-day plumbing takes the place of that described practice. The reason I am asking is that I wonder if there are Koran Literalists much like the Biblical Literalists who only seem to take the holy book literally, except when they can't.

No comments:

Post a Comment