The mainstream media's handling of issues pertaining to religion has always received a fair bit of scrutiny from conservatives and people of faith, alike, as outlets are generally perceived as lacking understanding about these important cultural structures. And academics and entertainers, too, are frequently accused by conservatives of being biased against both religious sentiment and right-of-center perspectives.
Believing that these sectors work diligently to expand left-leaning policies and ideologies, an intriguing, yet controversial, question has arisen: Are journalists, academics and Hollywood elite purposefully re-writing the Bible to make it a tool of progressive social change?
A new report by the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute (CMI) entitled, "Rewriting the Bible: The Gospel According to Liberals," tackles this very subject, alleging that entertainers, journalists and professors, alike, are re-writing the Bible and using it to their ideological advantage (read the report here).
Written by Paul Wilson, a fellow at CMI, the report charges that these parties -- regular targets of conservative angst -- have been reworking holy scriptures in an effort to drive home liberal ideals. TheBlaze was given a sneak-peak at the report before its release later this afternoon. We will be sharing some portions of the document to showcase what readers can expect to find within its text.
Vice President Joe Biden (L) places his hand on the Biden family Bible held by his wife Jill Biden as he takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayo during and official ceremony at the Naval Observatory on January 20, 2013 in Washington. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
To begin, let's explore Wilson's main contentions about Hollywood, the mainstream media and left-learning politicians:
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.
On the media front, CMI pointed to a number of issues that purportedly show bias and a penchant for re-writing the Bible's sacred texts. Among the examples, the outlet highlights media coverage surrounding the papyrus fragment that purportedly showed that Jesus Christ had a wife. While the initial report of its existence gained a plethora of broadcast attention, the latter revelations that it could be a fake were covered with less fervency, the report's author alleges.
"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," Wilson write.
He even offers up some tips for journalists that are intended to assist them in properly covering subjects pertaining to the Christian faith. Here are the four main points of advice he pens in the document:
- 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.
In addition to staking media bias claims, the report contends that liberals tend to treat the Bible as though it is a "policy paper" and "not a sacred text." In this case, the document points out that the holy book's verses telling believers to help the poor were not intended to be stretched to corroborate a Biblical mandate for government action (i.e. a rise in tax revenue that will, in turn, be used to help the poor).
As for the entertainment industry, Wilson's charges are no less severe, as he writes that, "Hollywood gets rich mocking Christianity and its Scriptures." He points to numerous examples that he believes show this inherent bias. Here's just a sampling:
The entertainment industry also delights in skewering the Christian holy book in order to mock it. The now-canceled show “GCB” carved its own set of 10 Commandments, inverting one Commandment to read: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s husband… Unless he’s really hot.” Rapper Lil’ Kim’s “10 Commandments” invented new commandments for women “to keep your man whipped.” The twisted cable series “True Blood” created its own Vampire bible with the phrase: “As their flesh shall nourish yours, their blood shall flow within you, for as the beetle nourishes the lark so shall human nourish vampire.”
President Barack Obama (Credit: AP )
Wilson scrutinizes liberal politicians, too, for their statements about the Bible. Among them, President Barack Obama, who has, according to the report, denigrated conservative economic principles by invoking Biblical principles. He continues:
President Barack Obama has been the most prominent practitioner of this tactic; he invoked the Biblical passage “I am my brother’s keeper” to justify government policies requiring redistribution of wealth in a March 30, 2012, campaign speech. Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky quoted 1 John 3:17-18 to condemn the GOP budget, saying, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” She then asked her Republican opponents, “Why does your budget resolution take away food from the poor?”
In addition to the economy, Wilson contends that the Bible has been manipulated by journalists, Hollywood and writers, alike, to endorse same-sex marriage and other progressive causes. The report contends that, much like the liberal view on the U.S. Constitution, the left sees the Bible as a living document. Wilson writes, "Liberals see the U.S. Constitution is a 'living document,' they can 'change with the times.' The Bible, it seems, is no safer from their whims."
The 12-page document concludes by accusing modern liberals of viewing the Bible as a repressive and irrelevant document. That said, Wilson believes that the left is "opportunistic" and using the holy book to advance its agenda. After all, there's power in numbers and the assumption, according to the report, is that liberals "become Bible scholars when they believe it can be used as a 'tool of progressive social change.'"
Read the full report here.
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