Readers will know that I don’t believe any ancient text should be given in an English version revised in accordance with a political programme. It’s dishonest. If I want to read Vergil, I want to read Vergil, not Vergil-as-some-old-hippy-says-he-should-have-written.
The editing of the NIV for “gender-inclusivity” — to conform to the political demands of those who have power today, in more honest language – would be disgusting and dishonest whichever text was involved. But to do it to what purports to be the Word of God is an appalling blasphemy.
It was also stupid. After all, if you believe it’s the Word of God, you can’t edit it. Those who make demands for it to be changed to reflect a modern ideology cannot, do not, believe it is the Word of God. It’s just a way for those in power to show their power (and their contempt) for a religion in which they do not believe. To conform is to sacrifice to Caesar, to say “Caesar is God”, Caesar is the most powerful. To conform to is earn Caesar’s amused contempt.
God is not mocked, however, and those responsible today got to enjoy some consequences:
PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for a more animal-friendly update to the Bible.
The group is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls “speciesist” language and refer to animals as “he” or “she” instead of “it.”
PETA is hoping the move toward greater gender inclusiveness will continue toward animals as well.
“When the Bible moves toward inclusively in one area … it wasn’t much of a stretch to suggest they move toward inclusively in this area,” Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s vice president for policy, told CNN.
Friedrich, a practicing Roman Catholic, said, “Language matters. Calling an animal ‘it’ denies them something. They are beloved by God. They glorify God.”
“God’s covenant is with humans and animals. God cares about animals,” Friedrich said. “I would think that’s a rather unanimous opinion among biblical scholars today, where that might not have been the case 200 years ago.”
Yup. Let’s demand that other people’s bibles conform to policies we made up 5 years ago. Let’s snigger as they scurry to rationalise conformity.
I wonder when the NIV translators will grasp that each surrender of principle leads to the next, and that, in kowtowing to Moloch, they are merely making themselves ridiculous?