Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In the Beginning: Media Bias Before 1000AD

Like you, I've heard complaints about how the media is biased and bent on promoting its liberal agenda, no matter the facts. We've heard those complaints for so long, it's become white noise.

But I couldn't believe it when I read this opening paragraph by Alan Cooperman in the Washington Post, an article reviewing "In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000," an ancient Bible manuscript exhibt in Washington DC:

"If 40 percent of Americans refuse to believe that humans evolved from earlier hominids, how many will accept that the book we know as the Bible evolved from earlier texts and was not handed down, in toto, by God in its present form?"

Geez, the noise of that axe grinding is deafening.

I like what Mollie at Get Religion says in response:

"See, if there is one thing I learned as a lifelong Christian, it is that the Bible was handed down in the New King James Version directly from God. And as a Christian, the foundations of my faith would be shaken if I were to be told that God did not hand down the books of the New Testament in English along with a printing press in the year A.D. 33 Every Christian knows that the canon was dictated by God Himself speaking directly to Jesus, right?

That’s why I love Cooperman’s opening graph so much. It resonates with me. I like how it ties together skepticism of human evolution with skepticism about canon development. I have never felt better understood by mainstream media than I do in Cooperman’s hands.


The sad thing is that Cooperman actually wrote a rather nice review of the Sackler exhibit complete with interesting historical facts and discussions with its curator. But when he went to frame the story or give it broader context, he went for the dramatic faith-shaking angle.

In so doing, he managed to cast Christians as unwitting fools who believe the Bible was delivered in Gideons form in some ahistorical manner. Was that really necessary?"

If you're not afraid to learn about the development of the Bible--yes it is inspired by God, but it has a very human history--check out this nice online feature supporting the DC exhibit, "In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000."

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