According to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, the Politburo Standing Committee recently convened a meeting of scholars and “religious people” to begin the work of “making accurate and authoritative interpretations of classical doctrines to keep pace with the times.” The centerpiece of this campaign is a major new undertaking to revise the Christian Bible to make it more amenable to the rule of the communist party.
Some examples. In Mathew 19:20, where Jesus declares that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”, the new translation sensitively replaces “rich” with the far more accurate phrase “rich white capitalist devil.” And elsewhere, when Jesus is asked to condemn an adulteress, he still invites “the one without sin to cast the first stone”, but, in the new translation, Jesus waits until the mob has left before killing the woman himself, explaining that if only blameless men carried out the law, there could be no law. Progressives everywhere have universally applauded these common-sense modifications and updates.
But it’s not just the New Testament. The Old Testament chapters are also being revised. For example, Genesis 1.1-3 --“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters,”--now reads, “God start step 1 by take part A, Heaven, match to slot in part B, Earth, then join tab, Waters. In confusion, locate hole, move screw, Part C, and bind Spirit gum until assemble stand own legs.”
The new Bible, when completed, will be much abbreviated, approximately the same length as the “Quotations of Chairman Mao.” It will also be simpler to remember and comprehend the important bits. For one thing, no one will begat anyone in the new version. Silly ideas about arks and flaming bushes have been cut, as has everything not scientific. God emerges from these new pages less a spirit than an idea of what man may become in the socialist future.
More important than God, the idea of sin has also been utterly recast in accordance with modern ideas. Sin is no longer an arbitrary personal moral failure (theft, adultery, murder, perversion), but a far more consequential failure to do one’s duty to the State. As Jesus famously replied to the Pharisees when asked if Jews should pay taxes to Caesar, “Reduce to liquid Caesar objects of Caesar what belong God also reduce to liquid.”