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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Just when you thought we'd hit rock bottom...

Our "friends" at Conservapedia have managed to scrounge up some dynamite and have begun to blast their way deeper. No doubt you will remember how the Conservapeons concluded that the bible had been corrupted by a series of liberal translations and, as a result, had to be returned to its true conservative roots. Thus was born the Conservative Bible Project, about which we have talked before, that is distinguished among all existing bible "translations" for its preference for the term "bimbo" rather than "damsel". Now, the Conservative Bible has essentially been completed* so a lot of the Conservapeons are somewhat at loose ends. What's a lunatic to do? Well, as it happens, the lunatics have managed to find an answer:

Or, in plain text:

The Conservative Dictionary Project continues to grow - your insights are welcome! [emphasis original]

Yes, that's right: the folks over at Conservapedia have decided to rewrite the dictionary. Not satisfied with mauling one of the central cultural artifacts of western civilization, they've decided to have a go at thoroughly destroying an entire language as well. Okay, "thoroughly" is a bit of an exaggeration. Given their previous degree of success it'd be more accurate to say "haphazardly" but it's the thought that counts, right?

If you follow their elegant and finely-crafted link, you'll find a fairly skimpy page describing the project:

Which replaces an explanation of why they need to rework the entire dictionary with a set of links to other articles, which allegedly make the case. These articles are, on the whole, freaking stupid but basically boil down to the contention that liberals have systematically altered the meaning of words and so conservatives now need to heroically recover the truth. That's not a joke, that's what they argue. See, for example, this. So, how is this new effort going? Well, if you take a quick look at the entry for A you'll see the answer is, "hilariously":

Or, to quote the first few entries:

True conservative meaning - Choosing to remain true to one's values and refraining from sexual behaviour until marriage
False liberal redefinition- Denying one's true impulses

acid rain
True conservative meaning - Possibly true idea that pollution returns to earth in the harmful rain.
False liberal redefinition- An excuse to stifle industry with government regulation.

Ad Hominem
True conservative meaning - A debate tactic where the opponent is attacked instead of their ideas, frequently used by foolish liberals.
False liberal redefinition - Accurately pointing out that someone is not qualified or informed enough to give a relevant opinion, sometimes used by conservatives and objected to by liberals.

Affirmative Action
Date: 20th century
True conservative meaning - Reverse discrimination.
False liberal redefinition - A way of helping people of color. [emphasis, weird formatting, etc. original]

Personally, though, my favorite thus far has got to be their entry for atheism:

Or, in text:

True conservative meaning - Denial of God's existence, a discredited and failing liberal worldview known to cause mass murder, immorality, uncharitableness, obesity and other negative consequences.
False liberal redefinition - a religion based on the belief in science rather than in a supreme being [emphasis, lack of punctuation, etc, original]

It's hard to know where to even start with that. Should I complain about the apparent evil they've built right into the definition, or should I quibble with the whole "religion based on the belief in science" thing? Because atheism is to religion as bald is to hair color, you know? But, then again, why bother arguing definitions of atheism with a bunch of guys who think that this is a valid critique of evolution?** So, I think the only responsible option is to point and laugh, which is what I'm doing.

Still, I think the best laughter is yet to come for the simple reason that the Conservative Bible Project had to use, you know, English words. And I'm forced to wonder whether, once this new conservative version of the dictionary is complete, they will have inadvertently changed the meaning of their own translation of the bible to be somewhat different than what they intended. Frankly, I look forward to the edit wars and hysteria that will result.

Good times. Definitely, good times.

* In other words, the new testament has been butchered enough for their liking and the old testament is just too long, hard, and boring for them to bother with.

** In contrast, it IS a valid critique of animated GIFs.

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