Do you believe every word of the Bible?

These YouTube Debates are pretty interesting (the Republican one can be seen here and the Democrats version here), though I am not sure if they did what folks thought they would. The idea was that if you open the debates to anyone and let them ask the candidates a question it’ll make the debates more open and more relevant. This, of course, discounts the fact that not every submitted question will be answered, just those picked by CNN. Furthermore not every candidate has to answer every question (which makes little sense to me). The debate moderator picks who has to answer a particular question, unless the YouTuber in question addressed his question to a particular candidate.

I’ve embedded above a question from calciumboy which I found interesting. The question, which he posed to all the candidates, was ‘Do you believe every word in this book,’ and he held up the Bible (though not just any Bible, but the King James Bible, which calciumboy believes is the best translation of the Bible). He further stated that ‘your answer to this question tells us everything we need to know about you.’ Clearly, he meant that if the candidate isn’t a Biblical Literalist (i.e. the Bible is the Word of God, and as such everything in it is literally true. Jonah was in the belly of a great beast, Noah built an ark that has 2 of every animal in creation on it, the world was made in 6 days, and so are. These aren’t allegories but facts.) then case closed, we shouldn’t vote for you.

The question was posed to:

All three of those men (and all the candidates, both Democrat and Republican I do believe) have stated that they do, in fact, believe in God. It shouldn’t be too shocking that they all said that the Bible is the Word of God, but it is interesting to me that both Guiliani and Huckabee said, ‘No, not every word is the literal truth. Some things are allegorical,’ while Romney seemed uncomfortable stating that he believes the Bible is the literal truth.

It would seem to me that if you wear your religion like a cloak around your shoulders to get votes you shouldn’t be sheepish about those beliefs when asked about them directly. Come on, Romney, I may disagree with what you believe (and I do) but I think you should have the conviction to plainly state your viewpoint.

I was raised Roman Catholic, though I’m an unabashed Atheist these days, so I’ve read my fair share of the Bible. I went to a Jesuit high school in which I spent many hours poring over The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (just seeing the cover to that book dregs up many memories from high school) writing up numerous exegeses about various passages in the Bible. This was all done in an effort to make us think critically about our Faith, in hopes that it would strengthen it. In my case it had the opposite effect, but I think it is laudable of the Jesuits to teach kids about thinking first, and then let the facts speak for themselves. Politicians could learn a thing or two from the Jesuits, if you ask me (which you didn’t, but it is my blog so I get to talk about whatever I want).

2 responses to “Do you believe every word of the Bible?”

  1. I think ol’ Mitt is afraid of pissing off voters like me, guys who’ve voted GOP in the past but have always hated all the religiosity that the GOP has used to co-opt the more evangelical of our brethren. [United Methodists are evangelicals, but we’re also mainline Protestants. We bridge the gap.]
    Sad thing for Mitt is that we’re mostly so dissatisfied with the GOP’s performance for the last 36 months or so that no amount of religiosity is going to save him for us, and the waffling is going to make us roll our eyes at the pandering.
    [I’m shocked that Huckabee isn’t a literalist. I figured him for one.]

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