URGENT! Make a gift that will be doubled. We have $9,931 left to match by December 1st.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Changes

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 02, 2003

Dan Seligman's review in Commentary of Diane Ravitch's The Language Police contains this gem:

Educational bureaucrats in California ruled against one edition of The Little Engine That Could -- a long-time favorite in the kindergarten leagues -- because the anthropomorphic engine in the illustration appeared to be male.

Risible? Yes. Insane? Probably. Unsurpassable? No way. Look no further than the revised psalms of the New American Bible, where precisely the same phobias are armed with chain-saws and given no bag limit. In effect, the corrected psalter declared war on masculine imagery for God, cheerfully rewriting Scripture in the process. Psalm 111, for example, does not address God directly but refers to Him in the third-person:

Gracious and merciful is the Lord.
He gives food to those who fear him,
mindful of his covenant forever ...

And so forth. Now in 1991 the U.S. bishops approved a version in which this psalm is entirely recast in the second-person, so as to eliminate "he" and "his" used of God, thus:

You gave food to those who fear you,
mindful of your covenant forever, etc.

In printed editions there is even a footnote that declares their intention: "the psalm refers to God in the third person throughout. The shift to the second person is for the sake of inclusive language."

But who could conceivably be excluded by the literal translation, which refers to God, i.e., the God of Israel? Clearly the change was motivated not by a desire for accuracy but by fear and loathing of the masculine per se. It takes a deeply twisted mind to feel threatened by the maleness of the Little Engine That Could, but only the same mind and the same sensibilities could be so alarmed by the masculine pronouns of the Old Testament (which are there in the original Hebrew, by the way) as to take a machete to the sacred text. The Holy See rejected this psalter outright, but the neurosis that produced it lives on. Our gender-bending bishops are still, perhaps, a minority, but they continue to do damage, quietly unfastening the rivets at the key junctures of the Faith. The bishop who ran interference for "Always Our Children" recently ran over somebody else, and henceforth will exercise his caregiving in other venues, but his diversity-celebrating brethren persist in their soft sabotage -- loosening this, warping that, tactfully effecting the makeover.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($63,989 to go):
$150,000.00 $86,011.12
43% 57%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Jul. 02, 2003 12:34 PM ET USA

    These absurdities continue because the focus is on ideologies rather than accuracy of translation and it is a great disservice to the faithful who want truth rather than political correctness. Ideologies are usually based in the subjective so are difficult to challenge. And, far too often, especially with feminism as it invades the Church it is rooted on unresolved personal issues. It is, in fact, the ideology of the neurotic.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Art and theology, beauty and truth, work together in the New Evangelization November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
It is a failure of mercy to deny sin November 20
Yesterday's news, tomorrow November 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days