Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Black's Red, White and Screwed

In Lewis Black's routine Red, White and Screwed, he makes fun of George Bush for believing in a literal 7 day creation interpretation of the Bible instead of the theory of evolution [you may watch the unedited version from you-tube here starting at about the 6 minute mark]. Now obviously Black has the great ability to use humor to wipe out anyone who would dispute his view of science without ever having to defend his beliefs. Men like Black never feel the need to justify their presuppositions, which is something I am willing to bet he has never been challenged to do.

What is interesting is that he starts to use a Jewish interpretation of the Bible as the basis for his argument. Now, this part is funny. But when you sit back and think about what he says, is he really saying that Jews have always believed in evolution as currently taught or that the theory of evolution is compatible with Jewish interpretations for the last several thousands of years? This just seemed odd? The theory of evolution requires no God whatsoever. The writers of the Bible assumed the necessary existence of God to explain and justify the creation and how we are able to know things including scientific theories.

Be that as it may, he then mocks Christians for not being satisfied with the Hebrew Scriptures. Instead we had to have more books. In this portion of the routine Black says,
Every Sunday I turn on the television set and there's a priest or a pastor reading from my book [Old Testament] and interpreting it. And their interpretations, I have to tell you, are usually wrong. It's not their fault because its not their book.

You never see a Rabbi on TV interpreting their book...do you?

If you want to truly understand the Old Testament, if there is something you don't quite get, there are Jews who walk among you.
Now this last line was extremely funny. While being caught up in the moment in watching him and his humorous ability to say all of this, it is quite easy to forget what is really being said and more importantly, what is being assumed.

Is he still arguing that Jews are all unified on the interpretation of the Old Testament not only among modern Jews but with the Jews of the first century? Is he still referring to the creation/evolution debate?

The biggest problem I have with this statement is that it seems to assume that either the New Testament was written later by Gentiles or some other theory. He just seems to pass by the obvious and by his humor marginalizes all those who would disagree as being stupid and irrational (ie: the Scopes Trial is over as if all scientists are in agreement).

At this point I really would love to sit with him and ask for clarification. Perhaps he missed the fact that Jesus was a Jew. He seems to miss that Peter, James, John, Matthew, Paul and the writer to the Hebrews were all Jews. He seems to miss the fact the the majority of the very early church was Jewish. In all of this, is he really going to argue that Jesus and His Jewish Apostles don't have the right to interpret the Old Testament?

The fact is, there are Jews for Jesus today who would interpret the Old Testament in a similar fashion as the Gentiles he so despises. The reason should be obvious to all. Apparently, the obvious is missed by Lewis Black.

Now to be fair to Mr. Black, perhaps he is referring to something else that these priests and pastors are interpreting than the normal Apostolic Gospel message. If this is the case, this is his problem. He is the one, who chose to speak in a blasphemous manner against the God of Scripture. He is the one, who chose to mock and ridicule Christians for following a Jewish Rabbi. If he has a problem with Christians, perhaps he should talk to one. We are still walking around as well.

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