Friday, May 20, 2011

Because it just can't be passed up

I expect you're settling in to enjoy a quiet Friday evening and were casting about for just a little something to take your evening to the next level. Here is my gift to you.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid to watch it!


R said...



Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Oh my goodness. I don't even know what to say.

Kelso North Carolina said...

No worse than Johnnie Spong and he's a bishop in good standing.

Anonymous said...

how funny, and yet how disappointing. i was waiting for him to demonstrate!

Steph said...

Yes, that is absolutely what's wrong with our country. Men stand and pee. Wow. Where do these people come from?

Anonymous said...

But, but, but, I'm confused. He said that scripture says that God would destroy him that pisseth against the wall. Which means, I suppose, that men should sit down to pee. Which is not what he was preaching.

eulogos said...

Since I am known for being the one who states the obvious, I feel compelled to say that I think that in this passage God was saying he was going to destroy all the men of some country, and the "pisseth against the wall" phrase simply meant men. He wasn't going to destroy them FOR pissing against the wall. (Although when my neighbor in Maryland used to piss against the wall of my house every Friday night when he got drunk, I could have wished it....)

This preacher in a suit (very strange to me, coming from a liturgical tradition, to see someone preaching in a suit) seems to be making several points, some of which have some sense to them, and some of which...don't. One is about translation, and his thesis here is not entirely clear. Does he mean that the Bible ought to be translated word for word because God chose all the particular words? The translators of the KJV did go by that theory, so that they even indicated textually when they added "is" or "was" where Greek implies it. If you are learning NT Greek, the KJV is a great trott. There is something to be said for that in terms of getting at what the text says. Traductore traditore, (A translator is a traitor) they say, even word for word. But the more "dynamic equivalence" you use, the more chance there is for your understanding of a phrase to interpolate itself.

I woiuld also add that the pungency of the phrase makes the story much more powerful than if one translates it "males." At the same time one has to know exactly what connotations the words used had when the text was written. I suspect the word used for urinate was not necessarily one considered vulgar at the time, as piss is now, and also that this was simply a phrase which indicated males at the time.

Now we proceed to his set of assertions about what it means to be a "man." Is he saying that a culture that wants men to sit down to pee (I suppose because otherwise splashing can occur?) is one that wants to eliminate the difference between men and woman? Could this be true? Do they not want men to stand to pee just because women cannot? In such a culture, does obeying these rules make a man less masculine? I think these questions can be asked. I don't know if the answers are as certain as he implies.

He also seems to imply that believing in the dynamic equivalence method of translation makes a man less masculine. But there is a good argument at "he that pisseth against the wall" was just a standard phrase that meant males. It was one of those standard phrases used in oral cultures, such as "the words escaped his teeth's barrier" which is used over and over again in the Iliad. I wouldn't want an Iliad which replaced this with "he said". And I prefer a Bible which does not replace "he that pisseth against the wall" with "males." But I am not sure someone who argues for another position is thereby emasculated.

He is also arguing that people who take this position about translation, also are cowardly about asserting what the Bible really teaches. People, no, I should say, men who take this position about translation, because he clearly does not have female translators in mind! He is asserting that men who argue that this phrase should be translated "males" do not preach Biblical orthodoxy. That is a large assertion.

Oh, and they also pee sitting down.

It took longer to deconstruct it than to listen to it. But I enjoyed both!
Susan Peterson