The inevitable has to happen to any religion that only stands on the shaky ground of faith: it has to die its natural death. When Faith can no longer be asserted by violence, other, more desperate means are tried. Money, for example. Even that cannot take you too far, at best it can prolong the death by a few more years.
So it is with Christianity, a religion founded exclusively on the Myth that is Jesus Christ.
It is a very telling fact that Christianity, which held sway for hundreds of years was discarded in mere decades the moment its edifice was questioned by Reason. Men of Reason are also often cold, merciless. Interest in every single aspect of the religion has surprisingly grown exponentially. The latest:
Creationists reject the theory of evolution. Religious pilgrims still line up for the Shroud of Turin. So it is unlikely that many Christians will lose sleep â€” let alone faith â€” because of â€œThe Lost Tomb of Jesusâ€ on the Discovery Channel tomorrow. The burial box, or ossuary, that might have held the body of Mary Magdalene. The documentary, which carries the seal of approval from its executive producer James Cameron (â€œTitanicâ€), has already caused some ado, however, with bold assertions that clash with conventional Christian doctrine. Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a son, Judah, according to the filmmakers. And all three were laid to rest in a family tomb that is now buried deep beneath a Jerusalem apartment complex.
â€œThe Lost Tomb of Jesusâ€ â€” the James Cameron documentary claiming that the remains of Jesus may have been found â€” has Christian theologians in full panic mode, trying to exorcise doubts about the Resurrection, and thus the entire basis of Christianity. As one high-placed source at the Vatican asked: â€œWhat If They Gave a Religion â€¦ and the Prophet Actually Showed Up?â€
Ever since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christendom has never had it this bad. The Church’s dismay is intelligible; Islam is on an all-time offensive against–come to think of it–the whole world while the only other exclusive creed stands rejected by its own people. Perhaps that also explains why Islam has strengthened its stranglehold on its followers: lest the fate of Christianity befall Islam. As the Satirical Political puts it:
But the final â€œnail in the coffinâ€ is the inscription on one ossuary which reads: â€œFido of Nazareth, Dog of the Son of the Lord,â€ which statisticians say is â€œa million-to-one shot, or seven million-to-one in dog statistics.â€
The George W. Bush evangelical base is taking it particularly hard. In a cruel irony, four years after chemical weapons failed to materialize in Iraq, it turns out that the Middle East is yielding chemical DNA that wasnâ€™t supposed to be there.
This is a particularly savage double-whammy: if you accept the DNA story that has surfaced, it means Jesus Christ was buried like a mere human being. If you don’t, then it lends more credibility to the fact that Jesus Christ never existed. And scorn-pourers will pour more scorn such as this:
I got the distinct impression that Gibson’s Jews would have bowed down in submission to Jesus of Nazareth if only the alleged Messiah would have grabbed a lightning bolt and thrown it at someone, or raised a few people from the dead or maybe even just levitated Himself a little bit. Even an inch. But Jesus wouldn’t give them that inch. Instead, in answer to very straightforward questions about His divinity and perfectly reasonable demands for proof, He offered only cryptic statements.
What, were the Jews supposed to guess what Gibson explicitly showed his audience with the miracle in the garden at the beginning of the film?
Despite all his talk of turning the other cheek and loving one’s enemies, Jesus practices vengeance. He merely delays retribution for a few hours to permit himself to be martyred. As noted above, everyone who defies him is tortured and sent to hell. And Christ inflicts these punishments even though he concedes that “they know not what they do.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, Jesus delivers his sermons on love in the same calm, cold, measured, arrogance-steeped tones as Osama bin Laden. His is not a religion of peace, but of blind obedience enforced by torture. The message of non-violence and love message of love is as phony as that of any Kung Fu flick.
The Believers’ response is entirely along expected lines.
Roman Catholics in the metropolis Friday called off their protest against the proposed screening of a controversial documentary on Jesus Christ after broadcaster Discovery Channel decided not to telecast the programme in India.
The Catholics in the city had earlier sprung into action against the worldwide premiere ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus’ that claims to show the burial place of Jesus challenging the basic tenets the Christian faith.
That’s a double triumph because the Discovery channel self-banned the show before Scissor-happy Dasmunshi could as much as breathe “hurt sentiments of minorities” like he did the last time. It’s free for all in the world’s largest democracy.
The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) had written to the Discovery Channel’s office in New Delhi requesting it to refrain from broadcasting the feature documentary scheduled for a worldwide premiere Sunday.
And Discovery complied rather meekly. Is the Christian faith so fragile that a mere documentary threatens it?
It is also curious why the media didn’t cover this widely. Asking for a ban directly attacks free expression, something the media should immediately focus. Or is free expression limited to only the likes of Deepa Mehta and gang?