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Monday, February 26, 2007

"Honey--looks like we're gonna be Jewish now."

Oh, James "King of the World" Cameron, noted director of the celluloid milestone Piranha Part II: The Spawning, has found the body of Jesus. OK, he had help.

Just in time for Easter, of course.

I'm really going to miss BLTs.

But while the hypothesis is classic deep stupidity wedded to Barnum, it isn't the dumbest thing you will hear in connection to this story.

Nope. Far and away the stupidest thing you will hear (and I already have--some degreed twit from DePaul has weighed in accordingly) are self-described Christians nattering on about how this, if true, doesn't affect their "faith" one iota.

That sort of "Christian" belief is a hectoring Unitarianism with a liturgial bent. Not to mention intellectually void and unmoored from anything preached by Christians before the 1600s. Faith in a decayed corpse is not the faith for which millions have died and continue to die for today. Not to mention it's not the faith that built and still operates hospitals, (an admittedly dwindling number of) universities, food pantries, schools, clinics.... But it's nice to see that worshipping an ossuary is no bar to maintaining a tenured sinecure at a university in the Catholic tradition.

Why does this matter? The bodily resurrection of Jesus--as opposed to the post-lightsaber chopped Obi-Wan Kenobi--undergirds our life on this earth. What happens in the body has meaning. We don't rise from "this crude matter"--it is transformed. If the body is something discarded on the way to something better, then that dramatically changes our perspective. Katy bar the door--experiment as you like, in all the near-infinite permutations of the term, both inside the lab and out. A Christian's faith would not be "diminished" by finding the remains of Christ, it would be destroyed. That the professor doesn't even regard the hypothetical as "diminishing" suggests that that his faith is in something else.

Ah, well. At least misery loves company. When Ramadan comes around, we'll have to sit through the usual debunking deluge of splashy media documentaries, books and magazine covers reinterpreting Mohammed, too.

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