Big news was broken yesterday: Jesus and his family have been founded dead in their graves in Israel.
What does this discovery mean for the religious myths that bind us and for the sustenance of the Resurrection ideal to Christians across the world?
How does one now translate God?
Without the Resurrection, doesn’t Christianity become an empty vessel?
How can we begin to live if Jesus Christ has been found dead?
Does His death strengthen our faith?
Or does it weaken it with unanswerable questions that sting us like burrs in our socks?
The Time Magazine blog provides the details:
Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you ‘The Titanic’ is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity. In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected –the cornerstone of Christian faith– and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene. No, it’s not a re-make of “The Da Vinci Code.”
It’s supposed to be true.
Let’s go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a Jerusalem suburb. of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archaeologists were summoned, and the stone caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to decipher the names on the ten tombs.
They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua. Israel’s prominent archaeologist Professor Amos Kloner didn’t associate the crypt with the New Testament Jesus. His father, after all, was a humble carpenter who couldn’t afford a luxury crypt for his family. And all were common Jewish names.
There was also this little inconvenience that a few miles away, in the old city of Jerusalem, Christians for centuries had been worshipping the empty tomb of Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Christ’s resurrection, after all, is the main foundation of the faith, proof that a boy born to a carpenter’s wife in a manger is the Son of God. But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests, archaeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10 coffins belong to Jesus and his family.
If this non-Resurrection discovery proves to be true or not, the necessary and prodigal process of shattering the Jesus myth into Atheism is telling on many levels.
I understand this revolt against the sanctity of the core of Christianity is a direct response to the rise of Christian Fundamentalism in America where Believers now force their myths into mandatory mainstream acceptance: “If you don’t Believe, you’re sinner; if you don’t Repent, you’re going into the fires of hell.”
The Fundamentalists achieve that punctilious end by poisoning the Political process with their harsh and unloving beliefs and the rest of America — the unmoved middle class who prefer soccer to sacrilege — go along with the movements of the breeze as long as it doesn’t adversely affect their lifestyle.
With the Far Right Fundamentalists pressing their agenda into Iraq and Iran and even here on the Homeland in the Supreme Court and in the villages and the valleys, the middle class are beginning to see their precious personal rights are winnowing away in the sweaty palms of those who believe in blood and nails and those who worship the implements of death like crucifixes and spears — instead of loving each other just enough to leave people alone.
If the myth is unwillingly perpetuated into popular culture by the True Believers — sooner or later people, good people, will rise up and fight back for the right to be left alone and to think as they wish and not as others command them to think. One of the weapons the mighty ordinary wield against the Myths of the Believers is the scientific process.
If you press “Lord Jesus” into our public schools and in our Courthouses beyond a cursory wave, science will be used to slay your myth and humble your outrageous and hateful claims against those you brand as unworthy and foreign and unlike you and those who choose not to believe as you Believe. This challenge to the Jesus Resurrection will prove interesting as science and technology become even more powerful and infallible.
Carbon Dating is hard to render into belief but it easily shatters myths. DNA does not lie or require Blind Faith to be believed. The New York Times has an article today detailing how the Radical Right cannot find a “suitable” candidate for the 2008 presidential election:
But in a stark shift from the group’s influence under President Bush, the group risks relegation to the margins. Many of the conservatives who attended the event, held at the beginning of the month at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., said they were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election.
Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, despite his efforts to make amends for having once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights and his three marriages.
Many were also suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; members have used the council as a conduit to distribute a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. (Mr. Romney has worked to convince conservatives that his views have changed.)
The story goes on to examine the erosion of the Radical Right’s influence in the substantial sleeping middle class and how dismayed the Christian Fundamentalists are as they realize their time in the sun is rightfully, righteously and religiously, fading away into deserved darkness. Belief can never trump Science if it is forced down the throats of the neutral and the unwilling.
When religion is made mandatory-by-politics in a democracy, people slowly begin to turn away from the forced heat of hatred and its dangerous branding aftereffects and they begin to awaken to realize they prefer to coolly challenge the myths binding the national mindset with the cold reality of the scientific process.
Some may hope to slay the non-Believers with the power of the sword, while the rest are perfectly content in allowing science to defend unfettered facts and to render radical religious dogma powerless in the overarching needs of humanity in order to get along together in the world without pressing one Faith into the flesh over another — and that process begins and perpetuates — in the discovery of a tomb in Israel where Jesua’s body was found dead, but resurrected, by archaeology and science.