Thursday, January 05, 2006

Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest

You might think that's a snappy name for a post, but the story is here. If you're too lazy to read it then here's the best bits:
legal proceedings [began] against Father Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ’s historical existence ... The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Signor Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was “abusing popular credulity”.
Man, we damn freaking well need a law against abusing popular credulity here. The article goes on to say that Signor Cascioli
argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived “after the time of the hypothetical Jesus” and were therefore not reliable witnesses ... The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a “Christus” or “Chrestus”, but were writing “well after the life of the purported Jesus” and were relying on hearsay.
Signor Cascioli said that the Gospels themselves were full of inconsistencies and did not agree on the names of the 12 apostles. He said that he would withdraw his legal action if Father Righi came up with irrefutable proof of Christ’s existence by the end of the month.
... but I love the end the best:
The Vatican has so far declined to comment.
I don't know why, but that phrase puts a warm glow in the cockles of my heart.

I am not a christian, though I was raised a Catholic and went to Catholic schools for all pre-University education. I was actually an avowed athiest from age 8, but I was never one to rock the boat so I kept going to church and didn't switch schools. I can't complain about the teaching, in either quality or content, and the Brothers who taught at my high school were fantastic (I could be wrong, but I suspect most were quite a bit more liberal in their beliefs than doctrine would suggest). Nuns, however, still give me the willies. And I'm continually guilty about damn near everything I do, although to be fair that may be an indication that I'm a bad, bad man.

While my original reason for turning athiest wasn't terribly well thought out (church cut unacceptably into my playtime during the summer months), I worked out better reasons as I've gone along. Basically, religions need to give me a reason. I want to know that there is a God, like I know that I'm typing on this keyboard while listening to Moving in Stereo by The Cars. God as a palpable fact like the sun in the sky. I'll be fucked if I'll believe in God. Right now there is a pantheon of competing Gods and I know not of any good intellectually honest reason to select the God of Christians over the God of the Muslims over Zeus and his wonderful golden shower. I

Why we're at it, I'll be double fucked if I'll worship God. Human beings who are conceited enough to demand worship are complete cocks; Gods should bloody well know better. I can worship Gillian Anderson 'cause those eyes can crack stone, but I'm sure she'd be suitably embarrassed at the attention, or have the good grace to take out a restraining order.

I'm no biblical scholar, but the God of the Bible just seems a little too ... human, ya know? And an awful lot of the beginning seems to be justifying why the Jews got to steal land from the original inhabitants; funny, we seem to be getting a lot of that lately. And, well, maybe we shouldn't go into the divinely mandated raping, pilaging and slave-taking. But fuck it, let's talk some Leviticus:
"Say to Aaron, None of your descendants throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God.
18: For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long,
19: or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand,
20: or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles;
21: no man of the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD's offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.
22: He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things,
23: but he shall not come near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the LORD who sanctify them."
You know, I don't care if in the beginning you did create the heavens and the earth, and your spirit did move across the face of the waters: if you told Leviticus to write that shit, you are a big steaming heap of hairy cock.

As I've gotten older I've changed from Atheism to Agnosticism (although, reading the definition a bit more closely perhaps I'm more of an agnostic atheist). That's partly just I see no reason to think there is no possibility of God(s), and partly because a lot of the Atheists I met were so bitter and twisted they seemed to actively hate God (anti-theism?), and seemed to mirror the worse aspects of fundamentalist christians, which made me a mite uncomfortable, especially when some of the nicest people I know are committed christians.

In fact, I'd like to think that the world would be a better place if more christians were more christian. There was a hymn we used to sing at church whose refrain was simply "And they will know we are christian by our love". A few more people living with that in mind wouldn't go amiss.

Hmm. Can I change the name of this post to "I'm not racist - some of my best friends are Christians"?

Places you should go, even though you risk catching teh gay:
THE RUTHLESS GUIDE TO 80s ACTION (link stolen from Brain Stab)

The good oil from No Right Turn:
Lipstadt on Irving - which, quite frankly sounds like a movie they'd be plugging on the aforementioned Ruthless Reviews site, but is actually about free speech.

Satan sucks Music Industry cock:
US DoJ offers to jail copyright infringers

Are you really surprised?:
Cheerleading can kill: official - in the most convincing proof that God exists, that story provides a link to this story. Sweet zombie jesus, yes.

And finally, from the NZ Herald:
More abortion studies needed, says foundation

Ms Clements said the Canterbury research contrasted with a US study released in October which found no credible evidence that women who terminated a first pregnancy were at a higher risk of depression.

"The [US] study's authors found pre-existing mental health to be a better predictor of depression risk than abortion."
Family Planning national medical adviser Dr Christine Roke also cautioned against concluding abortions "caused" mental health problems.

"One of the difficulties with these findings is, we can't tell if it is because they have mental health problems or a tendency to mental health problems that they have chosen termination, rather than the termination causing the mental health problem," she said.

"While researchers made some effort to check out whether women had mental health problems at [the] time they were considering termination, it has been very difficult to allow for."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remembered hearing about this last year and just now googled the article... I must say I found it particularly interesting that the priest in question said that Signor Cascioli "couldn't see the sun in the sky," this being a metaphor for his disbelief in Christ. Interesting choice of words, considering Christianity's pagan origins as a solar cult. Yes, like Horus, Krishna, and Mithra, Jesus is the sun, his life symbolic of the sun's annual journey through the houses of the zodiac, his apostles, the zodiac signs themselves. I'm pretty sure the priest in question knows all about this, so the equation of Christ with the sun is no accident. By the way, I'm looking for a new word for agnosticism, since it's Greek root, agnosis, means ignorance. Surely it was the Christians who defined non-believers this way, but so-called agnosticism is far more enlightening than Christianity.