Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hunting Season For Christianity

I'm not sure, but I think the scorecard works this way:
  • Criticizing Judaism (religion) is not cool, but criticizing Jews (ethnic group) is OK.
  • Criticizing Israel is OK--in fact feel free! (Being called an Anti-Semite is a badge of honor).
  • Criticizing Christianity, which is a religion but not an ethnicity, is OK.
  • Criticizing Arabs is OK, at least when they are overseas--and besides, it's the West's fault.
  • Criticizing Muslims is an open invitation to CAIR and calls for 'sensitivity training'
That would explain James Cameron's latest movie and its subject
Titanic' director James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, a filmmaker-archaeologist, are set to unveil three coffins this week that they say are those of Jesus, Mary and Mary Magdalene. In an coming documentary, Cameron and Jacobovici cite "scientific evidence" that the resurrection of Jesus never happened and that Jesus fathered a son named Judah with Mary Magdalene.

Such claims should, and surely will, be met with overwhelming skepticism. For example, the filmmakers use DNA tests to build their case - but whose DNA is being compared with whose? Did they swab the Holy Ghost?

If, as seems likely, the conclusions prove somewhat less than airtight, the most instructive aspect of the film will be the public's reaction to it.

Cameron and Jacobovici will mortally offend many Christians. Some critics will personally vilify them, while others question their motives and integrity.

But prominent Christian clergymen won't issue any death warrants, and the Vatican won't call upon "all believing Christians" to avenge the insult. Neither Cameron nor Jacobovici will have to spend the next decade or so in hiding.

Now imagine if they'd gone after Mohammad instead of Jesus . . .
I wrote a post last year about an article by David Klinghoffer that suggested Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code would legitimize, if not encourage, the idea of secret cabals and conspiracy theories in a way that could ultimately render The Protocols less objectionable.

Put aside any animus towards religion in general or Christianity in particular. The media--including Hollywood--knows that Christianity is a safe target and Islam is not. Cameron's movie rides on the coattails of Dan Brown's success and knows whose religion is fair game and whose is not. Still, having such blatant attacks on religion under the guise of 'entertainment' may eventually render Islam a bit less untouchable--and if that is true in terms of criticizing aspects of text and theology (72 virgins vs. 72 raisins), maybe it will become more acceptable to talk openly about--and discuss--what jihadism is really all about and Islam's history of conquering other countries.

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