In a recent column on the “lost tomb of Jesus,” Frank Pastore observes ,
Poor James Cameron. He wanted some of that Da Vinci Code action so badly that he jumped on a 27 year old story line that everyone else in Hollywood had wisely passed on. He ignored so many early warning signs, too. When he was hav-ing trouble early on finding A, B, or even C list “scientific experts” who were willing to throw their careers away if they would only validate his silly theories Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and they all continued saying no Ã¢â‚¬â€œ he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let that slow him down one bit. He pressed on and signed the minor league guys. And later, when the best he could come up with for his advance publicity hook was to claim statistically similar names and unrelated DNA samples Ã¢â‚¬â€œ He still didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pull the plug Ã¢â‚¬â€œ even though any-one who has ever seen just one episode of CSI is sharp enough to spit out the bait. More astute critics simply repeated what the original archeologist on the scene had pointed out: that a poor family from Bethlehem could never afford a mid-dle-class tomb in which to place the ossuaries in Jerusalem, especially during a famine, and that the names on the boxes were far too common to jump to any conclusions about having found The Jesus Family Tomb.
Yes, I remember that “lost tomb of Jesus” canard kicking around in the early Eighties. The problems were so obvious that the story sank out of sight. See, it was one of those stories where, as Pastore notes, a person ofÃ‚Â average intelligence can see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrong. Remember, JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ family were so poor that they had to bring two doves (pigeons) to the Temple when they presented him – the lowest offering a poor family could bring, intended as a concession to extreme poverty. (It made sense. Anyone capable of producing a son and getting him to the Temple could presumably find a way to catch two pigeons … ) So these were not people who had money or a family tomb. And they had common names, so finding all these names together is no clincher.
The project principals would seem to be orthodox Jews, but the interesting part is the Discovery Channel’s role in all this. Pastore describes this story – accurately, I think – as “the requisite hit piece on Christianity that weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all grown accustomed to” in time for Easter, adding “Shame on you if you ever trust the Discovery Channel to teach your kids anything ever again.”Ã‚Â
Well now, that raises some interesting issues.
One way that many Christians in science have tried to avoid addressing either the current atheist putschÃ‚Â or materialist media hostility to Christianity (and all other non-materialist points of view) has been to announce that other Christians (the ID guys in particular) have bought into a “warfare thesis.” It is all their fault that science concepts are currently used to bash religion. If only they would just shut up and take what is handed out to them …
Such v oices are gladly heard – despite the fact that it would be hard to think of a point of view on the subject that is so much at odds with observable reality. There is in fact a war on – not between science and religion but between materialism and evidence. Materialists, who have a deathgrip on science, use it to assault any perspective that may harbour evidence against materialism.
Not only are science concepts regularly used to bash religion (in particular, Christianity), but notice two things: First, people have come to merely expect the bashing at key points like Easter.
The response from churchianity? Lame excuses, like “Christians have to face up to problems with the Gospel message.” Problems, yes. But nonsense? Streams of nonsense? Streams of nonsense on a big budget? Sponsored by major media organizations?
Second, it is no longer even thought necessary to find good stories to tell. The “lost tomb of Jesus” is not a good story.* So – if the warfare thesis is incorrect, why is the Discovery Channel fronting this stuff?
Now, I take the view that people do not deliberately run lame stories when they could run hot ones. So we can assume, I think, that no hot anti-Christian story has emerged, despite a pretty intense search.
The reality is that, as the recent attempt to institutionalize atheism – sponsored by major ultra-Darwinists – demonstrates, there is a war on. People who can’t deal with that fact drone on about a “warfare thesis” and accept lionization for their cowardice. The time for pushback never comes, it seems. But what else is new?
*No, “Mary Magdalene and Jesus” wasn’t a very good story either, in the strictly historical sense. But … Brown performed the brilliant manoeuvre of sheltering himself in the fiction aisle by telling it as a yarn. As a yarn, it worked. These “lost tomb” guys apparently couldn’t do anything clever like that.