«We don't need to see this film [says Barbara Nicolosi see "Article"]. We all know what is in it. (Especially me, as I have read the screenplay.) It is a movie which begins from the point that Jesus was a fraud. He was not only not Divine, he was less than a man. ... »
We have all heard the saying, about something so bizarre that we just cannot relate to it: "Mad, Sad or Bad". Barbara Nicolosi is certainly not the first in the arena to notice that, if we decide not to accept Jesus as divine, the Son of God, then we cannot simply reduce him to an inspired Moral Teacher, however great. The determination of Jesus to convey to others not just his personal take on the Kingdom of Heavens, but also his personal role in it, albeit reluctantly, as Anointed King, and most of all as escatologic "Son of man" is so intimately intertwined with the Gospel, that the two cannot be separated.
And His Church is a sham association of megalomaniacal conspirators whose unifying principles involve the oppression of women. [BN]
The Christian religion, in spite of the efforts of "mystics" is totally depending on the historical truth (at least in its essential claims) of the picture of Jesus Christ that the Synoptic Gospels present us with. Also, the Christian religion simply cannot give up some "fundamental supernatural" tenets:
• the true and literal Sonship of Jesus from God, the father, and from Mary, the Blessed Virgin.
• the miracles the Jesus performed throughout his ministry, as a "sign", a witness to his appointment
• The Resurrection as fact, and not mere symbol of "spiritual rebirth."
I love how we Christians have moved from all agreeing that DVC is evil, to now arguing about what cultural engagement means. It is a plot twist worthy of The Da Vinci Code (if, you know, it were a really clever book with good plot points...) [BN]
Luigi Cascioli (see Wikipedia article ) is an Italian atheist and author of the book The Fable of Christ (see Cascioli's personal website ). When Cascioli was younger he trained to become a Roman Catholic priest, but during his training came to believe that Jesus never existed. He later expounded on this in his book, which further claims that Jesus was a fictionalisation of the historical John of Gamala (see Wikipedia article ).
In response to this book, in 2002, a local priest, Father Enrico Righi, published a critique of Cascioli in a church newsletter. On September 13, 2002, Cascioli filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church, and Father Righi in particular, for libel against him, and for breaking other laws, promoting fraud by proclaiming the truth of the existence of Christ.
Originally, the Italian judge threw out the case, but the Court of Appeal asserted that there was a genuine case to answer. On January 27, 2006, an Italian judge began taking initial hearings to decide whether the case should be allowed to come to court. On February 9, 2006, the judge again threw out the case and recommended an investigation of Cascioli for slander against Father Righi.
You may dismiss Cascioli's case as a farce. But for one thing, he has already appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg). And for another, the Church will simply have to take an active role in the whole affair, if she wants to retain any credibility.
The very idea that at the core of the message of the Christian Church there is nothing but a fictional character would be destructive, in the short rather than the long run.
This, and no other is also the sense of the "Da Vinci Challenge".