With great ballyhoo (and a keen eye for the fast buck) Hollywood has announced it has discovered Jesus’ tomb. It has also found Jesus’ wife and son – who didn’t exist until now except in fiction.
But just as Hollywood was getting up a head of steam Good Morning America (3-6-07) did them one better. The movies found Jesus’ crypt; television found Jesus himself alive and well in the suburbs of Puerto Rico. Television’s Jesus turns out to be a San Juan tele-evangelist who says – with a straight face – he’s the Second Coming Incarnate.
If television were mocking Hollywood the irony of finding Jesus in San Juan would be pretty rich. But the ones being mocked are the Christians. It turns out they’ve been snookered by a Puerto Rican con man and they’ve been wrong about Jesus for two thousand years.
Let’s step back a moment and consider Hollywood mogul James Cameron’s Last Tomb of Jesus from a different perspective. Obviously, Christians are fair game. But what about Muslims? Can anyone imagine Hollywood making a documentary that ‘proves’ Mohammad was a fakir? No. To attack Mohammad would be bigoted, ethnically biased and disrespectful of Muslims’ deepest religious beliefs.
With Hollywood’s help we have done something completely unique in history. This may be the first time – since time immemorial – when a nation has denigrated its own peoples’ religious beliefs, while demanding that other religions be treated with respect and reverence. We mock Christ but honor Mohammed. This is no small feat. It turns faith on its head.
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