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Sometimes predicting the future is just too easy
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Saturday, February 24, 2007

James Cameron has a new film. The plot is interesting: what if it could be proven that Jesus was never resurrected?

And here's the kicker. It's a documentary. From the Time Magazine article:
In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected —the cornerstone of Christian faith— and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem.
When this hits the Discovery channel, I'd say we can reliably expect a couple of things:

1. There will be no Christian leader that calls for Cameron to be put to death.

2. Some Islamic theologist will say this proves that Mohammed was right about Jesus just being a prophet, and that therefore "All you Christians should just come on over and convert to Islam."

Now, granted, it's not much of a stretch to predict these things. But, at least for the first one, that's kind of the point.

After the Mohammed cartoons, we've seen how easily a fair number of Islamic leaders and their followers can be enraged. And some of our friends on the left keep telling us that Christian fundamentalism is just as bad as Islamic fundamentalism, so we ought to see thousands of Christians marching in the streets, people killed in riots, Christian theologians calling for the death of Cameron, etc. But we won't. This would be a useful lesson to some on the left on how silly their typical moral equivalence is, if they would pay attention to it.

I actually don't have a problem with #2. It would be the religious equivalent of the PC vs. Mac commercials. But, hey, to look like a proper fortune-teller, I needed one more sure thing, so I took it.

Now, this film would be a great time for moderate Muslims to point out to their more fanatic co-religionists the appropriate way to respond to something that could be considered sacriligious. I'd love to see a lot of that, but I'm not predicting it as a sure thing. It's far too iffy.
 
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I’m sure it would be just as effective a recruiting poster for Judaism. :)
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Predict the sequel documentary showing that the Prophet did not ascend to heaven from Al-Aqsa mosque will not be as successful.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
And some of our friends on the left keep telling us that Christian fundamentalism is just as bad as Islamic fundamentalism,
This is one of those points that has been repeated on the Left side of the internet so often and for so many years that it has become almost like boilerplate language in legal documents: Doing a post on jihadists? Gotta drop in the boilerplate language about how they are the Muslim equivalent of the Religious Right.

The problem is that it is based on a fundamental (excuse the pun) misconception. The fact is, the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are "fundamentalists" in the sense in which the word is usually applied to American Christians. The "apples to apples" comparison would be between the radical jihadist terrorists and abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph.

Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven makes the distinction clear in his book about Islamists, A FURY FOR GOD: THE ISLAMIST ATTACK ON AMERICA (Granta books, 2002):
American fundamentalists are law-abiding, political conservatives who use their voting power - in elections or in local community structures such as school boards - to express their religiously based concerns. Most are biblical literalists insisting, for example, that the account of creation in the Book of Genesis is scientifically true, that Adam and Eve were real people and that Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead.

Many Muslims - indeed the vast majority - share such ’fundamentalist’ attitudes in so far as they believe the Quran to be the unmediated word of God dictated to Muhammed, without human editing. The Islamists, however, go much further than their American counterparts in defending their literalist positions."
Yeah, no kidding. American fundamentalists get on school boards and try to keep HEATHER’S TWO MOMMIES out of the school library. Their sensibilities are comparable to those of most of the world’s billions of Muslims. The Islamists just go ahead and kill authors who offend them. They are not just Muslim Jerry Falwells.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Side note related to my comment above:
The "apples to apples" comparison would be between the radical jihadist terrorists and abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph.

When Rudolph was bombing abortion clinics I never heard anyone on the Left opine that the best way to stop the terrorism would be to "address the root cause."
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I don’t mean to downplay your predictive powers, but couldn’t one of the reasons that Christians won’t flip out about this movie be that such a movie is bound to be, uh, kinda dumb? I mean, he’s going to "prove" that Jesus wasn’t resurrected by showing us a hole in the ground and telling us it was Jesus’s tomb? And millions of people who base their whole lives and belief systems on the idea that he did rise (raise?) from the dead are just going to throw up their hands and go "boy, you sure showed us"?

The insults that make you the maddest are the ones that have a ring of truth to them. If most Christians view this movie as ridiculous as it sounds, no wonder they won’t rise (raise?) up and demand Cameron’s head on a platter.
 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
I don’t mean to downplay your predictive powers, but couldn’t one of the reasons that Christians won’t flip out about this movie be that such a movie is bound to be, uh, kinda dumb?
Sure. But the Mohammed cartoons were pretty dumb too. They were not particularly well done. I don’t see why they were taken seriously. Yet they incited riots, death threats, etc.

In essense, the cartoons were used to stir up enmity among radical Muslims, and it worked because it’s pretty easy to get them stirred up. I don’t see any equivalent in the Christian community, even among the fundamentalists.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
When Rudolph was bombing abortion clinics I never heard anyone on the Left opine that the best way to stop the terrorism would be to "address the root cause."
Imagine what they would have said had the hijackers flown the planes into abortion clinics.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10 coffins belong to Jesus and his family.
This is my favorite line from the Time piece. DNA tests? I can just see the scene on Jerry Springer: God and Joseph sitting in opposite chairs as the results of the paternity tests are announced...
 
Written By: George
URL: http://
Paging Geraldo Rivera, paging Geraldo Rivera, empty room for you in the Holy Land, needs hype.

Is this going to be like the finding Atlantis documentaries, or the Holy Grail documentaries where the equipment (which they claim is used constantly in commercial ventures) mysteriously malfunctions at the appropriate time, like we’re watching the show live?

And, well, the viewers will just have to reach their own conclusions, because, well, there won’t actually be any real evidence of anything, but it coulda been true, really!

Reminds me of fake but accurate documents, except no one will get fired.

As to the Christians, safe bet, no embassies will burn, no crusades will be called for.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Geraldo Rivera here, I’m set to open Jesus’s vault.

Any bets they’ll find Judge Crater, Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart in there, too?
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
"But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests,"

Jesus had a record? Did this have something to do with the sex crimes that blogger Marcotte(?) was talking about? Is he naming the documentary " CSI Mazareth?"

I predict the reaction to this film about Jesus will be much less contentious than the reaction to Mel Gibson’s film about Jesus. Has a film ever been made about Mohammed? Who would play the lead now that Charlton Heston isn’t available?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Who would play the lead now that Charlton Heston isn’t available?
They’ll just CGI him in, using old footage from Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Has a film ever been made about Mohammed?
Yes. The Message starring Anthony Quinn (of Lawrence of Arabia fame). It’s actually a pretty good movie (the musical score won an Academy Award and I believe they had a few other nominations, as well), although some of the acting is a bit overdone.
Who would play the lead now that Charlton Heston isn’t available?

Lol. Actually the rumor at the time of release was that Heston would play the lead. Mohammed (SAW) is not depicted physically in the film (image or voice), per Muslim beliefs about the depiction of prophets. Anytime that his participation in a scene is required, the other characters simply address the camera. This actually works better in practice than me describing it.
They’ll just CGI him in, using old footage from Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments.
Believe it or not, that’s actually been done with Steve McQueen after permission was obtained to use his image from his estate. Although kind of creepy, it does certainly open up a whole new avenue for directors to go in, in terms of casting.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
"But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests,"

What test did he do, a paternity test? I would love to hear how he got a sample of God’s DNA.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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