Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On finding the bones of Jesus

Mark Steel is on form this morning commenting on the claim that the bones of Jesus have been discovered in Jerusalem.

"But just as it's futile to search for proof of the Bible's authority, it's also pointless trying to disprove it. Because people believe in heavenly Gods for earthly reasons. So if the material world demands they work on the sabbath they will, and they'll re-interpret their scripture accordingly. The Borgias, the Spanish Inquisition, the Mafia, Bush and Blair have happily interpreted one of the commandments as '"Thou shalt only kill if you really think the bastard deserves it."

Equally, religious followers can adapt their faith to justify and inspire the most heroic acts. Muhammad Ali, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, and almost every rebel movement in history, have explained their motives in religious terms, and have been less cynical than a director claiming to have found the bones of Jesus.

Or maybe the DNA tests will prove this really was him. In which case Blair will be the first to congratulate him, saying, "This shows how we would all benefit if messiahs were compelled to have DNA records taken and kept by the local praetorian guard on a national database." "

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