What an interesting year this looks to be for religious nutters. Not only will Revelations fanatics be focusing on the 6th June, for obvious reasons, a date that will also to see the release of the film The Beast, but at the end of January one Father Enrico Righi will appear in an Italian court in an attempt to prove that Jesus actually existed.
Luigi Cascioli, ex-priest, atheist and author of The Fable of Christ, has brought a case against Don Enrico Righi after the latter ridiculed Cascioli for querying whether Christ actually existed. Cascioli’s case is that there is no dependable or contemporary proof that Christ ever really lived, which makes Father Righi guilty of "an abuse of popular credulity" and the Roman Catholic hierarchy guilty of "substitution of persons" which, in Italy, are crimes.
On his website, and it’s well worth checking out, Luigi says: “ It is the first time in the history of mankind that a religion is prosecuted directly in a law case that will end with a verdict regarding specific and defined crimes, which is the abuse of popular credulity and belief (article 661, Italian criminal code) and the substitution of person (494, Italian criminal code). “
Judge Gaetano Mautone initially declined to hear the case until the court of appeal found that he was obligated to take up the case and that Father Righi had a case to answer. Consequently, the judge will ask Father Righi to provide proof that not only did the biblical Jesus live in the area we know as Palestine, but that he was also the son of God.
I’m not counting on this case going Cascioli’s way – just too much is at stake; the capitalist class risk losing too much of a weapon of subversion from their arsenal, but this case is going to be riveting for lapsed-catholics/atheists like myself to see the Jesus myth exposed to so much scrutiny, and in this respect it can’t do the case for Socialism any harm at all. When common sense takes a step forward, religion takes a step back
Also getting a lot of publicity at the moment is the film The God Who Wasn’t There. Check this site out - I'm sure Cascioli would approve! The film can actually be downloaded at http://www.newnova.org/ and at www.thepiratebay.org . This film, by Brian Flemming, who is also behind The Beast (above) claims to do for the Jesus myth what Bowling for Columbine did for the gun culture and Supersize Me did for the Big Mac.
Mark the 6th June in your diaries – looks to be an interesting day.