Jesus Christ! A Catholic priest has been challenged to prove in a court of law that Jesus Christ actually existed! And this, believe it or not, oh ye Roman Catholic secularists of India that is Bharat, is happening in the homeland of Christianity, Italy, where only the other day the Pope had called upon western Christians to breed more Christians.
An Italian by name Cascioli, who once studied to become a priest, became so disillusioned that he became an aggressive atheist and questioned Christ'shistorical existence, for which a priest called Father Righi denounced him. In retaliation Cascioli sued the Father to prove in court that Jesus Christ did in fact exist. This was three years ago, and at that time the judge had refused to take up the case, but now a superior court has ruled that Cascioli had a reasonable case, which is that the church is misleading the people, there is no evidence to prove Jesus lived in Palestine in the first century, and that all claims for the existence of Christ, other than the Bible, are made by authors who lived ?after the time of the hypothetical Jesus?, and so were not reliable witnesses.
God in heaven! A hypothetical Christ! And if Christ is hypothetical does that not make Christianity equally hypothetical? Satiricus is flummoxed. For so long our secularists have been telling him that only Hinduism is hocus-pocus. Will the poor dears now have to concede that it is really Christianity that is just a hypothesis, which, according to one of the meanings in the dictionary, means ?a groundless assumption??
But perhaps Satiricus is being less than fair to faithful Christians. For why should they be limited to just one Christ as one groundless assumption? Only the other week Satiricus had quoted in this column Dr Rajaram'sopinion, based on the deadly ?Dead Sea Scrolls?, that there could be no Christ on the one hand, but as many as three Christs on the other. And if there can be three Christs, why can'tthere be thirty Christs? So on what ground should one assume that Christianity is just one groundless assumption?
In the considered opinion of Satiricus every devout Christian should have the freedom to choose the groundless assumption of his own liking about the existence of Christ. And that won'tpose a problem, for ?Christ? was just a generic term meaning ?leader?, and Christianity, which had begun as an extremist Jewish sect a hundred years before Jesus, had actually quite a few leaders, called Christs, among whom, incidentally, it was not Jesus but his brother James who was the most prominent.
So in the present case Cascioli could well be defeated by Father Righi by showing to the court'ssatisfaction that rather than there being no Christ at all, there were as many Christs as Cascioli wanted. With the Dead Sea Scrolls as evidence, the verdict would be dead easy.