Thursday, January 05, 2006

And now from the "Frivolous Lawsuits Around the World" department and Yahoo! News...

Sudiegirl sez: This post is dedicated to LGF, who was upset about this case. I am too, but I decided to fight stupidity (the plaintiff) with humor (i.e. my wit). So enjoy!

Did Jesus exist? Italian court to decide
(Now see, right there I have a problem. How come this particular court gets to decide? Why not the court in Poughkeepsie, or Truth or Consequences, New Mexico?)

By Phil Stewart
Wed Jan 4, 10:28 PM ET
Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution. (Done and done.)

An Italian court is tackling Jesus (Not very Christian-like behavior)-- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.

The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.

The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.
(This is an other concept I can't help visualizing..."legal wrangling". I see judges in their robes and lawyers in expensive suits on a dusty Texas ranch ropin' and brandin' the elusive "Habeas Corpus" in eight seconds or less. Also, how does one become a vocal atheist? Is private study involved? Probably cuts gigs in half since a vocal atheist wouldn't perform at a church wedding.)

"I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters
(Is that legal-ese for "because I said so, nanny-nanny-boo boo"?).

Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is "Sostituzione di Persona", or impersonation. (Well, if that's the case, I think the next defendant should be Chef Boy Ar Dee...he's always been portrayed as being Italian, but nobody's really confirmed that he is.)

"The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," Cascioli claimed, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army.
(Considering the age of this guy, he may have gone to high school with John of Gamala.)

A court in Viterbo will hear from Righi, who has yet to be indicted, at a January 27 preliminary hearing meant to determine whether the case has enough merit to go forward.

"In my book, The Fable of Christ, I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ's existence," Cascioli said.
(A-HA! It's nothing more than a book tour! The truth comes out. He should be ashamed for clogging up the Italian courts for a personal-appearance tour. Apparently SOMEONE thinks he's too good for Barnes and Noble.)

Speaking to Reuters, Righi, 76, sounded frustrated by the case and baffled as to why Cascioli -- who, like him, came from the town of Bagnoregio -- singled him out in his crusade against the Church.

"We're both from Bagnoregio, both of us. We were in seminary together. Then he took a different path and we didn't see each other anymore," Righi said.
(I think it's either because of a woman, a car, or a monetary debt. Hell, it works in sitcoms or soap operas!)

"Since I'm a priest, and I write in the parish newspaper, he is now suing me because I 'trick' the people."
(So does Chef Boy Ar Dee...or is that just my theory?)

Righi claims there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus, including historical texts.

He also claims that justice is on his side. The judge presiding over the hearing has tried, repeatedly, to dismiss the case -- prompting appeals from Cascioli.
(Well, at least I'm not the only one that thinks this case needs to leave the court so more serious things - like Chef Boy Ar Dee - can be addressed.)

"Cascioli says he didn't exist. And I said that he did," he said. "The judge will to decide if Christ exists or not."

Even Cascioli admits that the odds are against him, especially in Roman Catholic Italy.
(You bet your sweet Christian bippy.)

"It would take a miracle to win," he joked. (Well, if you don't believe Jesus exists, how can you believe in miracles? You can't just turn it on and off like a faucet.)

Sudiegirl's final opinion?

Yes, I poked fun. But really, I don't think this is an issue that should be tried in any courtroom. If you believe, you believe. If you don't, you don't. I personally believe in God and Jesus. I have been ANGRY at them many times for events, but I have still believed in them. That's part of the Christian experience, and I would like to think that superior beings can handle anger from one person.

If someone doesn't believe in Jesus, it's not up to me to throw words at him or her to MAKE them believe. It's up to me to be their friend, and care about them and pray for them even if they don't believe in the same God I do. If they want to learn more about Christianity, I'll do my best to help them do so. If they're happy the way they are, I'm not going to change them. I'm still going to care about them.

It's a big world, and people who say they believe in Jesus tend to forget that Jesus didn't hang out with people just like him. He hung out with tax collectors, the diseased, the friendless, prostitutes, the "untouchables". Therefore, in my opinion, this court case is senseless. Let this other guy think what he wants...but he shouldn't tie up Italy's taxes and time with this. It's not meant for a courtroom; rather, it's meant for your heart.

I know my three entries today have dealt with religion, and I'm not going to apologize for it. It happened, I did my thing, and now it's up to you to form your own opinions.