Monday, February 26, 2007

Cameron's Cash-Grab

A storm is on the horizon. My trick knee is acting up and it’s telling me that this one is going to be ugly.

“Titanic” director James Cameron is planning to release a documentary that alleges that ossuaries (boxes in which people’s bones were placed after their bodies had decayed) that were excavated in Israel in the 1980s are those of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the children they had together. (The idea being that if Jesus' body was discovered it would somehow "prove" that he was not crucified, resurrected, and ascended to heaven.) This film will premier just before Easter. Coincidence? I think not.

From a purely historical standpoint the fact that he’s doing this is quite silly. The inscriptions on the ossuaries were very faint and took archeologists years to decipher, and there is still no consensus on what the names really are. Even if the name “Jesus” is inscribed on the box, what does it prove? “Jesus” was a very common name at the time. Its English equivalent is “Josh”.

The real issue here is the fact that James Cameron is being highly opportunistic. He saw all the fuss over “The DaVinci Code” (which, by the way, was a work of fiction that claimed no theological or historical basis) and realized that stirring up a bit of religious controversy gets you lots of free publicity. It’s a good way to make a whole lot of money.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that James Cameron doesn’t care whether Jesus was resurrected or not. He’s gladly exploiting the fact that the Christian right will get up in arms and give him tons of free publicity. He knows that mega-churches will have multipart sermon series that dispute his claims and offer “proof” that the resurrection is a historical fact. He knows that televangelists will call for boycotts and a few people may even burn effigies of him. And the more they call him a heretic the more he gets paid. He’s laughing all the way to the bank, and the Christian right is playing into his hands.


John said...

Yes, that's pretty much it -- Cameron is making a sure bet on how the Perpetually Outraged will fill his coffers.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It's amazing the kind of muck people will toss for a buck. Sad world. Pray for James Cameron; God ain't done with him yet.