Italian Man Sues Church over Existance of Jesus

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Italian Man Sues Church over Existance of Jesus

Postby prophile » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:34 pm

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ROME (Reuters) - Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- 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.

"I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

"Since I'm a priest, and I write in the parish newspaper, he is now suing me because I 'trick' the people."

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.

"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.

"It would take a miracle to win," he joked.


Discuss.
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Postby Rkiver » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:40 pm

Is there not records from Roman times showing the order to execute a Jesus of Nazareth?
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Postby prophile » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:45 pm

I believe there are very definite proofs in records of the *existance* of Jesus.
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Postby edd8990 » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:18 pm

I believe that people keep saying that, but I've never seen a link to them. The earlist evidence I've seen of Christ is from 100 years after his death.

I wish this case would win, but it wont.
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Postby xander » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:20 pm

prophile wrote:I believe there are very definite proofs in records of the *existance* of Jesus.

Actually, there are very few proofs that he existed. Basically, the Bible is about it. The census alluded to in the Bible (around the time of Jesus' birth) didn't actually take place until many years later (about the time the Gospels were being written).

And prophile: yay for posting weeks old news from the ASW boards! :P

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Postby prophile » Mon Feb 06, 2006 7:29 pm

xander: Lies!

edd8990: I think he just wants to advertise his book.
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Postby doormat » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:40 pm

The Romans kept meticulous records, and so did the jews. There is evidence of the execution of a Jewish rabbi for treason (i.e. - claiming to be a king), but his name is not recorded. The census did happen at around the right time, and there is a Joseph and his betrothed of the house of david - in fact, several. It was a common name, and women and children weren't named in the census.

The most concrete evidence is a referance in passing to a Jesus of Nazareth preaching among the jews, once again Roman, in a private letter.

On the other hand, there are no records in the Jewish texts. At all. Nada. And they kept records that were almost as good as the Roman ones. So maybe the Jews erased their records, or maybe the Romans invented theirs in the christan period. We have no way of knowing.

This is why it's called a religion.
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Postby prophile » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:57 pm

Whether or not Jesus existed, I'm still disgusted by the way this man has used the law to pimp his book.
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Postby xander » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:00 pm

prophile wrote:Whether or not Jesus existed, I'm still disgusted by the way this man has used the law to pimp his book.

I entirely agree on that count. And, I think, it strikes a great blow against seperation of church and state, and against aethism. There is no way that he can win -- to win, he would fundamentally have to prove that Jesus (a) did not exist and (b) was not the son of God. You just can't prove a thing like that. Just a bad move, all around.

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Postby prophile » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:19 pm

The worst thing is that everyone will buy his book to find out what's so worth selling anyway :x
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Postby Lowell » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:06 pm

Well, I have done allot of research on this. Jesus is written to have lived during those years. It is written in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I have three books on the deciphering of the scrolls and they basically they seem to be a history book written by Jewish Rabbi’s and historians of the times. An expert I am not however the scrolls say Jesus was a political figure who wanted Rome out and when they pulled out Jesus wanted control, just like his Jewish friend Harrods. He seemed to be more pf a political figure from what I've read. Remember back then life was pretty dull. Sand storms and bugs were the talk of the day. Everything that was weird in life or scary was from the "gods." Buda was the first to walk on water, Jesus wandered around and saw the world as it were and met him and studied from him...funny though 500 years after Jesus died some guy named Mohamed who was a nomad and a beggar, reported to have been also a thief, says "He's" the guy sent from God. “For some reason I believe God is big enough to speak for himself and what he thinks is man should grownup and stop whining. Is a Father more happy to have a son who complains and whines and gets what he wants or one who works hard and does for himself and others and succeeds?” That much is written, it also talks in the tune that Jesus was militant in his endeavors, causing trouble and getting the local Jewish communities to dislike the Romans and causing trouble for the Romans. Many of the outlying Romans in charge were getting yelled at for not getting their "quota" from their occupied regions. An unhappy crowd brings low production. If I’m not mistaken this was near the time of the Boxer Revolution in China too…a brutal time on the planet..
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Postby xander » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:35 pm

Lowell wrote:If I’m not mistaken this was near the time of the Boxer Revolution in China too…a brutal time on the planet..

If I recall correctly, the Boxer Rebellion took place at the end of the 19th century AD.

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Postby Rkiver » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:06 am

Were the Dead Sea Scrolls not the Old Testament though? Ie nothing to do with Jesus and co?
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Postby prophile » Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:10 am

I agree with Rkiver, I thought the Dead Sea Scrolls were Old Testament.
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Postby Lowell » Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:59 am

yeah, it just came to mind...did some reading a long time ago on it. I'm not sure what the asian countries were doing at that time. I do think they trade though.

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