‘Holy Grail’ Category Archives
by Lesa Bellevie in Da Vinci Code, Mary Magdalene, Media sightings, Sacred Union
I was happy to see the following article at Everything Alabama this morning (from The Birmingham News):
Jungian realizes pull of `Da Vinci’
by Kathy Kemp
Birmingham resident, Nancy Qualls-Corbett, is a Jungian psychologist whose perspective on ideas of masculine and feminine principles/qualities I find deeply interesting. Author of The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine, it seems to me that Qualls-Corbett has come the closest to putting her finger on why Margaret Starbird’s “sacred union” mythology has struck a nerve in our society. From the article:
She’s particularly interested in Mary Magdalene’s role in the story and the world’s increasing fascination with her. “My speculation is that people are seeing the need for balance in the world, and that would be the feminine side – of relating to each other, of appreciating the arts as well as science.”
A vast simplification, but very in line with my thinking as well.
Dr. Qualls-Corbett is giving a lecture in Birmingham on Friday; details are in the article.
by Lesa Bellevie in Apostle, Da Vinci Code, Mary Magdalene, Media sightings, Sacred Union, Traditional
The cover story in the coming week’s issue of Newsweek (available online now) is devoted to Mary Magdalene:
An Inconvenient Woman
by Jonathan Darman
Taking an angle in favor of the modern feminist position on Mary Magdalene, Darman makes an effort to trace Mary Magdalene’s history in Christianity and Western culture. He begins by quoting from the resurrection narrative in John and then from the Gospel of Mary, emphasizing the importance that she had to the earliest Christians as an apostle and leader. Then comes the pivot:
Why, then, did this woman, whom the New Testament tells us was Jesus’ constant companion and whom the Gnostics claim was privileged above all others, disappear after the resurrection? If Mary were so important to Jesus, why is there no mention of her in Acts, or in the Epistles?
Focusing first on the rivalry between Peter and Mary in the Gnostic texts, Darman then makes an unusual correlation. The Jesus that Mary encountered in the garden (“unrecognizable, untouchable”) could be seen as supportive of docetic beliefs, and the risen Jesus encountered by the male apostles (“Handle me and see me…for a spirit hath not hands and flesh”) represented faith in a bodily resurrection. Going on to mention Constantine’s rise to power as the impetus that sent Gnostic monks scrambling to bury their sacred texts, we’re led to believe that the rift that occurred within Christianity over Christ’s nature was related to the conflict between orthodox Christianity and Gnosticism, at the beginning of which were Peter and Mary Magdalene. When Constantine won, therefore, Mary Magdalene lost.
Fearing that bishops enforcing the new orthodoxy would destroy the texts, monks tried to erase all evidence of the Gnostic tradition. They buried the Gospels, with their powerful portrait of Mary Magdalene, in the sand.
The early Church, of course, went on a patriarchal rampage to oppress women in general, and Darman trots out some of the usual suspects: Paul’s letter to the Ephesians on women submitting to their husbands, Tertullian’s “because of you [women] even the Son of God had to die” in his On Women’s Attire, and finally, Pope Gregory the Great’s 6th century homily. Darman lays the blame for Mary Magdalene’s bad reputation squarely at Gregory’s feet:
Gregory created the prostitute, as if from thin air.
I’ve never had any argument with the notion that the Church fathers were misogynistic; they most obviously were, as were most other men of the time. Again, my familiar refrain: Christianity didn’t invent patriarchy. There is no evidence that Mary Magdalene’s reputation was constructed wholesale in an effort to promote a male domination agenda in spite of the fact that it was advantageous to such ends. In this case, Mary Magdalene was a very convenient woman.
Karen King is quoted by Darman in the article. While Dr. King has my utmost respect, I do differ with her and her colleagues on a couple of points. First, their now-standard position on the origin of Mary Magdalene’s reputation, which I touched on above. Second, there is the issue of Mary Magdalene’s newly-appreciated role as wife and mother. For feminist scholars everywhere, this seems to be anathema. Not only because it lacks historical merit, however, but also because it is sexual.
It has taken me quite some time to want to discuss the issue of Mary Magdalene and gender politics here, simply because I do respect the scholars who have written and spoken on this subject. While I agree fully with their assertion that there is no compelling evidence that Mary Magdalene was married, to Jesus or anyone else, much less that she bore any children, I have to step back when people are criticized for holding such thoughts because they are demeaning.
“Why do we feel the need to desexualize Mary?” wonders Karen King, author of “The Gospel of Mary of Magdala.” “We’ve gotten rid of the myth of the prostitute. Now there’s this move to see her as wife and mother. Why isn’t it adequate to see her as disciple and perhaps apostle?”
Note that she doesn’t ask why people insist on holding such beliefs in spite of history, she asks why we can’t appreciate Mary Magdalene as she does, that is, desexualized. The source of female power appears to be acceptable only when it springs from the same sources as male power: authority, leadership, witness. When the source of a woman’s power is her body, it is somehow viewed as illegitimate. Mary Magdalene, in her role as apostle and leader, is acceptable to more conservative feminists because it places her on equal footing with the male disciples. Mary Magdalene, in her legendary role of wife and mother (and prostitute), is problematic because she is being remembered as a woman.
Here is a potentially shocking observation that I’ve made in the last few years: many women enjoy being women. They want to be acknowledged for their reproductive abilities as well as for their intellectual prowess. Where fifty years ago women may have rightfully asked, “do you love me only for my body?” they now may ask if they are wrong for wanting to be loved for anything but their minds. Darman says:
Indeed, for all its revolutionary claims, “The Da Vinci Code” is remarkably old-fashioned, making Mary important for her body more than her mind. In the movie, we see a stricken, shadowy Magdalene with swollen belly being spirited out of Jerusalem by a crowd of attendant men. But we never hear her voice. “The Da Vinci Code” seems to think that the secret tradition of Mary Magdalene speaks to the carnal. In reality, it tells of something far more subversive: the intellectual equality of the sexes. The current Magdalene cult still focuses on her sexuality even though no early Christian writings speak of her sexuality at all.
I wonder, has Darman actually talked to the current Magdalene cult? Or is he simply reading the media reports that obsessively question whether or not Jesus could have been married to Mary Magdalene? If he had taken the time to talk to some bona fide Mary Magdalene “cultists,” he might have heard tales about how thinking of Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ equal and complement is empowering for women who struggle with their everyday relationships with (gasp) men. In spite of Karen King’s witty observation, made more than once since 2003, that viewing Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ wife “makes her the poster child for heterosexual marriage,” most women in America are heterosexual, and they don’t have a solid understanding of history or feminist theory (as I am probably demonstrating here). Not only that, but they continue to struggle within unequal relationships, not only in marriage, but with fathers, brothers, bosses, priests, car mechanics, computer salesmen, and the list goes on. When Jane Doe encounters sexism, she doesn’t always know the approved feminist response. If viewing Mary Magdalene as a woman who could teach, lead, witness at the same time as being loving and nurturing, where is the harm? How is this demeaning? This is, after all, the kind of life that modern women lead.
We’re bringing home the bacon, and by the heavens, we’re still frying it up in a pan. We’re paying bills, buying houses, and wiping snotty noses. Some of us, along with our more enlightened male partners, are attempting to learn how the exchange of traditionally masculine and feminine characteristics may wax and wane within a more egalitarian relationship. Some of us revel in the power that we wield in the boardroom and in the labor and delivery ward.
So yes, a female saint who is sexual is entirely necessary. The important distinction is that today, it is women who are defining Mary Magdalene’s legendary sexual identity. Men promoted a prostitute for women to look up to, and we’ve since discovered a woman red in human experience: strong, independent, intelligent, and sensual. The legendary Magdalene is everything the Virgin was and more, and regardless of the dubious relationship her legend has to history, there is a reason why mythology moves us. Perhaps feminists would be well advised to ask why women are the ones to “re-sexualize” Mary Magdalene. Sure, we could point fingers at Baigent, Lincoln and Leigh, but it was Margaret Starbird who lit the fire of Mary Magdalene as sacred feminine. It was Dan Brown’s book that brought it to such popular attention, but the ideas that are moving women were developed by a woman. (More on that another day; Starbird has been criticized for unwittingly reinforcing ancient attitudes about men and women.) Men aren’t the ones holding women’s retreats and workshops all over the country to learn about a Mary Magdalene who was as complex as they are.
As I’ve said before, there is more to this than history. And certainly, there is more to it than what is politically correct. If I hope to accomplish anything with this post, it is to point out that the complexity of Mary Magdalene’s appeal far exceeds what appears in popular news media, and that there are some potential pitfalls in the current feminist understanding of same.
by Lesa Bellevie in Bloodline, Da Vinci Code, Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, Movie reviews, Sacred Union
Today, in spite of a mean headcold, I caught a matinee showing of The Da Vinci Code. I probably would have waited to see it, but darn that Fandango.com, they just make it too easy to buy tickets in advance. I purchased them on Thursday just in case the theater was sold out, given that this is the opening weekend for the “biggest film event of the year.” I needn’t have worried; the theater was only filled to about 60% of capacity.
The most remarkable thing I can say about the movie is that it played out on the screen almost exactly like it played out in my head as I read Dan Brown’s novel. Now, this can mean a couple of things. Either Dan Brown is very good at generating in his readers the setting he has in mind, or Ron Howard was so painstakingly faithful to the book that not a prop was out of place. Perhaps both possibilities are true, but whatever the case, the end result is that I watched the movie feeling like I had already seen it. Sure, it was fun to see Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen and Jean Reno acting out the characters that had mostly remained faceless in my mind’s eye, but I was also perfectly comfortable getting up for some popcorn during the film without feeling like I would miss anything important.
Dull, plodding, boring, literalistic; these are all adjectives used by critics when referring to the movie. I had hoped that having lived my life with DVC for the last few years would have rendered the experience a bit more exciting, but what I found was that the criticisms of the movie were perfectly warranted. I was impressed by the film’s deft avoidance of the more controversial dialogue in the novel, though, and was almost interested by a few flashbacks of a pregnant Mary Magdalene with curly red hair. I’ll admit that the hair on the back of my neck stood up at least once during a couple of dramatic pans of Mary Magdalene’s sarcophagus, heightened as they were by a fantastic film score. Magdalene’s alabaster jar even made more than one appearance in the movie, but tragically, it contained a single red rose. (Could there be anything more cliché than a single, long-stemmed red rose, under any circumstance? Hello, Phantom of the Opera. Why not a lily? It would have even been appropriate given the importance placed on the fleur-de-lis in the story.)
The buzz on the Mary Magdalene email lists about the movie is generally supportive. A few people have gushed about how beautiful and empowering it is to see the sacred feminine making such an appearance in popular culture, but it just didn’t have that vibe for me. It felt tired. Overwrought. Milked dry. When I left the theater with my husband, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the movie will do more to end the DVC phenomenon than to perpetuate it. It was as preachy as the book, minus the action and excitement. Although I suppose it is a cultural marker to see goddess-worship and Christianity mingled in this manner on the big screen, it didn’t feel momentous in the least. As the audience filed out after one of the most anti-climactic final scenes ever, I caught mumbles of how long and boring the experience had been.
My advice? Wait for DVC on DVD.
by Lesa Bellevie in Da Vinci Code, Mary Magdalene, Media sightings, Sacred Union
This is an article, for which I was interviewed, that appeared today in The Columbus Dispatch:
A ‘good tall tale’
by Dennis M . Mahoney
Mahoney obviously talked to quite a few people in putting together this article, to his credit. I think that the only person he spoke to who was favorable to the ideas presented in The Da Vinci Code, however, was Margaret Starbird. This comes as no suprise since many of the ideas in DVC were developed by her.
From Bart Ehrman:
“They need to approach this movie like they approach Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you want to learn about the history of the Middle Ages, you don’t want to watch the movie to get your information,” Ehrman said.
“If you want to know about the history of early Christianity, don’t watch The Da Vinci Code. Talk to a historian.”
From Sister Christine Shenk:
Schenk said while Jesus could have been married, it wasn’t to Mary Magdalene. She added that the thought of him being married rubs against a Catholic belief that “You can’t give yourself fully over to the kingdom of God if you’re married.
“If we did have some discovery some day, which I think is unlikely, that Jesus was married, that would be sort of a hard thing for people in that kind of Catholic culture to handle.
From a Focus On The Family representative:
Alex McFarland of Focus on the Family said a positive of The Da Vinci Code is that it is getting teenagers interested in theology and church history.
McFarland, who as director of teen apologetics for the Colorado-based organization runs conferences nationwide, said there’s no reason Christians should avoid the movie.
And finally, from Margaret Starbird:
“But ultimately, it is far more dangerous to hold unexamined opinions based on errors than it is to search for truth. What good is faith if its basic tenets are not true? “
Aside from the potential danger of holding examined opinions that are based on errors, I find the second part of her statement to be the most compelling, and interestingly, the most ironic. What good IS faith if its basic tenets are not true? Starbird could just as well ask the same question about her own faith, and the faith that she is engendering in perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, maybe even millions via her ideas in DVC. Most critical thinkers agree that the ideas presented in DVC and in Margaret’s books are either not true (that is, they are not based on verifiable fact), or even if they were true, could never be shown to be probable. Much of her work is based on mystical exegesis.
Although I don’t find anything inherently wrong with mysticism, it cannot be mistaken for history under any circumstances. You can believe that the name “Magdalene” is inspired by a passage in Micah, but that doesn’t mean it was so. You can believe that the name “Magdalene” was spelled the way that it was spelled because of the numerical value it generates in Greek, but that really doesn’t make it so. You can believe that Mary Magdalene was the “lost bride” of Christ and the representative of the Divine Feminine in Christianity, but again I say, that doesn’t make it so. The evidence that Starbird has compiled to support these ideas was developed after the fact, and remains tenuous at best.
It’s equally true, as far as I’m concerned, that just because something is in the Gospels doesn’t necessarily make it so, but at least we have a something, in writing, much closer to the source. What we have with Starbird’s theories is a lot of “it could have been,” and, based on modern sensitiblities, “it would have made sense if.” As Bart Ehrman pointed out in his recent book, it would “make sense” if natural disasters and disease and war never occured either, but our preferred vision of the world doesn’t usually translate into reality. Wishful thinking, unfortunately, doesn’t make it so.
Lest I come off too harshly where Margaret Starbird is concerned, I should reiterate for readers that I appreciate her ideas very much as mythology, and believe that much of the response we’ve seen to DVC is indicative of the merit of such mythology. However, mythology and history are not the same kinds of pursuits. It appears to me that our obsession with revising history in order to validate our feelings about this new mythology is the result of a human impulse toward literalism. It’s unfortunate, but nothing new.
So, I return to the question: “What good is a faith if its basic tenets are not true?”
It seems to me that it all depends on your definition of “truth,” and the relationship it bears to “fact.” What rings true to one doesn’t necessarily ring true for another. Unless you have a general distrust of historical method and see a conspiracy lurking in every shadow, “fact” is something that isn’t dependent on anything “ringing” at all. It either was or wasn’t. Nothing philosophical about it. Facts can be disputed, but must be done so on credible evidence.
Are there some truths represented in DVC? Probably.
Are they based on fact? Probably not.
You can debunk “fact,” but you can’t debunk “truth.” You can only argue about “truth;” this pasttime has occupied priests, philosophers and theologians for millennia. Ironically, both Christians and DVC people feel that their faith is bolstered by the truth, as they see it, and its relationship to fact. In the case of the DVC people, critics see the “facts” that underpin their “truth” as much less probable than the “facts” that underpin the “truth” of traditional Christianity. This is probably accurate. The question I have is, if you take away the “facts,” in either case, what is left of the “truth?” Does it fall away like a house of cards? Must all of our “truths” be based on literal “fact?”
I think that there is much here worth examining.
by Lesa Bellevie in Apostle, Da Vinci Code, Mary Magdalene, Media sightings, Sacred Union
Found at the website for The Tidings, a weekly newspaper by the Los Angeles Archdiocese:
Mary Magdalene: Setting the record straight
by Jerry Filteau
This article focuses on the effort to redeem Mary Magdalene from her reputation as a penitent sinner. Some excellent points are made in the process:
Of the repentant prostitute version of the Magdalene, she said, “What a lot of us who’ve done some work on her say is … it’s a wrong one and in the process it’s robbing us of (appreciation of) women’s leadership at a crucial moment in the early church. In other words, in a way it’s easier … to deal with her as a repentant sinner than as she emerges in the Gospels in her own right.”
The article hits on some salient points of this issue, such as Mary Magdalene’s demon possession, the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, the fact that she witnesses the resurrection, etc. It’s the standard position for Christian feminists on Mary Magdalene, but worth a read. I was particularly impressed by the snappy wrap-up by Sister Elizabeth:
Summing up the real Mary Magdalene with what she called the “w’s,” Sister Elizabeth said, “Let’s get this straight: She was not Jesus’ wife … neither a wife nor a whore, but a witness.”
That’s a newsbite worth repeating.
Also in the news is an article about Margaret Starbird from the website for a local Puget Sound newspaper called The News Tribune:
Steilacoom writer backs mystery of ‘Da Vinci’
by Steve Maynard
(Steilacoom is a place name for those not from Washington State.)
Here the author of this article gives a few details from a local talk given by Margaret last week. Hinging on the references made to her books in DVC, Maynard includes a few quotes from members of her audience about the idea that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married as well as the upcoming DVC movie.
Before listening to Starbird, Billie Blattler of Steilacoom said she couldn’t wait to see the movie version of “The Da Vinci Code” the day it opens.
But some of her friends – while Christians like her – refused her invitation to go. “They said, ‘It’s all lies,’” Blattler said. “It’s a fictional story,” she said, but “it has a lot of facts in it.”
The article goes on to say:
Boosted by Brown’s references, Starbird speaks around the country on evidence from the Bible, folklore and medieval art that she believes shows Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife. She also believes Jesus and Mary Magdalene produced a child – a daughter.
Interestingly, I just got a catalog from Margaret’s publisher the other day (Inner Traditions). Since last August, she’s sold 24,000 copies of her most recent book, Bride In Exile. Her first book, The Woman With The Alabaster Jar, one of two of her titles to be mentioned in DVC, has sold 140,000 since it came out in 1993. Previous to the publication of DVC in 2003, it had sold fewer than 50,000 copies, according to the Inner Traditions catalog. So in the last three years, her first book has almost tripled in sales compared to what it had done during the previous decade.
Margaret is the hardest working Mary Magdalene author I know. She tours the country doing speaking engagements regularly, and did so even before the publication of DVC. Even before Dan Brown’s book hit shelves, Margaret was filling workshops from coast to coast. Certainly the number of invitations has increased since 2003, but she is serious about spreading her message. And there are a great number of people listening.
This isn’t all about The Da Vinci Code. The way I see it, DVC is merely shining a great big light on something that has been happening for a number of years. This is why I think that the interest in Mary Magdalene will continue far beyond the DVC mania.
by Lesa Bellevie in Mary Magdalene, Media sightings, Sacred Union
An announcement just went out to several email lists that Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman With The Alabaster Jar and several other Mary Magdalene-as-lost-bride books, will appear on Larry King Live this Friday night, May 5. Apparently Bishop Shelby Spong will be on the show with her, and they will be discussing the rise of the sacred feminine, through Mary Magdalene, with more conservative Christian guests (whose identities I do not know).
This should be an interesting show.
by Lesa Bellevie in Art, Da Vinci Code, Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene
Today is usually recognized as Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), commemorating the day when the Eucharist was first instituted by Jesus during the Last Supper. This seems like a good opportunity to discuss Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting The Last Supper, a mural (technically not a fresco) that covers a large wall in the refectory of Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, Italy.
A rumor has been spreading now for many years, made popular by Dan Brown in his 2003 book, The Da Vinci Code, that the person sitting to Jesus’ right (our left) is not the disciple John, but Mary Magdalene. Contrary to popular belief, Brown didn’t come up with this on his own, and neither did his art historian wife, Blythe. I’m not actually sure who first suggested this, but the earliest mention of the idea I recall coming across was in Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince’s 1998 book, The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ. This title is, not surprisingly, also mentioned in The Da Vinci Code.
The $64,000 question: is Mary Magdalene in Leonardo’s Last Supper?
After giving it a great deal of thought, spending way too much time looking at scans of the painting as well as reproductions made before it had deteriorated, and reading many opinions on the matter, I’ve come to believe the following:
1. If the person to Jesus’ right could have been mistaken for a woman by the monks who commissioned the painting in the 16th century, they would have rejected it. We have no record that this was the case.
2. Many other paintings of the Last Supper created during the Renaissance depicted John as a “youth” who was quite feminine. Depicting young men in this fashion was not uncommon at all, and examples can be found in secular art as well.
3. It has become common to view art completely outside of the cultural context in which it was created, leading people to read into paintings what they understand of the world during their own time and in their own society. Since DVC especially, we’ve begun to remove paintings from their context entirely, treating them as conspiracies needing to be solved. This is unfortunate. It’s true that some artists conveyed heterodox ideas, inserting symbolism into their work to thumb their noses at someone or something, but we need to consider them within a broader field of work. Compare “mysterious” paintings to other works by the same artist, to other pieces by contemporary artists in the same culture, and even to earlier pieces depicting the same subject. Usually, such exercises can lead to a great deal of insight and a better understanding of what an artist was trying to do. I believe that the current obsession with the notion that Mary Magdalene is present in the Last Supper is the result of viewing the piece way, WAY out of context.
So no, I don’t believe that Mary Magdalene is pictured in Leonardo’s Last Supper, as much as many people want to believe it, and as fascinating as it would be if it actually was her. The recent interpretation of this figure in this painting is another example of a general distrust of traditional scholarship and a desire for mystery. Now that Mary Magdalene mysticism has registered with such a large audience, I anticipate that we’ll see many more bizarre manifestations of such thinking in the years to come.
by Lesa Bellevie in Bloodline, Media sightings
The Mystery of the Jesus Papers
by Sara James
Chris and I watched the NBC Dateline special last night that was either derived from this article or resulted in this article. Either way, the article reads like a transcript from the show. Michael Baigent, one of the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (and also one of those suing Dan Brown) has a new book about to hit the market, entitled, if you haven’t guessed by now, The Jesus Papers. I haven’t received a review copy yet, but based on the Dateline special and the marketing collateral I’ve seen, it seems to be not much new.
The “swoon” theory of Jesus’ death and resurrection, that is, the idea that he didn’t die on the cross but only appeared to, has been around for a very long time. Michael Baigent’s Jesus Papers explores this idea, interprets scripture from this point of view, but doesn’t seem to take it in any new directions. His main innovation appears to be the claim that he has seen physical proof of Jesus’ survival in the form of letters written by Jesus himself dated around 45 C.E.
The letters are secret, of course. Baigent won’t reveal the name of the owner, and confesses to not being able to read Aramaic, in which the letters were written. He hasn’t had the documents validated, in fact, even the photos he took of the alleged documents ended up disappearing. There was never even any discussion of why documents of such import to Western history would be in the hands of a private collector rather than available for study by scholars. Convenient, no? Readers are forced to take Baigent’s word for it.
Elaine Pagels and Craig Evans, both Dateline guests, sum up my feelings on the subject:
Pagels: It’s imaginative to say the least.
Evans: It’s voodoo scholarship, it shouldn’t be taken credibly.
Mary Magdalene’s role in The Jesus Papers remains to be seen. My guess is that she is only mentioned in connection with the author’s belief that Jesus went on to sire a family with her. If this is the case, then perhaps we could view The Jesus Papers as a sort of prequel to Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I’ll post more about it once I see an actual copy of the book.
The Dateline program was a lot of flash, not many revelations. I’m hoping that the National Geographic special on the Gospel of Judas (Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, on the National Geographic Channel) proves to be much more substantial.
by Lesa Bellevie in Da Vinci Code, Holy Grail, Mary Magdalene, Media sightings
Yesterday I posted a link to an article called “Jesus and Mary Magdalene: New Gospel Fragment Discovered”. Although this was a bit of an April Fool’s joke, I posted it for another reason as well: it’s an excellent piece of satire. With all of the discussion lately about Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s alleged marriage, I think it was inevitable that someone would eventually place the situation into a satirical context, which the author, Eric Mader, did with great effect. On more than one occasion, I’ve dispelled the notion that the article is genuine. Does this make the article a hoax? Or simply a well-composed parody?
I recently talked with Eric Mader to learn more about his thoughts on the subject. Read the rest of this entry »
by Lesa Bellevie in Bloodline, Mary Magdalene
Even if I thought it possible that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had started a family, without incontrovertible proof, I will never support the idea. There is a sinister subtext here that is rarely discussed. Think of it this way: Jesus was the Son of God, and he fathered a child, who then carried his “divine” blood. This bloodline then spread throughout Europe (where else?), giving some people of European heritage yet another reason to think themselves superior. We have a word for this, people. It’s called “racism.”
Does this really happen? Yes.
It isn’t exactly common, because most white supremacists, to my knowledge, are good Bible-believing folks who wouldn’t be keen to think of Jesus as a married man. But there are those who have already begun referring to the bloodline of Jesus and MM in the same sentences as “white race” and “brown race,” which sends chills up my spine.
Most often, the racism I’ve seen is much more subtle, sort of a “pre”-racism. The claims themselves aren’t racist, but they could be used easily by any believer to support fully racist arguments. I’m beginning to lose track of the number of people who have contacted me claiming to be descended from Jesus’ blessed ancestry, and by gum, they have the genealogies to prove it. The people who are buying into this idea, as was inevitable, are now trying to sell it, capitalizing off of supposed revelations about their heritage.
This is scary stuff.
I think that what is preventing more people from sitting up and taking notice of this aspect of the bloodline idea is the sheer novelty of it. Everyone is so focused on asking “could it have happened?” that they aren’t seeing potential consequences. Additionally, sometimes this “good genes” line of thinking seems innocuous, even silly, like one fellow who claimed that aliens (Annunaki, a la Zecharia Sitchin) came to earth, impregnated human females, and seeded the population with their superior DNA. This then became the blood of kings and prophets, a family into which Jesus was eventually born, and of course, which he propogated. Although this story goes in the “put on your tin foil hat” file as far as I’m concerned and is something I don’t take seriously, it still has insidious undertones.
Let me recap known history, for those of us who haven’t abandoned it completely:
1. “Divine bloodline” theories are dangerous.
2. They offer no redeeming value to society.
3. They can never be proved.