Representation Through Humiliation

1/10/2006

Jesus Brought To Court on Charges of. . . Malpractice of Existence???

An age-old debate between Christian believers and others may be settled before a judge in the Italian court system. A Washington Times story reports that Luigi Cascioli, author of "The Fable of Christ," claims he has "proved" that Jesus never existed.

He is now suing a local priest, Enrico Righi, for continuing to preach the Gospel that claims he did. Both plaintiff and defendant are in their 70s, hailing from the same Italian town of Bagnoregio; they even attended the same seminary school as teenagers. While Righi became a priest and parish newspaper writer, Cascioli became an atheist, and wrote his book with the intention of debunking two millennia of Catholic teachings. "I started this lawsuit," he reportedly says, "because I wanted to deal the final blow against the church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression."

He is charging Father Righi, and by extension the Roman church, with breaking a pair of Italian laws: "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" ("Abuse of Popular Belief"), meant to protect citizens against being swindled or conned; and "Sostituzione di Persona" (impersonation). A January 27 preliminary hearing will decide whether or not the case goes forward.




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