TORONTO, April 12, 2006 – The Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) today commented on the state of Easter programming on Canada’s major media. While applauding the many offerings that will help Christians reflect on the holiest season of the liturgical calendar, the League lamented the airtime and ink being made available to those whose only interest in Christianity is to de-construct it, sometimes for commercial gain.
“We’re grateful to the many networks that are providing both the traditional and the newer versions of such classics as The Ten Commandments, and for the music and art festivals that will help Christians celebrate Easter,” said League President Phil Horgan. “We do question the prominence being given to revisionists with controversial claims at this time of year, especially when such claims are more suited to grocery store tabloids than to serious news magazines.
“Compare and contrast this year’s news stories with the remarkable hue and cry in response to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”. Media commentary at that time attacked the depiction of the crucifixion as over the top or capable of inciting hatred. This year, Christians are being subjected to the suggestion that Jesus did not really die on the cross. Yet all these stories concern the same events that occurred in real time, in real history to a very real Jesus Christ.
“While news events made these stories topical, coverage of the so-called “Gospel of Judas” and the court case rejecting claims of plagiarism in the writing of “The Da Vinci Code,” have both led to extensive, prominent interviews questioning the origins of Christianity. Michael Baigent, who lost his case alleging that The Da Vinci Code was based on his research, has wasted no time on the interview circuit promoting his next book, which alleges that Jesus survived a crucifixion that he and Pilate staged together. Is this author hoping the publicity will help pay his legal bills?”
Says Tom Langan, co-founder and president emeritus of the League, “I’ve been critical of what passes as investigative journalism about religion for many years, and I can’t recall seeing any other religion having its major feast days marked by efforts to “prove” that the central tenet of their faith is untrue.
“Nevertheless, believing Christians know that the death and resurrection of Jesus is not only historical fact, but also an everlasting truth, unlike the fact-today, fiction-tomorrow environment in which the media operate. The victory over death that we celebrate at Easter will be with us long after today’s ‘hot story’ has been forgotten.”
Catholic Civil Rights League (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.