28 July 2013

Reza Aslan on Jesus the zealot

Reza Aslan is a scholar of religious history who has been receiving criticism over his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

The reaction of Christians on this matter just goes to show why religion is so ridiculously stupid. Free inquiry is antithetical to religion, which thrives on the preservation of doctrinal tenets. Religion, in fact, is the set of ideologies I know of that has given a name to mark the ostracization and marginalization of those who dare to disagree with the collective dogma: heresy. If there's ever a red flag that religion is a collection of falsehoods, that is it.

In any case, while I'm not familiar with Aslan or his book and I am in no way defending his writing, the outrage is coming not from the idea that he has written a scholarly work with ideas to be rationally critiqued and debated, but from the idea that a Muslim has dared to write about Jesus. This is a scholar who writes about all manner of religions, and for him Christianity is just another subject to treat as a work of scholarly inquiry. But don't tell Christians that, who are so pathetically desperate to cling to their doctrinal portrait of Christ that they can't stomach someone questioning the status quo.

Here's his recent video on Fox News, if you can stomach the paucity of journalistic integrity and the reference to William Lane Craig.


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