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You left a group out, Mr. Pipes.

Reader comment on item: [Michael Barkun on] Old Conspiracies, New Beliefs

Submitted by Tom Bryant (United States), Jan 14, 2004 at 10:27

With the success of the bestseller, "The DaVinci Code" fresh on everyone's mind, I'm very surprized Mr. Pipes left the "Christ-mythers" out of his list.

Christ-mythers come in two varieties: those who believe Jesus was a mythological creation who'se origin is drawn from a hodge podge of ancient mystery religions, such as Mithraism and the cults of Osiris and Dionysus, and those who believe Jesus was a real person but that His true teachings were corrupted in some sort of power grab by Roman politicians, perhaps to placate Jewish desires for a Messiah by giving them one that they weren't expecting. Both varieties agree Christianity is nothing but a system of repressing the "truth" about what is "really happening" in the world.

There are even people who are concidered legitimate scholars (though none of them have academic credentials that would actually be relevant to Biblical History studies) who publish articles which articulate these views. These articles make their way to the internet, and there into the popular culture, where they are consumed by a growing number of people already being fed the lie of the "Religious Right" and the "intolerant" views of devout Jews and Christians by the news media.

Since the secular press often ignores legitimate religious issues this particular group may have escaped notice. If Mr. Pipes' thesis is right, once these groups organize into a coherant whole they will begin to influence society in much the same way Hitler and Stalin did. Do not forget that these two madmen addressed the issue of religion as well as politics in their rise to power.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Pipes, and God bless.
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