Thursday, June 1, 2006

Trading Sense for Sensationalism

On Monday, I caught a few minutes of Neal Boortz' radio show. It astounds me how some people are clear-minded and logical in one area, while intellectually vacuous lightweights in others. Let me elaborate.

Boortz brought up Da Vinci's painting, The Last Supper (15th Century), and insisted the figure sitting just on Jesus' left is Mary Magdalene, not one of the disciples. Let's consider his assertion. Historically, art historians have identified this person as John. Tradition suggests that John was the youngest of Jesus' disciples, and artists of Da Vinci's time portrayed youthful men with effeminate features. Leonardo indulged in this fad in other paintings, as well. I find this practice rather odd, but I don't judge or explain 15th Century behavior in such matters through a 21st Century prism.

Of course, since the painting manifests Jesus and twelve others, Mary Magdalene's presence at the table would preclude that of one disciple. Which one? Perhaps Judas, since he stormed out early? Maybe, but this is playing "What-If?" without facts or history supporting the question.

Zero in on Boortz' naked assertion--not only is the figure female, but he knows her identity!: Mary Magdalene. Given that Dan Brown utilizes this fanciful idea in his heretical treatise, The Da Vinci Code, doesn't Boortz' claim imply that--on some level--he has bought into the heresy? I think the answer is yes. After all, the Gospels associate many more women with Jesus than Mary Magdalene: his own mother, Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, Elizabeth, Salome, Joanna, various unnamed women at the cross, His tomb, or who followed Him throughout His ministry. It seems the assumption that this is Mary Magdalene exhibits ardor for sensationalism, relish for the tawdry aspects of this relationship, since the two supposedly had a fling. Or at least, according to such scholarly luminaries as Dan Brown.

As I understand it, much of Brown's novel is based on The Templar Revelation, published in 1997. Remember the old saying: revisionists of a feather flock together. Apparently, Boortz is flapping their way.

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