On Easter Sunday night, more Americans watched "The Ten Commandments" on ABC than any other show, even allowing for the fact that the audience was not as big as last year's. What was most telling was how it creamed the religious fare shown on the Travel Channel and the Science Channel.
The Travel Channel gave us "Greatest Mysteries: Holy Land," a one-hour presentation that took the viewer on a rambling ride through hidden rooms and caves looking for the Holy Grail; a guest appearance by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, rounded out the first segment. The Shroud of Turin was featured in the second segment: the audience was asked to consider whether the cloth's impression was the face of Leonardo da Vinci. Another segment speculated on whether there is a hidden code and cipher in the Torah. Finally, we learned that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was actually his best buddy.
The Science Channel gave us two programs. The first explored why nefarious Church leaders sought to suppress some non-canonical gospels. Predictably, the Gospel of Mary posits that the male-dominated Church did not want to deal with a woman (who may have been the leader of the apostles!). The second program called into question many biblical accounts of Christ's birth, death, and resurrection.
It is striking that a Christian-themed entertainment movie offers a more accurate historical account of the Bible than programs that purport to be scientific. Unfortunately, what passes as scientific these days is often more sci-fi than real, more myth than fact, and more idle speculation than collected data.
It only goes to show that the average American is a lot smarter than the elites who seek to manipulate them.
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