Shroud of TurinThe famous Shroud of Turin is once again on display in that Italian city’s cathedral, and the mass media are dutifully reporting on it as though it’s significant. Here, for instance, is the New York Times report on the matter (WebCite cached article):

The Shroud of Turin went on public display Saturday for the first time in 10 years, drawing long lines of people to see the linen some believe is Christ’s burial cloth and others dismiss as a medieval fake.

Turin Cardinal Severino Poletto led the opening ceremony in Turin’s cathedral. He referred to the debate over the shroud’s authenticity, saying it was ”not up to the church but for science to decide.”

By late Friday, 1.5 million people had reserved their three-to-five-minute chance to gaze at the cloth, which is kept in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case. Viewing continues through May 23.

It’s interesting the Cardinal has left the matter up to “science.” In fact, science decided it … over two decades ago. The truth about the Shroud of Turin is that it dates to the Middle Ages, not to classical times. The carbon-dating done in 1988 — while it used an admittedly small sample — was nevertheless quite sound, and the results are solid.

Critics of the testing, who insist the Shroud is a genuine 1st-century relic with a magical photograph of Jesus Christ on it, have come up with nearly-endless rationales and excuses for why the tests all arrived at a 13th or 14th century date for it. Most of these rationales and excuses are based on ignorance and stupidity, and have been responded to at length. No response, however, appears to put a dent in Shroud veneration. People who believe in its authenticity as Jesus’ own burial shroud are not concerned with little, insignificant things like “facts.”

Christians who venerate the Shroud should, however, be concerned about what they’re doing … because it’s decidedly against the expressed, explicit wishes of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God, which can be found in their own Bibles:

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4)

Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:4)

You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)

Little children, guard yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Isn’t it odd how all these thousands of Christians who will stream past the Shroud of Turin, devout in their belief in the idea that it’s a magical photograph of Jesus Christ, are all actually disobeying the very God they claim to honor by doing so? Hypocrites.

The bottom line is that the Shroud of Turin is nothing but a pious fraud. I’m sure a lot of Shroud-worshippers are sincere in their beliefs about it, but that cannot and will never change the fact that the object of their veneration, is fraudulent.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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