Write TIME over "Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" Cover Story

Action Alert: A Chance to Educate


April 7, 2004

It's that time of year! Religious coverage in the media is always at its least objective at Easter. But it seems worse this year, since Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has proved there is big bucks to be made reveling in religious sadism.

There are no shortage of offending media, but TIME Magazine's April 12, 2004 cover story especially begs for some thoughtful freethought response: "Why Did jesus Have to Die? As Easter arrives and millions still flock to see 'The Passion,' the reasons behind his sacrifice are debated anew."

If you have a chance, please look over the seven page article on the newsstands now (excerpts available online at http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101040412/box1.html). Please try to respond with one or two paragraphs, addressing such points as:


the glorification of sacrifice, barbarism of tale


the lack of objectivity (Thomas Jefferson's bible and the Enlightenment are mentioned in passing, but no outright skeptic is quoted)


the presumption that Jesus Christ's life and death are facts


the lack of historic context (parallel religious myths not reported)

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Or write:

TIME Magazine
Time & Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York NY 10020
Fax 1/212/522-8949

A copy of a letter sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation office is below:

"Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" (April 12, 2004) presupposes there was a historical Jesus. No skeptics are quoted about this primitive story of human sacrifice to propitiate a cruel god. Missing from the tedious list of "theories" about Jesus' alleged death is the most logical explanation of all: that Jesus Christ is a fable.

The Jesus claims are not even original, making Jesus Christ simply the last in a long line of "sun gods." Mithra too was born of a virgin on Dec. 25, had 12 followers and was slain upon a cross to atone for the sins of the world, ascending to heaven at the spring equinox. Attis, of similar pedigree, was hanged on a tree and rose again. Hundreds of parallels to the Jesus myth are found in the stories of Buddha, Krishna, Quexalcote, Horus, Adonis, Quirinus, and Indra, all pre-dating Christianity.

TIME's cover story, like Gibson's pandering film, simply glorifies a blood-thirsty theology. (Sent by FFRF)

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