Now Playing: institutional tendencies
I watched that National Geographic Channel special on the Gospel of Judas with my family last night. It was mostly worth our while, although, at two hours, there was quite a lot more sawdust in that thing than there should have been.
Anyway, I don't think Christianity is going to fold in on itself on account of this Gnostic curiosity. That much was made plain by the NGC people themselves when they resorted ---utterly out of the blue but with plenty of orthodox deliberation--- to include a moment's worth of Robert Schuller dismissing the very need to know anything more of the Gospels than what one may read in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Where had Robert Schuller been the previous hour and 55 minutes? I couldn't help but believe that his non sequitur declaration was a sop to the mainstream and/or Fundamentalist Christian community in America, who don't like having their major or even minor tenets trifled with. Judas is Judas to the end of reckoning, they say, and that is that.
Which is to say that Robert Schuller's inclusion at that point of the documentary is for him to be the living embodiment of the very attitude that relegated the Gnostic element in Early Christianity to the margins where it essentially died to the Church that was to come.
That's what Christianity is when it is nothing else: the Church. The thing that cannot be sated and which lives to exert itself somehow somewhere throughout all time.
I will always believe that the genius of Christianity ---the thing that makes it, as my friend Sluggo once said, the "saving grace of Western Civilization"--- is its tendency to disintegration. And reintegration. And constantly moving apart from and protesting the orthodoxy which owns its ass, anyway, like the petutlant child who is unaccountably embarrassed by the righteous authority of his own father.
That's the source of our independent-mindedness as Westerners. That's why Providence alit upon our kind.
Not incidentally, that has nothing to do with race.