MRCWatch Dept. - Get this: A strip of ancient papyrus has recently surfaced. On it is written, in ancient Coptic, what appear to be references, by Jesus (as in the Christ), to Mary, presumably Mary Magdalene, references in which he describes her as “my disciple” and as “my wife.” The document from which the papyrus comes is unknown, the translation of it open to question and it may even be an elaborate forgery but whatever the case may be, the major news networks picked up the story today, which really got Ryan Robertson’s goat. He’s full of that patented Newsbusters Outrage over the fact that while an anti-Muslim film "is still being blamed for the riots and murders in the Middle East, the national news media has no problem running a speculative story that disrespects the teachings of the Christian faith."
Robertson whines that by giving this a little time today, “the major
networks treated the story as if it deserved a considerable amount of
attention.” An odd conclusion, as, by Robertson's own account, the
networks didn’t give it a considerable amount of attention.
As a rule, such discoveries are treated as, well, ancient history by
the national news media. They're rarely given much coverage and what
little is offered is usually quite flawed, a state of affairs
that has contributed to Americans’ generally spectacular ignorance of
these matters. The network coverage of this strip of papyrus was
certainly sensationalistic and, as usual, ill-informed and if
Robertson had any interest beyond peddling to his backwards readers
his show of being outraged, he could have made a case for both. With
regard to Karen King, the Harvard Divinity professor who has presented
the papyrus scrap, Robertson notes that "King has her share of critics,
both among practicing Christians and secular scholars," but while he insists "neglecting to mention that fact is a deplorable oversight by the
networks," he offers no details himself to make his case, nor does he make any case that
scholarly disagreement with King would discredit the papyrus itself.
That is what he's suggesting though.
One of Newsbusters’ specialties is, of course, libelous character
assassination and though he can’t be bothered to build a substantive
case against the coverage in this matter, Robertson can’t resist
repeating an outrageous second-hand libel aimed at King by Bill Donohue. Donohue (whose name Robertson misspells) is, among other things, an
associate of MRC founder Brent Bozell, the public face of the Catholic
League, and a vocal defender of sexually abusive priests (did you see what I just did?). In what Robertson quotes, Donohue wrote of the professor:
"King is known for her fertile imagination. For example,
she previously claimed that Mary Magdalene was one of the apostles. Even
better, in the book in which she made this extraordinary claim, she
'rejects his [Jesus'] suffering and death as the path to eternal life.'
Not much left after that."
None of these are examples of King's "fertile imagination" though,
nor are they examples of her expressing her own opinion. Rather, they
are examples of King accurately relaying the contents of the
non-canonical Gospel of Mary,
in a book she wrote on the subject entitled "The Gospel of Mary of
Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle." Donahue would be advised to
pray to his god that King is merciful toward libels.
 Jesus’ marital status was treated as a great mystery this could
help solve, there were references to Dan Brown’s godawful “DaVinci
Code” and so on.
 One would be that King argues for an earlier date for authorship
of the non-canonical Gospel of Mary than most scholars allow.