On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Diane Sawyer hyped the release of yet another book attacking Christian beliefs. During the 8am half hour, Sawyer interviewed Kathleen McGowan, author of The Expected One. Like The DaVinci Code, The Expected One is premised on the theory that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene had children together, and that their bloodline lives on in the present day. It should also be noted that McGowan believes that she herself is a descendant of Christ, which she and Sawyer discussed at length.
When Sawyer asked the author for proof to bolster her "facts" about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the author had no hard evidence to provide :
Sawyer: "For everybody who says, a novel, fine, write a novel, promote a novel. But there’s no proof here. There’s really no proof either of Mary Magdalene and Jesus being together."
McGowan: "That’s absolutely untrue, there’s all kinds of proof."
Sawyer: "Tell me."
McGowan: "It’s just not the traditional academic proof."
McGowan, who went on to say that there’s "all kinds" of historical proof that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children, offered nothing in the way of historical facts to support her argument, but cited as evidence the "endurance" of cultural traditions and folklore:
McGowan: "It’s just not the traditional academic proof. I set out to find proof that had not been written down. My work took twenty years because I spent so much time in the cultures, the folklore, the living traditions of this marriage and their children."
Sawyer: "So you’re say–you’re saying that the proof is in the persistence of the stories that have been passed down?"
McGowan: "Absolutely, and the endurance of these cultural traditions. But there’s all kinds of historical proof, you just have to dig to find it, and that’s what I did as I put all of that together in this book."
ABC’s decision to highlight The Expected One, even while acknowledging its lack of historical proof, is another example of the mainstream media setting a low standard for evidence concerning books that attack Christianity, as pointed out previously by Tim Graham in the MRC’s special report on religion and the media.
A signifcant portion of the interview was devoted to McGowan explaining how, based on a prophesy, she believes she is a descendant of Christ and Mary Magdalene, which Sawyer pointed out in a brief story that aired prior to the interview :
Sawyer: "Was there, in fact, the possibility of a union between them and, in fact, did it produce offspring? And now a California mother of three who says that she has had visions of Mary Magdalene. They prompted her to embark on a quest taking her to Europe and the Holy Land, and have convinced her that she may be one of the descendants."
At the conclusion of the interview, Sawyer appeared to be caught up in the mood of the interview, when she wondered:
Sawyer: "And it is just a wonderful idea, isn’t it, that, as you say, the person who is loading up your grocery bags could, in fact, be a descendant of Jesus?"
It might be a "wonderful idea", if there was any credible evidence to prove it to be true.