Believers are, for the most part, quite equitable about whether or not the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud of Christ.
Atheists, on the other hand, tend to get worked up about it. They seem almost to fear it. I am guessing that this is because they’ve got so much ego invested in their non-belief that the thought that some artifact might rattle that a bit is scary to them.
I may not agree with Bill S. but I don’t agree much with Rebecca, either. Some of the most adamant shroud skeptics I have encountered are believers: biblical literalist fundamentalists who argue that the shroud is fake because it shows Jesus with long hair. Many of these same fundamentalists insist that Jesus was wrapped in strips of linen, mummy style, and not a shroud. They are not equitable at all. It is not uncommon for them to send some very insulting fire and brimstone emails.
And when it comes to Atheists, I often encounter people who are completely unfazed by the shroud. They are so convinced that it can’t be real that they shrug and walk away.
Then again, how do we address the question of what Thomas de Wesselow believes: that the shroud is real and that the very natural image on it inspired belief in the Resurrection and hence led to Christianity.
Don’t get me wrong. I read Rebecca’s bio and I’m impressed.