imageI thought it sounded familiar.* Here was a short paragraph of indisputable wishful thinking. Here it was being quoted in an article without any attribution that I could see, its author being used solely as a straw man to be wishfully disputed:

[…] some of the inexplicable anomalies that the shroud seems to posses: the 3-dimensional quality of the image; the laser-like transmission of the image that is beyond our present technology, etc? Frankly, I can’t explain them. Neither do I care to. Satan has been very good at getting our attention off of God and getting us to waste our time on trivialities. If Satan, as the father of lies, can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), then he’s probably clever enough to provide some trickery in this world. […]

That part of a paragraph is from a short book, The Shroud of Turin: Holy or Hoax, by a fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama. You can get a PDF of the book for free at There are many little the-shroud-cannot-be-real gems in it like this:

The Hebrew word למרטים (L’Maratiym), which is translated “plucked off the hair,” literally means “to make bald.” Jesus Christ didn’t just have a tuft of His beard pulled out; His entire beard was plucked from His face!

And this:

according to Isaiah 52:14: “As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”  In other words, the Christ’s appearance would be disfigured until He was unrecognizable as a human being.

No, I did not forget (sic). Astonished is spelled astonied in the King James version of the Bible.

And this:

A cursory study of the coinage and the sculptures of that day do so inform and testify. By all three cultures, long hair for men “would have been regarded as a token of effeminacy.”

You get the idea! So one wonders, did Cardwell even need to be disputed. Julie LaBrecque and Walid Shoebat think so. In a blog posting, Amazing Discoveries Reveal That The Shroud Of Turin Included The Gospels, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection And The Trinity, they start off with this:

The evidence for the Shroud of Turin being divinely made is overwhelming; not only is it beyond doubt that it is the very burial cloth used to bury Christ, but the Shroud survived throughout the ages from fires and the scrutiny of science and the slander of men it put an end to several hotly debated issues (as we shall see here). The Shroud was no manmade relic, for it possesses attributes that defy science proving it conforms to no known law of physics (more on that later). It even etched the Gospel message putting an end to theological disputes by debunking the iconoclast and the opposition to the veneration of images. It ended the debate whether Christ was crucified on a stake or a cross and it even confirmed Christian theology regarding the Holy Trinity leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander it by saying that it was made by the devil himself:

Beyond doubt? Really? And … leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander the shroud by saying that it was made by the devil himself? Tell that to Colin Berry or Joe Nickell.

Okay, let’s see what we have from LaBrecque and Shoebat. There is this over-stretched counterargument :

Is all this denial because God chose that the Shroud be entrusted to Catholics given in succession, and by this the Shroud also proves that God designed an apostolic succession?

Nice try.  What about the Coptics, Greek, Ethiopian, Syriac and Russian Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, the Mar Thoma Orthodox when it comes to apostolic succession?

And, arguably, it was never really entrusted to the Catholics until Umberto II died in 1983.

There is this from LaBrecque and Shoebat (fasten your seatbelts and try to read it all):

It is here that we begin to see what baffles science. In 2004, Dame Piczek, a physicist, became fascinated by the total absence of distortion of the Shroud image, a physical impossibility if the body had been lying on solid rock. Piczek’s work strongly suggests that the image of Jesus was projected as a quantum hologram onto the cloth as His body underwent the process of Resurrection.

Piczek perhaps best known for her study of the Shroud of Turin was baffled “The entire Resurrection process is akin to the Big Bang creation of the universe when something was created from nothing,” explains Piczek. “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.”

She further explains:

“The Body is hovering between the upper and the lower sheet and there is NO TRACE OF GRAVITY. The lack of gravity is also further proven by the Shroud linen. The linen does not fall on top of the Body, but remains in its unnaturally stretched condition at some distance from the body.”

To fathom or even scientifically explain “no time” “no space” “no gravity” is an impossibility:

“According to the nature of event horizons the dead body must have left its image on the two surfaces of the event horizons. At the time of the explosion (when time stopped) of the event horizons these images were ejected onto both sides of the Shroud, with the body hovering parallel to the event horizons. This explains why the image shows a dead man, not the risen body, and also explains why the image is negative (went from a positive body image to the negative image like a camera film negative). This indicates how the image got onto the cloth.”

The complicated physics behind the image on the Shroud explained: “As quantum time collapses to absolute zero (time stopped moving) in the tomb of Christ, the two event horizons (one stopping events from above and the other stopping the events from below at the moment of the zero time collapse) going through the body get infinitely close to each other and eliminate each other.

And why would the devil, who loves death, want known that the transference of the Image to the cloth even speaks of a future resurrection event? …

Me: I’m about as far as you can get from being a fundamentalist or a biblical literalist. Even so, I would put my money on Genesis I with God hovering over the face of the waters and proclaiming, “Let there be light” and then taking a nap on the seventh day before I’d bet on any of Piczek’s ludicrous made-up physics.

imageMaybe the devil made LaBrecque and Shoebat post this piece. How would we know?  I mean, how can you  explain that a certain quoted fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama was never even mentioned by name?  Maybe the devil didn’t want that?

* The devil made me tell a lie. I never thought that paragraph by Cardwell sounded familiar. I had never heard of him or his book. I went a-Googling for the source of that paragraph.