Hello FOX Fans! It's been quite a while since any of you have seen me on-air, in my former role as update anchor for the Fox & Friends morning show. Thanks so much to all of you that called and wrote, wondering where I was. There's hardly anything more special than to feel wanted and missed. And it's quite a bit different these days, especially not being able to greet you every morning!
I have a new job here at FOX News Channel, as Religion Correspondent. For the past few weeks, I've been jetting around to some very exciting places with our documentary unit, putting together a special for Easter called, "The Passion: Facts, Fictions and Faith.”
The title pretty much says it all. It's been quite exciting, as we traveled to Rome and Jerusalem, interviewing experts and looking at artifacts of Jesus' last week — from his triumphal march into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, to his arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection.
The artifacts of the crucifixion and resurrection are particularly poignant and meaningful for Christians, because it is the resurrection that makes Christianity unique. No other religion claims its founder died a horrible and despicable death, and then was raised from that death. In the special, we examine some of the artifacts and explore archeological sites, asking whether they are indeed based on facts, fictions, or faith. And, we investigate whether or not having physical evidence of Jesus' resurrection matters to people who simply believe.
In Rome, we visited some of the most popular and well known sites of the ancient city, looking into Christianity's heritage through the Emperor Constantine from the Coliseum and Forum, to the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica. It's really impossible to take it all in, in only two and a half days, but that's exactly what we had to do. Someday I will return.
What was amazing in Rome was being at the Forum, and walking on the original stones that perhaps Caesar or the Apostle Paul had placed their feet on. In a sense, one feels so insignificant knowing that these structures have stood the test of time. They have witnessed wars, earthquakes, cataclysmic events and political and religious upheavals that we can only read about in history books, or uncover in archeological digs. Yet, these ancient stones were there.
Ah, if only they could talk and tell us all they've seen. It is simply a humbling experience, but one I would recommend to everyone. Like Mecca is to Muslims, Rome and Jerusalem should be for Christians. Not because it's required as a show of faith, because it is not; but because it can give faith perspective and greater knowledge. To see the chains and prison of St. Paul turns the Apostle into a real person with real struggles and real pain. It helps one see him as a person who ate and drank and walked the earth, just like you and I.
In Jerusalem, the tone is quite different. We were in the Holy Land for a longer time. And even though it's a small area geographically, it is incredibly packed with different elements of human passion, politics, wisdom, and faith. As a Christian, the experience of seeing the Holy Land is hard to explain. For all my life, places like the Holy Sepulcher and the Mount of Olives, or the Garden of Gethsemene were magical places. I'd imagined them to be majestic, spanning large areas of land. But the reality of those sites is that they are simple and quaint. It forces you to search for your faith, not through physical things, but through the deeper elements of that Faith.
Christian theologians say that you know God by his word and by his creation. So perhaps, theologically speaking, physical artifacts and archeological sites are for all intents and purposes, a moot point. In my next blog, I'll detail more of the places we visited, the people we talked to, and some of the exciting relics of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Lauren Green serves as a religion correspondent for the FOX News Channel. Prior to this, Green served as a news anchor for “Fox and Friends,” where she provided daily news updates and covered arts for the network. You can read her complete bio here.
Lauren Green currently serves as Fox News Channel's (FNC) chief religion correspondent based in the New York bureau. She joined FNC in 1996.