Da Vinci 911

Millions have already taken the book at face value, and now with the release of the movie millions more will line up to accept The Da Vinci Code as a serious exploration of "the facts". Not since Fahrenheit 9/11 have people so readily embraced fiction in the guise of truth.

Don’t believe me? Then check out this article about readers of the book. And I heard another report that hundreds of tourists are showing up in France for "Da Vinci Code tours", and they insist on being shown the secret locations and symbols depicted in the story.

So am I not giving everyone enough credit? After all, so many intelligent and insightful citizens have gone to great lengths to expose the lies and conspiracies that they claim permeate governments, corporations and the mainstream media. How could a mainstream fictional novel and movie that pretends to expose dark secrets hidden deep within the Catholic bureaucracy possibly lead our sage general public astray?jean-baptiste.jpg

It seems that despite the usual crowd-pleasing elements of presenting big, influential religions as always bad and artists as always noble and good, The Da Vinci Code presents an idea that people are apparently desperate to believe–that Jesus Christ was fallible, just like them. It’s the same psychological reflex that compels us to wallow in the lurid slop poured out daily by newspapers, magazines and broadcast media. It drives us to scour away the sheen of politicians and celebrities to uncover their human weaknesses, and to skewer family members or co-workers through cruel gossip.

Dan Brown and Ron Howard (from Opie to Opus!) have expertly manipulated this reflex to plant seeds of doubt and confusion in us. This has made us distrust the church and perhaps question our faith in a potentially false Savior, and not surprisingly the antidote for this confusion is to read the book or see the movie so we can explore our feelings about it. In the process, our tithes will fill various Hollywood bank accounts and ensure more untruths in The Da Vinci Code 2: Cross Without Nails.

It doesn’t make sense that anyone who believes in and accepts Christ would want to see him denigrated in such a way, and it similarly doesn’t make sense why anyone who doesn’t believe in or accept him would accept a story based on such a contrived plot element. This is simply a bad premise for a movie or a book, and if you’re interested in this subject matter I suggest making a journey to your local library. I’m sure they’ll have some excellent non-fiction studies of Christ, Da Vinci and even Opus Dei, if you’re the excessively curious type.

If anyone agrees or disagrees, please comment here or in The Issue Box. Also, if you have any book recommendations we could all use a refreshing blast of truthful knowledge!

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8 Responses

  1. I think a lot of people find their faith lacking. It just all doesn’t add up, and when somebody comes along with something that is a cross between an "In Search Of" TV show and Sunday Morning Preaching show, they are curious.

  2. It all just seems so pointless and empty. Why even concoct such a story unless your goals are to 1) attack Christianity in general and specifically the Catholic church and/or 2) to create something sensational and controversial that will fetch you millions of dollars? They’re trying to pull a "Blair Witch", but by hijacking art and religion instead of making up an original story.The result is something that’s not factual enough to be educational, not candid enough to be taken as commentary, not honest enough to be an effective artistic statement and not light enough to be entertaining.

  3. I prefer to take it all with a grain of salt. Do I believe everything in the book? No, I do not. However, I do like that it makes me think. I don’t know if an entirely non-fiction book exists about Jesus Christ. All testaments are interpretations of humans. So, faith turns into more of a grey issue for me. Therefore, I think DaVinci code is suitable for those of faith–to question what they believe and spark dialogue.It is unfortunate that some fall for every word hook, line, and sinker. But is just as unfortunate for those who refuse to read it because it "challenges" who Jesus Christ was. Isn’t our faith strong enough to stand up to those challenges? Doesn’t our faith NEED those challenges?Once again, Danny–an excellent, thought-provoking topic.

  4. Thanks for the great comments!Such a "challenge" is definitely a good thing, and at least Christians aren’t rioting in the streets and making death threats over this. But speaking from a relatively non-religious perspective, I find "Da Vinci Code" hard to take with even an entire pillar of salt! If I thought Brown & Howard’s intentions were as noble as wanting to make people better Christians by challenging their faith, I could look past the bloated storytelling and find some good in it."Last Temptation of Christ" is a perfect example of a bloated, imperfect movie that at least has its heart in the right place. Growing up in the Bible Belt, I built a mental defense against Christianity and Jesus because it was so often forced upon me. I still followed the beliefs, but I didn’t want to be part of the "organization". But when I saw "Temptation" it was the first time I ever understood what Jesus was all about (many years later, "The Passion of the Christ" helped take that understanding even farther). It made me think in ways I hadn’t before, but it maintained reverence for its subject.To me, "Da Vinci" drips with cynicism and avarice. The only challenge I feel that it presents is how to best shut all the bluster and hype until the book and movie are relinquished to the bargain bins where they belong!

  5. i guess it was 15 or so years ago that Foucault’s Pendulum was published. not being a yooge Eco fan, i didn’t feel especially wiser after reading it … but maybe now i do. i mean, a component of the book’s Plot is a publishing house that cynically caters to the "Dial-a-Templar" crowd / and, sheesh, now we have such a crowd here in the American suburbs !so, yeah, i’m gonna pass on the movie ’cause i honestly don’t care to see Meg Ryan as Mary Magdalene…

  6. Wow, now there’s a good idea for an alternative read. Put down the Brown & chase the Eco!Ah, Ryan & Hanks team up again for the Medieval epic "You’ve Got Chainmail". If you ask me, when it comes to portrayals of Magdalene, Barbara Hershey raised the bar.

  7. oh yeah, Barbara Hershey: Boxcar Bertha, the Baby Maker and, sure, Last Temptation – fine soundtrack, amazing *look* (cinematography?) and, well, all your favorite New Testament characters re.presented with a gritty Brooklyn edge !

  8. It was like the Veggie Tales, but without any vegetables…or CGI…or a pre-school demographic. And the talking lion in the desert beat Narnia to the screen by almost two decades!

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