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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Response To Mike M. & Gang
Trying to respond to the points raised in the comments linked to above.

1) Mike M.: I would not ban the DaVinci Code. We live a society that does not tend to ban ideas and legitmate conversation, so it would not be appropriate to ban it in America or most Western nations. The Catholics in the nations discussed in the article do not have the same tradition of free speech, so you're comparing apples and oranges. It's more legitimate in their culture to suppress opinion, so they're arguing for the same respect Islam in Jordan (for example) would receive. (On a similar subject: I'm not really big on boycotts either. They can sometimes help the movie by giving it more publicity.)

2) myob: (I block non-Bloggers because it was a failed attempt to block anonymous people. I don't care if you use an alias online to hide your identity. Going "anonymous" can prevent a dialogue from developing, which seems to be the point of blogging. The incident that sparked my attempt was two discussions with an "anonymous" on different issues, where I'm pretty sure it was the same person contradicting themselves, but I couldn't call them on it. So, I have no problem with people hiding their identity, I'd just like them to have a consistently identifiable one online.) Anywho...

Sounds like the Church has a gullibility problem in the laity- more a lack of proper faith formation and a misunderstanding of history. If either of those had been done correctly, there'd be far fewer people falling for it.

I’ve heard from a number of otherwise intelligent people that it really makes them think about what else is going on.

The book is based on lies and it’s starting to affect people’s fatih.
You separated these two remarks in your response, and they shouldn't be read separately. I'm not against the laity thinking. In fact, it's a responsibility of Catholics to do so. The problem is, they're drawing conclusions based on lies. Think of it this way, would anyone be happy about people "really thinking about what else is going on" after reading a book by a Holocaust denier? Of course; Holocaust denial is a lie and conclusions based on thsoe lies are equally invalid as the denial. It's the same thing: Dan Brown's claims are lies and people drawing conclusions from them are drawing false conclusions.

I have no problem keeping faith, fact, and fiction separate in my mind. I find the historical Jesus equally inspiring as the divine Christ.- I'm glad you do; the problem is we're seeing lots of people who aren't doing that. Two notes, though: 1) the historical Jesus and the divine Jesus are the same person. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. You can't separate the two.
2) The Jesus of The DaVinci Code is not the historical Jesus. That's the crux of the problem with the book. If it were just pure escapism, who would care. The problem is Dan Brown has repeatedly claimed that his book is historically accurate. (See the "FACT" page of the book and this link which contains the quote: "The only thing fictional in "The Da Vinci Code" is the characters and the action that takes place. All of the locations, the paintings, the ancient history, the secret documents, the rituals, all of this is factual.") That's been disproven many times, but people are still believing them.

Are you that insecure in your Church that you think it can be damaged by a damn movie?

If you think the Church is so frail that the movie will harm it, ask yourself what self-inflicted acts brought the Church to this weakened condition in the public mind?
I'm not concerned about the Church; it will stand until the end of time. I'm concerned about people's faith and frankly their knowledge of history.

G Rex: I'm totally fine with the idea of Jesus marrying and having kids- In theory you may have a point, but there were celibate people at the time. Also, reading the Gospels, they frequently mention members of Jesus' family, but never a wife. There is no historical evidence that Jesus was anything but celibate. You might as well argue that Goerge Washington and Alexander Hamilton were gay lovers. There's as much evidence for that.

Sorry Paul, but this looks like Khomeni’s fatwa for the Satanic Verses.- Yeah, I'm saying a book is historically wrong and a relatively small number of people are urging that a movie banned or boycotted; not at all similar to a call for an execution.

myob: This is not true - while I am not allowed to attack particulars of Humanae Vitae, I am damn well allowed to - politely - criticize the Church’s stand on immigration or the daVinci Code.- You are free to disagree with the Church's stand on the DaVinci Code, as long as you're serving the Truth.

G Rex: They didn't get rid of Prugatory. They made Limbo a "disfavored theory," or some such description. Purgatory exists.


If you're really interested in learning the truth, rather than just enjoying watching Christians squirm (for the book is anti-Christian as well as anti-Catholic), read the following sites:

Jesus Decoded
Catholic Answers
Opus Dei Responds
The Truth About DaVinci
Christianity Today
Google Search for "davinci christian response"

Not all are Catholic, but I'm not holding that against them. (Kidding...)

UPDATE (5/17/2005 9:31 AM): I was sent this additional site for DaVinci Code error reference: Probe.org
And I forgot about HowStuffWorks' article "How The Da Vinci Code Doesn't Work". It doesn't tackle the religious issues, but focuses on a number of scientific and historical errors in the book.

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I have a friend graduating from UMBC with her Master's in History and she said that the worst invective one history professor can use about another is, "Dan Brown."

I love it, AO! Too funny.

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