In My Right Mind

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking." - Mark Twain

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"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"The Da Vinci Code" Is, [yawn] Much Ado About Nothing

Lately, both the book and now the movie, “The Da Vinci Code” has been all over the news. It is the newest shocking, but true conspiracy theory aimed at Christianity and its Church. Both book sales and movie attendance have apparently been highly successful. With all of the media hype surrounding this “controversial” book and movie, you’d think that this was the first time anything controversial regarding the life of Jesus Christ had ever been published, or the first controversial movie about him to come out of Hollywood. But it isn’t.

Does anyone remember the movie, “The Last Temptation of Christ”? It came out to movie theaters back in 1988. It too was accompanied by a lot of media hype and controversy. It was boycotted by many Christians, sometimes whole Church congregations protested against it. It was a flop. It had some of the same themes as “The Da Vinci Code”, Jesus’ sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene while he was dying on the cross to suggest an improper relationship between them.

I don’t know if it is true or not, but purportedly there was a movie idea in the early 70’s to portray Jesus as a homosexual. At least that was a rumor that floated around. I haven’t found anything yet to show it was ever really made.

I heard a substitute host on the Rush Limbaugh talk radio program today assert two things that I disagreed with. One of his statements was a generalization where he seemed to think that most Christians live in doubt regarding their faith, with the implication that a movie like this would possibly appeal to them and possibly do harm. Only people with real strong faith live doubt free.

That some Christians experience doubt as a faith crisis at times in their spiritual life is believable. I know I had some serious doubts during my college years in my early twenties. I even flirted with converting to agnosticism. But, the notion that the general state of Christians today is one of doubt, I reject as being an over the top statement.

His other statement was that Christians should use the “is nothing sacred?” line to draw a bottom line and with outrage demand the movie and the book be culled. Nothing could be further from the truth. To this guy, lack of Christian outrage was wrong. Christians are guilty of being too tolerant. He even posed the question to one caller as to what the caller would do if someone made a movie based on nothing but lies about his father.

The radio host seemed to forget all about freedom of speech. The writer of “The Da Vinci Code” novel and the director of the film and all other writers and producers who wish to paint Jesus in a blasphemous light have every right to do so. That right is protected by the First Amendment. To proclaim they don’t is unconstitutional, and frankly, un-American.

The proper way to underscore the “is their nothing sacred?” bottom line would be via a boycott of the book and the movie. There is no law that says one must buy the book or attend a showing of the film. If it is demonstrated that making such controversial and potentially blasphemous films is economically a foolish venture, then the trend will simply go away.

If a manufacturer decided that he wanted to mass produce statues of say a “cross-eyed” Jesus Christ with his tongue sticking out and making a crude gesture with his hand, and no one wanted them, he would have to scrap his project. Even if he was stubborn enough and wasted his whole funds on producing them anyway, what good would warehouses full of those hideous statues do him?

“The Da Vinci Code” is just another in a long line of attempts to drag out old heresies about Jesus Christ that never made it into Christian scripture and was flat out rejected back at the start and pretend that they are new discoveries, new ways of looking at Jesus. Maybe the Church is wrong and has been lying to every one all these many years. It’s all a big conspiracy theory.

As such it is nothing more than “much ado about nothing”. Me, I refuse to waste any energy on “The Da Vinci Code” or any other such dressed up heresies, and just ignore them all flat out. I’ve got better things to occupy my time reading or watching. I know where I stand. I don’t need a new book or movie to help me find my bearings.


Blogger James said...

Amen, Clay!

Christians and conservatives don't seem to realize that their protests and screaming about this latest "tempest in a teapot" have only helped to ensure the commercial success of this film. I have no doubt that had they not made such a big fuss over it it would have quickly died the death it apparently deserves.

9:54 AM  

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