The Not-so Secret Code

Lately there has been a storm of Da Vinci Code media coverage and its negative portrayal of the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity in general.

I’ve been watching different television shows looking at this movie and its ideas from different angles.

Some general thoughts:

1. No one likes to have his/her religion mocked, criticized, or challenged. But the same principle that protects our freedom to believe also protects our freedom to express our beliefs, even if others don’t like them.
2. This is a film based on a novel; novels are by definition fiction. Anyone who walks into the theatre a devout Christian and leaves a devout follower of Dan Brown wasn’t much of a Christian to begin with. Anyone who doesn’t grasp the meaning of fiction is a fool.
3. Opus Dei bothers me. I do not think mortification is a useful spiritual practice. If you want to suffer to experience something holy, then get on a plane and go to Darfur and help the people there. You will suffer plenty-and someone other than yourself will benefit. According to mainstream Christian teaching, Jesus did not suffer on the cross to make himself feel holy; he did it for the salvation of humanity.
4. This movie is the best thing to happen to Christian marketing since the “Last Temptation of Christ.” There is no end to the anti-Da Vinci Code books, videos, and DVDs that Christian organizations are churning out. In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People this is called a “win-win.”
5. One of the main premises of the story is that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and that she was pregnant with his child. One Catholic commentator said this idea of Jesus as a sexual being was repulsive. How can a normal, natural, loving, necessary act be repulsive? How can someone who is “truly man” as well as “truly God” have no sexual dimension? Very strange!

More thoughts to come, maybe...

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