Thursday, May 11, 2006

Christian Foes of 'Da Vinci Code' Debate How to Fight It - New York Times

Christian Foes of 'Da Vinci Code' Debate How to Fight It - New York Times:
Christians have not been this worked up about a movie since Martin Scorsese's Jesus stepped down off the crucifix in 'The Last Temptation of Christ' in 1988.

In 'The Da Vinci Code,' two sleuths uncover a conspiracy by the Catholic Church to conceal that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and that the myth of his divinity was written into the Bible at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. by the Roman emperor Constantine. 'The Da Vinci Code' was marketed as fiction, but Mr. Brown said in a preface page that his descriptions of artwork, documents and rituals 'are accurate.'

To be sure, there are many Christians who do not regard the book or the movie as a threat. But the outrage is widespread, and the divisions on strategy do not run along denominational lines. Some evangelicals are calling for a boycott, while others are telling their flocks to see the film. Roman Catholic officials are not on the same page either.

The debate has been colored by the Muslim riots over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Most American media outlets refrained from showing the cartoons, and now some Christian leaders are asking why Christians should be expected to sit by while the media promotes a movie that insults their savior.
But that's a load of crap. The book, and I assume the movie, doesn't insult "the savior," only the church and religious dogma that grew out of that council in 325 A.D. Anything that makes Christ more human is verboten in the eyes of those who use his deification as an excuse to behave badly, since no one can be "perfect" like he was. If Christ was a man and Mary Magdalene his wife, then no one who would follow in their path could take refuge in the belief that humans in general can't be held to such high standards of behaviour. If they could, why can't we? It's all a matter of perspective.

You'd think that people who seem to be so fanatically set upon the sanctity of marriage would be able to accept the idea that their savior, well, got married. Why can't the story of Christ include some happiness and peace for the man himself? And why isn't M.M. raised to the same level as, say, his mom? And would it be so terrible if Jesus had kids? Is it the idea that he might have had (*gasp*!) sex that so frightens these modern day sycophants and pharisees?

What do you think?

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