And the war continues.
The battle from religionists against The DaVinci Code continues on. The New York Times has a major article on the topic. But I have to take exception to their opening: "Whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, Orthodox or evangelical, they agree that the book attacks the pillars of Christianity by raising doubts about the divinity of Jesus and the origins of the Bible."
Let us be very clear. Many mainline Protestants don't entertain the notion that Jesus was a god and even some major Catholic theologians debate that point. Throughout history there has been widespread disagreement about that issue among Christians but then journalists tend to think that "history" is what happened yesterday and maybe last week but no further do they go. That many followers of Jesus didn't think he was god is not disputed. But they tended to be murdered by those who did especially by the Catholics who are getting all upset over this film.
Of course some of the dumber statements come from the fundamentalist Right. These people are not the brightest bulbs around. One fundie foaming at the mouth is Robert Knight of the "pro-family" (read "I hate gays) Concerned Women for America. Mr Knight is a "concerned woman for America". His ridiculous statement is this: "Christians are under no obligation to pay for what Hollywood dishes out, especially a movie that slanders Jesus Christ and the church." Now what is the slander?
The movie says that Jesus was married and had a family. No one knows if he did or didn't as there is no reliable record of his life anywhere on the planet. But how is it slander to say he was married and had children? What is so evil about being married that to accuss someone of it is tantamount to slander? "Oh, you married person," he said. "Slander, slander," cried the victim of this awful accusation. Rubbish. It makes no sense to call this slander especially from a group that claims to be "pro-family". One minute "family" is a code word for their antigay campaign and the next "family" is a slanderous term used to defame Jesus. Apparently it is very flexible.
But there is a reason these people do think that "family" may well be a bad thing. If Jesus had a family he had sex and these people are pathologically antisexual. They obsess about it constantly. If you listen to their sermons you would think there were no "sins" that one could commit without using one's genitals. This is why Catholics push the idea that Mary was a virgin. This is why they push the idea that Jesus was celibate. In fact Jesus has no sexuality at all. No sexual drives, needs or release if you listen to them. The Jesus they promote wasn't just celibate but impotent lacking any trace of sexuality at all.
And the idea that he procreated horrifies them. To procreate is to have an orgasm. And they are not too fond of idea at all. They will barely tolerate it in marriage to have children but anywhere else in life it is strictly taboo.
There is something in the article I do find interesting. They write: "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." Now that is precisely why it was so wrong for media outlets to back down when the Islamic lunatics threatened violence. By surrendering to intimidation they open the door for the Christianists to demand the same sort of special treatment. Make no mistake about it many, many Christians want to tape the mouths of people they disagree with. They wish to imprison the mind and shackle the tongue. And the more extreme among them (and there are many such people) want to kill "heretics".
Fundamentalist nutters, almost all Americans, are going to use the film to evangelize and win converts. They are working up a campaign to do that. They say they can easily refute the film. And they can. The film is fiction. It is fiction from start to bottom. It is made-up even if some dishonest psuedo-historians claim otherwise. Showing that there is no reason to believe the Dan Brown version of Jesus does not prove any other theory of Jesus.
That X didn't murder the man found dead in the road doesn't prove that Y did it. To disprove Brown doesn't prove Paul and the New Testament. Just because Brown is fiction doesn't mean the New Testament isn't fiction as well. But that is rational and logical and fundamentalism is neither.