The ‘DaVinci Code’ Problem

Fact or fiction?

Although Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code (from here on, DVC) is one of the best-selling books in the nation, it is now attracting controversies. Why? Because this famous book is under the works of being produced into a movie, and people are protesting against this.
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First of all, let me be the first to say that this book is fiction and is meant to entertain. It does not hold the truths to the Bible or to the teachings of the Church. Or to any religion for that matter. Why? Because I have watched a documentary of Dan Brown some time long ago (I forgot on which channel). This book, he says, is merely his views and interpretations of the Bible (according to that documentary). He states that he isn’t forcing anyone to believe what he believes. It is just what he thinks about the Bible. Nothing more.

For me, personally, I think people shouldn’t take this book seriously. It’s just fiction, and definitely not reality!

Perhaps one of the most debated problems from the book is Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. According to the protesters, they think that Dan Brown portrays Jesus and Mary Magdalene in an “impure manner and the Church as having duped the world for the last 2,000 years. To attack the purity and divinity of Our Lord is a blasphemy…” (quote taken from a flyer for this protest). By just reading this statement, it makes me think that Brown portrays Jesus and Mary M. as sexual lovers. Now, I haven’t set aside some time to read this book yet, but I will later. And once I do, I’ll give my two cents about it some time in the future on my blog if anyone is interested…

Since I’m a college student going to a liberal arts school, I’ve been giving a course-load of philosophy and theology classes. I have also learned about and been exposed to the various cultures and religions from around the world. And I’d like to say that sure, the Bible, seems contradictory in some of the passages. However, it does not mean that the Bible is telling lies about reality and the events that had happened. (Traditionally known, the words of the Bible are guided by the Holy Spirit, and it is God’s Word.) Some of the stories, for example, are metaphors. Thus, the interpretation of the Bible is two-fold: literal and figurative. For example, “the right hand of God” can mean exactly what it is: the right hand of God. Or, it can symbolize God’s infinite power. We have to note that each sentence in the Bible is written in this two-fold system… Unusual, but hey, we’ve been fighting about the merits and the credibility of the Bible for centuries. And Galileo wasn’t just the first one who tried to highlight this problem. In fact, Galileo wanted to merge science and religion!

Anyway, back to The DaVinci Code. Well, sort of. I have to add in that the last controversial movie was Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ, when many viewers were saying how the movie did not accurately depict what the Bible says. Well, of course, films and movies NEVER really capture everything from books, especially the Bible accurately! For instance, some (or even most) die-hard Harry Potter fans were disappointed with the last Harry Potter movie in The Goblet of Fire, because there were too many things “missing” and were not included from the book. But taken separately, one can say that it was a pretty “exciting” movie. The same goes for The Passion of Christ. It earned itself an R-rating with its heavily vivid content, but the overall storyline did not change too much.

Therefore, whatever is written is never fully the same visually! Like Brown, Gibson mentioned that it is his own depiction of the “Passion of Jesus Christ.” It is evident in the first scene when Jesus was in the Garden of Gesthemane, when he crushes a white snake. For many interpreters, this can mean different things to different people. A sermon given by a priest interpreted that Jesus crushes the white snake to symbolize that he is crushing the evil and temptation of Satan. And to the fundamentalists, there was no snake at all mentioned in the Bible during this scene! So why show it? Well, it’s because it is made into a movie! Anything that is popular is made into a movie. Plus, we live the American Dream and we’re always looking for ways to may those greens and to live it up. I mean, it’s not impossible, right? We’ve not only turned books into movies, but also video games, plays, myths and legends (Cinderella, Hercules, etc.) and real-life events (Titanic, for example).

So, this is for the protesters: If you have read Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code and agree with what the other protesters are saying about the book, then you are invited to come to the events that are scheduled below:

1) Firing Back at ‘The DaVinci Code’ Saturday BBQ Luncheon Event

Lectures: The Blasphemous & Erroneous Content of ‘DVC’, The Impact of Protests: What They Are Saying, and The Local Action Plan.

When: Saturday, May 13th, 2006 from 11 AM to 3 PM
Where: Knights of Columbus Hall, 607 East Whitney Drive

Pre-Registration – $10 per person
Table Registrations (for 8) – $70 a table
Registrations at Check-In – $15 per person
Free to church clergy with Pre-Registration

Seating is limited. For more information, call 281-857-3164.

2) Protest Rallies

Sponsored by: The Greater Houston Area Protest
For more information on participation or the rallies in general, call 281-857-3164. You can also go to this website, which has a ton of other interesting links and information: http://www.geocities.com/honoriscausa1/.

As I mentioned before, I’m sometimes the last person to know things contrary to the public or popular media, etc., and so, it’s going to take me a while to read this book before I really understand this whole protest and controversy over this book.

However, my dear readers, you be the judge. I’ll leave the thinking to you.

The movie, though, is scheduled to come out May 19th, 2006. Stay tuned.

*Note: Photo courtesy of the Greater Houston Area Protest.

16 Comments so far

  1. Brittanie (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 1:17 am

    There’s a goddamn war going on, and people are protesting the release of a *movie*?


  2. ChuckEye (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 1:39 am

    Gee, if they’re raking in that kind of cash, I should start some protest rallies of my own! Let’s see, who can I discriminate against? I know! Left-handed dyslexic bowlers. Damn, those guys piss me off. If you want to help me picket against the travesty of those wrong-handed illiterate bastards, just send me $10 and I’ll keep you posted on the ins and outs of the march.


  3. sarah (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

    As soon as you mentioned that films never fully capture books I thought of the latest Harry Potter film, and then… so did you! I can go on for HOURS (and have) about what I wish was different (and included) in that movie.

    I haven’t made the time to read DaVinci Code yet (and I’m not sure that I ever will), but I do think it’s interesting that people are so upset by it (and the forthcoming movie) that they feel the need to protest over it… It’s funny (if funny means irritating) to me when I think about what people are willing to get upset about and the things that they are willing to ignore.


  4. A~lotus (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    People are protesting over the “impure” portrayal of the Biblical events. For example, with the relationship between Jesus and Mary M. was purely platonic, not sexual as Brown depicted it in his book. Besides this, I’m sure there are other “blasphemous” inaccuracies from Brown’s book anyway. I can’t say much because I haven’t read the book.

    Furthermore, people are also protesting over the production of this movie, because they don’t want the public/mass to think or accept that what is in THE DAVINCI CODE is real and true. I mean, we already have the controversies over the impure (sexual) behaviors Catholic priests have done. And the media has a nice way of exaggerating everything. Thus, the protesters are afraid that the production of this movie would grossly exaggerate the Bible in a bad way. And this makes sense, because the Church does not want to be represented in a bad way nor does it want to brainwash or mislead its followers.

    What’s ironically sad is that sometimes I wonder if people really KNOW the difference between fact and fiction!


  5. Governor (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    Brittanie! The economy is going to hell in a hand-basket and people are upset over a movie!? Ha! I’ll tell you what people need to *really* be concerned about. I have no mo’ dark chocolate to eat… and the people of the United States are concerned about a movie?!

    What is it about cinema that makes people go bananas? I mean, large groups of *concerned* Americans are up in arms that Wal-Mart has agreed to sell copies of Brokeback Mountain… stating that the store is promoting the acceptance of homosexual behavior.

    Fuck dudes… if that’s truly the case, then Mayor White should watch his back as he’s usually the master of ceremonies for Houston’s Gay Pride Parade.

    BTW: when is the parade this year?


  6. a~lotus (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

    Oh yeah, I’ve heard that issue about Brokeback Mountain. Could you elaborate a bit more on the details? I only heard that people were rioting against Walmart on it…


  7. a~lotus (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    grrr.. me and my perfectionist side of grammar…

    It’s supposed to say: “…I’ve heard ABOUT that issue on Brokeback…”


  8. J (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

    Many historians – both religious and non – believe that it was very possible that Jesus and Mary were either married, or at least in love. As well, that they had a child. There are even churches that believe this.
    It has been a while since I have read the book, but I am pretty sure that Brown talks about their love. I guess being in love and fathering a child is dirty…


  9. sarah (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    Furthermore, people are also protesting over the production of this movie, because they don’t want the public/mass to think or accept that what is in THE DAVINCI CODE is real and true.

    I always find arguments like this to be fairly interesting… Why would anyone think that a movie (a fictional movie) is true? And if someone actually does think it’s true, they probably weren’t the “target market” of the church anyway, considering that they’ve managed to remain fairly uneducated on the topic. Because religion has always felt so “set in stone” to me, I can’t imagine how it would be a bad thing that one a person’s own interpretations/creative license get a bit of attention.


  10. A~lotus (unregistered) on April 6th, 2006 @ 2:26 am

    I don’t fully understand it either, Sarah. A creative work should be treated as a creative work. But sometimes I wonder if it’s just ignorance on some people’s part…or maybe something else? Strangely and sadly, there are people out there who think that whatever they read or see, etc. is real. I guess their own view of reality is distorted in some ways… *shrug*


  11. shawn (unregistered) on April 6th, 2006 @ 9:41 am

    I’m confused on what issue is being argued. Is it that Jesus *did* have children or *should/shouldn’t* have had children?

    *Did* he is a matter of fact, no room for subjectivity.

    *Should he/should he not* is more debateable. My opinion is that Jesus seemingly comes from a pretty good gene pool (son of God and all). If anyone in the history of mankind *should* have children, why not him???


  12. Truth Sayer (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 7:09 am

    From the comments posted by A-Lotus and Sarah, it would seem as if they believe the teachings of modern day Christianity to be “fact,” when in actualitiy it too is nothing more than a matter of faith. Dan Brown, the author of The DaVinci Code did infact write this novel as more than mere entertainment. While the plot of the story is fictional, the central theme of it is based on a very real belief system. The major modern day religions in general (not just Christianity, but Islam and Judiasm as well) are perceived in accordance with a Patriarchal belief system where God is a He, and He created all that we can see and interact with. The DaVinci Code however, presents forth the idea of Gnostic principles that teaches the true God or great spirit is actually a balance of masculinity and femininity (sort of the concept of Yin and Yang from eastern philosophies). It also depicts Christ as a normal human prophet who was charismatic, but not divine by any means, and it brings about the possibility of a relationship between him and Mary Magdalene. Devout brainwashed Christians (like Sarah and A~Lotus) refuse to even consider historical possibilities that refute what was simply taught to them when they were growing up. The Bible as we know it is full of inaccuracies which alone point to the fact that it is possible for the Catholic church (or any church for that matter This fundamental extremist attitude towards religion is what the novel (and hopefully the movie when it comes out) hopes to combat, by shaking these “set in stone” beliefs of the followers. That is what the controversy is all about. Religious fanatics therefore hate it, while those who choose to focus on religion as a concept rather than an unshakable set of beliefs, will likely appreciate the representations find it to be quite endearing.


  13. a~lotus (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

    Truth sayer, I thank you for your insight. However, do not accuse me of being a “devout brainwashed Christian,” for this is not so. I just mentioned in this entry that I’ve taken many philosophy and theology couses that deal with issues like this. And so I know just as much about them as you probably do. And I’m merely presenting only what Christians think because I was talking about the protest flyer made by Christians/Catholics. And I DID imply that the Bible itself has historical inaccuracies. Furthermore, the Bible itself is open to both literal and figurative interpretations. (This is debated for centuries. Who will interpret the Bible? And how to interpret?) Hence, the “inaccuracies” as you call it.

    Lastly, I DID mention that I HAVE NOT read this book and I have yet to look into the matter to express my views on it in the future.

    I think you should’ve carefully read this entry before you made any assumptions of any “brainwashed” individuals.


  14. a~lotus (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

    Truth sayer, I thank you for your insight. However, do not accuse me of being a “devout brainwashed Christian,” for this is not so. I just mentioned in this entry that I’ve taken many philosophy and theology couses that deal with issues like this. And so I know just as much about them as you probably do. And I’m merely presenting only what Christians think because I was talking about the protest flyer made by Christians/Catholics. And I DID imply that the Bible itself has historical inaccuracies. Furthermore, the Bible itself is open to both literal and figurative interpretations. (This is debated for centuries. Who will interpret the Bible? And how to interpret?) Hence, the “inaccuracies” as you call it.

    Lastly, I DID mention that I HAVE NOT read this book and I have yet to look into the matter to express my views on it in the future.

    I think you should’ve carefully read this entry before you made any assumptions of any “brainwashed” individuals.


  15. Rodger (unregistered) on April 21st, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

    We should all be very mad and irate when someone distorts the truth about The Bible and Christ. Some say its just a novel, get over it, but the cold hard fact is people who do not serve Christ will be persuaded enough that their faith in Christ will never flourish. The sad thing about this is people don’t know when to take a stand for Christ. Many people will spend an eternity in hell because this book and movie persuaded them just enough that they will never accept Christ as their savior. That my friend is reason enough to be outraged over this book and movie.


  16. Rodger (unregistered) on April 21st, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

    The Bible has no inacuuracies. To make such a claim is to say that God has made a mistake. As far as to whom will interpret, well when you have Christ in your heart the Holy Spirit will interpret. The Bible says that only those in Christ can understand the scriptures because it is the Holy Spirit who brings us the understanding. Not man. Man can teach what the Holy Spirit has made known but only those in Christ will truly comprehend.



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