Monday, May 15, 2006

Keep the Baby, Faith

CHICAGO (Reuters) - America's evangelical Christians who see "The Da Vinci Code" as Bible bashing at its worst are taking a cue from Hollywood to attack the story as well as capitalize on the hit novel's impending movie version.
WASHINGTON - “The Da Vinci Code” struck a chord as a runaway best-selling book, but the film, which denies that Jesus is divine and portrays the Catholic Church as evil, has many conservative Christians storming the ramparts. “This isn’t just a little misguided theology, but a dagger in the heart of the Christian faith,” says Robert Knight, the director of the Culture and Family Institute. “I don’t think Christians ought to put down money for something that blasphemes the Lord.” So, later this week Knight and others will urge a nationwide boycott.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Across the United States on Saturday and Sunday, television viewers were to be offered "The Da Vinci Deception," an hour-long program produced by Dr. D. James Kennedy and his Florida-based Coral Ridge Ministries. The video, also being offered for sale, exposes "how a best-selling book threatens to undermine the faith of millions," its promotional trailer states.
CBCPs Statement (in part) - The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, representing the collective voice of the country’s Catholic leadership, on Monday issued a press statement on the issue. Brown has created the impression that his fiction is historical fact. Aware of Saint Paul’s admonition that some people "will stop listening to the truth and will wander off to fables" (2 Timothy 4:4), we, Pastors and Teachers of the faith, invite the faithful to carefully discern the truth of the Gospel.
From The Border Mail - Msgr William Fulton of St Patrick’s Church in Smollett St, Albury, said he had organized a viewing of "Discovering the Truth About The Da Vinci Code" at the church hall on Thursday night. "The novel undermines our belief in Jesus as God,” Msgr Fulton said. "If you were a Muslim you would not be able to do anything like that to Mohammed. "It’s fiction but it’s being advertised as the truth."
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Those are only five of the seemingly countless examples of stories that have appeared recently in the already sick-and-tired of the publicity surrounding Friday's release of The Da Vinci Code, directed by noted evangelical Ron Howard and starring the Rev. Tom Hanks. The movie isn't even in theaters yet, and already it's on my nerves. And just as I was getting over the hype from the book!
As has been mentioned here before over other such issues, Americans are as easily duped and played for suckers as anyone on the Earth, and probably elsewhere in the Universe as well - although I cannot prove my "Universal Theory of Chumps", I can at least vouch for our Solar System.
Here's a message to all who may be offended or otherwise influenced by the book and/or movie:
Be secure in your faith. If your religion and its corresponding God are so fragile as to be influenced by a book and movie, how strong can the premise be? If others choose to reap profits over religion and seek to cause controversy over the ideals you hold dear, let them go. If you are confident in your faith, it doesn't matter to anyone but you whether or not the book and film represent religion or fiction. If they are indeed doomed to Hell, then that will be their lot.
A lot of time and energy are being devoted to reacting to the movie, but if you already knew that some people [the weak] will "wander off to fables", why get worked up? It has happened before and it will happen again. Such is the fragility of faith. If their beliefs are so unstable as to be shaken by this, then perhaps you should just let them go. They will come back. God beats Hollywood like rock crushes scissors and scissors cuts paper.
The more attention that is given to this, the more it will make people want to see it. Nothing entices people to do something more than telling them they cannot. It will not "undermine your faith" or "put a dagger in the heart" of your beliefs. As Christians, you are supposed to be stronger than that, and to suggest otherwise is insulting to you and your church.
Perhaps the reason the churches are so irritated by this is that they fear they will lose your business. I really hate to bring money into an essay on religion, but let's face it, if people begin to turn away from the church, they will suffer financially.
Besides, whatever happened to the concept of turning the other cheek? I guess that doesn't apply if it's the cheek with the wallet in it.

8 comments:

MyRiseAbove said...

Powerful insights...thanks for sharing.

Anthony said...

Thanks for reading. I'm anticipating a few angry reactions, but it seems that people get more worked up over my "American Idol" views or my stance on sports superstitions.

Go figure.

MyRiseAbove said...

I too was anticipating some kind of reaction from people when they read my posts on how I feel about God. But I guess they realize averyone is entitled to their own feelings.

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