Monday, May 29, 2006


Last week, we caught a screening of The Da Vinci Code. As Filmic Entertainment it was OK, but somehow, the film failed to capture the page-turning fascination of the book. Dan Brown’s writing style creates novels with short chapters, the reading of which is like eating a handful of peanuts. Just try to resist reaching back into the Nut Bowl for another handful.

Many Christian groups are up in arms about the movie, presenting as it does a heretical image of Jesus as Patriarch...and Mary Magdalene as Matriarch. Some have threatened boycotts. Others have written angry Letters to the Editor of their local newspapers. At the same time, many others have used the movie as a springboard for discussion, for engaging people in instructive dialogue.

All in all, not a whole lot different, qualitiatively, from the Jewish reaction to the release of The Passion of the Christ a couple of years ago...but that’s another discussion.

Folks, it’s based on a novel. Dan Brown’s protestations about a factual basis notwithstanding, The Da Vinci Code is a novel. Which means “Made-Up Shit” where I come from.

Not that it makes much of a difference to me. This story impinges not one whit upon my Religious Belief System. For me, the idea of there being a living descendant of Jesus of Nazareth is no more ridiculous than the idea that said Jesus was, in any way, shape, or form, (1) the Messiah whose coming was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, or (2) divine.

But that’s just me, Mr. Jew-Boy. Christians, feel free to disagree.

The thing that struck me, though, is that (so far), no embassies have been burned. Nobody has died in rioting related to The Da Vinci Code. Nobody has been beheaded. No Religious Decrees have been issued; the Pope has not proclaimed a Fatwa against the Hollywood Infidels responsible for this Cinematic Blasphemy.

The Christians, in other words, have not been acting like a bunch of crazy Islamists. How ’bout dat?

My Grandma said it best - or would have, if she were still around: “Da Vinci, Schma Vinci, as long as you’re healthy.”

Words to live by.

No comments: