I finally watched NBC's "Dateline" special, "The Secrets to the Code". It might be even worse than Sandra indicated. From the very first ominous musical note, you know you are in for a boatload of hooey (to put it nicely). A partial transcript can be read here; however, it doesn't contain the opening, in which Important News Person Stone Phillips dramatically informs viewers that The Da Vinci Code is a "mind-bending thriller" that "suggests that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was also a husband and a father..." Oops, big mistake, Sir Stone: the novel makes it known that Jesus was not the "Son of God," nor divine in any way whatsoever. Of course, that's really not Stone's fault; he's merely reading what is flashed on the monitors in front of him.
The well-groomed upholder of journalistic standards and "truth" (as opposed to Truth) then states that "we decided to do some serious detective work of our own to unravel the truths, the myths, the secrets to the Code." [Insert hearty laughter here.] Which apparently involves copying ABC's November 2003 primetime special, "Jesus, Mary, and Da Vinci" and interviewing the same guests and making the same silly assumptions. It also means not bothering to talk to Catholic biblical scholars—despite the novel being about the Catholic Church, Catholic beliefs, and the Bible.
Of course, the only issue "addressed" is the alleged marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And, on cue, NBC trots out Margaret Starbird, former Catholic and author of Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail. Starbird unleashes some impressive (ha!) arguments for the JC/MM marriage, including: "I think they were a couple. I think he found her irresistible." How romantic. How silly. How typical of Starbird, as Sandra and I noted in The Da Vinci Hoax:
But the point of the mythical marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is not to advance a better understanding of marriage or deeper appreciation for the feminine, but to destroy the truth about the covenental union between God and man that has taken place in the marriage between Jesus and His true Bride, the Church.
The writings of Margaret Starbird are instructive in this regard, filled as they are with tortured explanations of how Mary Magdalene fulfills the Old Testament promises of the beloved Bride and how humanity must "rediscover" the sacred feminine and abandon the destructive notion of "the celibate male image of God". The "male Logos", Starbird fumes, must give way for "Eros, the bridal aspect of divinity". These beliefs rest on an unabashed narcissism and dislike for the suffering Christ. Starbird states that humanity has been "duped for centuries" into accepting suffering in a patient, docile manner that reflects the teachings and example of Jesus. This mentality, she writes, has allowed the Church to maintain control over the majority of people and have kept those people from being able to shape their own "wholeness and well-being." But those repressed will no longer allow themselves to be "children", Starbird proclaims, for they are "partners" who are able to set their own "goals and standards." She then states, "I would climb down from the Logos-oriented cross and redesign my life based on the blueprint for balance . . . I had been shown." [p. 100]
Ah, now those remarks get us much closer to the real issue: do you choose or reject Jesus Christ? Do you believe and confess that he is true God, true man? Do you acknowledge the Cross and your need to be saved? Or do you say, as Starbird does, that I will "redesign my life" based on what I think is right?
Finally, near the conclusion of the "Dateline," Phillips says Dan Brown's novel, "an amalgam of truth and fiction, fact and hoax, sacred and profane, has clearly enthralled millions. But when last chapter is read, and readers pause to reflect, just what might they think?"
How about: "I just wasted $25 and several hours of my life for that?!"