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Saturday, March 11, 2006

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El Perro Patron

No, please boycott!

Seriously, I want delusional wingnuts to boycott, demonstrate, screech on Faux News, take out ads in the New York Times, whatever it takes to get out your all important message that a fictional book and film will somehow damage one of mankind's oldest, wealthiest and most powerful organizations.

History shows us that the more crazy people demonstrate against some form of art or entertainment, the more publicity it receives and the more money it makes. So, by all mean, scream away.

And remember: a book of historical fiction is Bad and Dangerous for the Church. A few hundred priests molesting a few thousand children while the leadership does whatever it can to cover it up, No Problem! Nothing to see here. Move it along folks!!

Carl Olson

I'll agree with EPP on one point (and one that I've made before): that a boycott of this movie is, I think, a mistake. As for EPP's other remarks...

Ed Peters

Dear Richard: you realize, I hope, that there's a name for people who publish vicious caricatures of those who disagree with them, and who advocate various forms of escalatory battery (such as egg-pelting) against their "enemies"...they are called "Brownshirt wannabes".

El PP helps me make a point that has been dawning on me ever more forcefully for some years: that the clergy sex abuse scandal was, in large part, the Devil's last ditch effort to discredit the Church just before she blossoms into a new era of incredible holiness and courageous confrontation of a sick society.

Ed Peters

Boycotting a movie is just staying home. What some folks are calling for is "picketting" the movie or engaing in other forms of public protest. I'm all in favor of the former; it's the latter, clearly defined, that Carl and I others would discourage.

Cristina A. Montes

It's one thing to argue for tolerance of people who like the movie; quite another to force people to watch the movie if they don't like to. We can't stop Dan Brown and Ron Howard from making a movie bashing our religion, but we don't have to contribute our own hard-earned money to the revenues they'll make out of it.

My take on picketting: Picketting against the film may be a strategic mistake. But at the same time, I'd respect the free speech rights of the picketters.

Oh, and Richard: what a waste of eggs...think of all the starving children those eggs could have fed...

Carl Olson

I'm all in favor of the former; it's the latter, clearly defined, that Carl and I others would discourage.

Exactly right. I don't think people should see the movie, but I won't be picketing it. However, I will go see the movie so I can that I can accurately and fairly respond to it and to what others say about it -- which is, I think, one of the few (or only) reasons to see the blasted thing.

Mark Stone

Here's the thing that Mr. Smith seems to fail to grasp, that despite the DaVinci Code being a work of fiction, there are tons of people out there gobbling it up as if it were a new Gospel. What priest or minister can honestly say he hasn't had someone come up to him and say something to the effect of "I didn't know Jesus was married..." or "I didn't know Constantine invented the idea of Christ's divinity". Brown, despite his protests to the contrary is a dangerous historical revisionist who has cleverly used the term "historical fiction" to sow confusion. The simple reality is that too few Christians are educated enough in their faith to separate the facts from the fiction in this book. If that weren't the case, people like Dan Brown, Elaine Pagels, and Michael Biagent wouldn't be seen as any more than the crackpots they are. This movie is dangerous because Christianity in America and much of the Western world has become weak and blase in its teaching. The best way to combat this movie? It is for priests and ministers to give their congregations solid theological foundations in the faith. People swallow this idiocy because they are hungry! Well, lies can never stand up to the truth, so ministers, FEED YOUR FLOCKS!!!

Sandra Miesel

It's my obligation to see this accursed movie but I hope everyone else stays home or sees something else on opening weekend (May 19). But no pickets please!
One tiny ray of hope: the new Pixar cartoon CARS opens the following weekend and may outsell TDVC.

Ed Peters

Here's a point I made a couple of years ago: "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was "just a novel", as was "The Octopus" and "The Jungle"; but they were of vast important in bringing slavery down in the US, as well as breaking transporation monopolies, and brutal working conditions in meat packing. So, the mere fact that something is "just a novel" is NO argument against its potential social importance, or the obligation of the novelist to relate reality accurately.

El Perro Patron

Ed,

Slavery was one of the greatest evils that this nation has ever perpetrated. The Jungle detailed the abusive and sickening conditions of an industry. The robber barons running the train line monopolies were economic dictators.

Those institutions fell because they were wrong and evil, not due to books of fiction.

The fact that you would compare those institutions of human degredation to the Catholic Church is quite interesting.

Ed Peters

ElPP: hi. you did read my post, right? you do understand the point of, and limits to, the analogies, right?

Ed Peters

he he he. why do people pounce on every weakness in an analogy as if it is some kind of Freudian slip? if i want to say that dog-keeping is a universal past-time, and to illustrate that I say "My daughter kept a dog, and Hitler kept a dog" who thinks I'm "interestingly" comparing my daughter to Hitler? Get real people. I listed three novels that had a MAJOR social impact (I never said they alone accomplished social change--Sheeze, read my post.) I said DVC has a major social impact. What's so hard about that? How does that mean I'm comparing slavery to the Church?

Cristina A. Montes

Ed Peters is right. Furthermore, the end does not justify the means. Granted that the Catholic Church has some scoundrels in its ranks who have committed atrocities, and granted that something should be done about these atrocities, to knowingly and maliciously twist historical facts and bloat statistics are atrocities even if purportedly done to correct other atrocities.

Mark Brumley

Ed: Well said. Some people simply can't or won't get the point.

Carl Olson

I had to read The Jungle in high school and my English teacher made sure we knew the significant role that novel had in changing laws and influencing public perceptions. I've pointed to my article, "The 'It's Just Fiction!' Doctrine: Reading Too Little Into The Da Vinci Code", many times before, but I'll happily do so again, just in case certain people might be interested in learning a thing or three.

clive

A little off the point perhaps but ...

In the High Court today, Dan Brown stated, on oath (and he's a Christian, right?)that he has never read the Baigent book. He has a 'short-attention span' which rules out reading other people's books. Apparently, is why his chapters are short.

As we say over here in London; you couldn't make it up!

Carl Olson

Clive: You couldn't make it up, but Dan Brown seems to be making up nearly everything! ;-) Check out my post earlier from today about the trial and Brown's comments.

Richard Smith

Wow. It seems my sarcasm was too much for some people to understand.

Very interesting what happens when you are bored at four in the morning and decide to run a google search for your own name and random other keywords.

p graham

Hello Carl,
I wondered if you could answer some questions for me.
I wanted to ask your opinion of the other equally fictious novels out there on historical/biblical figures. For example Mary of Magdeline and Anne Rice's Christ our Lord out of Egypt. While it is for understandable reasons why the Divinci Code is contoversial,I have not heard much about these books and the church's view on them.I have known books out there that are written by Catholic authors that are equally fictitious many about the Blessed Mother, written to portray her "in a way that she can speak to us today." I think the church does have a name for this but don't you feel that even these novels can do damage to our scholarly tradition when they can be easily disproven?
P.S. I read Will Catholics be Left Behind and loved it!

xxoozero (Richard Smith)

By the way, I am also the Anti-Christ. If you liked this last article, you will love to see what I have to say about religion as a whole. It is easy to find, right there on the SOP website. You can also read the unedited version at www.ShoutWire.com. It is under the most popular section in the first space.

It is always good to hear from readers.

Lilith

Now, who really cares about a work of fiction? If it wasn't you should protest, but it is, so why all the hoohaa?
The piece by Zero was eloquently written and reflects his stance on the fact that so many christians would take offense at a work of FICTION. Shame on all of you who took offense...

Us non christians have been tollerant long enough, have been attacked and ridiculed, tortured and killed. Don't forget your history, it is full of attrocious acts against those who do not believe as you do.

Allow us the harmless act of eggthrowing...

paraone

Mr. Smith could be more gracious and professional with his writing, but for the most part I agree. It is fiction and anyone stupid enough to for some reason take it as fact won't be influential enough to make a difference anyway. Picketing this movie will be a huge waste of time and effort, even though if you want to do that I won't throw eggs at you, because that would be stupid too. Also it's your right to protest it if you want, even if it will be a giant waste of effort, much like 98% of all protests are.

It's like, not that big of a deal man. It's a movie.

Richard: Be more proffesional in your writing!

Protesters: It's your first admendment right to fight the man, but I think the effort and energy you are spending could be better used on real problems.

Oh.

Having blind faith is one thing , but trying to convert people is another. Religion is for fools that need a meaning to their useless lives.

P9

So here we have a considerable number of fanatics worrying about the effects that a fictional book can have over the faith of a few a people. That just goes to show the weakness of the foundations of that faith since a fictional book can shake those foundation to a level that brings the outcry of these fanatics.

If i were among these fanatics i wouldn't be questioning the book, but the weakness of that blind faith that makes it so easy to disturb.

denizsi

"Here's the thing that Mr. Smith seems to fail to grasp, that despite the DaVinci Code being a work of fiction, there are tons of people out there gobbling it up as if it were a new Gospel. What priest or minister can honestly say he hasn't had someone come up to him and say something to the effect of "I didn't know Jesus was married..." or "I didn't know Constantine invented the idea of Christ's divinity". Brown, despite his protests to the contrary is a dangerous historical revisionist who has cleverly used the term "historical fiction" to sow confusion. The simple reality is that too few Christians are educated enough in their faith to separate the facts from the fiction in this book. If that weren't the case, people like Dan Brown, Elaine Pagels, and Michael Biagent wouldn't be seen as any more than the crackpots they are. This movie is dangerous because Christianity in America and much of the Western world has become weak and blase in its teaching."


And whose fault is that? If a so-called religious person is so open to misleadings about his/her own faith because (s)he is not educated about his/her OWN damn belief, then that person deserves anything that might happen to him/her. If just a piece of fiction will lead a christian to be something else, so be it.

Additionally, suggesting that people shouldn't read this book or see the movie is just the same as suggesting people shouldn't read *anything else*, because conflicting ideas can be found anywhere, and to suggest otherwise is same as censoring thoughts and ideas, ie. return to middle ages.

One step further: Sacred books of other religions. Come dare protest the other books the same way, because clearly, each religion invalidates the others, and they are not even fiction! So, what if a christian reads Kur'an? Oh my! You should protest Kur'an, right now!

Again; if a religious person is so easily open to "misleading" influences, then (s)he better educate himself/herself about his own damn religion, and form his/her own solid ideas -provided (s)he is capable of doing so. If not, (s)he deserves totally anything.

cih420

If thats the case, anyone whos not christian should be out picketing in front of churchs Sunday morning, whos with me?

david velasquez

It's ridiculous to boycott a film based on a disagreement with its content in its historical portrayel. Jesus is not the intellectual property of the catholic church. While much doctrine has been based on certain assumptions of the events in his life there has never been a 100% certainty as to the timeline or the occurances themselves.
The film and the book and several books in the realm of this cottage industry have simply introduced an argument... but it shouldn't be construed as an argument that invalidates a religion or a belief.
I believe that the most important thing that ever mattered was not the divinity of the messenger...whether he was human enough to sire offspring is less important than the message he brought. I believe the message is the real legacy. That is something a film like this is not going to change.

jaxx_rr

First of all: I know for a fact religion is 100% pure bullshit, hitler was a jew and the natzi are just some fools irritated by (not all) just a pathetic bunch of jews who need attention and money and want to be on top of eerything.. with their movie industry and bullshit.. may god fuck them all... :D

Anyways, here are some questions some might have a default answer for: (god, heaven, whatever)

We're consuming and producing to get to where?
If the only input is energy from the sun and the only output is (genetic) information are we involved in a process of transformation?
Why is everyone trying to get us DO stuff?
What if we stopped the process? What would happen then?

And now to what I think the non-jewish part/idea of the DaVinci code is all about .. (a bit like the matrix):

Motivation... 0 vs 1 / still versus active / you see it in the stars and under the microscope.. / why are we involved in this "GOING ON WITHOUT A PURPOISE" thingy? Are there agents amongst us trying to get us learn, produce, fight, multiply, and so on.. I dont think they are cristians.. but.. are they aliens??

do we need religion?
We, the human race, have allways followed some code, either religious, or law, or whatever, anything that one could come up with and others could FOLLOW..
Could it be diffrent in a alternate/parallel universe? Could every entity have it's own code? Could we coexist like that?

You notice by now I am my own country and I dont have a thing in common with the rest of this race and I'd like to think that I dont give a flying fuck about anything or anyone that exists here or in any other place of the universe, and this was my code from the day I was born and I will stick to it to the day I die.

The Da Vinci Code is just a movie, a mystery-action-adventure mix with a bit of jewish bullshit but still interesting enough to watch if you manage to filter that out... (getting harder each time).. and I recommend it to everyone.. wtf it's just a movie..

jaxx_rr

ps: christians are still my fav people... why?

jewish
---------------
annoying: 10
violent : 1

muslim
---------------
annoying: 2
violent : 10+

christians
---------------
annoying: 1 (I like the coca cola song at chrismass)
violent : 2 (the crusades are long gone)

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