A fan of The Code wonders why anyone could have a single, solitary negative thing to say about The Novel That Changed Her Life:
What's the big fuss about "The Da Vinci Code"? What are Christian leaders so afraid of? I have read that novel of Dan Brown and I consider my hardbound-copy a priceless possession. But my faith has not been swayed at all even after reading it for a second time. On the contrary, it confirmed my convictions about the matter, not that they were not already firm.
The Catholic leaders, in raising arms against the showing and publication of "The Da Vinci Code," are actually doing what the book would like to portray the Church has done, that is, to hide facts about the Christian faith, for its own selfish ends.
I find no blasphemous part in the story. There's nothing to hide. Whether it is offensive to the faithful or not, it is better to open it and for the readers to judge it. If one's faith is strong, no book or film can shake it.
If I understand this correctly, it means that only positive emotions and thoughts and comments are allowed when it comes to The Da Vinci Code — a "priceless possession" (my copy cost $15.95 at Costco, btw). But, more seriously, is Dan Brown's novel blasphemous? This is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the word:
Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called." The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin. (CCC 2148. Emphasis added)
Well, Dan Brown has reportedly said that he's a "committed Christian." But he has also said in interviews and in his novel, through his protagonists, that humanity needs to return to an embrace of the "sacred feminine" and, apparently, goddess worship. He makes numerous false claims about Jesus, the followers of Jesus, Saint Mary Magdalene, and, of course, the Catholic Church. Is that blasphemy? Perhaps not. But it does add up to a lot of falsehood. Whether or not promoting falsehood about religious beliefs and history is bothersome or serious I'll leave up to readers.
Meanwhile, another reader is kind enough to e-mail us and point out that Dan Brown's novel is fiction. Gasp. No!
After reading the write up on your book, "The DaVinci Code Hoax", it seems to me like a whole lot of folks need a time out.
I've read the Da Vinci code and, guess what? It's just what it purports to be - a work of fiction, nothing more! It does what fiction is supposed to do, it entertains, and does so quite well.
Get a grip guys!
Yep, "nothing more." Which is why it has a "FACT" page — to accentuate that it is just fiction and nothing more. Of course! How did I miss it? Oh, and for the (factual) record, my co-author, Sandra Miesel, doesn't like to be called "sir" or referred to as a "guy."
And, finally, this new "review" of our book, The Da Vinci Hoax, left by a reader on Amazon.com:
Wonderfully Boring!!!, April 25, 2006
Reviewer: Jose Gonzalez - See all my reviews
This book has very little merit. Do some real research and stop the nonsense talk! The aggression against Dan Brown is a waist of time. A novelist can write anything he/she pleases. Criticize the religious scholars, the gnostics, and the historians... Not Dan Brown!! His facts came from his interests in those areas of study, not from him alone... Idiot!
Ah yes, the Cult of the Untouchable Novelist. He is an Artist and therefore enthroned on high, above mere mortals and philistine scholars and historians. Of course, The Novelist has embarked upon study — but he remains safe from criticism because, well, Jose Gonzalez says so! 'Nuf said. It's a waist of time. And perhaps even a waste of time. Period.