Tom Hanks is convinced his controversial new film The Da Vinci Code will aid forward-thinking vicars and help ministers swell their congregations. The actor suggests church leaders should use the film, based on Dan Brown's bestseller about the possible offspring of Jesus Christ, to start a debate that will encourage more people to attend church.
Hanks tells Entertainment Weekly, "I think the movie may end up helping churches do their job. If they put up a sign saying, 'This Wednesday we're discussing the gospel,' 12 people show up. But if the sign says, 'This Wednesday we're discussing The Da Vinci Code,' 800 people show up."
The novel and the upcoming film have been heavily criticized by Catholic Church officials, who believe the idea of Christ fathering a child and starting a bloodline that exists to this day is preposterous. They've urged their faithful followers to boycott Hanks' film when it is released next month.
It reminds me a bit of John Lennon's infamous remark — "We're more popular than Jesus now" — although I suspect that Hank's comment was meant to be a more positive in nature. But at least this much seems clear: Hanks' job is to make a movie that misrepresents and (it is probably safe to say) disparages Christianity, while the Church's job is to clear up those misrepresentations. So, in his own strange way, Hanks is helping to keep pastors employed and bringing people in contact with the Truth. Who said that Hollywood stars don't have big hearts?
In (somewhat) related news, ciphers and secret messages are being released that seek to make fun of the hairdo sported by Hanks for his latest role. People sure can be cruel, can't they? Sheez, stop picking on the guy's hair and make fun of his religion. After all, nobody likes a bigot.