Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Feather ruffling (Llama)

'Da Vinci Code' Protests Widespread

I had to laugh when I got to the part of this aricle where they report that "National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation expressed unhappiness with the film's heavy, a monk-assassin, being an albino."

I find it disheartening that some religious groups are calling for a ban or a censor of this movie. It seems to me that if an idea depends upon ignorance to be believed, then it's not much of an idea. The way to combat an idea that one disagrees with is to provide a counter argument; if the Holy Grail isn't what the story claims, then show us why. There have been countless books and TV shows that provide evidence of how the 'Da Vinci Code' is flawed. This is a much better path than just banning the topic entirely.

To me it's this kind of thinking that has lead to the recent examples of politics interfering with science. Religion's role should be to provide spiritual guidance, not intellectual dullness or delusion. If any idea, religous or otherwise, falls apart under scrutiny, then that idea should be discarded. If Christianity is dependent upon beliefs that are verifiably false (i.e. the Earth is the center of the universe, or it is only a few thousand years old, or that man was formed spontaneously from the dirt), then Christianity must either be discarded or adapt its teachings to these facts. If a way of life is environmentally harmful (fossil fuel emmisions contribute to accellerated warming, higher sea levels and changing weather patterns... see the melting of Greenland), then any political ideology that promotes that way of life should be either discarded or adapt to reality.

And if Catholicism is so flimsy that a single fictional story can punch holes in it's orthodoxy, then that orthodoxy must be re-examined.


P.S.

Unlike most church teachings, the effect called "Global Warming" is a scientifically falsifiable theory. I understand that many have doubts about its authenticity, and I do not intend to promote blind faith in anything. It is my understanding, though, without doing a full scan of the literture, that the preponderance of evidence (as well, at the risk of being inflamatory, common sense) does now support the proposition that our emissions are impacting the environment.

7 comments:

-E said...

having read the di vinci code (well the abridged version, which i suspect will be closest to the movie) i can confidently say that the story is a load of crap. not only are vast portions of the book just down right wrong (yes i know it is fiction, but some people are ignorant and think that some of the stuff actually happened) it was also a highly inflamatory story and well, bad. i suppose the unabridged version had more going from it, cause i just do not see why people like this book.
this maybe one of those instances where i know too much to suspend my disbelief.

Killer Llama said...

And some people think that the world was created in 7 days and Eve from Adam's rib. Does this mean we should ban Exodus?

-E said...

oh i don't think it should be boycotted... but i don't think people should go see it either (i think it will stink). it sounds like it bombed at cannes...

-E said...

oh, and that would be genesis not exodus.

-E said...

oh and let me add, while the news may be drumming up the "Jesus was married to mary magdalene and had a baby" is "blasephemous", that is not, infact, the problem with the book. if someone says that this married jesus is against church teaching they either don't know what they are talking about or are lying. there is no mention in scripture as to jesus marital status; it is open for debate, you can believe it any way you want.

hmmm... i think i may need to write my own blog entry about why the da vinci code sucks.

kristybox said...

I haven't read The Di Vinci Code. I suspect much of the controversary is a conspiracy to get people to want to watch the movie, and I won't be sucked in. How's that for a conspiracy theory? ;)

But I do agree with both of you that debate, and not boycott, is the way to deal with theories. And the bible, IMHO, is a "theory" of how things could have happened. I believe it's divinely-inspired, just not that it is literal truth. It's more stories and fables and some history, told by people who mean well and mean to teach. That's a key reason that I am a Catholic rather than, say, a Baptist. The Catholic Church in general, although certainly not all of its members, seems to be more cerebral about things.

I didn't boycott Harry Potter or Dogma either, BTW. And I am a better SPIRITUAL person for having experienced both of those entertainment choices. And the Church telling me to boycott them, if It had, would have made no difference.

I should add that I see nothing wrong with fiction including facts that are wrong. If people are ignorant of the reality, then so be it. I also have no problem with highly inflamatory, although it is a good basis for judging a person. (So that you have a right to make a highly inflammatory statement, and I have a right to think you are a jerk for doing so.)

It does seem like The Di Vinci Code would be a book which would be better enjoyed (and its point is mostly entertainment, as I understand it) in the unabridged version. It is a mystery, with clues and development of intrigue, after all. That's one reason I find the concept of this book as a movie so unappealing.

Hmm, I'm trying to address everything here, but I am stumbling at Eve being literally created from Adam's rib. A Jesuit priest once told me that clearly a man wrote that and that the man who wrote it must have not been much of a ladies man to write something so sexist. :). It does teach a great point though - that man or woman, we are all cut of the same cloth. We share the same feelings and struggles, and have the same obstacles to overcome. Too bad the man who wrote it probably didn't intend to teach that lesson.

I knew this passage was Genesis, because we studied it in my college Honors Seminar. But please don't ask me about any other parts of the Bible. For example, I'm not quite sure if there is even a part of the bible called Exodus? {blushing} I'm such a South Louisiana Catholic!

Also, Llama, I'm skeptical, too. All the time. I go to church and pray anyway, but I will never acheive blind faith. I figure if God exists, he is the one who created this doubt, and the things that cause doubt, like the evidence that man is not, in fact, made of dirt, so he must have given me doubt for a reason. So I remain Catholic, and I remain highly skeptical. And I distrust those who absolutely believe, including the Pope, because absolute belief seems impossible to me.

I think I only had absolute belief for one minute, and that was the first time I held Ander. It was fleeting, and unintelligent, and I'm not sure I can ever recapture it. It was like a glimpse of what I cannot have.

I talk too much.

Killer Llama said...

Let's see... surely since I'm a moderator of this blog I should be able to edit a post... change Exodus to Genesis....

Bah.

It does sound like the movie is a stinker. Which is too bad, imo, because I really enjoyed the book (as well as Angels and Demons).

Boycotting, for me, is alright. That's one person or group of people expressing their views through the marketplace. Now, if they attempt to stop me from seeing the movie, then that's when I have a problem. Here in Thailand the Censor has ordered the last 10 minutes of the movie chopped off, because that's when the "truth" about the Holy Grail is revealed. This kind of censorship enrages me.

Anyway, it's been a fun couple of days in blogland :)