Alright, so it was inevitable. The new movie, "The DaVinci Code" is coming out... and again, the religious right has their panties in a wad over it. Just like they did when the book came out. Just like they did when "Dogma" came out.
Yes, I just compared this movie to Dogma. And with good reason. They both have one VERY important thing in common: They are WORKS OF FICTION! They are fictional characters! Fic-tion-al characters ... am I ... am I getting through to you? Okay so seriously, all obligatory Kevin Smith references aside... what's the big deal people?
What has got everybody so worried about this book?
Oh yes, it uses real names and real events as the basis for its story. So what's wrong with that? So did "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark". Where's the big riots over that movie? What about "The Chronicles of Narnia"? It's rife with religious overtones. Are we truly to believe that God is a big lion?
If I constrained myself to one of the organized religions whos officials were getting in a tizzy over this story, I would be pissed. Why? Because it's insulting! They are telling all of the followers of their religion(s) not to read this book! And why are they doing that? Because they're afraid. They are afraid that the followers are stupid, that they will think these books are in fact not fictional, and take every word as fact. How insulting is that?
Although on a more positive note, I did gain a lot of respect for the Filipino Roman Catholic leaders in this whole mess. They are the ONLY high church officials I have seen who simply reminded people that this is a work of fiction, and in fact did NOT call for the book and/or movie to be banned. That's how things should be run. If anything, I think they should encourage people to read the book, to see the movie. Then once they've read the book and seen what Hollywood has done to it, come to them with questions. This is a work of fiction. There are many fictional pieces in it, easily pointed out by any monkey with a highlighter. If nothing else, it will at least make people think, make them ask questions. It would lead to education. If the leaders think that everybody is so stupid, why not encourage education?
Okay, I realize I'm rambling on.. ranting, raving, but ignorance and censorship are touchy subjects for me. I despise both of them. And this whole topic is just full of both.
Funny thing is, I had hardly even heard of the book, nor did I have any interest in reading it, until the churches started making a big hubbub about it. Only then did I say, "Hey, this might be an interesting book. If there's this much controversy over it, it's GOT to be a good story." A very appropriate quote for this situation, which I heard in the TV show "The West Wing" is "If they're shooting at you ... you know you must be doing something right."
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.