Thoughts on the Da Vinci Code

Eric and I are looking forward to seeing Da Vinci Code when it opens next month. Eric was looking forward to seeing a movie with me that was based on a book that I hadn’t read. Oh, well. He’ll have to suffer through my comparisons yet again, since I picked the paperback up on Saturday night and finished it Monday morning. I haven’t read a book that fast in a while…it’s definitely a page-turner.

I’m getting a kick out of the uproar around the book/movie, now that I understand what everyone is so upset about. The book takes a lot of fact, and ties it all together with a theory that may or may not be fact. Personally, I enjoyed the puzzles and the book’s steadfast assertion that religion as we know it today is based on accounts and writings compiled by man…not diety. We believe what we believe because our beliefs are passed on generation to generation and they adapt as those in power make them change. As a Jew, I’ve always been more interested in the true origins of the faith…exactly who said that this is the law and why. What was happening politically in the world at the time that influenced that decree and led us to do what we do today. Fascinating stuff. I don’t necessarily buy Dan Brown’s version of things, but I can believe it’s possible that there’s truth there somewhere and I like how he keeps the ride going. A little too soap opery in the end, but a fun ride nonetheless.

What I don’t get is the beef by the Opus Dei. Didn’t they read the book? I don’t want to give anything away, but in the end they’re not portrayed as poorly as they seem to think they are. At least I didn’t read it that way. They’re probably more upset at the way Catholic doctrine is portrayed in general.

“The novel mixes reality and fiction, and in the end, one doesn’t know where the lines are between true deeds and invented deeds, so that the reader who knows little history can arrive at the wrong conclusions.”

That sound you just heard was Oliver Stone and Michael Moore giving each other a high five.

Ironically, this is exactly the kind of thing that Brown uses in the book to explain his “theory.” The more people believe and the more people tell a story in a certain way, the more that telling becomes fact that others are expected to believe. This is exactly what Opus Dei are afraid of, and what “the Church” (and all organized religion if you ask me) are most guilty. Not as much fun when the pen is on the other hand, is it?

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