Tarry for the Nonce

May 11, 2006

Journalists Missing the Point

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 2:41 pm

The Greek Orthodox church has joined the Roman Catholic church in their condemnation of Dan Brown’s book. What I find interesting is the consistency with which the material is presented:

“The work attacks and undermines in a treacherous manner religious knowledge,” said the leaflet, produced by the church’s supreme body, the holy synod.

The thesis of the book, which has sold millions of copies, is that Jesus Christ married, and had a child by, Mary Magadalene.

All articles I’ve encountered have been the same. First, they present a reaction from the religious body, followed by a simply phrased statement that the book proposes the marriage (and offspring) of Christ. How innocuous! How reactionary are those crazy religious folk!

The problem is that the thesis of the book is not simply that Jesus Christ married and had a child. The thesis of the book is that the Christian faith is based on a patriarchal myth. The book contends that Jesus was not divine and not Messianic. He was an inspirational political leader who understood the true goddess of nature as embodied in the sacred feminine of Mary Magdalene. Jesus, of the royal line of David, and Mary Magdalene, ostensibly of the royal line of Benjamin, spawned royal progeny who could have revolutionized the political structure of the world. Therefore, these progeny must be hidden from those that – for some reason that loosely ties to the downfall of the RCC – seek to destroy them and all documentation related to their existence. The book also contends that any “informed Christian” knows and acknowledges that their faith is based on pretty thoughts and allegory, as is the Jewish faith, which (Brown contends) celebrated a sacred feminine counterpart to YAHWEH, whom they approached quite naturally with ritualistic sex – before they were usurped and corrupted by the puritanical patriarchy, of course.

Brown finishes with a flourishing allegation that the “truth” only exists and thrives inasmuch as the people of the world are able to keep the sacred pagan goddess of nature alive, but hidden, in their midst, protected from all those crazy faith systems that would try to destroy her.

So when the various churches voice an objection to these demeaning characterizations wrapped in the pseudo-intellectual mantle of an academic wannabe, responsible journalists might perhaps consider acknowledging that the religious leadership of the world is reacting to something slightly more subversive than whether or not Jesus fathered a child.

But of course, why bother? After all, it’s just a book.

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6 Comments

  1. Brown finishes with a flourishing allegation that the “truth” only exists and thrives inasmuch as the people of the world are able to keep the sacred pagan goddess of nature alive

    So he’s a tree-hugger? that explains a lot.

    Comment by Alistair A. — May 11, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  2. Jesus had a child?! Thanks Laura, I never knew that. This changes everything!

    In all seriousness, the problem with the Goddess thought is that the true pagan goddess idea has really sprung up in the last 120 years or so. Even in the antiquities, the goddesses weren’t the type of goddess we see today in the neo-pagan movement. This idea of feminine empowerment embodied in a specific archetype that was worshipped thousands of years ago is just a bunch of malarky. Yes, you heard that right. Malarky. Uh huh…say it again son, malarky. I won’t go into details, but the reality is, there wasn’t a feminine goddess with the same authority as other pagan gods until recent history. Its a bunch of BS promoted by femi-nazis to fight for their empowerment.

    I personally find the idea of lost tribes of Israel and tracing those tribes through history much more fictionally intriguing. In fact, I think I might write such a book. But I need to read Da Vinci Code first so I can get an understanding of how to write for an audience so it’ll sell like hotcakes. I’m assuming the right mix is…take a bunch of things that aren’t true, add some statements like ‘everything in this is fact,’ add a dash of adventure, add a bit of intrigue, target your story around an institution that is thousands of years old, and bake at 120 F until the masses are just eating it up.

    Comment by Andrew P. — May 12, 2006 @ 11:23 am

  3. Lost tribes of Israel? Seems to me that the Book of Mormon takes up that theme as well, and is just as much a fiction as THE DA VINCI CODE.

    As for the goddess business, it has also “infected” genuine theological opinions, even in a so-called Christian framework. As an expression of the ultimate historical relativism, the Christ is refashioned as the naked female Kristi raped on a cross by male machismo and negative energy. No lie, I even saw such crucifixes back in the 80’s!

    It is so upsetting that Hanks and Howard are involved with THE DA VINCI CODE film. I have always liked them both, but this story is so deliberately misleading and anti-Catholic.

    It is really sad.

    Comment by Father Joe — May 13, 2006 @ 12:09 am

  4. I’ve never really liked Hanks. He kind of bugs me. Ron Howard is always that Happy Daze kid, so he’s beloved by many. But it is sad that they won’t put a disclaimer, considering the movie industry puts disclaimers on a number of other films that probably didn’t need a disclaimer.

    Comment by Andrew P. — May 15, 2006 @ 11:07 am

  5. If you’re looking to Hollywood for historical accuracy, I’d suggest a source with a more modest profit instinct. That said, you probably couldn’t do much better than Hanks and Howard; Band of Brothers, Apollo 13, (Private Ryan – settings & action, not storyline). At least not for cinema that makes it into theaters with popcorn.

    How would you word this disclaimer?

    ‘This movie includes opinions that can’t be substantiated that conflict with other opinions that can’t be substantiated’?

    Besides, the book did have a disclaimer… “fiction” is written on the spine. Of course some other books, like “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” have “nonfiction” on the spine.

    Gosh! There is a copy sitting next to me right now. I’ll let you know if it is any good. I’ll be sure to keep my copy of NIV & “Asimov’s guide to the Bible” nearby for reference.

    Comment by Chris E — May 15, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

  6. IF anyone else got that post from Chris E. please give me a shorthand of it.

    Comment by Alistair A. — May 16, 2006 @ 2:47 pm


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