The Da Vinci Code: Exposing the Cracks in Christianity
The Da Vinci Code opens in cinemas in South Africa this friday, and ahead of its release runs the wave of Christian condemnation of the film. The local clergy and congregations have been sending sms chain letters around the country urging people to boycott or picket the screenings, and one group is even threatening to obtain a court order to stop the film being shown.
Why all the fuss? you may wonder. It’s a work of fiction, right? If they are so confident in their Truth, how does a work of fiction threaten that?
How indeed. Even if Dan Brown is some kind of anti-christ, hell-bent on destroying christianity with his blasphemy (as opposed to a writer of fiction making a bunch of cash), he certainly hasn’t done it in the way he would have meant to. Because it’s not the conspiracy theories that expose the cracks, it’s the way the church has responded to them. Their attempts to ban the book and film raise only one question in the minds of those prone to believing in conspiracy: why ban it, if it’s not true?
I’ll tell you why, and it’s not because there is a conspiracy to cover up a lineage of christ. It’s because even the church cannot know its ‘truth’ for sure. When all you have as proof is a single text, written by many, translated by many, and interpretted by many, you don’t have a foundation on which to say for sure ‘this is how it happened’. You cannot point at a different theory and say ‘we can prove you wrong’. You have to admit that the theory of christ marrying and having children is based on as much evidence, if not more, than the theory he didn’t. So what recourse? You make a noise, you get it banned. Because this is not an argument where you can take the high ground with evidence on your side. This is not an argument you can win in any way except to be the loudest voice, and drown out the rest.
And yet, for all their kicking and screaming, all the church is doing is making people wonder why they must kick and scream. If you are so confident in your truth, sit back and let the masses enjoy their fantasies, their fictions. Surely if you are not feeling threatened, there is no need to leap to the defensive?