Monday, March 21, 2005

The Vatican and Hollywood = Shameless

Don't you just love it when the Church makes a big deal out of the silliest of things?

For instance, a follow-up story on a eccumenical broo-ha-ha last week:
The Catholic Church Gets their Vestments in a Flap over the DaVinci Code.

The real conspiracy is that Dan Brown has shamelessly borrowed any originality and creative research from a much earlier tome Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982). Cleverly written under the guise of research, they include clandestine interviews, archival research in the Biblioteque Nationale, a Dossier Secret and sensational conjectures about Jesus's extracurricular activities. Sure, any academic would turn up their noses and claim there is some inherent methodological flaw. They would have some authoritative complaint: Academics are far too safe to embrace this bit of creative history.

Did the Vatican get their chastity belts in a knot over Holy Blood, Holy Grail? Probably. They must have dismissed it with an air of condescention. According to Wikipedia, Holy Blood Holy Grail authours Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln are more offended by Dan Brown's gratioutious borrowing than the Vatican is over the book's scandalous claims.

More Conspiracy: the Church has granted Dan Brown's screenplay Blockbuster status. Could it be anything less? All that free publicity cannot be mere accident. Utter the words "Catholic Church" and "condemns" in the same sentence and you have guaranteed its place in the "Movies that Catholics Hate Hall of Fame." It will proudly sit beside The Exorcist, The Last Temptation of Christ and SpongeBob the Movie. The Church must be getting kickbacks.

And what about that old saying "The Truth is Stranger than Fiction"? We suspend logic and go for the Virgin Birth story, the walking on water, healing of the blind and feeding the multitude. Why not continue the insanity and have Jesus marry a prostitute and hide his offspring in France? Frankly, the ressurection is far too anticlimatic. All the DaVinci Code does is water down the meticulous research set out in Holy Blood Holy Grail. Brown sticks in two characters badly portraying academics, inserts a murder here, a bad guy there and adds a car chase. Whoop di doo. Someone in the Vatican clearly has way too much time on his hands. He must have been the bedpan cleaner without a job while the Pontiff languished in the hospital...

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