Friday, May 26, 2006

Decoding with the family ...

So mom and bro went to see the Da Vinci Code movie today. Apparently, Baroda's INOX Multiplex (which had six screenings, 3 in English and 3 in Hindi) was quite packed, though around the country the reponse has been a little mixed.

"Oh, pretty decent!" was the general verdict. "So, why is the church getting so upset by this? This is a godsend --- everyone will be talking about Christianity now!"

Um. Except thhat's not Christianity.

So, a nice discussion follows about history, ("well, one can never really know, can one?), fiction ("it's just fiction!"), and so on. "I see why the stakes are so high. The church, like an advertiser, is into mind control --- and this challenges their mind control."

:: sigh ::

My bottom line(s):
-- yes there are different interpretations of history, but acknowledging this doesn't mean that anything can be considered genuine history. History has to have some connection with reality, with "what happened." One can come up with a movie, say, that portrays Gandhi as being a puppet of the British and the independence movement as being really a Nazi plot, but one cannot say that this is history. That's the level of "history" of DVC.
-- and yes, tons of people believe this as having some positive correlation with reality and history. And Dan Brown isn't so disingenuous about that either. The way it's taken off, one simply cannot just say "this is fiction" and hope it goes away, or ignore it.
-- the churches have to have a robust response. Boycotts and bans, in my opinion, are counterproductive.

A little later, though, there was a "fact from fiction" Q&A session. Did Mary Magdalene exist? (Yes). What about Opus Dei? (Yes. It exists. But to believe what Dan Bown says about would be akin to believing that the BJP is a Christian organization that promotes conversion) What are the sources for knowing about Jesus? (The Gospels, and NT for one. Which Brown just ignores.) And when did Roman Catholicism start? (With Jesus, not with Constantine.) When was the first church built? (Huh? Hmm. No idea. Isn't there that second century dig from Dura Europos? ... They met in homes you know. Public churches? fourth century) ... etc. etc.

So much easier doing this with people one isn't related to! Especially when the constant undercurrent is, "well, you're Christian. You're biased."

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