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I'm a journalism freshman at MSU, and I hope to eventually publish my own novel one day.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My thoughts on "The Da Vinci Code"

Nearly two weeks after its release, I finally saw the Da Vinci Code. And I liked it. It was interesting, exciting, and made me think.

And guess what? I'm a Catholic.

I honestly am annoyed at the controversy surrounding it. To me, it was a repeat performance of the backlashes of The Passion of the Christ, The Last Temptation of Christ, and even Harry Potter. Recently, a representative of a Jewish group that was so outraged at The Passion admitted that they should have just let the film run its course. But apparently, nobody has learned their lesson if they continue to make deal out of everything that "challenges" Christianity.

Yes, the film's portrayal of sects that kill to perserve the foundation of their religion can easily offend people. Still, IT IS JUST A MOVIE. Yes, some of the descriptions of the religious groups and their rituals are true (or so we are told), but the whole story is fiction! It shouldn't be anything to make such a big deal about it.

In any case, these religious groups make themselves look ridiculous by producing "counter-attack" books and basically saying that Dan Brown is a liar. Did telling everyone not to see it do anything, aside from get more people interested in it? If anything, the controversy resulted in the book being a bestseller, and the movie is currently the top movie in the whole world! It's obvious that not many people are listening to them.

What makes me angrier is that these self-righteous so-called "religious people" give people of all religions a bad name. It's not just about this movie: it's about all the terrible things religion has been used to justify.

I had always believed that religion was about love, forgiveness, and peace. Yet the Catholic Church claims that homosexuality is a sin. Also, as the movie brings up, there is a negative attitude of women in the church.

Think I'm exaggerating? Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan use religion as an excuse to get rid of people they consider to be inferior beings. Look at the Taliban: they claim that any religion that isn't Islam is pagan and use violence to carry out what they consider to be the will of God, when in reality, Islam preaches non-violence! And they also have a negative attitude about women.

Of course, the Catholic church is nothing like those groups, but there are some dangerous similarities. The main problem seems to be that they take the Bible literally.

*Caution: the following may contain spoilers*

And regarding the big secret of The Da Vinci Code, I agree with Tom Hanks. Why couldn't Jesus be both human and divine? What was wrong with him being married and having children? Having a family isn't supposed to be a sin, for crying out loud!

In any case, I guess it's the same as questioning why priests and nuns can't be married, even though it's probably considered a matter of devoting yourself to God, which there also nothing wrong with. And I'm starting to wonder why can't a woman be a priest. The whole Adam and Eve story doesn't mean that women are inferior to men. Everyone, man or woman, can be weak-willed.

You want to know what I believe? I believe in a loving, forgiving God. A God Who loves everyone. A God Who does not reject people because of their gender, race, or lifestyles (so long as their lifestyles don't harm anyone). That is what I was brought up to believe.

So when people say that if you read or see Da Vinci, Harry Potter, or anything else that threatens their precious views, you're eternally damned, then I say if their version of Heaven is a place filled with smug, bigoted, self-righteous people like themselves, then I would prefer to be in Hell.

Everyone has their views. If you don't want to see The Da Vinci Code because of your beliefs, then don't see it. But don't expect to have anyone listen to your rants about everything in it is a lie. Stick to your own beliefs, don't interfere with or badmouth anyone else's.

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