9.07.2004

decoding the criticism of the Da Vinci Code

post script note - i originally started writing this blog on aug. 1, but i didn't finish it and saved it as a draft and because i am super flaky/lazy, i'm only now getting around to finishing it.

i just finished reading the Da Vinci Code by dan brown yesterday. i'm not here to give you a full review. but you do need to know some basic plotlines about the book to understand the gist of what i'm trying to say here. there are some major spoilers up ahead so if you plan on reading the book, go ahead and read, i don't give a shit. anyways, the book is about a humanities professor who stumbles upon a secret society designed to protect an alternative history of the christian church. this alternative history revolves around the fact that jesus was married to mary magdalene, had kids, and that once the church got going, it systematically erased references to these things because they were a bunch of guys who didn't want women to have any power. supposedly most of the stuff in the book is based on actual institutions and theories about the history of the church. it's kinda hard from just reading the book to tell the difference between "based on fact" and "artistic license". anyways, allusions to the secret history are supposedly embedded in da vinci's art and the humanities professor has to figure them for the usual thriller genre reasons, he was accused of a crime he didn't commit, he's a target of a vast conspiracy, etc.

anyways, since it was hard to figure out which parts are based on fact, i turned to my trusty research tool, the internet. i googled "the da vinci code" and there were a zillion hits. what is really interesting is that most of these sites are dedicated to saying that dan brown made a zillion factual errors in the book and that dan brown is going to go to hell for being a blasphemer. i should admit that the word "blasphemer" was not used that often, but that surely was the gist of the sites. while it's pretty easy to see that brown took a hell of a lot of artisitic license, i wanted to just say that most of these websites seemed to have missed the point completely.

the point that i got out of the book is that the catholic church has a long history of hating women. they can't be priests, they can't have abortions, and they bear the brunt of blame for several bad things in biblical history (expulsion from the garden of eden, samson and delilah, that sort of thing). the feeling i got from all of these debunking websites, is that since brown got all of his facts wrong (sorta) that the accusations towards the church hating women couldn't possibly be true. well as this recent papal communique suggests, the church still hates women.

in any case, the point is, when these people are getting all bent out of shape over a work of fiction, then it's pretty clear that they themselves are defending their church from the possibility of public discourse about the church's hatred towards women, which in a real sense, means that they hate women too. i know that hate is a strong word, but if i were to make excuses for these people that would mean that i hate women too. and i for one, am amazingly and completely in love with women.

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