Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Red bus, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

There seems to be a lot of talking about the Da Vinci Code film and an awful lot of noise from the Christians who think someway that the book or the film might be damaging. I am sure that the reason why there was so much advertising in Rome, where the book was not so popular was to provoke the church into a reactin which feeds into publicity for the film.

We go to see the film tomorrow, not expecting anything too great but we enjoyed the experience of reading the book (somehow) and will see the film.

There was a UK made documentary on Belgian TV last night called the Real Da Vinci Code presented by a comdey actor-turned historian. In trhe short space of time devoted to reasearch for this programme he felt able to give us the real facts relating to episodes and stories mentioned in the book. Good for him. And, of course, he found most of the claims made could be proven to be wrong.

It was very interesting that while he was looking for ways to disprove some of the stories used in The Da Vinci Code, he recalled the story in the Bible that when Mary Magdalene went to look inside Jesus' tomb, after he had been lain there, the tomb was empty except for an angel perched around somewhere. He did not raise an eyebrow... of course there would be an angel in the tomb. If the Bible says so, then it must be true and, of course, we all see angels everywhere. Seems like one way to measure the truth of the Bible and another for anything else.

I, too, having read a few books on various of the stories presented in the bok am also sure that an awful lot is untrue. I am sure that the Priory of Sion is a hoax anbd that the story of Mary, wife of Jesus, arriving in the South of France in the 11th century was just a ploy to encourage religious tourism into the area. And the rest of the story about a bloodline through French kings is also probably nonsense.

However, I do think that the major issue of whether or not the early Roman church influenced the course of Christianity by puttinbg forward their accepted texts, outlawing any other texts, burning libraries and persecuting dissidents, forging various parts of the letters of Saint Paul and so on, DID happen and that we should have a good look at all this.

The role of women for example is a major issue where revisionism could lead to a better religion for the Christians. Now that Mary Magdalena is no longer a prostitute, as was claimed by 1,000 years worth of popes, maybe people can have a better view of who she really was and whether or not she really was Jesus' beloved disciple and that she could very easily be the disciple, sitting next to Jesus in Da Vinci's Last Supper.

My own view is that Jesus did not exist and that he is the Jewish version of the dying and resurrecting man-gods of the time. Even still, the stories which do exist, which I would call legends or fables DO have worth because they are providing an illustration of the philosophies which are being taught. So, to get the right meanings from the stories one should read the stories in the right way and read all of them, not just the ones chosen by the church elders about 300 years after Christianity was really getting going.

It is all too much for a blog, but tomorrow, I might try to quote some passages from Paul's letters which would seem to contradict each other, begging the question why and whether or not his letters may have been tampered with.

On the other hand, it is amazing how the established church is closing ranks and trying to forestall argument, encouraging boycotts and even picketing of cinemas. It is also trying to focus attention on the more bizarre aspects of the story in the book in order to discredit everything which is written there. Not really the sign of an organisation with a lot of confidence.

P.S. Interesting to see that militants are using the same tactics of 1,600 years ago by burning copies of the Da Vinci Code book (in the village of Ceccano, near Rome), according to the BBC. And Fred tells me that they were burning books also in the 1930's in the time of Mussolini.

P.P.S. Just been down to buy tickets for tomorrow's showing of the film in Tuschinsky One, the beautiful art-deco/nouveau cinema in the centre of Amsterdam, and it has ben sold out... a private showing... interesting... maybe someone does not want us to SEE the film! Mmmmm!!!

P.P.P.S It seems as if people in Rome are queueing in droves to see the film!

P.P.P.P.S. Would like to relate the fact that in the Independent newspaper in the UK last week, in just two days worth of papers I read three major articles written about the film and the book and every reviewer/writer had to inform us, the readers, that THEY had NOT read the book. One even said that in general the more a person reads, the less likely he is to have read The Da Vinci Code. Long live British snobbery!

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