Why all the controversy?What is it that people seem to find so threatening in The Da Vinci Code? If one is secure in what one believes, why would opposing viewpoints or ideas threaten anyone's...

Why all the controversy?

What is it that people seem to find so threatening in The Da Vinci Code? If one is secure in what one believes, why would opposing viewpoints or ideas threaten anyone's faith? I do not understand the controversy.

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malibrarian's profile pic

malibrarian | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Good comments from everyone. I, too, am a Christian, and I just wish people would not get so upset about this nonsense. If we accept that Jesus was fully human and yet fully divine, we have to accept that he probably had the same feelings we all have. That's not to say that he acted upon them, though. And even if he might have been married, so what? That doesn't change who he is or what he has done for us. I have a strong suspicion that if he came back today, he'd tell us we've misunderstood a lot of things.

And can't you just see poor old Leonardo shaking his head?

Amen, sister! I suspect that Jesus does a lot of "Good grief!" comments while watches what a mess people have made of his world in his name. That's what bothers me the most - Christians who say that Jesus would have been okay with the crappy way they treat other people. Uh...no.

And yes, I'm sure Leonardo and Shakespeare get together for a few drinks now and then and say, "Wow, did you know that that little painting of yours was going to cause such a ruckus down there?  Good job, dude!"  "No, Will, I had no idea...did you know people were going to search your sonnets for minute details as to the sordid events of your life? That is hysterical - here let me buy the next round!" :)

jeff-hauge's profile pic

jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

My apologies to any fans of the Left Behind Series. I think, however, that the literary merit of those books can be argued. For me the more important aspect of those books is apocolyptic literature can be wholly interpretive and historical Biblical matters cannot be. 

I  did enjoy the  audio book version of The Da Vinci Code. It was a wild ride. But I will never need to read it again. 

It does give the European backpack trip a little more glamor. When I was in the Louvre, I was on a quest as well. (To find the Holy-not-so-expensive-coed-youth-hostel.) 

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

I actually found that there was a remarkable lack of protest about this film. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested even before the script was written. The whole process of that film's production was attacked. Ultimately, the film ran its course and the demonstrations brought more attention to it.

I felt there was a sense of restraint from the unnamed Christian mechanism that normally gets involved.

I too, felt it is weak writing. I too am a Christian, went to a Christian college and am queasy whenever faith attacks art or science.

Honestly... if you want weak writing, the Left Behind Series is for you, and arguably equally as wreckless with spiritual matters.

I think the reason for the lack of protest for the film is because the chest-thumping had been going on for so long by the time it was finally released.  It had become passe...on to new threats. 

jeff-hauge's profile pic

jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

I actually found that there was a remarkable lack of protest about this film. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested even before the script was written. The whole process of that film's production was attacked. Ultimately, the film ran its course and the demonstrations brought more attention to it.

I felt there was a sense of restraint from the unnamed Christian mechanism that normally gets involved.

I too, felt it is weak writing. I too am a Christian, went to a Christian college and am queasy whenever faith attacks art or science.

Honestly... if you want weak writing, the Left Behind Series is for you, and arguably equally as wreckless with spiritual matters.

alexb2's profile pic

alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Throughout history, books which seemingly challenge church doctrine have always been very controversial. The Da Vinvi code is perhaps unique in the canon of books which have challeneged church doctrine because it is a thriller, a book meant to be fun by using the church's doctrine, history etc. as a trope for a conventional (and not all that well written, in my opinion) pop novel.

In some ways, you could almost consider this even more offensive, as now people can feel free to write books mocking essential church doctrine and not even mean it! At least in the past, books which were considered controversial or heretical by the church were written with the purpose to challenge the church. Now, it's considered something similar to the Greek myths or other stories ripe for retelling and reminagining without any responsibility to honor the original beliefs.

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Good comments from everyone. I, too, am a Christian, and I just wish people would not get so upset about this nonsense. If we accept that Jesus was fully human and yet fully divine, we have to accept that he probably had the same feelings we all have. That's not to say that he acted upon them, though. And even if he might have been married, so what? That doesn't change who he is or what he has done for us. I have a strong suspicion that if he came back today, he'd tell us we've misunderstood a lot of things.

And can't you just see poor old Leonardo shaking his head?

clane's profile pic

clane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Sounds like a fantastic trip. I would love to do something like that next time I'm over there! :)

I'm a Christian and I have read the book and I can see why people of faith may not want it to be read. My pastor talks often about the filters that we must have up against things of the world. I read it for the story and found it entertaining, I wasn't reading it as gospel or truth or anything. I suppose I feel that knowing what's out there grounds me more firmly in my faith, but others are too afraid that their faith might be shaken. Still others I am sure feel that something like this book might drive those who have yet to decide away from God and so they feel it's threatening. I majored in Philosophy at a State school so my faith was certainly tested by all sorts of theories and made stronger, but I did see fellow classmates lose their faith in our studies and I'm guessing that it wasn't very strong to begin with.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree, Jamie.  I wasn't impressed with the writing, but the story was fun.  I also only read it because all of my students were reading it and swore up and down that I had to jump up on the bandwagon.  So, I borrowed a copy from one of them and read it over a weekend.  Now they tell me that the sequel, Angels and Demons is much better.  Maybe I'll read it and maybe I won't, but I have to admit that traveling to Paris last summer with many of these same kids on an EF Tours trip and taking the Da Vinci Code Tour at the Louvre made it that much more thrilling to read.

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

I would also add that paternalistic based religions find the idea of a female-centric ideology threatening.  At the church my mother attends, there was even a special lecture desgined to impart the evils of The Da Vinci Code.  My thought was, "Get a grip.  It is a novel.  You know...fiction?"  But any time authors tread the robes of the sacred, there is bound to be backlash.  Dan Brown hitched up his robes (or more likely, his "Dockers") and laughed all the way to the bank.  (Remember all the fuss over "The Last Temptation of Christ" or, too not paint just Christians as zealots, the fatwah issued against Salman Rusdie for "The Satanic Verses"?)

Personally, I read this novel simply because 1) so many religious types were saying not to (little rebel that I am) and 2) because it seemed that everyone on the planet had a copy in their hands.  I frankly didn't see what all the fuss was about...he seems a mediocre writer at best to me. 

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Perhaps the controversy comes not from those sure of the belief systems by which they live, but from fear of what those who are unsure might take away from the book.  The book is wildly entertaining, and fun to think about, however, there is much that is hypothesized and untrue from a Christian point of view.

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