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Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Da Vinci Code: Devious Ways to Create Doubts

The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci CodeThe Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code

In a blog I used to have I've found an article about The Da Vinci Code. It was written in May 2006, but the tacticts employed by those who wish to attack Christianity with devious means are still the same, making the piece still relevant.

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If I want to make a lot of money by writing an absurd story with no evidence to support it, disproven by historians, art historians and archaelogists, a story intended to attack Christianity which is an easy target because it is already under siege, a story that will treat Jesus Christ in the same way that Hello! and other gossip magazines treat celebrities, what shall I do?

Wait a minute, someone else has already done it.

They have written The Da Vinci Code.

First of all, Da Vinci is not a surname. Leonardo was illegitimate, and "da Vinci" simply means "from Vinci". It's the same as calling St Francis of Assisi just "of Assisi". A bad start for a writer.

Secondly, the book relies on the widespread ignorance of Christian matters among the general public. To list all the gross errors, inaccuracies, disproven hypotheses, reliance on false documents, distortions in history of art, “elaborate hoaxes”, falsified history, and so on contained in the book would take much more than an article.

Historians, art historians, archaelogists have conclusively demonstrated that the whole story of the book is a lie (you could call it a work of fiction, if it weren't for the ambiguity of its status), not a fact.

Some of this is revealed in the book The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? by Hank Hanegraaff and Paul L. Maier.

And, if this were a book (and film) offensive to Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, it would be considered a hate crime. If, God forbid, it were offensive to Islam, on top of being labelled a hate crime it would also make book author, movie director and producers’ fear for their lives (in fact, a film about Islam would be even too dangerous to make).

But to offend Christianity is “art”, as in the case of Chris Ofili's painting of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung and surrounded by cut-outs from pornographic magazines.

The omnipresence of the much over-used words "Islamophobic" and "anti-Semitic" obviously shows that certain groups are protected by political correctness, but one group is not.

Do you have doubts whether to believe the story of The Da Vinci Code?

Try this.

With a little intelligence, logic and thought, you may be able to solve your doubts.

Why do you think that The Da Vinci Code was intended by its author as a work of fiction?

Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code : A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine

Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code : A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine

For one very simple reason: because it contains accusations and claims against a real organization, the Catholic Opus Dei.

If these charges had been expressed in a declared non-fiction work (an expose, for example), the organization concerned could have sued the book’s author for libel and defamation.

Now, if the author had felt sure of his own accusations against the Opus Dei, he wouldn’t have had any trouble with this possibility of being sued, actually he would have welcomed a court case where his claims would be vindicated.

He obviously knew that he did not have a case against them, as it is expounded in the book.

So, he decided for the fiction label of his book.

At the same time, in true gutter press hack style, he did not want the truth to stand in the way of a good story.

So what did he do?

He wanted to have his cake and eat it.

He wrote a book, allegedly fiction, but by using historical figures, real organizations and true paintings as his book’s subjects, he could maintain an ambiguity that, while protecting him from possible legal actions, gave nonetheless the impression that he was talking about reality and historical events, making a gullible public believe what he wanted them to believe.

He did not have the guts to challenge his targets directly, face to face, and have his claims refuted during a lawsuit.

This is the work of a coward, who is afraid of a legal action for libel and defamation, but is not afraid of spreading lies.

In fact, the parallel with tabloid gossip journalism is not coincidental. The way that book treats Jesus Christ is not very far from the way the gutter press treats celebrities.

Some people have pointed out that works like Independence Day are not real accounts of an alien invasion because the screenwriters used real organizations like the Air Force and the President of the US, or The Red Badge of Courage was not about a real soldier because the character was in the Union Army.

But not every historical novel or period drama film, or any other work of fiction with a historical or real background, is the same as The Da Vinci Code.

In it, historical figures and institutions are the main characters in the (allegedly fictional) story, and not just part of the backdrop that “the screenwriters used”. They are the story, so anything that is said about them in the plot is either historically accurate or - if not - should be considered as fiction by the readers or movie-goers. But is it? Therein lies the ambiguity.

History is what The Da Vinci Code is about, unlike those other examples, where history and reality are the pretext or background.

The last time I checked, aliens trying to invade the earth were not part of the history curriculum.

And no, The Red Badge of Courage wasn't about a real soldier, and that's exactly what makes a comparison between the two books irrelevant: he was a fictional character; but Jesus Christ is not.

This explains why many people believe that The Da Vinci Code is true, whereas not many - fortunately - believe that aliens have tried to invade the earth. You wouldn’t see an online comment about alien stories, Independence Day and The Red Badge of Courage such as this:
The damn book is fiction but a great story. If there is any good to come out of all of this I hope it is that Christians will try and find the truth about the historical, factual Jesus. For far too long we 'little folk' have allowed ourselves to believe that which has been preached to us without question. Faith may be nice but even Christ Himself encouraged His contemporaries to search for the Living God. The majority of Christian Doctrine today has been sanitized, distilled and manufactured to fit the mold of a handful of power mad despots who used the story of Jesus to advance their own interests.
The examples of fiction books or films set against a historically true background - or in which the imaginary characters are surrounded by real figures and events - are irrelevant, because there was no intention in those works' authors to mislead the public into believing something untrue.

The ambiguity in The Da Vinci Code's status (fact or fiction), on the other hand, is manifest, and has been observed and remarked upon innumerable times.

Those who cannot see the difference are disingenuous or simply not clever.

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