Stupid?

Joe Perez at the Gay Spirituality and Culture blog poses the question, are fans of The Da Vinci Code stupid?

“Conservative religionists hate being portrayed as idiotic rubes by elitist liberals, but don’t hesitate to paint readers of The Da Vinci Code in a questionable, biased light. The premise of this blog by Jeremy Lott at GetReligion is that readers of The Da Vinci Code are too stupid to tell fact from fiction, and are rude graverobbers to boot.”

First off, before I get into my personal feelings let us establish a few things. Conservative and orthodox religionists hate, hate, hate, hate, hate The Da Vinci Code and for good reasons. It plays fast and loose with historical data, it is sloppy at best in tying together the different threads of conspiracy theory and it performs some major blasphemy on traditional Christianity (plus it is a damn pulpy novel, great literature this ain’t).

I personally wasn’t impressed with the book, and if such a book was written about Pagans I would be offended (oh wait, several such books were written, silly me). Most people I run in to tend to think it is just another trashy novel with a heretical twist. If this book had only sold marginally well, I doubt it would be garnering this much attention. In my mind the real issues are, why is this book so popular? What does that say about our culture?

To start off, I think this quote I posted before from The Village Voice points us in the right direction.

“What The Da Vinci Code has created should interest us, but not because Brown is right about Da Vinci or the infamies of the Catholic Church or powerful secret societies or the real role of Mary Magdalene as apostle and lover to the Christ. The Da Vinci Code is important as an expression of a desire for a spirituality that cannot be had within the confines of the institutionalized church. More simply yet, it is the popular expression of a desire for a kind of meaningfulness to life that is missing for most of us. And certainly, it is the scandalous expression of a willingness to be disobedient to achieve the heretical end of a salvation outside the confines of the church.”

In other words, the secret ingredient here is The Goddess. Christians are so busy correcting the obvious flaws in scholarship by Brown that they often don’t address why this book is touching a nerve, people crave the divine feminine and Brown’s book provides a narrative as to why Joe and Jane average don’t see much feminine power in their Churches and in their Bible. Anyone who has paid attention to human behavior long enough knows that a good story full of lies often resonates better than a litany of truth. As a wise person once said, “Stories are lies that tell the truth”.

The truth here behind all the lies is that the concept of a divine feminine equal to the divine masculine is on the come-back in a big way. The Da Vinci code is just a harbringer and the upcoming movie starring Tom Hanks will just cement it’s popularity in our culture, and the more Christian groups publish books and preach against it, the more Brown’s wacky theories will sound almost plausible.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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