Friday, December 29, 2006

Now that all the dust has settled and the issue is no longer discussed, I wonder why I feel like writing about the Da Vinci debate, but the fact remains that I do. The main reason I didn’t feel like airing my views about it then was because the whole matter seemed so trivial. For me, it was never a matter of faith, but any Christian, I thought, would have felt outrage. I mean, if someone wrote a book stating that Krishna was just man and not god incarnate, a womanizer who is in the same league as the Peeping Tom, I'm sure the writer would have faced much more than mild debate and in some part, belief in what the book stated. Lynching would be my guess, or a long period of hiding with possibly a withdrawing of the book and a public apology thrown in for good measure. There would have been riots and killings, retaliation of no mean order. No matter if the author stated that the book was a work of fiction. Look at what happens when a place religious worship is destroyed or desecrated. This book desecrates the very basis on which Christianity stands. And we hear vague, non-united, isolated protests?? It made me ashamed. More so when I heard people criticize the Vatican for their condemning of the book. I mean, if they didn’t, who would?

If one wrote a sensational and scandalous story about any world leader alive today with just enough half-truths to make it believable, even if the author admits it is fiction (with, of course, the mention that all documentary sources are true!), he would not be allowed to get away with it. And here we are talking about a historical figure of the most widespread religion in the world. How dared he.

I was astonished when the book was not withdrawn. More so when the protest, not the book, was disapproved.

The last straw was being asked by a friend if I believed what the book stated and being greeted with surprised disbelief when I said no, I didn’t.

For me, it isn’t a matter of doctrine. It isn’t just being born into this religion that makes me believe in Jesus. For me, it is a matter of personal experience. If I had previously stuck my hand in fire, no matter what book tried to convince me that fire doesn’t actually burn, it would make no difference to my belief. And if it did manage to brainwash me somehow, I need only to look at the scar to remind myself of the truth. It is only those who have never touched fire or have handled it with only fireproof gloves who can be swayed. It’s the same here, but in a positive sense.

Put against the millions of miracles, healings and conversions that have taken place, the book becomes laughable. Personally, I find the Bible a much more convincing read. The fact that the Code was not written in the intention of presenting the author’s proven belief in what he writes or to destroy Christianity as a religion because he thinks its beliefs are false, but very simply as a tool to obtain fame and money makes it merely cheap.

It is merely the sensation that holds a rather mediocre piece of writing together. There is no brilliance in style, there is no class. Dan Brown will not go down in history as a writer even for the wrong reasons. The book may be a mass entertainer but literature as an art is much more finicky and ten years down the line, no one is going to remember Dan Brown.

And that says it all.

19 comments:

JollyRoger said...

Hmmmm, i have that book as a pdf at home and am yet to read it. I have read the rage of angels i think and it was interesting. But fiction will remain fiction.

About the code, It is lamentable that we are not making an issue of it. I dont want protests but positive action, if people were grounded in their faith this would have been a non issue. As you say its the weaklings with no experience who doubt. It is their choice and their loss. We need to revamp our catechism classes and our faith instructions as well. Too often we find that the lack of knowledge becomes the breeding grounds for such books to thrive. We do not know what we believe and when someone comes up with something we accept.

Actually i have lots to say, but then it would exceed your [post, so I will just say your post echoes my sentiments.

Welcome back!!!!

harlequin said...

rage of angels? u mean angels and demons, huh..
i agree with u, its the lack of knowledge and personal experience that leads to doubt.. christianity seems to be the only religion where i've noticed people being ashamed of their faith, if u could call it that, considering so many people have no idea what their faith even professes. however, in a positive light, the book, while destroying the beliefs of naam ke vaaste christians does strengthen the faith of others who tend to look deeper into the source of their belief.. i guess God allows all sorts of things, including silly books in His Plan.. ;)

THE UNDISPUTED GENIUS said...

Mr. Brown?

He's not going to be remembered 10 years from now.


no further comments.

Whoa! said...

classy writing..

Gangai Victor said...

Hey Sheila, very well written post, u have a great gift for this...hope you write more about such issues...keep it up!

God bless
G

rummagin said...

i mean, well ofcourse not!! when asked abt the truth of the book, tom hanks quipped that none of us were around during that period to know. and they use documentary evidence?!? come on, give me a break.

well done, rebel (idle doesnt feature anymore ;-) )

Jay Rulz! said...

http://jaythoughts.blogspot.com/2006/06/catholic-church-and-da-vinci-code.html#comments

something i wrote a while ago...

Anonymous said...

At last i find time, okay my first impressions

Why the pseudo name ???
Why Black - looks mournful
A few good topics . . . .
Good writing style . . . .
A kind off a show off
What a waste of time ??? where do u get the time to write so much ??

Well will comment more when I go thru in detail . . . but I’m still trying to figure out why why why ???? what’s the purpose of this blog ??? what’s the impact it creates ??

harlequin said...

jay, i did read ur blog back then and commented on it immediately.. check ur article feeds..

harlequin said...

thanks for rummagin around, and who is this?
idle would be cos i publish an average of ten posts a year.. :)

harlequin said...

for the why, read three posts down.
pseudo name? because i want to.
black? i love black.
i suggest u read more before u comment further.
thanks anyway for the feedback..

Smruthi said...

hey..nice post..kinda strong and powerful.. good stuff :)

trinity said...

Hey da that was strong and subtle. forgive me if im not meaning it well... actually retaliation and riots are not of much help. whom are we trying to convince that Jesus is Lord by these killings... so long as we are staunch in our faith and able to preserve one more persons faith intact, the job is done. C'est fini. We know our God and our religion. if people are deceived and leaving the faith... they are just using this as an excuse! remember truth alone triumphs. coz He said He himself is truth. Whoever has personally experianced Christ will never doubt.

harlequin said...

the problem is that the number of people who have personally experienced Christ r very few. hence the need to protest against such a book. if someone wrote a scandalous story about ur mother, wouldnt u retaliate? protest? would u say that since u know the truth, u will leave it at that? standing up for what we believe in is right. i never said we need to retaliate with violence, just that that would have been the result, had it been any other faith. we can protest in our own way, but to stay silent, saying that our faith is strong is more than foolishness, it is a breach of faith because, by our silence, we advocate the book.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful prose in a lovely texture, shiela! The point is Jesus is just no son of man that man's lowly stream of thinking should his name defile, He is the Son of God. He is just no historical figure, His is history. Even the soul that writes of this manner was created by He who is mocked. No manner a tale has stood in history against this wonderful name, which above all names, both in heaven and on the earth. So we as Christians ought not rage our protest nor even raise up to stand. For we called to stand in the Gap, the gap that fills mankind with all malice and folly. Just as He told it is just for us to Pray and tell the Gospel. The Spirit which hovered over the earth, at the beginning of time is almighty able enough and even more mightier to in a moment slay and stray them into defeat. Yet Christ died, for these souls of ignorance, to the heavenly love, know. Lets us stand in our prayers for these brothers and sisters who in their mortal realm know not their creator. Remember we belong not to the democracy of the world, But to the theocracy of GOD our Father. Just what I thought.

The mocking spirit said...

You write well, I must say, definitely worth reading!

But i have a few knots to clear.
So as a Christian you do not believe in Evolution ?! So when Darwin's book on it is launched will you shun it? Because it does not fit into ur religion ?

I am a Hindu, but that does not mean that I turn a deaf ear to stuff that is wrong in my religion.
Religion is not just something that you have to accept. Religion should be something you discuss, analyse and think about. Krishna and all those gods were Mythological. Yes I absolutely will agree when someone says that, I am not going to just deny it for the sake of it. Because they were infact a myth. They were just charachters in history with a good heart who have been elevated to the position of say God.

Just because something does not agree with or fall on your line of thinking does not make it "crap". Thinking that it is, is not healthy.

P.S. Just a healthy comment for a healthy discussion. Don't get worked up ie if you do. :)

harlequin said...

taking in or leaving out theories that do or do not 'fit' into Christianity does not come into the equation here. i believe what the Catholic Church teaches, true, but it is an informed belief, not blind fundamentalism, which it would be if i were to reject the evolution theory. the Church neither agrees nor disagrees with the evolution theory, but She maintains that God is the creator. i agree.
the Catholic Church has been wrong about many things in the past and has admitted to the same.
i do not classify things as crap based on my way of thinking, or beliefs, generally. and even if i do, i dont go around proclaimimg it to be crap. people can have their own viewpoints about anything, including Jesus being God or man.
this page expresses my views. i dont force them on anyone.
so u think the gods of Hinduism are mythological? yet they are 'good people' who have been given god-status? im a bit confused here. what exactly is ur belief? more importantly, what is ur point?
oh, and by the way, if i didnt discuss, analyze or think about my religion, i wouldnt have written this blog, or replied to all my feedback.

anusha said...

first things first....u write really well....

n ya i agree with u..wen ppl r born into some religion n brought up with those values.. of-course v tend to believe, follow n respect them... n yes if there was a book written about krishna... there wud ve been riots( n i would be totally against it)... but isn't it also true that when people trust of believe something its cant be shaken by a mere novel... n for those who have actually stopped believing in their own way of life (prior to the book) do u really think that they matter after-all it took just a book cud brain-wash them...
books will come books will go.... it doesn't change anything.... as u can it for urself...it certainly hasn't changed u or ur beliefs.....

Me. said...

Not that the book was all that great,and although sensationalism was the desired effect,to believe in God as a mortal (Oxymoronic as it may sound) is much more believeable and comforting to people whole feel they control their destiny and are loathe to concede that they are merely puppets of His 'Divine' creation.