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The Hazzn's Tish

Or: A Cantorial Student's Dispatches from his Outpost in Manhattan

Friday, May 12, 2006

Da Vinci 'Splode!

An article in yesterday's New York Times notes that the Catholic Church's objection to the upcoming theatrical release of The Da Vinci Code
has been colored by the Muslim riots over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Most American media outlets refrained from showing the cartoons, and now some Christian leaders are asking why Christians should be expected to sit by while the media promotes a movie that insults their savior.

In Rome recently, Archbishop Angelo Amato, the No. 2 official in the Vatican's doctrinal office, told Catholic communications officials: "If such slanders, offenses and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust, they would have justly provoked a world uprising. Instead, directed at the Church and Christians, they remain unpunished. I hope you will all boycott the movie."
American media companies avoided showing the Muhammed images because they feared that the resulting furor would threaten the safety and even the lives of their employees. Clearly, they view angry Christians as far less menacing than angry Muslims. This hardly seems like a reason for the Church to take offense.

A sidenote: Were I in charge of these things, I would simply point out that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction and should be viewed as such. I would then call upon some respectable academic types to point out a few of the more interpretive historical references in Brown's books. (I don't know precisely how Robert Langdon managed to secure his tenure at Harvard, and I believe I'm happier for that.)


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Your approach would be much more effective ... I advocate that Catholics and others insulted by this piece of garbage show their opiniong by simply avoiding it en masse .. I'm hoping beyond all reason that it simply tanks at the box office

Saturday, May 13, 2006 7:08:00 AM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

Interesting that Archbishop Angelo implies that "Holocaust" is the Jewish equivalent of the Muslim "Koran"....

Sunday, May 14, 2006 1:07:00 AM  
Blogger fleurdelis28 said...

"Jack Valero, Opus Dei's UK spokesman, took the floor. 'We’re not allowed to murder — not even Dan Brown,' he said."
-- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2179357,00.html

Sunday, May 14, 2006 7:14:00 PM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

Mar Gavriel: You're right that the analogy is problematic, but there's a certain wisdom to it. Jews — at least the ones that I know — don't get riled up en masse whenever someone tries to argue that modern Rabbinic Judaism is not the proper heir to the religious civilization of ancient Israel. (Heck, they probably teach a class on that at the Seminary.) You have to admit, though, that your average ambivalent Jew can get pretty adamant when it comes to Holocaust denial.

Actually, it might be fair (if not unpleasant) to speculate that the Holocaust has more religious significance than the Torah to most American Jews.

Sunday, May 14, 2006 9:41:00 PM  
Blogger Mar Gavriel said...


Note that all I said was that Archbishop Angelo's comparison was "interesting", not that it was "something that only an outsider would say".

I remember that one of the early reviews of Siddur Sim Shalom pointed out that the supplementary readings in the back gave more space to Yom HaShoa [sic]than to Shavuot [sic]. The review complained: "Has the voice from Sinai been replaced with the voice from Auschwitz?!"

(Sorry that I can't give you a citation for the review. It was from some time in the late 1980s. Another complaint of the reviewer was that the volume was too big and heavy.)

Monday, May 15, 2006 10:30:00 AM  

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