Friday, May 8, 2009

Saints Preserve Us From Our Art

I wrote this back when the Da Vinci Code came out as a movie but admittedly did not publish it. Why? I guess I thought it was too angry. But since they've come around for a second helping, I decided, they deserve angry leftovers. I made a modest few edits. Enjoy.

Hey, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

A sophisticated man with a scholarly bent uncovers a conspiracy that has taken place for centuries and which involves the Church! He goes about proving that the Catholic church has withheld truth all along and was just as Gnostic and fallen as the rest of us and should be utterly viewed as an ironic relic of oppression to all people not “in the know.” And there’s the sensational aspect of the angels and demons too.

Some people don’t understand what all the fuss about the daVinci books or the stupid movies, after all, it’s fiction. They also don’t understand about ‘piss Christ’ as it is just art. And in a breath-takingly quick retraction, they add, “And it’s not even a good book.” Or “It’s not even good art.” (As if the quality of the piece determined whether or not it was offensive or problematic).

The talent of the writer Brown is not the origin of the tsunami of criticism that has come in the wake of the coming film. No one impugned or praised his talent for spinning a yarn. It’s just (gee they’re sensitive), some people are upset that his tale, though fiction, puts forth the premise that the entire Church in all of its history is a lie. It is a lie about the teachings of Jesus, it is a lie about his death and resurrection and its meaning, and it is a lie about the Church keeping Christ’s teachings alive. My goodness, what thin skins we Catholics must have, to not see that this is just entertainment! It is a lie on so many levels; it would be comic if it were not so obnoxious.

To make this obvious to those out there who still protest the protests let us consider why one might get upset or worked up or have sermons and articles and interviews on masse and in mass about a film? If this same story had been made up about Mohammed, there would be rioting in the streets all over the world, as over the comics in Denmark. If the same story were about Jews, it would be anti-Semitic and condemned. This film is a continuation of the Anti-Catholic bilge, masquerading as entertainment.

Bear-baiting and countless other tasteless activities over the history of this country were considered “entertainment” once upon a time, and they weren’t harmless either, whatever the marketing or sensibilities of the times were. To paraphrase another movie of the star of this one, “Stupid is as stupid does.” (full credit to sister for that one).

For those who still think, all this is a fuss over nothing, what aspect of Catholicism, if not its history, if not the papacy, if not the guidance of the Holy Spirit, if not priest celibacy, if not the resurrection, if not the gospels, if not the Eucharist, is worth getting worked up over?

Someone from the media please, craft us the circumstance under which the beautiful people of the entertainment industry would say, "No, this would be offensive to people of the Catholic faith." I'd like to know exactly when they'd feel that a line between harmless joking and cruel insensitive loutish garbage had been crossed. Yes, I know it's a trick question because there isn't one.


It’s an old story. It’s a tired story, and it never, not once, not ever, was entertaining.

My final thoughts on the stupid films, the stupid books and the stupid defenders of this hateful tripe: Memo to Ron and Tom, you were enjoyable and beautiful to watch once, now even Toy Story and Happy Days has a bitter aftertaste. All three of you, you can say you don't hate the Church, but that doesn't make it true. (And confidentially, I'd watch out for those actual Swiss Guards if I were you), not to mention, riled up Catholic Texans.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, for posting this! I, too, am tired of Hollywood, and the media in general, and their anti-Catholic commentary.

In yesterday's WPost, there was an article in the Style section about a priest in Miami and the vow of celibacy. I will not go into detail. I immediately e-mailed the editor and expressed my disgust. I suggested the Post contact me, should they ever wish to write an article on the many fabulous and faithful priests that we encounter in the Washington Archdiocese.

Haven't heard from them yet. Not holding my breath either, but I will speak my mind, and I hope others do too, when the topic is the Church and its faithful.

Scarlett said...


Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!