Mixed Visions of the Divine and Inhuman
Sprinkling Holy Water on 'The Da Vinci Code' [New York Times]
'The phrase I heard used several times was 'Passion dollars'; they want to try to get 'The Passion' dollars if they can,' said Ms. Nicolosi, referring to her conversations about the film. 'They're wrong,' she added. 'It's sacrilegious, irreligious. They're thinking they can ride the 'Passion' wave with this. And I said, 'Are you kidding me?'Barbara Nicolosi, executive director of Act One, comments on the ongoing process to bring The Da Vinci Code to the movie screen. Act One, a non-profit that helps train people of faith for professional careers in film and tv, was one such group approached by the movie's producers to help soften the edges on potential controversies arising from the novel.
Hackles have been raised, for example, from the book's central premise that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child, who was to be Jesus' legitimate heir, but this act was kept secret by the ensuing Catholic church which instituted a male-dominated hierarchy in its place. Opus Dei, a conservative Roman Catholic group, raised concerns about its largely negative depiction in the novel. And finally, there were the general concerns that people might strongly form their opinions about religion around a work of fiction.
While I cannot discern all of Ms. Nicolosi's setiments from the closing article quote above, like her, I think we are kidding ourselves. But just so we're clear: misrepresenting history in the name of personal religious passion and improperly depicting Jews in the process was basically OK for devout christian groups in a wide spectrum of fervor. It was perhaps the unfortunate history we were used to committing on each other. But now, there are worries about "What will they think of us?"