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The latest Dan Brown atrocity has hit the silver screen. Though I am myself a lapsed Catholic waiting for the Tridentine Latin mass to return in force before being born again, I find that I am offended whenever someone is out there making a buck by bashing Holy Mother the Church. “Angels and Demons” preceded the Da Vinci code and is, if anything, more appallingly written. If you enjoy Harvard professors leaping out of exploding helicopters and using a piece of cardboard to glide down to a safe landing in the Tiber River you will dig it. As I lasted only about six minutes into the Da Vinci cinematic feast before putting my foot through the television screen, I predict that my tolerance for Angels will not even last that long.

What offends me most is that the books were marketed as being meticulously researched to suggest to the potential reader that the tales of skulduggery in the Church are all too plausible. Anyone who has actually lived in Rome would quickly note that Brown and his alleged art historian wife get the city’s topography, monuments, history, and art all screwed up on numerous occasions. Brown clearly does not know how to get from point A to point B in Rome, possibly because he spent too much time on the Piazza Navona knocking back Bellinis instead of actually hoofing his way around the city to explore the places that he writes about. Why isn’t there some serious examination in the media about the crap that Dan Brown writes? Why isn’t there a serious examination in the media about anything?

(Republished from The American Conservative by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Christianity 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why would you want “the media” to seriously examine a pulp? Anyway, haven’t you just done that?

  2. I suspect that the answer to your question is that if the media seriously examined topics they would have to come to conclusions. Having come to a conclusion, the topic goes away and one has to find other topics. The media is extremely lazy and are not in the habit of routing out interesting or important topics. They wait for people with an ax to grind or a product to sell to approach them.

    Brown is just the latest seller of anti-Catholic BS. The Black Legend of the Church is a story line that goes back centuries and has a built-in audience among both fundamentalist Protestants and secular Liberals. Brown was sued by the authors of a book which set out basic plot of the Davinci Code years before. Having read the book and seen the “Documentary” made of it, it is a wonder that they lost the suit. So in my mind, Dan Brown is not so much an author as a marketer of popular anti-Catholic tropes with a flair for self promotion.

    I saw the film, Suspicion last night. While it was a very well made film with fine acting, it clearly reflected a critical view of the Church. The characters had moral seriousness and in all cases, good intentions. It is the organizational culture of the Church that is the villain of the film. In this, the film, while posing as a respectful drama about conflict within the Church is actually subversive of the Church at large. It seems that the post 60’s creative ethos is no longer conversant enough with traditional values and mores to represent accurately what they oppose.

  3. TomT says:

    Ron Howard’s wife is an “old people’s” psychologist. The beautiful movie, Cocoon, like nearly everything Howard touches, shows his reverence for a Norman Rockwell America, and his simultaneous contempt for established religion.

    A committed liberal, look at his treatment of the Frost/Nixon project.

    Howard was born a few miles from here (rural Oklahoma), and indeed I had a brother who could have passed for his twin.

    Certainly in the Church’s history, from Rome to Constantinople, from highly civilized societies to the pagan ones, it’s attempts to be the UNIVERSAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH for all people on planet earth, has often encompassed various forms of mysticism, as well as much very deep philosophical thought. The intellectual richness of the church’s history would shock the average athiest or agnostic liberal.

    Maybe we could get RON HOWARD to do a “thoroughly researched” story about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Something along the lines of the CIA’s computer system, CARNIVORE, re-discoveing de Chardin’s ideas about groups of people at different places and times having living SOUL-IDENTITY. Some back-desk, conservative-hating, religion-hating, Valerie Plame-lookalike, CIA analyst, starts realizing that Carnivore is trying to put him/her in touch with GOD.

    We could write the script, then get Leon Panetta to say he hates it, then get some tired old ex-SpecOp to leak it to Howard.

    Philip, what are you doing next Saturday? (tongue-in-cheek, lol).

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    It will be a very cold day in Hell before the media seriously examines Brown’s garbage; after all, it’s always open season on the Catholic Church and it’s been like that for centuries. God forbid, though, any Brown-type flicks about Islam or Judaism; the media uproar would be astounding. And Our Nanny The Almighty State would probably step in and begin locking people up, as they’re apparently doing over in Great Britain these days.

  5. TomB says:

    Phil Giraldi wrote:

    “What offends me most is that the books were marketed as being meticulously researched to suggest to the potential reader that the tales of skulduggery in the Church are all too plausible.”

    I’m not just a lapsed Catholic but an agnostic occasionally feeling guilt over not just tossing the “maybe” and going full-bore atheist. But I feel the exact same. Can anyone imagine a book coming out with it being 10 or even 100 times more obviously a work of cartoonish fiction that, say, takes off on The Protocols of Zion and hints at Rabbinical/Sanhedrin-ish conspiracies and etc.?

    My God (I’m still hoping!) the world would explode!


  6. MattSwartz says: • Website

    I have real problems with a lot of Catholic theology, but if I made major decisions solely based on spite, I would immediately leave the Protestant world and join a Catholic Church.

    Then again, making decisions to spite the media is a bad path to start down. I’d have had to write in Sarah Palin for president, and that would’ve been ridiculous.

  7. Virgil says:

    Well, anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice. Politically incorrect stances on homosexuals, Islam, the Holocaust, multiculturalism, and other related topics are off limits (and even punished by the thought police), but the public mocking and reviling of Christianity generally and Catholicism specifically are applauded by our cultural elites. How debased and degenerate our civilization has become.

    Here is what Pat Buchanan said about “The Da Vinci Code” when it came out which equally applies to its sequal:

    If you would know who wields cultural power, ask yourself: Whom is it impermissible to offend? Thus the hoopla attending the release of “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the Dan Brown novel that has sold 7 million copies in the United States, tells us something about whose God it is permissible to mock and whose faith one is allowed to assault.

    For what “The Da Vinci Code” says is that Roman Catholicism is a gigantic fraud, that the church has for centuries been perpetrating a monstrous hoax, duping hundreds of millions into believing something it knows is a bald-faced lie. At the novel’s heart lies the contention that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, that they had a daughter, that the Vatican has known this and been hiding the descendants of Jesus, that Opus Dei is a secret order whose agents will engage in murder to protect the secret.

    Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper” is said to hold the secret, as Jesus is portrayed touching the hand of the youngest apostle, John, who holds the place of honor at his side – and who is, on close inspection, Mary Magdalene.

    In Catholic teaching and tradition, the Holy Grail is the chalice that contained the blood of Jesus. In the book, the Holy Grail is Mary Magdalene, carrying the flesh and blood of Jesus in her womb.

    If “The Da Vinci Code” is based upon facts, no other conclusion follows than that to be a Catholic is either to be in on this fraud or to be the dupe of those perpetuating it. But if it is fiction, why would Hollywood put out so viciously anti-Catholic a film that can only have the effect of undermining the faith of millions of Christians?

    Putting “The Da Vinci Code” on film, with what it alleges about the Catholic Church, is the moral equivalent of making a movie based on the “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and implying this is the truth about the Jewish plot to control the world. One imagines Ron Howard and Tom Hanks would take a pass on that script.

    Like the “Hitler’s Pope” smear of Pius XII, a man who did more than any other to save the Jews in World War II, “The Da Vinci Code” is a Big Lie that, though readily refuted by the facts, will be believed.

    But that it will be a box-office smash, that it is the subject of lavish praise in the press, that it is the best-selling novel of the 21st century, tells us we live not just in a post-Christian era, but in an anti-Catholic culture not worth defending or saving, for it is truly satanic.


  8. Martin says:

    What a ridiculous critique. It’s not at all clear that Giraldi has even seen the movie he is discussing? His ‘major’ criticism is that the Howard makes some mistakes about Roman topagraphy and the location of some art. Who cares? It’s a movie, not a history text.
    And what in the world does any of that have to do with the movie being anti-catholic? Where is the “bashing of Holy Mother Church” this ‘lapsed catholic’ laments?
    What crap.

  9. mongo says:

    “Why isn’t there some serious examination in the media about the crap that Dan Brown writes?”

    Um, perhaps because this is a work of fiction? Did you harbor the same feelings about _Raiders of the Lost Ark_, or to give an example that also claimed a serious research provenance, _Chariots of the Gods_?

    I fondly remember a history professor from my university days who was aghast at the inaccuracies of _I, Claudius_, but it certainly didn’t lead him to flights of fancy regarding the state of society’s underpinnings. 🙂

    I mean, really.

  10. TomT says:

    Philip, you’d be hard-pressed to find very much mass media that wasn’t to some degree “anti christian”.

    Look for the letters OMG – that means “oh my god”, promoted to denigrate christian and jewish sacred words. It has become common place, and the majority of this generation is probably clueless as to why it is important for the liberal entertainment media to get them to say this.

    Look for the promotion of deviant sexuality, and sex outside of marriage. And recreational drugs. The whole rotting philosophy of “if it feels good, do it – touch it, experience it, drink it, inject it.”

    Admit it, doesn’t your “fallen away catholic” self find the whole proscription of swearing and overindulging and sex outside of procreation a little rigid? Isn’t the thought of people who might rigidly adhere to these things, a little scary?

    So, people understand the whole concept of “EXCERCISING” to develop their muscles, their bodies, for health and long life, as well as attractiveness and alertness.

    So why does the general population, after gorging themselves on the US MASS MEDIA, so little understand how to develop moral and spiritual muscle? Or even, why is simple EVEREATING epidemic in the US?

    Why is FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE so lacking? Why do we need the government to bail us out of our addiction to high-interest (28 to 30%) credit cards?

    You picked one flagrant example of denigrating the CHURCH, and watch the nitwits crawl out of the woodwork to spit on you, not with the force of argument, nor intellectual viewpoints. Rather, they will insult your person, and where necessary say things that are not true or poorly researched.

    You get to play “Conservative For A Day”. This is what we conservatives experience when we question why it is necessary to denigrate our country to our enemies. Why it is necessary to hear members of Congress and Senate tell the world that the US approves of our soldiers RAPING AND MURDERING WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE DARK OF NIGHT.

    You get nervous about those RIGID CHRISTIANS and JEWS and MUSLIMS (what Christiane Amanpour makes fun of, as GOD’s WARRIORS). Don’t many of us feel a need to reject ALL “strong believers”? Wouldn’t we be more comfortable positing a “reasonableness” that has no use for “absolute right and wrong”?

    Often, your arguments against US MILITARY, using much the same reasoning as the commenters who will spit on your post above, cause our enemies to use your words, to promote those same feelings AGAINST THE US Military in the field.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Dan Brown Down Barn Own Brand Darn Worn. Good nite Gracy. Yawn with all the dogma and drivel. Don’t go.

  12. Hankest says:

    “Well, anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice…”

    Are you serious? Did you forget that during the last election, where one candidate had to deflect questions about whether or not he was a (cue the scary music) muslim? Or the bizarre outcry when that muslim congressman got swarn in on the Koran?

    Or ask yourself this, in a presidential race between an open atheist/agnostic vs. a practicing Catholic, who would you bet on to win?

    As for the movie, it’s a movie, a fiction, a fantasy. Seems even the vatican had no issues with it.

  13. Hankest says:

    “However, in its first pronouncement on the film, Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano described Angels and Demons as ‘harmless entertainment which hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity’”

  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Why didn’t the media ‘seriously examine’ obama, the iraq war, immigration…the answer is obvious – it is conduit for spreading the lies of our globalist elite, not for providing ‘information’ much as the new elite ‘brights’ like to think we are moving towards a more ‘enlightened’ ‘reality based’ community, almost everything neomarxist liberalism is based on is a lie from freud, to boaz, the frankfort school, to the lies of the sixties, to lies of now.

    Sad thing is, it ‘works’

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