Saturday, February 18, 2006

Notice Anything?

While families in Libya mourn the death of eleven people killed during yet another violent protest over some cartoons; the Christian world, in this case Catholics, respond to perceived hostility of their faith and institutions by writing letters to Sony Pictures and pondering a boycott.

I am talking about the upcoming release of a movie adaptation of Dan Brown's best seller The DaVinci Code. The Catholic group Opus Dei has asked Sony to make some changes in the film to avoid being hurtful to their group and to Catholics in general.

Sony spokesman Jim Kennedy, showing how Sony does not fear any kind of violent backlash from outraged Catholics, has released an email saying the following:
"not a religious tract, and it is certainly not meant to criticize any group, religious or otherwise,"

Right, a movie base on a book that muses on the possibility that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene whom bore a Him a child and machinations by the Catholic Church to cover this up is not a criticism of a religion. This fable has been around for centuries so it has lost its sting certainly and was brought back from obscurity by, not Dan Brown, Laurence Gardner in his book Bloodline of the Holy Grail. It was from this new wellspring that Dan Brown concocted his fabulous plot while borrowing a bit of conspiracy from Eco's Foucault's Pendulum.

But by the civil discourse that is going on between Opus Dei and Sony we note how different this is from the reactions over a few cartoons which were created to lampoon the notion of a violent Islamic world, but instead have reinforced the notion of how violent the Islamic world can be if maliciously manipulated and showing how many cowards there are in positions of authority and responsibility in the Western World. I await with a bit of fear and trepidation the release in Holland of Submission II; if the first caused the murder of Theo Van Gogh what will the second cause? Mass bursting of blood vessels of those who are deeply offended by some criticism? If so put it on TV 24/7 all across Europe and the fundamentalist Islamic conquest of Europe by birthrate will be set back.


Anonymous said...

Could it be that the Christians have something that the Muslims seem to lack.................SELF CONTROL?

baudolino said...

You're right Anna, it's an interesting contrast. I think it just emphasises the fact that we in the West live in a predominantly secular society and these things just don't bug as many people as similar "challenges" annoy Muslims.

Mind you, speaking as an atheist living in the UK, I think you have to recognise that difference in viewpoint and treat Muslims' views with somewhat more respect than that shown by elements of the European press of late. Violent responses are, of course, inexcusable...but I don't imagine I'm the only one who isn't terribly surprised by it. Given the circumstances, I reckon an avoidance of provocation would have been a more responsible use of the freedom of expression those newspaper editors are so keen to preserve.

ps nice blog - just started one myself, and am hoping to attract some traffic once I get a bit more content up there. Feel free to visit!

Anna said...

The Christians after hundreds of years of blood letting learned their lessons. It also took meetings of Bibilical scholars and theologians to hammer out the current versions of the Bible. And they are still doing with carying degrees of success, still dont care for the gender-neutral Bible. While the Koran has been padlocked into stasis in the century following the Prophet's death so it has never adapted.

Baudolino, the West has been trying to accomodate Islam. But when young French women have to wear scarves to protect them from Muslim gangs. Or Christians in Nigeria are being hacked to death. Or religious shrines of others faiths are being destroyed by Islamic fanatics it is very hard to remain tolerant. Avoiding the issue by not printing means the nutcases have won via intimidation. I think back to Oskar Rabe, NAZI Party member, trying to get Hitler to intervene to stop the Japanese pogrom against the Chinese; he was visited by the Gestapo and told to shut up or else. Or the White Rose, a group of college students who dared to spread anti-NAZI literature; they were executed. If we in the West lack the courage to say to these nutcases how much we value these rights are to us, then why should they even pay attention to us, we just weak infidels pleading to keep our worthless lives. Lets also remember that Italian who was kidnapped in Iraq. As they were filing him he tore off his hood while saying 'I will show you a real man.' Those monsters murdered him. But I would prefer to die standing on my own two feet head unbowed than being s slave on my knees hoping to stay alive.