The Internet Theologian Explains The Da Vinci Code
As the responses to my helpful guide on Christianity show, when theological controversies arise, many people wisely turn to an anonymous crank with a web log. Or, as I prefer, to a Big-Time Internet Theologian.
These are good days for us Big-Time Internet Theologians: religious controversies are in the news daily, and many people have probing, searching questions that cannot be answered by relying on traditional, "second wave" sources like books, professors, or subway graffiti. People want answers, and they want them to come with hyperlinks to Wikipedia entries compiled by embittered teenagers.
In that spirit, I have put on my Big-Time Internet Theology Hat and decided to answer your questions about this spring's blockbuster religious phenomenon, "The Da Vinci Code."
This mega-selling book/film/diet/dam raises more questions than it answers, as someone on television has undoubtedly pointed out. Was Jesus married? Is Christianity some kind of grand hoax? Does Dan Brown realize that "symbology" isn't a real thing?
These are good questions, and they deserve good answers.
Q: Who is Dan Brown and what is "The Da Vinci Code"?
A: Dan Brown is the biggest-selling, and therefore best, author of our times, and "The Da Vinci Code" is his masterpiece: a thrilling, shocking journey across thousands of years of history all packed within a pulse-pounding chase across scenic Europe, leading up to the greatest conspiracy of all.
Q: What is the greatest conspiracy of all?
A: The 1954 NIT point-shaving scandal.
Q: What does all this have to do with Jesus? Or, for that matter, Leonardo Da Vinci?
A: The premise of the book is that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and that the two had children, who passed along Jesus' bloodline through generations of French people. Leonardo was the member of a secret brotherhood of painters who protected this secret by painting pictures of men that look like ladies.
Q: Isn't this more or less a straight rip from the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"?
A: No! Ha ha! How silly of you even to mention that very obscure work! Next question.
Q: Is "The Da Vinci Code" fiction?
A: No. It's what I call "faction": Historically true facts interspersed with car chases. In the very first page of his masterpiece, Brown writes, "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."
Q: Well, if it's in a book, it must be true.
Q: Why are Christians so upset about this book, if it's true?
A: Christians are dedicated to covering up The Truth about Jesus and the society of lady/man painters. What Brown uncovered in his research is the shocking truth of Christianity: Jesus was a regular dude, and a regular dude who wanted Mary Magdalene to be the first pope. Christians don't want that to come out, because the central tenet of Christianity is oppressing women. That, and getting Republicans into office.
Q: Why isn't any of this in the Bible?
A: It is – but not the Bible the Man wants you to read! The truth uncovered by Brown is contained in scriptures like The Gospel of Thomas and The Secret Gospel of Oprah, works that depict the truth of Jesus' humanity and marriage, despite being written several hundred years after the canonical gospels.
Q: How do we know these non-canonical works are more accurate than the canonical ones?
A: Because the people who regarded them as sacred came out on the losing end.
Q: So, the fact that they were ultimately less popular and successful than the canonical gospels means they're true?
A: As Elaine Pagels explains it, yes.
Q: So, in that case, is the "real" foundational document of the U.S. government actually the Articles of Confederation?
A: Yes! I was just saying that to the President of Congress the other day.
Q: Okay, let's put the Unpopular Gospels aside for a second. If Brown's book is based on factual events, what evidence does he have for the marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene?
A: Oh, you know…sources.
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