Going on Holiday? Better Watch for Vandals
The summer is a great time to get away and forget about it all. There's the long days, sunshine, family time at the beach - all seem to make for an idyllic summer experience. It's a time when we can forget our cares and simply relax.
I admit it has been a while sine I've done some hard thinking about The Da Vinci Code. The buzz seems to have passed and most people's attentions have turned to other pursuits. The book has fallen off of the New York Times' bestsellers list (finally!) and you just don't hear about it anymore.
Except ... the book is just barely off the Times' list, hovering still at #16 for the paperback. A UTV poll showed that the book was the reading of choice for the members of Parliament during their holiday time. That's not too surprising since the UK News and Star reported it was the favorite beach read as charted by the British bookstore chain Ottaker's.
So, although the talk has subsided some, the book is continuing to reach more and more people. Now that most are "tired" of the controversy, I wonder how much of Brown's revisionism is quietly influencing the public's perception of who Jesus was and how Christianity came to be. Moreover, I wonder if the doubts about the legitimacy it sows will have an effect on the decision makers in Parliament when they have to debate bills that deal with religious liberties and such.
I know that clubbing people over the head by shouting "Dan Brown spouts heresy!" is not an effective strategy. However, we should never let down our guard. Bad history and misrepresentations of fact have a tendency to last a long time after they have been proven to be factually bankrupt. If you'd like a good example of that, just look at the "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" ridiculousness (the idea that an embryo goes through fish/amphibian/reptile stages in its development) that still survives in instruction from such esteemed learning institutions as Princeton today.
Let's make sure that as we see more people reading the book or talk with those who are thinking about buying the upcoming DVD that we're able to properly discuss the fallacies in a way that is both informative and attractive. But, let us never take a holiday from the truth. That would be tragic.