May 14, 2006
Da Vinci Continuum
Is how the muslim community protested against the Danish cartoon comparable to how the christian community is acting toward the da vinci code?
I answer with a story that Peter Kreeft recently told at the CS Lewis Conference at St. Edwards in Austin. He once taught a class at Boston College. where he had one jew, one muslim, and the rest of the 30 or 40 students were christian. One day, during break, the muslim asked about the discolored paint on the wall in the shape of a cross. A student told him that there used to be a cross there, but they took it down.
In response the muslim asked when they took it down (Kreeft thought this was a peculair question instead of asking why). The Jew interceded and explained how the laws changed a few years before, so for the school to continue to receive money from the gov't, Boston had to take the cross of the wall. The muslim then made a witty remark, "i hope you got more than 30 shekels of silver this time." No one laughed, because no one got it. Kreeft had to explain to the class Judas and the silver.
Then the Muslim proceeded to tell them he couldn't believe that they would take it down. He said that as muslims they hold jesus highly in regard as a prophet that will bring in the apocalypse. He then explained that in his country, if the laws all of a sudden changed and men with guns came into the room to take down the image of Jesus from the wall, the students would have surrounded the image and protected it with their lives, even attacking the gunman.
The difference between the muslims and christians is night and day. The muslims (even though i totally disagree with their methods, but i admire their zeal and passion for the sacred) did what they did out of their zeal for the sacred. Christians on the other hand are fighting the Da Vinci Code because of power, not out of protecting Jesus or his identity (it seems we care less about Jesus' real image because we don't protest the Jesus of the Republican Party). Dan Brown's book is ultimately questioning the power of the church. THIS is the problem then: power. Christians want it, but have already lost it and don't even realize it.