August 11, 2005

Boring Movies for Jesus

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 11, 2005 5:23 PM

Oh, this is so lame. The producers of the Da Vinci Code movie don't want to upset anybody:

Studio officials have consulted with Catholic and other Christian specialists on how they might alter the plot of the novel to avoid offending the devout. In doing so, the studio has been asked to consider such measures as making the central premise - that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene - more ambiguous, and removing the name of Opus Dei.

"The question I was asked was, 'Can you give them some things they can do to change it, to make it not offensive to the Christian audience?' " said Barbara Nicolosi, executive director of Act One, an organization that coaches Christians on making it in Hollywood. She said she was approached by Jonathan Bock, a marketing expert hired by Sony for his knowledge of Christian sensibilities, and included in the discussions Amy Welborn, who has published a refutation of "The Da Vinci Code" titled "De-Coding Da Vinci."

"We came up with three things," Nicolosi said: the more ambiguous approach to the central premise, the removal of Opus Dei and amending errors in the book's description of religious elements in art.

What, exactly, do the studio officials think is the source of the book's popularity? It certainly wasn't the writing; it was the controversy and the twist on church doctrine. The people who were going to be offended aren't going to see it anyway, and the people who might actually be interested will be turned off by the "ambiguous" version. And who are these Christians who are so sensitive as to get worked up over this? It's a bad sign if you think that the plausibility of your dogma can be undermined by a Tom Hanks film.

Fortunately, most the of the Christians I know personally are unperturbed by such things, but sadly there's a long tradition of this kind of overreaction in Christianity. This goes back through the church's list of banned books and persecution of heretics, all the way to the founder himself:

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. (Mt. 12:31)

So Jesus is only encouraging this sort of thing. Why couldn't he instead have said "Lighten up, it's only a movie"?

Tags: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Movies, Religion, The Bible

I don't know how anyone can recommend presenting something with a "more ambiguous approach to the central premise" with a straight face.

Although it seems to be working for the government.

Posted by: Mike^2 | August 11, 2005 5:41 PM

Amen to Mike's comment!

I wish I didn't live in an emasculated society...

Posted by: Mason | August 11, 2005 6:59 PM

ARG! I can't think of anything more cohesive to say than that! I am Catholic, and crap like this really pisses me off! I mean, for god's dake, if we expect people to listen to us bitch about religion, then we should at least be open-minded enough to let other people take a shot or two at us. I liked the dang book. And, hello? It was FICTION?

Posted by: kitkat | August 13, 2005 7:17 AM

Okay the irrelevant post from earlier actually has some standing here.

Posted by: Dad | August 16, 2005 9:55 AM
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