“But it’s fiction!” people keep saying to me, when I criticize The Da Vinci Code or Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. “Why are you taking it so seriously?”
Because most people are inclined to find fault with Christianity, and are quick to seize upon any detail they can use in order to sound educated in their critique of the faith. Most people haven’t really read the Bible, much less know anything about its history. Thus, when a conspiracy theorist like Dan Brown comes along with a novel in which characters spell out the history of the Bible, the reader is inclined to accept what they read… especially if it arms them with an argument that backs up what they WANT to believe.
Dan Brown is welcome to fictionalize whatever he likes. Unfortunately, he’s also going around in interviews claiming his fiction is based on fact. In fact, his theories are about as secure as a submarine with screen doors. As Margaret Mitchell writes, “A ‘black light’ edition of The Da Vinci Code would … be unnecessary if readers would simply take the book as fiction. But there is an obstacle: the first page of the book reads, under the bold print headline ‘Fact’: ‘all descriptions of …documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.'”Here’s just one of the most recent responses to Brown’s claims, shooting holes in his misleading Code.
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