Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Responding to Da Vinci

Some church leaders around the world seem bound and determined to have Caesar defend the faith with calls to ban "The Da Vinci Code."

Case in point: I just received a press release from the leader of an organization in a south Asian nation who promotes himself as a voice for the minorities in the country, who is publicly calling upon the Secretary General of the United Nations to "condemn this act of blasphemy and introduce a charter to stop such elements, playing with the religious sentiments of the people in the cover of freedom of speech, insulting sacred and religious beliefs of the people."

He goes on to say that Western countries should also ban the circulation of the movie and take strong action against the producer. His government, he states, should officially condemn the blasphemous film and restrict and prohibit cable operators, TV channels and internet sites from showing it in the same way that publication of sacrilegious cartoons of Mohammed was banned. He warned in his release that if the film in allowed to be shown in his nation then "Christians will protest throughout the country."

When the Mohammed cartoons were published I was unequivocal in my support of the right of publishers to do so in the name of freedom of expression. In the same way, I support Ron Howard's right to distribute a ridiculous and boring film that, admittedly, promotes heresy. I support the right of people to go and see it. No one's basic human rights are being violated here; the right not to be offended or to have our religious convictions ridiculed is not critical to one's survival.

As I said in my May 15 weblog, let's not join the chorus of whiners who feel the need to cushion themselves and their religious beliefs behind walls of legislative protection or threats of protest. It is not the role of Caesar to defend the faith; it is the role of the Church. Protesting is a cheap, easy response at a time when thoughtful apologetics are needed. Where in Scripture are we called to respond to false teaching with protests on the streets? Ridiculous.


Anonymous said...

It seems that the true legacy of Constantine, rather than officiating a patriarchal religion like Brown claims, was to teach Christians that ought to trust in their government rather than God.


Glenn Penner said...

I am not sure that I would blame Constantine, himself, entirely for that, although he does share some of the blame