I can understand the point of view of people who think “Da Vinci Code” is a good read, though I didn’t think it was one myself. (I felt like I was reading the solution to a puzzle-based video game, with chapter breaks before each boss level.) I can also understand people who are skeptical about certain areas of Roman Catholicism — as a Protestant, I’m a skeptic myself, though not for the reasons put forward by the “Da Vinci Code’s” sources.
But when people start defending “Da Vinci Code” as though they actually believe in it, then tell me that my “attacks” on their beloved book and its sources are merely driven by blind faith, despite my own references to secular and skeptical historians and researchers; well, I have to view them with the same skepticism and amusement I usually reserve for people who tell me that tourists’ kidneys are being stolen in hotels. That’s about the same level of credibility I give to the book’s laughable conspiracy driven plot about the church covering up a bizarre femino-pagan Magdalenic cult, despite rational history’s evidence to the contrary.
Da Vinci Code is to art and church history what the movie Armageddon was to astronomy. If Dan Brown does anything well, it’s absurdity well packaged. This is all material I’ve covered before, but experience has shown that the general public isn’t exactly into real research, and that’s nothing new. Moon landing hoax theories, apparitions of Mary, UFO’s, Jews did WTC, psychic healers, The Da Vinci Code, Left Behind, astrology — history has shown that the general population tends not to exercise critical thought on many things. It’s like watching one Jedi Mind Trick after another, sweeping over the populace with short-lived enchantment.
But then, I often have to include myself in that, I must admit. In other spots where I haven’t done my reading, I’m at the mass media and information market’s mercies, and who has the time to read up on everything? And of course, every argument I make can also be made against my own religion, which makes leaps past rationality full-on into faith. So I shouldn’t judge society too harshly, lest I start sounding like one of those condescending “free thinkers.” It’s something that’s more enjoyable to watch with fascination rather than confront with patronization.