The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, May 22, 2006

If the “Da Vinci Code” was right, would it affect your faith?

Personally?  No.  I can’t possibly imagine how Jesus having human urges would affect my own beliefs.  After all, as far as we know, he ate and drank and slept and bled…all very human, physical responses.  Why would sex and love be so radical?

The thought in the “Code” seems to be that it served the power elite of the church to remove the feminine aspect, possibly represented by Mary Magdalene.  Is this reasonable?  Well…since I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that all of the folks making decisions about what went into the Bible and what didn’t were men, we’re back to the old question of whether members of “group X” will tend to discount the accomplishments or significance of “group Y” in this case, X being men, and Y being women.  Every experience of my entire life with such situations suggests that, yes, that’s exactly what will happen unless members of “Y” are also represented.

Recently, studying biological anthropology, my teacher went into a lecture about arguments concerning early humans, and the male and female roles.  I noticed that she had also mentioned the roles of female anthropologists more than I had ever heard another teacher do.  And then realized that my other teachers had been men.  In fact, female literature teachers are more likely to mention female writers.  Science teachers, scientists.  Business teachers, business women.

I remember when I first noticed this in college, the typical male answer was that women seemed to be giving credit where credit was not due, and that male teachers were already mentioning all the women who deserved to be mentioned.  The rest was, in their words, “political correctness.”

Hmm.  I remember maybe twenty-five years ago, a very very conservative friend asking me why we needed “Black History” classes.  Wasn’t American history enough.  Well, it would be, if it had ever represented people who looked like me.  And in order for that to happen, apparently, you needed serious political pressure, and black people on the school boards.  Otherwise, you would have just white people, discussing things from a purely white perspective.

So…if the church was formed primarily by men, it is almost inconceivable that they would have represented the interests and contributions of women adequately.  How could they?  If the position were reversed, I’m quite sure women would have promoted the idea of men as second-class citizens.

I think that the Da Vinci Code brouhaha is primarily due to the fact that there are, indeed, very dangerous ideas in that book.  But the ideas are dangerous more to the formal organization of the church, than to the spiritual values that Christ proclaimed. 

Of course, I could be wrong.  Am I missing something here?

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