By Jude Nirmal Pereira
Why was the film ‘Da Vinci Code’ banned? Whose idea was it? The book is freely available and has been for some time and now the film based on the book is banned! This decision does not do the Church or Christianity any good. Not even the US, which commences all State occasions with a prayer, and have the motto “In God we trust” has thought it necessary to ban the film and here is Sri Lanka, a predominantly Buddhist country, the film is banned.
In this day and age of a scientific revolution it is in the interest of Christianity itself to debunk the myths and separate facts from fiction. In the West, many thinkers have exposed myths of centuries; for example the claim to Immaculate Conception was questioned for centuries in the West and our own Fr. Tissa Balasuriya was almost de-frocked and excommunicated for writing about it. The claim of a creator God who created the World in seven days and Adam and Eve have proved too much of an embarrassment and is now never mentioned as it has been scientifically proved that the earth itself is millions of years old and the universe even older. Many other such spurious claims which have been debunked have now been set aside.
The Catholic Church in particular has, over the centuries, had a problem with countering myths. The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution caused havoc in the Church. It should not be forgotten that the Church had Bruno burned at the stake but his compatriot Corpenicus, who was very much a part of the Church, escaped that fate for the fact that his writings which contradicted the Bible were only ‘discovered’ after his death.
Corpernicus posed a fundamental threat to the entire Christian framework of cosmology, theology and morality. The great cosmological structure, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory were blown to smithereens by Astronomy. Next came Galileo and his telescope and his theory of the earth revolving round the sun. Then it could no longer be the fixed centre of God’s creation. It was Galileo who discovered the craters on the moon and the sun spots, and this was in 1609! The eyes of Galileo were de-gorged and the church banned teachings and writings upholding the motion of the earth. The history of the Christian religion is the history of suppression of scientific findings.
The march of reason and the modern mind has created a huge crisis for the Church. Churches in Europe are empty that priests have to be brought from Africa and nuns from Asia. It is indeed time for another Reformation. The teachings of Jesus could be of huge benefit to man, but they must be shorn of myths and superstitions and the religion should not be based on blind faith, which is a weak base in this day and age of scientific inquiry.
If Dan Brown has de-coded what one of the greatest men of all time ( Da Vinci was undoubtedly the most gifted and multi-talented, versatile human being who has lived on this planet) has painted, and if he is indeed right, so what of it? Jesus was only human. It would have been natural for him to have warmed up to a woman and had a child. That does not, in any manner, diminish the value of his teachings. It only adds value.
I am myself a person who follows his teachings and I seek to practise his teachings. Banning the film will not stop people from reading the book which has sold more copies than any other, except the Bible.The Catholic Church and the Protestants closed ranks against the march of science for many centuries but they could not stop the inquiring mind which is on a voyage of discovery. The local Catholic and Protestant Churches have also closed ranks to have a film which is being shown in the Christian West, including Italy, the US, Germany and the UK, banned in this country. The teachings of Jesus can survive without myths and mumbo-jumbo.
Please Bishops, this is the 21st Century that we are living in, not the middle ages. You are violating my right to see the film. What rights have you to do that? Is it not your own sense of insecurity and inability to face the march of reason that makes you inflict this violation on us? – Jude Nirmal Pereira, Wattala [Source:DailyMirror]