First - "yawn."
Second - How is it that so many people are afraid of this story?
First off, interspersing an alleged "action" movie with enormous chunks of dialogue didn't work so well. It was like the book in that regard, but at least with the book you could put it aside when your eyes began to glaze over. Of course, it is in the big chunks of dialogue where all the alleged "scary" stuff is said.
Which brings me to my second level of assessment. Maybe it is because I am not a right wing Christian (label used rhetorically), but I am having trouble locating the source of people's fear of the ideas upon which Dan Brown bases his novel. Can someone help me out, here? Is our faith really so shallow as to be threatened by a novelist creating a popular plotline based on a few heretical teachings? What exactly are we supposed to be afraid of, here?
Actually, I have the same questions about some of the other "issues" that are in the public discourse just lately. For example, can someone tell me why I am supposed to be afraid of gay marriage? What exactly is the threat to marriage as a covenant relationship (or "institution" if you prefer) posed by two people of the same gender who desire to enter it? Or consider the fears of some who say that Mexican immigrants are out to colonize the United States and systematically erode our culture - where does that fear come from? I think I'll go ask my friend Gerardo, who works an exhausting, menial job six days a week in order to feed himself and support his family back in Mexico how he manages to have the energy left to plot such grandiose schemes of U.S. domination.
Fear of denominational decline; fear of lawsuits; fear of sickness or injury; fear of insufficient retirement income; fear of death. How much of what we do is based on our fear?
In a recent column, Bill Tammeus of the Kansas City Star wrote:
The most difficult part about confronting and overcoming that fear is that much of it is so rational, so understandable. In some ways, fear arms us so we can survive.
We are, after all, on this side of 9/11. Isn’t fear of additional terrorism sensible?
We are often victims of crime. Isn’t fear of muggers, car thieves and rapists rational?
We have seen huge corporations fold up and destroy people’s retirements. Isn’t fear that we’ll lose what we’ve worked for understandable?
We have watched cancer, AIDS and heart disease blow huge holes in our families and our circle of friends. Isn’t fear of a deadly diagnosis to be expected?
In fact, is it any wonder that we think Ralph Waldo Emerson got it only half right when he wrote that “fear always springs from ignorance”? It also springs from what we know only too well.
But then he goes on to write, "Fear, after all, has helped to create the poisonous atmosphere in which today’s political and religious rhetoric simply drips with anger and hatred." His claim is, while there is no denying fear's existence, we also must acknowledge fear's toxicity. That goes directly to motivation for our actions.
We read in 1st John that "there is no fear in love." Would it not be a more faithful approach to base our actions on love, rather than on fear? Risky? You bet! Jesus risked his very life for such an approach. But if one truly believes that "perfect love casts out fear," then fear as the motivator for our actions cannot be sustained. What we do, as Jesus himself did, ought to be motivated only by love.
I'm not afraid of the DaVinci Code, gay marriage, or Mexican immigrants. And I lament for those who are, because they are deprived of an opportunity to be grounded in God's love, and are likewise deprived of an opportunity to share that love with others. In fact, I'm not afraid of very much at all - fear is toxic. As Bill Tammeus puts it, "We cannot be true to our higher calling if we let fear prevent us from giving ourselves away to others. Casting out fear, in fact, may well be our highest calling."