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Thursday, May 25, 2006

DA VINCI: I haven't seen the movie and didn't read the book, owing to lack of interest rather than principled objections. That said, I'm struck by the Vatican's boycott campaign. If this movie is indeed blasphemy, just urging Catholics to stay away seems rather tepid. Surely there are more effective ways to make objections known. Ask Salman Rushdie. If the Pope wants to get serious, he might start by finding a Latin equivalent for "fatwah." Other options might include: Wait for the filmmaker to take a bike ride, then trap him in an alley, shoot him dead, then stab a five-page note to his body. Get a bunch of men wearing hoods over their heads to kidnap the movie's producer, then saw his head off while the scene is recorded on videotape, then release the video as a warning to other blasphemous filmmakers. Why not hire some devout Christians to fly airliners into a Hollywood skyscraper? I hope it's clear I'm not slamming Christians here, nor religion in general. Neither am I suggesting that anyone should commit such horrendous acts. To the contrary, consider this my broad-brushed way of making the point that a rather large chasm of moral intelligence differentiates the way American Christians are responding to The Da Vinci Code, and the way certain representatives of Islam have chosen to respond to doctrinal issues in recent years. Nutshell: We don't do that here; it's not our collective way. I have to laugh when I hear the usual secular leftists mock Christians who have chosen to protest the book and the movie via boycott. People of faith are well within their rights to speak out, precisely as people of faith. My own view is that their opposition is likely to sell tickets, but that's another matter.