WASHINGTON – The much-hyped “The Da Vinci Code,” which opens Friday,is part of an attack on Christianity,according to a group that is urging people to boycott the film.
Standing before a banner that read,“Reject bias,bigotry and blasphemy,say ‘no' to ‘The Da Vinci Code,'” members of a group calling itself the Interfaith Coalition said Wednesday that Christians have a responsibility to reject such entertainment.
“Christianity is under attack,and ‘The Da Vinci Code' seeks to profit off of bigotry,” said the Rev. Thomas J Euteneuer. “As Christians we should turn the other cheek,that's our code,but we don't have to sit and pay $ 9.50 for someone to slap us in the face.”
Euteneuer,president of Human Life International,said the very fabric of Christianity can be harmed if people don't take a stand against this movie. The Catholic group spreads the pro-life message around the world.
At the same news conference,Don Feder,president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation,said the movie based on Dan Brown's best-selling book is more than just entertainment. His year-old group works with Christians to defend moral values.
“It's propaganda,and why reward them by putting money in their pockets?” Feder said. “Sadly,cinema shapes moviegoers' perception of reality.”
Robert Knight,director for the Culture and Family Institute,an affiliate of Concerned Women for America,said,“I'm not going to see the movie because I don't want these images permanently in my head.I didn't see ‘Brokeback Mountain' because I didn't want to see two men committing ungodly acts and having it in my brain forever.”
Patrick Reily,president and founder of the Cardinal Newman Society,said that director Ron Howard and Brown are not the only ones responsible.
“Parents and Christian educators have to bear some of the responsibility for the threat that this attack poses because too many Christians are unprepared to respond … to such attacks” said Reily,whose group seeks “fidelity to Catholic teaching at Catholic colleges and universities,” according to a press release.
However,some religious leaders view the controversy differently,including Bishop Donald Wuerl,who will become the capital's Catholic archbishop next month.
Susan Gibbs,communication director for the Archdiocese of Washington,said Wuerl's comment to a reporter who asked about the movie was that if he went to a football game,he would want to know who the players were,so he hopes people read the Gospel.
Gibbs said she agrees.
“It's a work of fiction. I read it a couple of years ago as a beach read” Gibbs said. “When I tell people that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and she moved to Paris people think its silly,but it's OK because it's a book.”
Asked if a boycott would instead cause more people to see the movie because of the controversy,Feder said it's everyone's right to fight for the truth
“Ron Howard has the First Amendment right to make this garbage; we have the First Amendment right to boycott it.” Feder said.
Francis Maniscalco,director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,said he feels no threat from ‘The Da Vinci Code,' mainly because of what he called its inaccuracy.
“‘The Da Vinci Code' contains a lot of historical errors about Christianity that scholars cannot defend.” Maniscalco said. “This book will come and go,but Christianity will stay.”