Friday, May 26, 2006

On Reaction to The DaVinci Code

Question: Regarding the Catholic church's strong reaction to The DaVinci Code movie, if the tenets of a religion are undeniable, why not support a free and open discourse so people can find the truth out for themselves?

I think the church's opposition relates to the principle of letting an opponent frame an issue. The church has a brand that they are trying to defend in the religion marketplace. They can not allow opponents to frame the way the public views their religion.

An analogy would be the Swift Boat ads against 2004 candidate John Kerry when he ran for president. These were probably unfair and exaggerated claims that Republican veterans were making against Kerry. He made the mistake of not responding to them strongly enough. Because his opponents were allowed to frame this issue, many people even today are skeptical about the true valor of his military service. His strongest positive was thus turned against him.

Another example would be the Oliver Stone JFK movie. Most Americans now believe that Oswald did not act alone in the assassination, which is purely preposterous. This is people's personal beliefs going against hard evidence and the unambiguous report of the Warren commission. So imagine how easy it is for them to be swayed on events that happened thousands of years ago.

Because people are limited in their motivation and resources to seek out the truth about Jesus, I believe the church is rightly concerned about any public perception that raises doubt about their story. Sadly, the more vociferously they fight, the more doubt it raises that the tenets of religion are undeniable.