Like most of his fellow critics, the Times A.O. Scott gives a ho-hum thumbs down to "The DaVinci Code" (in which a mortal Jesus is at the center of an elaborate fraud, with the Catholic Church as a murderous conspiracy) but doesn’t see anything to get offended by:
"In any case Mr. Howard and Mr. Goldsman handle the supposedly provocative material in Mr. Brown's book with kid gloves, settling on an utterly safe set of conclusions about faith and its history, presented with the usual dull sententiousness. So I certainly can't support any calls for boycotting or protesting this busy, trivial, inoffensive film. Which is not to say I'm recommending you go see it."
Contrast Scott’s "so what?" attitude toward "The DaVinci Code" with his treatment of Mel Gibson’s "Passion of the Christ." Back in 2004, Scott excoriated "Passion" for its Biblically accurate scenes of violence:
"The Passion of the Christ is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus' final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it."
And of course the Times found the Mohammad cartoons so offensive the paper wouldn't even print them for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. Apparently, Christian sensibilities don't merit quite the same level of concern.
For more New York Times bias, visit TimesWatch.