If “Inferno” is anything like Dan Brown’s other novels, we can count on two things: crackpot conspiracy theories from the author and breathless hype from his fans in the media.
“The Da Vinci Code,” author’s new thriller hits bookshelves May 14, 2013. “Inferno” takes place in Italy, where the protagonist, “battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science” while unraveling Dante’s classic poem.
When liberals and their media allies have an agenda to push, they’ll use any tool at hand. The left often rails against the presence of religion in civic life, mocking conservative Christians as “Taliban” agitating for theocracy. But other times, they find faith to be a handy weapon to bludgeon conservatives. And they’ll go so far as to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to justify any liberal cause, no matter how outrageous.
In 2010, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry summed up this strategy in her call for “re-imagining the Bible as a tool of progressive social change.” Huffington Post contributor Mike Lux embraced Harris-Perry’s advice, writing that the Bible embodies “all kinds” of “liberal, lefty, progressive values.”
Things are getting pretty surreal around the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog when a supposedly credentialed cleric turns to the loopy fiction of “The Da Vinci Code” for ammunition to attack Rush Limbaugh.
Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a minister in the United Church of Christ and a senior fellow at the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, attacked Limbaugh by comparing Sandra Fluke to Mary Magdalene, in a March 5 post titled “Mary Magdalene to Rush Limbaugh: Your apology is too little, too late.”
Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times addressed a "welcome letter" to the incoming Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez [at right], in a April 7 column which focused almost entirely in forwarding the mainstream media's talking points on the Church sex abuse scandal, and stereotyped the religious community that the bishop is a member of.
Lopez wasted little time in delving into the scandal. After his greeting and expressing how he was going to miss outgoing archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, despite how his archdiocese "agreed in 2007 to pay $660 million to 500 victims going back decades" and how "there's still a federal grand jury investigation into the handling of the sex abuse scandal," he immediately expressed his concern over who sent Archbishop Gomez to Los Angeles: "I worry a little that it was Pope Benedict XVI who sent you here, since his handling of molesters has recently been called into question." Who else would have sent him there, Mr. Lopez?
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez described the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow filming on Church property of a movie prequel to "The DaVinci Code," starring Tom Hanks, this way: "...the battle between Tom Hanks and the Vatican. You know he's in Rome filming the prequel to 'The Da Vinci Code,' 'Angels and Demons,' and the Church there is up in arms, they're barring them from filming in churches. They believe the film, like the book, is sacrilegious."
On Wednesday, ABC’s "Good Morning America" featured a story on the controversy in which correspondent Nick Watt declared: "When the might of Rome clashes with a literary behemoth, expect some colorful language. 'An offense against God,' is what a diocese of Rome spokesman just called this book." Watt then later proclaimed: "The Dan Brown express will not be stopped," to which GMA co-host Diane Sawyer replied: "Yes, Nick, I mean that's the irony, isn't it? The more the Church complains, probably the better it is for the business."
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s "Early Show," correspondent Allen Pizzey explained: "Fans of the book, 'Angels and Demons,' keep streaming into the churches in Rome where the plot unfolds. But the film crew turning it into a movie has been banned from them and any other Church property. The plot is not overly anti-Church, but some of the most graphic scenes are not something with which the Church wants to be associated."
CNN, following in the footsteps of ABCNews.com’s overblown take on the subject, couldn’t help but to insert snotty language into its report on the Catholic Diocese of Rome’s denial to the filming of the movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s "Angels and Demons." CNN international correspondent Jennifer Eccleston, closing her report on Thursday’s "American Morning," labeled the Church’s refusal, based on "The Da Vinci Code" book and movie’s bashing of the Catholic faith, "a big problem in Rome, where some sins are just too grave to be forgiven -- even if they're for art's sake."
"Sins" that are "just too grave to be forgiven" calls to mind Matthew 12:32, where Jesus Christ refers to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost as a sin that won’t be forgiven "neither in this world, nor in the world to come." It isn’t certain that Eccleston had this scriptural quotation in mind, but she certainly gave the impression that the Church is being "un-Christian" for not letting Ron Howard and Tom Hanks film there.
ABCNews.com, reporting on the Catholic Diocese of Rome refusing permission to Ron Howard’s plans to film the movie prequel to Dan Brown’s "The DaVinci Code" in two historic churches, used loaded wording in the headline: "Church Cracks Down on New ‘Da Vinci’ Film."
The lead for the report, written by Phoebe Natanson and Luchina Fisher, also used similar imagery to describe the Catholic Church’s refusal: "Once again, the Catholic Church is coming down hard on writer Dan Brown, the author of ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ The producers of Brown's latest thriller to be made into a film, ‘Angels and Demons,’ have been banned from filming key scenes inside any church in Rome, on the grounds that the book is "an offense against God," according to a church spokesman.
Speaking of "coming down hard," wasn’t Brown doing just that in "The Da Vinci Code" by depicting the Catholic Church as a nefarious organization?