Monday, May 22, 2006

The Da Vinci Fallout – Much ado about nothing?

Christians should be infuriated after watching the movie, the Da Vinci Code. That’s what a forumer so strongly urged. Because it’s about all lies and it’s “insulting to Christianity”.

Well, the highly controversial movie opened in Singapore against a backdrop of protests. The Catholic Church has written a strongly worded letter to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) about the film ban. The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS), which represents the Protestant denominations, has also requested MICA to ban the film. Despite these attempts, the authorities in Singapore decided that it’s okay to pass the unedited version of the movie but restrict its audience to those at least 16 years in age.

It’s clear that Dan Brown’s novel contained historical fallacies and should be read as an intriguing fiction. Everyone loves a piece of conspiracy theory, don’t you?

So what’s all the fuss about? Especially when the movie falls short of the hype it had generated in my opinion.

Rather, Da Vinci Code brings to mind religious sensitivities that have to be handled with much care.

I generally agree with the Media Development Authority (MDA)’s explanation that the film “can be shown but at a higher rating as only a mature audience will be able to discern and differentiate between fact and fiction”. Note, the key word here is ‘discern’.

What is especially worrying however are the callous references made by forumers and bloggers that should such insults be made to other religions, the response of the believers would not be just “talking”. We have some forumers referring to the “Salman Rushdie” t(h)reatment and the burning of flags. Hey, the ensuing verbal dog-fights and inflammatory expletives against another religious faith could very well undermine the harmony of our society.

The Da Vinci saga is worrying because inflammatory postings on the Net can be the beginning of worse things to come. We may well be riding the slippery slope towards religious tension and conflict.

IMHO, we should have a low tolerance threshold for religious bigots. Equally important is maintaining a certain decorum in our postings and replies in cyberspace and steer clear of callous remarks that ridicules another’s sacred beliefs.


Da Vinci Coded at Tomorrow

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