Having already shared my thoughts on the book as a novel, now I’ll talk about the religion, the conspiracy, and the hubbub. It’s not hard to see why some people got upset. Accusing the Roman Catholic church of a grand conspiracy to suppress Jesus’ real identity. Claiming that ritual sex acts were performed in the very heart of Solomon’s Temple. Wow! Brown should just be happy he didn’t insult Zizou.
At the same time, I can see why people are fascinated with the story Brown tells. People love to be in on secrets. Couple that with a present predisposition to assume institutions – religious, political, business, etc. – are covering something up, and viola! Instant best-seller. Do I buy Brown’s claims? Let’s see…
Code Claim: Jesus was married and had kids… whose descendants live today!
Bald Truth: So what? I can’t think of how this would materially change anything. I’d always assumed Jesus was single, but what if he was married? What if he had kids? Doesn’t make him less man or less God. Doesn’t call into doubt his sinless nature. Regardless where the historical evidence leads I don’t see where this is a big deal. Am I missing something?
Code Claim: The Catholic Church engaged in a massive conspiracy to cover up and destroy the truth about Jesus.
Bald Truth: First off, I’m on the more skeptical side when it comes to institutions. Second, no one can deny that the Christian church in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, have been on the wrong side of the argument from time to time over the last two thousand years. That said, I’m not buying what Brown is selling. I think something went wrong when the church allowed itself to be adopted by the state under Constantine, but the fundamental doctrines were already in place. Furthermore – and I’ll admit this will sound flimsy to some – I think God has had a hand in preserving the faith through all the make up we’ve tried to slap on her… and not thru some secret society. Jesus was God’s ultimate revelation, and that revelation has not been secreted away.
Code Claim: The ultra-secret Priory of Sion has preserved an alternate “history” throughout the millennia.
Bald Truth: Could be. People love a secret. What I dispute is the claim that this alternate “history” bears resemblance to reality.
Now, I’m no expert. There are enough other sites that weigh in on the historical evidence and claims. I’ll highlight one: mark Roberts has an extensive series of posts under the heading, The Da Vinci Opportunity. I haven’t read everything – there’s lots! – but I’m willing to bet he and I would be pretty much on the same page.