One of the most persistent and obvious rhetorical devices in use in blogs is to compare something to the Holocaust and/or Nazi Germany. I’ll admit I’ve done it because it’s a very useful tool. And I’m about to do it again.
In this case, it will serve as an illustration of just how pernicious is the “Da Vinci Code” book and movie (hereafter known as “The Pseudo-Gnostic Pagan Fertility Cult Multimedia Extravaganza!” Or not.) In Amy Welborn’s review of the movie, for which I will now play the spoiler and tell you she didn’t like it—I know; I was surprised too, she discusses the lies told about history and why those are particularly disturbing.
The most outrageous lies involved early Christian history, of course. What stands out are Teabing’s assertion that 300 years after Christianity had been founded by this nice guy Jesus, the Christians grew in power to the point that they were starting to get belligerant to the pagans. They instigated violence. Oh, the Langdon character steps in and says something like “some say it was the othe way around,” but you are left with the distinct impression that any violence during the era happened because the Christians were getting power and stated going after pagans.
This is unconsciounable. We are talking about facts here. This is more than just silly movie-making. It’s a serious lie, akin to maintaining that Africans strolled on to slave ships because they wanted to go west. There may be ambiguity about certain aspects of Christian history, but this isn’t one of them. Tell Perpetua and Felicity, Blandina…Paul, Peter..the martyrs of Lyons, the victims of Diocletian. Real people who died horrible deaths are having their story twisted, perverted and forgotten so a bunch of empty-headed losers who evidently lack both brains and conscience can get even richer than they already are.
Here’s where I bring in the Holocaust analogy. Imagine a movie that said that not only were the Jews not killed by the Nazis, but that instead it was the Jews who won World War II and persecuted the poor, misunderstood Nazis. The Jews then changed the history books to make them into the oppressed who overcome their oppressors and then hunt down and persecute anyone who tries to preserve the “real” history. Gee, what would we call that? Yes, we’d call them Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites and they wouldn’t be admitted to polite company. Do you think plaintive cries of “It’s just a story; it’s only fiction” would carry any weight? Not on your life.
But because the Christian martyrs died 1,500 years ago and more, not 60 years, the denigration of their sacrifices is ignored by many and pooh-poohed by more. It’s shameful.