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The Trashing of Christ and Christianity

Adam's Apple

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THE TRASHING OF THE CHRIST
Contrasts In Media Treatment of The DaVinci Code and The Passion
By Tim Graham, Media Research Center

The news media play an important role in popular culture by providing publicity for the movie studios as films are readied for release. But some movies are more favored by the news media than others, some for their expected status as expensive but appealing blockbusters, and some for their social commentary (for example, the film "Brokeback Mountain"). "The DaVinci Code" was both: an expected blockbuster movie based on one of the most publicized works of fiction in the new century, drawing enormous national media interest with its vision of a vast, murderous church conspiracy. It should not be surprising that "The DaVinci Code" came roaring out of the box office with a $77 million opening weekend.

The mediaÂ’s views on religion played a part. In 2004, the networks showed hostility to a more orthodox vision of Jesus in the movie "The Passion of the Christ." So MRC analysts compared coverage of the year before "The Passion" (March 2003 through February 2004) and the year before "The DaVinci Code" movie (May 19, 2005 through May 18, 2006) on the morning, evening, prime-time and late-night news programs of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Some key findings were:

■ "The DaVinci Code" received more of a publicity push from the networks than "The Passion of the Christ". The number of segments devoted to the movies in the year before their cinematic release was 99 for "The DaVinci Code" to 66 for "The Passion". Most of those came on morning shows. By far, the biggest "Code" promoter was NBCÂ’s "Today", which provided more stories
(38) than the other two network morning shows combined (29). By contrast, NBC was in third-place in "Passion" segments (11).

■ "The Passion of the Christ" was treated as a social problem – the biggest TV anti-Semitism story of that year – while "The DaVinci Code" was presented more often as an "intriguing" theory rather than threatening or offensive to Christians. Nearly every one of the 66 network segments on "The Passion" on ABC, CBS, and NBC touched on those complaints. But only 27 of the 99 "Code" segments focused on Christian and Catholic protests.

■ While the faith of millions of Americans, Christianity, is singled out for criticism, with one "fascinating" fictional detail after another, the networks either refused to air or barely aired mild Mohammed cartoons out of great sensitivity to American Muslims. At the same time that Christianity is questioned as a false religion in "The DaVinci Code", the networks demonstrated an exquisite sensitivity to American Muslims on the sensitive subject of threatened violence against mostly mild Danish cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. ABC aired a glance at one cartoon on two programs. CBS and NBC declared they would censor the images.

■ In their push to promote "The DaVinci Code", the networks routinely failed to address how the book most offended Christian sensitivities: that Christianity itself is a lie. The networks showed their lack of belief or interest in religion as they almost always failed to examine BrownÂ’s most contentious charge: that Jesus was not the Son of God. While many noted the scandalous claim of a sexual relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, only six stories explained the "CodeÂ’s" denial of the divinity of Jesus.

■ While Mel Gibson was attacked and even psychoanalyzed for his religious beliefs, "DaVinci Code" author Dan Brown and filmmakers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer were never personally examined or challenged about their personal religious beliefs, their willingness to milk controversy, play fast and loose with facts, and offend Christians for personal gain. Whenever the networks decided to address fact and fiction in "The DaVinci Code", they almost always found it was stuffed with falsehoods. But they never focused on the idea that Brown, Grazer, or Howard should be criticized for being too casual with the truth.

■ The networks also bought into the "DaVinci Code" craze by picking up and publicizing other "Code"-related books attacking Christianity and the Catholic Church, but their standard of evidence was hardly an example of what a skeptical journalist would apply. Authors of new books like The Jesus Papers and The Jesus Dynasty were offered publicity forums, even though the network journalists pronounced the evidence behind the claims was flimsy, even non-existent. So why did the networks promote them?

The report concludes that one reason for the commercial success of "The DaVinci Code" movie (as well as the book) was very aggressive salesmanship on the part of the network news divisions. "Network television news stars may boast at seminars that they are tough on everyone, but in real life, their devotion to secularism is almost religious in its intensity."

http://www.mrc.org/SpecialReports/2006/sum/sum052306.asp
 

Bullypulpit

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Yeah...The religious right wing-nuts in this country are doing a pretty good job of trashing Christ and Christianity on their own.
 
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Adam's Apple

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Want to be more explicit on how that is happening?
 

Bullypulpit

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Adam's Apple said:
Want to be more explicit on how that is happening?

Why? Their actions speak volumes.
 

Hobbit

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Bullypulpit said:
Why? Their actions speak volumes.

Well, that's a really intelligent response. You state something wild and outlandish. When asked to prove it, you say, "Oh, I don't have to. It proves itself." Apparantly, it doesn't. So why don't you enlighten us?
 

acludem

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This comparison is complete and utter nonsense. DaVinci Code was based on a novel, Passion of the Christ was a telling of actual events. DaVinci code was a big budget blockbuster, Passion of the Christ was made as a personal testimony by Mel Gibson. You can't compare media coverage of the two. It's like comparing Schindler's List (based on a true story) with Life is Beautiful (fiction). Two completely different types of film about the same basic subject, in that case the holocaust.

Passion was controversial because of the violence, the story of Jesus itself, etc. Da Vinci is fiction, and most Christians I know don't have a huge problem with it - they understand it's a fictional story.

acludem
 

rtwngAvngr

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acludem said:
This comparison is complete and utter nonsense. DaVinci Code was based on a novel, Passion of the Christ was a telling of actual events. DaVinci code was a big budget blockbuster, Passion of the Christ was made as a personal testimony by Mel Gibson. You can't compare media coverage of the two. It's like comparing Schindler's List (based on a true story) with Life is Beautiful (fiction). Two completely different types of film about the same basic subject, in that case the holocaust.

Passion was controversial because of the violence, the story of Jesus itself, etc. Da Vinci is fiction, and most Christians I know don't have a huge problem with it - they understand it's a fictional story.

acludem

The story is fictional, but dan brown stands behind the "facts" uncovered by the fictional protagonist as truth.
 

acludem

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Dan Brown's stance notwithstanding, this comparison and the entire premise of this article are both ludicrous. DaVinci Code got the same coverage as any other bid budget Hollywood blockbuster with a star-studded cast. Passion of the Christ was basically an indy movie with a very controversial subject and portrayal of that subject, thus the coverage was different. There was no overt attempt to trash Christians or Christianity in the way these two films were covered. That's simply :bsflag:

acludem
 

rtwngAvngr

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acludem said:
Dan Brown's stance notwithstanding,
So the author sticking to his belief that all his "facts" are true, that christianity is a lie, is not trashing christianity? Can you hear yourself? You've lost your mind.
Passion of the Christ was basically an indy movie with a very controversial subject and portrayal of that subject, thus the coverage was different. There was no overt attempt to trash Christians or Christianity in the way these two films were covered. That's simply :bsflag:

acludem


You overlook dan brown's lies, yet a strictly scriptural account is controversial? How much energy do you wast programming yourself with the lies required to maintain your upside-down worldview?
 

acludem

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Dan Brown has nothing to do with how the movie was covered, the religion aspect was largely ignored by the media because this is a fictional, blockbuster, star-studded movie based on a bestselling book. Passion of the Christ is right out of the bible, was graphically violent, and was an indy movie. The coverage was different because the movies and their origins were different. Dan Brown is irrelevant.

It also occurs to me that most of the discussion you seem to be pressing for already happened with the book.

acludem
 

rtwngAvngr

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acludem said:
Dan Brown has nothing to do with how the movie was covered, the religion aspect was largely ignored by the media because this is a fictional, blockbuster, star-studded movie based on a bestselling book. Passion of the Christ is right out of the bible, was graphically violent, and was an indy movie. The coverage was different because the movies and their origins were different. Dan Brown is irrelevant.

acludem

We're talking about trashing chrsitianity. This work trashes christianity and calls it a lie, and the author stands behind it. You can go off on a tangent about coverage, but that tangent is irrelevant. Watching you wiggle is funny, yet sad.
 

Dr Grump

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rtwngAvngr said:
We're talking about trashing chrsitianity. This work trashes christianity and calls it a lie, and the author stands behind it. You can go off on a tangent about coverage, but that tangent is irrelevant. Watching you wiggle is funny, yet sad.

I would hardly call offering an alternative theory "trashing"....a bit OTT IMO...
 

rtwngAvngr

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Dr Grump said:
I would hardly call offering an alternative theory "trashing"....a bit OTT IMO...


Yah, an alternative theory, that IT'S ALL A BIG LIE. "Alternative theory" just sounds nicer.

Just like racial discrimination is called "levelling the playing field". It's sad you guys actually hypnotize and delude yourselves with your "alternative frames".
 

Dr Grump

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rtwngAvngr said:
Yah, an alternative theory, that IT'S ALL A BIG LIE. "Alternative theory" just sounds nicer.

Just like racial discrimination is called "levelling the playing field". It's sad you guys actually hypnotize and delude yourselves with your "alternative frames".

You have absolutely no proof it is a lie. And I don't see anybody trashing Christianity. As I said, a bit OTT...
 

rtwngAvngr

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Dr Grump said:
You have absolutely no proof it is a lie. And I don't see anybody trashing Christianity. As I said, a bit OTT...

The Davinci code asserts it's a lie. and It's not part of the "fictional" part. Pay attention to the discussion.
 

Dr Grump

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rtwngAvngr said:
The Davinci code asserts it's a lie. and It's not part of the "fictional" part. Pay attention to the discussion.

Wasn't talking about Christianity re the lie. You have no proof the Davinci code's theory is a lie...
 

rtwngAvngr

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Dr Grump said:
Wasn't talking about Christianity re the lie. You have no proof the Davinci code's theory is a lie...


Read slowly. The Davinci codes says CHRISTIANITY is a lie; that's trashing.
 

5stringJeff

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Dr Grump said:
Wasn't talking about Christianity re the lie. You have no proof the Davinci code's theory is a lie...

The book (and movie) both claim that Christianity was meant to be a goddess-worshipping religion, that early Christian leaders excluded goddess-worship from the picture, and that all "christian" writings that supported that theory were demonized or destroyed. It also claims that Jesus and Mary Magdelene were married and had kids who now live in France. All of these points have been debunked more times than they needed to be.
 

Dr Grump

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5stringJeff said:
The book (and movie) both claim that Christianity was meant to be a goddess-worshipping religion, that early Christian leaders excluded goddess-worship from the picture, and that all "christian" writings that supported that theory were demonized or destroyed. It also claims that Jesus and Mary Magdelene were married and had kids who now live in France. All of these points have been debunked more times than they needed to be.

I don't believe they have been debunked. Personally, I don't know about the goddess-worhipping aspect, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jesus and Magadelene were married, or if he was married to somebody...As I say, they have not been disproved. Theologians only have very old scriptures to go by, and nobody can verify/authenticate the accuracy of said scriptures. All comes down to faith...
 

Dr Grump

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rtwngAvngr said:
Read slowly. The Davinci codes says CHRISTIANITY is a lie; that's trashing.

No it is not. Trashing is being abusive and patronising with regard to somebody's beliefs. Offering an alternative theory is not trashing. It is offering an alternative theory - nothing more, nothing less.
 

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