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By Michael Ferraro | May 12, 2006

Before any of you read this, please understand that the following entry is the opinion of Michael Ferraro and Michael Ferraro alone. This is by no means a representation of Film Threat’s philosophies as whole. If you feel the urge to contact the editor about the piece, blame me, not the entire staff or the publication.

Wow. We live in some troubling times. Ever since Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has been released, people all over the place have been exasperated to the point of craziness. Months later, bookshelves were filled with titles (on DVD and books) like Debunking The Da Vinci Code, etc. I’ve never read Brown’s book (I’m really not into new school fiction, I am more of an old school literature guy) so I don’t really know what the big deal is or why Christians are so angry. They really don’t like when people question their faith or their precious Bible.

I have a question of my own though, that maybe one you fine readers would be able to answer for me. What two books are not found in the nonfiction (nonfiction being books of fact) section at any bookstore on the planet and were written by the hands of men?

I’ll give you a hint: The Da Vinci Code and The Bible.

Before any of you Jesus junkies out there flood my editor with e-mails proving me wrong or calling me names, relax. I am not aiming this at all of you, nor am I discrediting your faith. But I do have a few questions for those of you that are indeed angered by Dan Brown’s words and the upcoming film by Ron Howard.

You do know that Dan Brown wrote a fiction book, right? I’ve never read anything that states Brown’s novel to be cold hard fact, nor have I read anything that quotes him as trying to produce fact. All he did was write a suspenseful formulaic thriller (so I am told anyway) for the masses, much like Grisham or Grafton but since he threw some Jesus theories in there, it created controversy, and a New York Times bestseller was born. Film at 11:00.

Even Cardinal Francis Arinze slams it as “”disrespect.” If you’re a kid in Singapore, you’re banned from watching it. Some religious devotees in India have even threatened a fast unto death if the government “”fails to take action” against movies challenging their faiths. Did their government not tell these people that it’s not real? It’s only a silly little fiction film based on a silly little fiction novel. People who read The Da Vinci Code and/or see the film aren’t going to be turned away from Christianity or question the accuracy of the material presented. It they do, they’re just plain moronic.

What if I started questioning the holy book”¦ how do you think the authors would feel? Let’s examine the first two chapters of The Bible, the section of Genesis (it’s not an account of the life and times of Phil Collins, it’s more of an account of creation at the hands of God). Both chapters contradict what was made on which of the seven days of creation. In Genesis 2, God made man out of clay then planted shrubbery. In Genesis 1, he created everything else first, then man last.

Two stories in a row, about the same thing, but with various little differences in detail. This is a book many claim to be exact “”truth.” Dan Brown never claimed such, yet he and his novel (and now his film) are under constant attack.


I’m glad that these fanatics are actually forming questions from their brains but it’s the style of questioning I am not really down with or even understand. Don’t just question one thing ““ question everything. I’m far from being religious but I can tell you that I have indeed read The Bible from front to back. I think Deuteronomy 20 is perhaps one of the scariest things ever written. Corinthians 14:34 includes one of my favorite quotes in history, “”Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”

Hear that women? Don’t ask questions in church; wait until you go home and ask your husbands. That’s what the Bible saith.

These people aren’t questioning their own book. Chances are their preachers never cover this chapter during Sunday’s sermon. Yet these are the same people that are so eager to discredit a book properly labeled fiction, not nonfiction. If you question one, why not question them all?

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  1. Craig Bennett says:


    I am an evangelical Christian, I read the DaVinci Code and enjoyed it, and I am totally suuportive of the books debunking it. Here’s why:

    Since the book has become popular, I have had no less than 5 people (all non-Christians) talk to me on different occasions about how they were surprised about the things in the book and how the church has hidden them for so long. These people all believed the things in the book were non-fiction. While many people understand the book is a work of fiction, many other people do not. So, as a Christian, I am starting to get bugged by so many people who are taking warped and historically inaccurate information from the book and accepting it as true, when it is clearly not supported by historical evidence.

    Do I care whether someone challenges my faith? NO. In fact, I encourage people to read about different belief systems and religions, because I am convinced that a person with an open mind and heart who examines the different religions will see the truth of Christianity. But, I do not like misinformation. I fight it all the time when Christians do it, and I will fight it when non-Christians do it. Brown’s book contains mis-information that many people accept as truth. So, it should be debunked.

  2. Michael Ferraro says:


    I’m glad you are what you are and I am glad you somehow made it to Film Threat to read my silly little blog about an idiotic little formulaic monstrocity.

    Do you know what else is idiotic? The people that find this novel of craptacular power as truth. And let’s say Jesus was indeed married, what’s the big deal? He was a MAN (even by the virgin theory, he was still half-man, as Mary’s egg housed him) and men, well, they get a little curious, no matter how “strong” or “holy” they are. Look at the Catholic priesthood. I know not all of them fall into this category but how many got so frustrated, their “parts” made their way into the orifices of helpless little boys?

    That may be an extreme example but you get my point. What would be the big deal if Jesus was married? I pointed out things in this entry that were probably changed or added to the Bible since it was first written. The point is, the history of Jesus is not completely known. MAN wrote the Bible. Plain and simple, and we all know men, we like to shape things around our ideals and the ideals we want to share.

    But again, these are my beliefs. I am not religious by any stretch but I have read the good book. I have studied the good book.

    I have not however, read Brown’s book. Nor do I ever plan to.

  3. Michael Ferraro says:

    Thanks for your comment Robert, but uh, what the hell did an e-book review of a book from an unknown author, have to do with anything I wrote about?

    Or should it be, “what the heck“?

    I’m guessing you probably did a Google search for Da Vinci Code and found my entry. Just another surfer of the web trying to make a stink over a book found in the fiction section.

  4. Robert Landbeck says:

    Whatever the measure of controversy, however uncomfortable the DaVinci Code book and film make many ‘Christians’ feel, the big religious questions may be about to get even hotter! And on the scale of a ‘biblical’ epic, battle lines are being drawn on the web for a confrontation so contentious, any clash of civilizations will have to wait its turn. On one side, all the gravitas two thousands years of religious tradition can bring to bear, against a single manuscript by an unknown author titled: The Final Freedoms.

    Ebook review: The Final Freedoms

    The first wholly new interpretation for 2000 years of the moral teachings of Jesus the Christ, entitled The Final Freedoms, focuses specifically and comprehensively on marriage and human sexuality, challenging natural law theory and theology. At stake are several thousand years of religious tradition and history.

    What at first appears an utterly preposterous challenge to the religious status quo rewards those who persevere in closer examination, for it carries within its pages an idea both subtle and sublime, what the combined intellectual histories of religion and science have either ignored or dismissed as impossible. An error of presumption which could now leave tradition staring into the abyss and humble the heights of scientific speculation. For if this material is confirmed, and there appears to be both the means and a concerted effort to authenticate it, the greatest unresolved questions of human existence may finally have been untangled.

    Published only on the web and distributed freely as a pdf download, made up of twenty nine chapters and three hundred and seventy pages, this new teaching has nothing whatsoever to do with any existing religious conception known to history. It is unique in every respect.

    Using a synthesis of hundreds of scriptural elements from the Old and New Testaments, the Apocrypha , The Dead Sea Scrolls,The Nag Hammadi Library, and some of the worlds greatest poetry, it describes and teaches a single moral LAW, a single moral principle and offers its own proof; one in which the reality of God responds to an act of perfect faith with a direct, individual intervention into the natural world; making a correction to human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness, human ethical perception, and providing new, primary insight and understanding of the human condition.

    Also called the Gospel of the Resurrection, this new interpretation reveals the moral foundation of all human thought and conduct and finds expression within a new covenant of human spiritual union, the marriage [Hieros gamos] between one man and one woman. It resolves the most intractable questions and issues of human sexuality and offers possibilities for peace, health, healing and cultural development political process has yet to dream of.

    This new teaching is pure ethics. It requires no institutional framework, no churches, no priest craft, no scholastic theological rational, costs nothing and ‘worship’ requires only conviction, faith and the necessary measure of self discipline to accomplish a new moral imperative.

    As the first ever religious teaching able to demonstrate its own efficacy, the first ever religious claim to knowledge that meets both the ideal and criteria of the most rigourous, testable scientific method, this teaching enters the public domain as a reality entirely new to human history.

    The beginnings of an intellectual and moral revolution are unfolding on the web. And anyone trying to imagine where solutions to the worlds most difficult conundrums will come from, may comprehend from this material, the catalyst that might very well define the very future of humanity and the earth itself!

    Download links:

  5. aniket fasate says:

    I think the controversy will never end. there are evidences on both the side of the contorversy. But unfortunately, none of the sides can say for sure that their side is completely accurate and without any contradictions… so just relax and do not lose faith in your religion.

  6. stina says:

    When historians probe a bit further and suggest, with substantiation from old letters or pamphlets or family diaries, that certain historical figures werent has great, humble, pure, or righteous as watered-down textbooks claim, is there an equal amount of hoopla?

    Or when myths about the reason why a certain song was inspired are debunked?

    On the one hand, it is silly that some people would want to say why a work of fiction isnt true or what it is insinuating isnt true.

    On the other hand, though, they are reacting the way they are b/c they dont want to hear or entertain alternate ideas about some belief they hold so dear.

    You could tell them, without an explicit claim to be factual, “you know, the sky is actually green.” and they may want to see your head on a stick.

    or get a bunch of color experts say that “no, the sky is in fact blue.”

  7. Mark Bell says:

    The Da Vinci Code has got nothing on Wilton Barnhardt’s Gospel anyway. That book is brilliant on so many angles, and it’s not the most flattering religious account either. But no one ever got in an uproar over that one…

  8. gigi says:

    interesting post mike. like you, i am shocked at the contraversy. i was in barnes and noble today, and there was a whole anti davinci code book display. i must confess, i have not read the book either. i am a christian, but am usually not offended by these types of movies. perhaps the last temptation of christ was a bit uncomfy for anyone of faith; but give me a scary psychological religious based film about plague, famine, the apocolypse, aborted babies as angels and im enthralled. why…because as religious as i claim to be i have not met god, nor spoken to jesus. so the afterlife is full of mystery that no one should claim to have the full story on.
    i love the bible but it was written by man in ancient times and influenced by social beliefs of those times. it can contradict and not be so nice. its beautiful in places though.

    at any rate, jesus was of our flesh and human; personally i dont want to think about sex or marriage, but as a christian, im not against a fictional suggestion…and hey this cant be all bad if it is drawing new attention to religion. i think in these times we all need more of it. but fire and brimstone wont atttract any new fans.

    i thought this was a holy grail search movie….hehe

  9. Michael Ferraro says:

    I grew up Catholic so I am not in the dark ages when it comes to my beliefs towards church. And I have read the Bible from front to back. You may have women preachers in your churches in Singapore but Catholic churches here in the states are in the dark ages because they have yet to adapt to this policy. Also, preachers can’t get married? I’d like to think that this may be assisting with our pedophile priest problem, but who am I to think and question.

    You say that people aren’t paying for church, it’s voluntarily given. Well, why does the church “suggest” that all families “donate” 10% of their income? Face it Jason, no matter what you call it, people are still paying for the churches to thrive. If it wasn’t for people’s contributions, church wouldn’t exist. Churches are owned by the people that go. Who pays for all of these giant structures Catholics put up all over the place?

    Back to Dan Brown… you said, and I quote, “Don’t know whether or not this was a publicity stunt, but the book has merged so called fact with fiction, which, unfortunately people can’t distinguish.” Well, I hate to say and sound like an evil negative creep but if people can’t distinguish between the two, then perhaps you should blame their lack of education. They obviously don’t know how to read and if they do, they don’t know how to understand the words. You shouldn’t feel for those people, or try to education them.

    I’ve said it seven hundred times thus far but I’ll say it again. It is fiction. Not real, fake, faux-truth, bologna, tomfoolery. Fiction. If people mistake it for anything but, they are beyond stupid and any ability to try to persuade them otherwise is a waste of time.

  10. Don Lewis says:

    But what IF Jesus was married to Mary? Why would that be so bad? I don’t get it. It can’t even been like….examined or put out there?

    Admittedly, I don’t know squat about any religion. But why is a fictional book that says Jesus MIGHT have done this or that so much worse than right-wing Christian nuts like Pat Robertson, George W. Bush and Jerry Fallwell who hide behind Christianity while spreading hate and fear? That’s not very Jesus-ey!

  11. Jason(Singapore) says:

    Hi Michael, Thanks for allowing my comment to appear and for your reply.

    When the book first came out, I thought that it was just another fictional book. My best friend told me that he was reading it too. I only realised that it was implying Jesus was a man married to Mary after watching a BBC documentary based around certain claims which the book said was true within the ‘fact’ page of the novel. Even the author Dan Brown believed in his own fictional theory. Don’t know whether or not this was a publicity stunt, but the book has merged so called fact with fiction, which, unfortunately people can’t distinguish. If the book or author never claimed truth and caused the confusion then I never would have object to it. Why would I its just a novel.

    You sound as though you’re still in the dark ages regarding present day church 🙂 Every church goer has a right to ask questions about their faith, religion etc.. They are not paying for the church, its a voluntary giving. The term is tithing and you can give or don’t give entirely up to you. Yes I agree that women can be preachers. We have 2 in our church, 1 Indian and the other Chinese – and our service is in English.

    To be honest, I haven’t yet read the Bible from cover to cover, but getting there. The reason is because I want to understand the meaning behind the passages and parables. For example, ‘An eye for eye and tooth for a tooth’, if taken literally justifies revenge on a person. But in fact, this was a rule given to judges saying in effect that the punishment must fit the crime.

    For me being a Christian is blind faith as I haven’t really seen God. No one really led me to Christianity. But I did go to a Catholic school and was given a free Bible. There were no ‘brain-washing’ lessons to convert non-believers. My father was an atheist and my mother believed in ancient chinese superstitions and several chinese Gods. None of my other family members were Christians. I just started praying one day and found that there is someone answering my prayers and watching over me.

  12. Michael Ferraro says:

    Well Jason, I read some of your blog but gave up for one simple reason… you’re making a big deal over something that is clearly labeled FICTION. Why try to call out Brown about what is real or what is wrongly portrayed when the book is not claiming to be truth?

    As for women in the church and what not, I believe women, kids and man should be allowed to ask whatever question they want in church. Anyone devoting their lives to a religion should be allowed to ask whatever they want, whenever they want. Church owes them that right, as these are the people PAYING for the church to exist in the first place. I also think women should be allowed to be preachers. Paul’s word was about promoting unity? You know, if you read Corinthians all the way through, that one simple exerpt is the only think that doesn’t feel right, it just seems out of place, as if it was added later by some scribe copying it (as they didn’t have printing presses back then) and it just kind of stayed there forever.

    But then again, I am not religious at all so perhaps my words are pointless to one who is emerged in the faith. And while I am not religious, you must understand, I am not a Dan Brown supporter either. I have never read, nor will ever read, this book. I just decided to speak up about it because it’s as fiction (again, that word means “not real”) as Curious George.

    And again I ask you, how come you’re so eager to question a book not claiming to be truth, but you’re not willing to question a book that is “truth” to many?

    Remember dude, The Da Vinci Code is found in the fiction section. So all of your questioning, analysis, etc., is pointless because the book isn’t claiming truth.

    I appreciate your comments though, especially since you are indeed from Singapore. It’s awesome that someone from Singapore actually clicked on the Film Threat blog.

  13. Jason(Singapore) says:

    Some perspective from Singapore. We live in a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious society. The government has done well to preserve harmony. Unfortunately different religions have different treatment as demonstrated by this book and film.
    My reasons for objecting to Da Vinci Code.
    Singapore: Censorship Review Committee view on race and religious content.
    CRCs own contradiction in rating the film as NC16.

    As for your quote on 1 Corinthians 14:34 – Does this mean that women should not speak in church services today? If you read 1 Corinthians 11:5, it is clear that women prayed and prophesied in public worship. It is also clear in Cpahters 12-14 that women are given spiritual gifts and are encouraged to exercise them in the body of Christ. Women have much to contribute and can participate in worship services.

    In the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed toconfront men in public. Apparently some of the women who had become Christians thought that their Christian freedom gave then the right to question the men in public worship. This was causing division in the church. In addition, women of that day did not receive formal religious education as did the men. Women may have been raising questions in the worship services that could have been answered at home without disrupting services. Paul was asking the women not to flaunt their Christian freedom during worship. The purpose of Paul’s word was to promote unity, not to teach about womens role in the church.

  14. John Singleton says:

    I concur with you my good mate. I’ve found it fascinating how so many out there are rushing to debunk a work of fiction. I don’t see 250 skillion titles trying to debunk “Cathcher in the Rye” or “Of Mice and Men.” What gives? What’s that old saying…can’t see the forest for the trees?

  15. Don Lewis says:

    I find it ironic that the right-wing Christians folk, especially talk radio ones, are using those riots in Europe over the cartoon of Muhammed as proof that these “Islamo Facists” are trying to take over the world. Yet any fictionalization that might be a teeny bit anti-Christ (sweet…Anti-Christ…), they react the same way. Well, not stoning and burning stuff, but they seek to financially burn and stone. LAST TEMPTATION had the same thing happen and now all this free publicity for DAVINCI CODE is happening. Just seems…weird.

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