A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

Exhibit A:
Conservative Christian churches, and the Catholic Church in particular, are peeved at the upcoming movie The Da Vinci Code. They say it is misleading, unfair, and unflattering and that it falsely characterizes raw speculation as fact. Many Catholics are being urged to boycott the movie as a manner of protest, and the Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony pictures that, "putting a disclaimer on the movie stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church."
Personally, I think these types of protests are usually counter-productive, as they simply increase awareness and interest in the movie, thereby actually increasing attendance, but the effort is civilized and rational.

So, more power to them-- boycott all you want, complain all you want, protest all you want. In a sane, civilized, law-abiding manner.

Exhibit B:
Many Islamic sects are still peeved about the publishing of cartoons derisive of Islam and of the prophet Mohammed. They say the cartoons are misleading, unfair and unflattering as well insulting to Islam, since that religion forbids the portrayal of Mohammed in pictures. Muslims around the world are being urged to retaliate against Denmark, Norway and France in a video released last night on the internet. "Destroy their buildings, make their ground shake and transform them into a sea of blood," said al-Qaeda member Mohammed Hassan on the video.

Personally, I'd like to believe that this is just one isolated loon spouting death and destruction because he is powerless to actually effect any change. But given the past history of the cartoon fatwah, I see plenty of reasons to think that at least some Muslims will take the call to action seriously. And until they don't take the call to action seriously, I'm not sure you can make a case to take any claim that Islam is a religion of peace seriously.

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Comments:
This was a great entry, Nick. So true, and so sad.
 
Thought you might like this article--for various reasons

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/13/AR2006051301104.html
 
Sweet! Very cool, Greg. How exactly did the Post pick you out of the many people they could've highlighted?

And what a novel concept-- use a high profile event like the opening of The Da Vinci Code as an educational opportunity. I could be wrong, but I think that might just work better than trying to blow people up.

At least, I hope it does.

Two, unrelated, comments on the article. 1) Wouldn't a "self-mutilating belt" mean that it's the belt itself being mutilated? and B) I found the phrase "nondenominational megachurch" to be a fascinating one. I instantly knew what it meant, but I had never heard it before. There has been a signficant rise in nondenominational megachurches in the last ten years-- any ideas as to why?
 
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