The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

May 22, 2006

5-21 Apparently So parenting column by Craig Harris

By CRAIG HARRIS, Special to Herald-Press

I did not want to write about The Da Vinci Code. I didn’t want to because I fear the more publicity it gets, the more people will read the book or go see the movie.

But then my son announced that he wanted to read the book. He has gotten caught up in the hoopla. He is an excellent reader and mature enough to handle it, but I’ve decided to ask him to pass on this one.

At first, I thought it might be okay for him to read it. He and I watched the History Channel dismantle the foolishness of a blood line from Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene. It turns out the Priory of Sion, on which the entire Da Vinci Code book is written, is a hoax. The author of the hoax, a Frenchman named Pierre Plantard, admitted under oath that he made up the whole thing in 1956. There is no bloodline and there is no Priory of Sion protecting the devastating secret. Leonardo Da Vinci was never part of that secret society because it didn’t even exist during his lifetime, so the issue of his hiding a secret in the Last Supper fresco is dead on the plaster.

No respectable art scholar believes that John in the Last Supper painting is really Mary Magdalene — and that she is actually the Holy Grail. By the way, the Holy Grail is not mentioned in the Bible, so it’s a non-issue with me, but I do know that Mary Magdalene never married Jesus. If she did, the gospel writers would have recorded such an important part of the story, and Paul would have mentioned it to strengthen his case in 1 Corinthians 9:5. Besides, Revelation 19 says that we (the church) are the bride of Christ.

So, like I said, at first I thought I would let my son read the book. He knew the basic premise of the book was a hoax — even though Brown states it as fact on page one. Then I got a copy of the book and began to discover how full of lies and deceit it really is.

The book says that "Jesus was just a man" (Page 233); that "almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false" (Page 235); that "the Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God." (Page 231); "The New Testament is false testimony." (Page 341); "The New Testament is based on fabrications." (Page 341); "The early Church needed to convince the world that the mortal prophet Jesus was a divine being. Therefore, any gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus' life had to be omitted from the Bible." (Page 244); "Powerful men in the early Christian church 'conned' the world by propagating lies that devalued the female and tipped the scales in favor of the masculine." (Page 124); "Constantine upgraded Jesus' status almost four centuries after Jesus' death." (Page 234) And on and on it goes. (Characters make these statements, but Brown is on record saying he believes them. Further, they are not taken out of context.)

Tom Hanks really disappointed me by starring in this movie. He told Newsweek magazine that it is only fiction and not any more offensive than most other books and movies. Hanks doesn’t understand that there is nothing more offensive to a Christian than to say Jesus was only mortal and the Bible cannot be trusted. Cuss in my ear and I may not even flinch, but whisper that my faith is based on lies and the resurrection is a fabrication and you are in for a fight, mister.

I think we’ll pass on this one.

The Rev. Craig Harris is pastor at Montalba Christian Church and is employed as the Parent Involvement Coordinator for Palestine Independent School District. Contact Harris at