Justice is Blind, Jesus Had Children, and People are Idiots.

MSNBC is reporting this story from London about the latest controversy over the *yawn* bestselling book The DaVinci Code. It seems that two English chaps think that Daniel Brown stole from their book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a non-fiction book from 1982 which theorized that Jesus knew Mary Magdalene in the biblical sense -- even marrying her and settlin' down -- just as The DaVinci Code does. The 1982 book also theorized that Jesus didn't die on the cross, but instead went to gay ol' Paris and lived out the rest of his life.

“[Jesus moving the France] is not an idea that I would ever have found appealing. Being raised a Christian and having sung in my Church choir for 15 years, I’m well aware that Christ’s crucifixion is the very core of the Christian faith,” Brown said, adding, "Plus, Jesus definitely hates France. Definitely."*

Now, excuse me if I'm being ignorant, but isn't The DaVinci Code a FICTION book? And Holy Blood a NON-FICTION book? We were just painfully reminded of the differences between these two during the Oprah-James Frey embarrassment, but let's go over it again. A NON-FICTION book says what is, or could be the truth; that is, it postulates or reports the truth. A FICTION book, often called a 'novel,' often bases itself in reality, but contains characters, a plotline, and a story which never, ever happened. Novels can contain statements or theories that are true, however.

Now, far be it for me to argue that there is anything original in The DaVinci Code; I regard it as typical bestselling fiction, good for a quick read and not too thematically or otherwise deep. And the concept of a Catholic conspiracy is about as outdated as a Family Guy pop culture reference. But if an author is no longer allowed to read a couple books on a subject and use the information contained within to fill the bulk of his book, then what the hell are Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton going to do? Isn't this a bit like textbook publisher Houghton and Mufflin suing the writers of Saving Private Ryan for suggesting that D-Day was on June 6, 1944?

*He didn't actually say that last part.


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