In “Whose God may we mock?” (thanks to Mackie), Pat Buchanan, whom I rarely if ever agree with these days, says something that is right on the mark:
If you would know who wields cultural power, ask yourself: Whom is it impermissible to offend? Thus the hoopla attending the release of “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the Dan Brown novel that has sold 7 million copies in the United States, tells us something about whose God it is permissible to mock and whose faith one is allowed to assault.
Absolutely. Compare the hype surrounding The DaVinci Code to the pious handwringing about how important it was not to offend religious sensibilities that we heard all over the West at the height of Cartoon Rage. And why aren’t we hearing that handwringing now? Not because of some subtle difference involved, but because the target this time is Christianity, and because the handwringers were and are smarmy hypocrites who were speaking out of fear, not conviction — and they fear Muslims in a way that they don’t fear Christians.
But anyway, Buchanan then drives his train of thought right off the deep end:
Putting “The Da Vinci Code” on film, with what it alleges about the Catholic Church, is the moral equivalent of making a movie based on the “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and implying this is the truth about the Jewish plot to control the world. One imagines Ron Howard and Tom Hanks would take a pass on that script.
Like the “Hitler’s Pope” smear of Pius XII, a man who did more than any other to save the Jews in World War II, “The Da Vinci Code” is a Big Lie that, though readily refuted by the facts, will be believed.
But that it will be a box-office smash, that it is the subject of lavish praise in the press, that it is the best-selling novel of the 21st century, tells us we live not just in a post-Christian era, but in an anti-Catholic culture not worth defending or saving, for it is truly satanic.
Not worth defending or saving? Truly satanic? We should give up and accept dhimmi status now, Pat? The West is just so corrupt, so truly satanic (Ahmadinejad would agree with you on that one) that we should lie down in the face of the global jihad?
No, Pat, no!
Let me be perfectly clear: I am a Christian, and I do despise The DaVinci Code. (However, I do not plan to burn down any embassies or kill anyone to show just how much I despise it.) I know enough about Christian history to know just how insidious and dishonest both book and movie are. And yes, there is much in today’s Western society that is absolutely rotten — soul-destroying and life-destroying — and you don’t have to be a Christian to realize that. All-encompassing materialism, relativism, the trivializing of the human being in 1000 ways — you name it.
But Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke today about “issues related to Islam – such as impediments to free speech; refusal of the separation of Church and State; widespread domestic violence; honor killings; the repudiation of wives; and Islam’s failure to condemn genital mutilation.” I still believe in the vision of human dignity that Judeo-Christian civilization gave the world strongly enough to believe that those things should be resisted. And I still believe that the heirs of that civilization, although they have largely cast it off, have a chance to recover it enough to fight back against the jihad, and to find that fighting back an occasion for a new flowering of that civilization.
And — as I said yesterday — even if that new flowering doesn’t come to pass, and all is already lost, I still won’t give up. I will keep fighting, not to defend The DaVinci Code or other symptoms of the West’s suicidal corruption, but to stand for the principles of the equality of dignity of all people, the freedom of conscience, and the other principles that are derived ultimately from Judaism and Christianity (yes, some will say that they come from the rejection of Christianity; I in turn reject that view, but this is not the time or place to go into that).
There was once a great civilization built upon those principles, and there can be again — even if its adherents are reduced for awhile to a tiny few in a mountain redoubt. From Pelayo ultimately came the great forces that drove the warriors of jihad from Spain. Perhaps from those of us who do not give up today will come those who will drive them out of our own lands on some bright future day.