Baehr Calls Blasphemy, Sexual Immorality Good Reasons to Miss Da Vinci Code
by Mary Rettig
May 4, 2006
(AgapePress) - - A well-known pro-family media critic advises Christians to forego seeing the movie screen adaptation of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, and he says they should warn others to avoid the film as well.
Dr. Ted Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission (CFTC) and publisher of Movieguide, a biweekly journal that reviews and rates films according to their values and family-friendly -- or unfriendly -- content. And when it comes to the kind of content viewers will find if they decide to go see the upcoming theatrical release, The Da Vinci Code (rated PG-13), the Christian movie reviewer says, "There's a lot of good reasons for people not to."
On May 17, two days before the movie's general release, a group of Christian leaders are going to hold a press conference in Washington, DC, to address the issues surrounding the controversial film. Baehr, who will be part of that group, says there is a lot more to The Da Vinci Code's plot than just the assertion that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. That is minor, the critic says, compared to some of the other blasphemous ideas presented in the story.
In the novel and its film adaptation, a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) teams up with a brilliant French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), to follow clues revealing that the recently murdered curator of the Louvre was involved in an ancient secret society called the Priory of Sion, over which an evil Grand Master presides.
Following clues from the murder scene, Robert and Sophie are caught up in a dangerous mystery as they match wits with an unknown enemy somehow connected with Opus Dei, a clandestine Catholic organization. Opus Dei, according to Brown's story, is believed to have long plotted to seize the Priory's carefully guarded secret -- the secret the "code" supposedly obscures, that Christ was not crucified but instead survived, married, and sired progeny.
Besides the story's more obvious blasphemies, Baehr notes, are other issues that he feels make the movie unfit for Christian audiences. "One of the problems," he explains, "is that The Da Vinci Code's main point is leading up to Sophie discovering that the Grand Master's invitation into eternal life is a sexual ceremony where he's surrounded in the basement with his cohorts in the cult of the Priory, having sex with the temple prostitute."
The CFTC chairman says he has heard some prominent Christians tell other believers to go see The Da Vinci Code because they can use the storyline of the film as a springboard to tell people the truth about Christ. But God's Word tells believers to look upon the good, the true, and the lovely, the Christian film reviewer points out. They are not told to look upon the evil, sexual ceremonies that are contained in the upcoming Tom Hanks movie, he insists.
"In Ezekiel, God tells us to be a 'watchman on the wall,'" Baehr continues, "and he says if you know that somebody is going to make a mistake, you tell them not to." Christians should avoid the movie based on Brown's novel, he contends, "because the book is just chock full of occultism, Rosicrucianism, Masonic Satanism, et cetera -- I mean, we have a lot of material on all the satanic material, all the sexual material, all the pornographic material."
The Movieguide publisher says a conscientious, thinking Christian "would be hard pressed to argue that people should indulge in this, because it's going to be engraved on people's minds." He urges believers to ignore anyone advising them to "invite the devil through dialog."
At the May 17 press conference, Baehr adds, the Christian leaders involved will provide some telling information about who funded this controversial, anti-Christian film. He believes this revelation and other facts about The Da Vinci Code will raise many Christians' concerns and further show why believers should not spend one dime on the movie.
Mary Rettig, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.