Is the new film “Angels and Demons” anti-Catholic?
Posted by sanityinjection on May 1, 2009
I hesitated a lot about whether to even write about this. I have not seen the new film (coming out in a couple of weeks), nor have I read the book it’s based on, though I’m familiar with the plot. I did read “The DaVinci Code”, and while it was entertaining enough, it was also a virulent anti-Catholic polemic which deliberately (and falsely) blurred the line between fact and fiction. I resolved at that point to make sure author Dan Brown never got any of my money, not because I am a Catholic, but because I prefer not to fund those who spread hatred through misinformation.
“Angels and Demons” was actually written before “Da Vinci Code”. Its plot summary can easily be found on any number of websites and focuses on a secret conspiracy masterminded by Vatican leaders. Like “Da Vinci Code”, it has now been made into a movie.
Fortunately, while struggling with exactly what tack (if any) to take on this subject, I ran across this column by Andrew Leigh, which I think nicely encapsulates my thoughts:
If you can’t decide whether a movie like this is unfair to Catholics, I suggest you apply a simple test: Mentally replace all the Catholics with Jews and all the priests with rabbis. If the result seems like it could have been the Film of the Month in Hitler’s Germany, then you’ve pretty much got your answer.
Of course there is nothing wrong with having an individual Catholic or Jew as a fictional villain. But when an author seems to go out of his way, repeatedly, to smear one of the world’s major faiths, and distorts facts in order to do so, you have to start to question whether entertainment or something far more unpleasant is really the main goal.
So I will not being seeing “Angels and Demons”. You won’t find me protesting in front of the theaters, because that would just create more publicity. And I don’t believe in censorship. But I would encourage readers to consider this issue before deciding whether or not to see the film.