For Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, until 2003 the deputy head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s most powerful office, seeing The DaVinci Code in a Vatican bookstore was the last straw. In early March he lashed out at Catholic bookstores for carrying the book, and directed Catholics not to read it. Why? “There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true.”
Dan Brown’s phenomenal bestseller suggests that Jesus was an immensely popular and prophetic leader who married one of his closest associates and had a family. Archbishop Bertone and the Church maintain that Jesus was at the same time a man, the son of God, and God himself, that a virgin woman gave birth to him and remained a virgin, that a few days after he was killed he came back to life and shortly thereafter was taken up to heaven to spend an eternity directing the destinies of billions of people.
In a rational world the burden of proof as to which is fable would fall on the Church. But there’s the rub. For when it comes to organized religion, no burden of proof is required. On the contrary, by definition, religion requires faith and faith renounces evidence. Taking a proposition “on faith” means to consciously and willfully refuse to examine the facts.
David Morris, AlterNet (Â more.Â .Â .)