Catholic cardinal calls for Christians to sue over “The Da Vinci Code”.

If you can’t beat ‘em, then sue ‘em to death. So seems to be the motto of at least one Catholic cardinal:

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In the latest Vatican broadside against “The Da Vinci Code,” a leading cardinal says Christians should respond to the book and film with legal action because both offend Christ and the Church he founded.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was considered a candidate for pope last year, made his strong comments in a documentary called “The Da Vinci Code-A Masterful Deception.”

I always love it when people claim to know what offends Christ. I wonder how many protestants will get annoyed over the claim that Christ founded Catholicism? Apparently the cardinals are feeling left out after the Muslims got all the attention for their riots over the Muhammad cartoons so they’re advocating that Catholics get all uppity and ornery now too:

Arinze’s appeal came some 10 days after another Vatican cardinal called for a boycott of the film. Both cardinals asserted that other religions would never stand for offences against their beliefs and that Christians should get tough.

“Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget,” Arinze said in the documentary made by Rome film maker Mario Biasetti for Rome Reports, a Catholic film agency specializing in religious affairs.

Fortunately they’re not advocating for the fire bombing of local bookstores and cinemas. Instead they’re advocating for suing the hell out of anyone who disses their boy Biggie J:

“Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical. So it is not I who will tell all Christians what to do but some know legal means which can be taken in order to get the other person to respect the rights of others,” Arinze said.

“This is one of the fundamental human rights: that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected,” he said, without elaborating on what legal means he had in mind.

What the cardinal fails to understand is that using legal means to suppress ideas you don’t like isn’t the same as forcing others to respect you or your silly beliefs. You might be able to legally restrict me from telling you what a fucking idiot you are and that I think the whole Jesus myth is just so much fiction, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still hold those opinions about you and your religion. Even if I’m compelled by law to remain silent that doesn’t mean you’re getting my respect.

Not that it matters, I don’t see what legal basis folks would have to sue over the issue. At least not here in the States. I suppose in other countries where church and state are more closely intertwined there’s probably laws on the books that they could make use of.

Link via my Pretend Internet Girlfriend.

19 thoughts on “Catholic cardinal calls for Christians to sue over “The Da Vinci Code”.

  1. I don’t see what legal basis folks would have to sue over the issue.

    That was the first thought that ran through my mind.  The closest thing they’ve got is mayby…libel?  Slander?  But then in order for that to work they prosecuting parties would have to prove that The Da Vinci Code told untrue things about the Church and Jebus.  Gotta love the irony in people who base their lives around a book of fiction getting angry that someone else wrote a book of fiction that contradicts theirs.  Of course, should the sue-happy fundies somehow get lucky with this little stunt, it could backfire terribly;in Italy a priest slandered a controversial writer who claimed there is no historical existence for Jebus, the writer sues, and then the priest is ordered to prove Christ exists. Don’t know if the case was eventually thrown out.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1967413,00.html

  2. Ha ! You see what A “BOOK” can do !!!

    On a more serious note, I’ve been wandering why all the fuss.
    I think the catholic church is very happy to be in the news every day defending something. It doesn’t matter if it’s position towards a book is right or wrong and the soldiers of the faith don’t really care about right or wrong either they are just happy to be part of a rise. It gives them something to shout about.

    As for me… the book is a police thriller novel to be taken as a novel that you read for entertainment. No more, no less.

  3. Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical.

    As opposed to never doing anything practical? You have just opened the flood door of my thoughts on how you may think that your teachings are impractical. Good job.

    Ah, the humorous things religious folk say.

  4. I suppose in other countries where church and state are more closely intertwined there’s probably laws on the books that they could make use of.

    Britain still has a blasphemy law.  The Muslims want it extended to cover them (it only covers Christianity at the moment).  Personally I’d get rid of it (surprise surprise).  However I don’t see it being successfully used nowadays againt the steaming pile of crap and misinformation, sorry, I mean DVC.

  5. Gotta love the irony in people who base their lives around a book of fiction getting angry that someone else wrote a book of fiction that contradicts theirs.

    I wonder how much Dan Brown is paying the Holy Roman Catholic Church to protest against (advertise) his book/film. LOL

  6. Ah, the humorous things religious folk say.

    Fundies say the darnedest things! It just never fails. LOL

    Personally, I can’t wait to see the movie (I’m going to read the book first, though). According to many, I’m doubly damned since I not only refused to see “The Passion of the Christ” but I am excitedly going to view “The Da Vinci Code.”

    I can’t wait for “His Dark Materials” as well.

  7. Let’s see, now, a person can sue if they are still alive and of legal age, or an advocate can be chosen by the court, a corporation can sue if it has been created by the laws of the land. How the hell can a God sue? What standing would He have in court? Can he put his hand on a Babble and swear? So many interesting directions – it boggles the mind. And imagine the papparazzi trying to get His picture!!! LOL  LOL  LOL

  8. Aww, they’re taking a page from the Scientologists’ book!  How sweet!  And who said an old dog like the Catholic Church can’t learn new tricks?

    Oh, wait.  They were the ones who invented “fair game.”  Never mind.

  9. I don’t see what legal basis folks would have to sue over the issue

    How about Opus Dei? In the book, described as a rich, powerful and violent Catholic sect with Silas, the albino Opus Dei monk and murderer. Opus Dei comprises ordinary lay people and secular priests, not assassin monks.

    Looks like a legal basis to sue to me.

  10. Opus Dei is going strong here in Austria, and they are not amused by The Da Vinci Code.  But no talk of suing, so far.

    When I first came to Vienna and was practicing my German on anyone who would talk with me, I came upon an Opus Dei priest, who in the course of a rambling ten minute monologue, said what a pity it was that the Church no longer “owned” the Americas- she had them in her hands and gave them away.  Hmmm.

  11. You would think the priest would have more important things on his mind, like getting all those believers to stop wearing crucifixes aroound their necks.

    Imagine how pissed off Jesus is going to be when he returns and sees those little reminders of what we did to him last time.

  12. Francis:

    Opus Dei comprises ordinary lay people and secular priests, not assassin monks.

    What planet are you from boy? You talk as if the Holy Roman Catholic Church has never enjoyed blood on its hands.
    They will never sue.
    There’s a program on the box next week showing how Pinochet’s Chile and Opus Dei were closely linked. I’m looking forward to it. downer

    John:

    Imagine how pissed off Jesus is going to be when he returns and sees those little reminders of what we did to him last time.

    Yeah. As Bill Hicks said: It’d be like going up to Jackie Kennedy wearing a sniper’s pendant. confused

  13. Looks like a legal basis to sue to me.

    Ah, the old “let’s get ‘em for libel since we don’t like what they’re saying about us!” Sorry, Francis, but “The Work of God” will have to try harder than that to have a legitimate case.

  14. I have to put my hands up to this one. When The Holy Ghost asked to borrow PhotoShop, I didn’t realise it was for a schoolboy prank. Leonardo has done nothing but complain, but as I explained, getting the KFC ‘disciple’ size bucket (26 pieces of kosher chicken) out of the picture without anyone noticing was hard enough.

  15. God lives in the UK?  I thought the US was God’s country.  Or maybe Israel.

    I wonder if snake-handlers will threaten to sue over “Snakes on a Plane”.  At least they can threaten to attack with actual snakes, rather than a supposed god.

  16. I’m going to sue the christians for stealing the story of Mithra. The RIAA and MPA is with me on this one. We want a dollar for every babble sold.

  17. thought the US was God’s country

    Everybody knows God is an Englishman, old chap.

    Or maybe Israel.

    What- the one part of the Middle East with no oil…

    Why is Moses not mentioned in the Passover?  Because if he’d turned right instead of left they could have kept their milk and honey

    – Rabbi Lionel Blue

  18. Me: There’s a program on the box next week showing how Pinochet’s Chile and Opus Dei were closely linked. I’m looking forward to it.

    Yep. Saw it. Boring as watching grass grow/paint dry.
    Programme called:
    Work of God or Brave New World – look it up on Torrentspy – I haven’t yet – dunno if it’s there.
    Some quotes/facts (?) as I watched:
    Opus Dei priest [spokesman(?)]: I don’t know any bad priests.
    A woman achieves her saintly status when she has her 8th child.
    Children interviewed: ….. What do you pray for? The pope … that the divorce laws don’t go through …
    If they approve the divorce laws it’ll destroy the family.
    They refer to themselves as Christ’s militia or God’s foot soldiers.
    You must respect the church and her (?her?) laws … and the police.
    Opus Dei & Pinochet are inextricably linked.
    What Luis is allowed to read or not is controlled by Opus Dei.
    Obedience … the only way – to who ever is in authority – typical Nazi shit.
    You’re the one who is always wrong.
    ALL IN THE NAME OF GOD.
    Opus Dei’s way of keeping everyone in their place is – if you’re born a worker you stay a worker.
    OD has over 90,000 members.
    Of course the programme was biased but still it was interesting, for a while, and then the bullshit/brainwashing/stupidity lost me. downer

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