Da Vinci Code does Bangkok

The big news this week in Bangkok was local Christian groups that wanted the Thai government to ban screenings of “The Da Vinci Code” film. It looked as if the government censors were going to either hack off the final 10 minutes of the film or succumb to the demands of the Christian crazies and ban it altogether. But a compromise was worked out and now the film will be shown in its entirety, although with a disclaimer and “warning message” to viewers stressing that the film is purely fiction.

It amazes me when religious groups - of any stripe - get up in arms about what they perceive as attacks on their faith. I thought I had left the land of religious nuts when I moved to Thailand from the United States. Like me, many of the westerners living in Bangkok moved here to escape the myopic mentality of the “In God We Trust” lemmings in their native country. And yet we find that even here in mostly Buddhist Thailand there is a small group of Christian fanatics - and native Thais at that – who want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. Crawl away and go pray somewhere, why don’t you?

Besides Thailand, several other countries in Southeast Asia have experienced a “Da Vinci Code” backlash. But in the midst of all this hysteria about a silly Hollywood movie, an official with the Malaysian Council of Churches seems to have the proper perspective. In a news report this week Bishop Lim Cheng Ean said:

“If Christians know their faith, they will be strong enough. We can leave it to their discretion as to whether they would rather watch the movie or not. That is their free choice.”

Exactly. It’s nice to see a sane opinion from a Christian after so much over-reaction to the film’s showing.

1 comment:

John in Atlanta said...

What is it about christians that drives them to impose their faith on those of us who have been there, done that and were not impressed? I don't begrudge anyone their faith in the deity of their choice but I am content in my lack of it. Leave me out of it. I lead a moral life and don't need organized religion to validate it.