Censorship, Libertarianism, and the Da Vinci Code

As expected, with the current controversy surrounding the Da Vinci Code, some are calling for a boycott of the movie; and of course, others, motivated presumably by libertarian sensibilities, are calling such actions censorship, and vowing to see the movie simply as a support for the free exchange of ideas. The story they say, is after all fiction and as such shouldn't be condemned in the same way someone might of if the work was said to be fact. Of course, libertarianism would be equally protective of a presumed factual attack on Christianity.

To test the argument they are making, I think a thought experiment is in order. Rather than a fictional account attacking the fundamental tenets of Christianity, instead imagine a book that posits that the Jews secretly run the world, or one extolling the benefits of a race war, won by whites.

 Two such books actually exist, the first being the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a bestseller currently in the Middle East. The other of course is the The Turner Diaries , a fictional account of the future following a race war – a novel said to have influenced the likes of Timothy McVeigh.

 In such cases would we expect that a major Hollywood Director would produce such a film? Would well-known stars eagerly involve themselves and defend such a project, because, after all, it's only a story? Would we see the press staunchly defending the right of those same players to produce such drivel?

I would presume not; and that presumption would be soundly based on the understanding that even in the case of fiction, there can be an agenda and an intention to influence popular thinking. It would be not be wrong to strongly condemn such fiction in writing and film, indeed it is critical that we do so, even if such criticism peaks the curiosity of some. In the same way we need to be strongly and wisely critical of the Da Vinci Code and it's claims, whether or not those making the claims hide behind the moniker of fiction, art, and storytelling.

Despite their claims to the contrary, libertarians ultimately lean toward those philosophies which are critical of Christianity; and that is one of the primary reasons as a Christian I couldn't be a libertarian, nor attend the Da Vinci Code movie in good conscience.

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One Response to Censorship, Libertarianism, and the Da Vinci Code

  1. B_Pascal says:

    Jack, sad to have seen you go on CW forums, decided to drop by here to see what is going on. I don’t know if it’s actually Libertarians or people that claim to be Libertarians but you know me (probably as a Libertarian although I have left that ideology somewhat). Libertarians that I know wouldn’t have a problem with people boycotting something, it’s a protest and it isn’t censorship because they are not preventing others from seeing it. I personally have not read the book and had no interest in it until Christians started burning it but to be honest that sort of thing has always piqued my interest. My personal opinion is that it is fiction, if people begin to believe that it is more than fiction they are to be shown the truth of the matter behind it. I have not read the book so I cannot testify to the quality of writing or the manner in which the fiction is presented but the bottom line is that our faith is attacked on a far more regular basis, directly in books not meant to be fiction and yet the Christian community shows no concern or outrage over these, there are far more valid critiques that attack Christianity and we waste our time on a work of fiction? What about dealing with more substantial, important and ideologically sound attacks, instead of wasting our time with a work of fiction? I just think that Christianity on a whole needs to fight the more real, more threatening threats that attack our faith. I also find it funny that Christians (well evangelicals particularly) get so angry when the world acts like the world, I mean come on you would think that after all of history we would learn that the world acts like the world, and the best we can do is to act rationally and dispel the falsehoods leveled at our faith and proclaim the truth, instead of making public spectacles of how easily we are outraged. A well reasoned unified front would make much more of an impact than book burnings. But that’s just my humble opinion. Miss ya Jack, there is nobody around CW to keep me in check any more.

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