Mean Mr. Mustard writes:
When someone tells an outright, bald-faced and easily demonstrable lie about you, do you simply point out that the other guy is full of s---, or do you defend yourself by claiming offense?
Apparently, the Catholic Church and other critics of the Da Vinci Code take the latter tack.
It's so very depressing, because it reveals much more than just the Church's inadequate response to slander. It puts on display the level to which our society has descended into full-blown solipsistic narcissism.
Of course, if you ask them, they'll also point out eventually (I hope) that Brown's claims to historicity and scholarship are the stuff of below-average conspiracy theory which he didn't even have the common decency to himself invent, but had to lift nearly whole from another untalented writer's ravings.
But that kind of appeal to objective truth really just won't do these days. For one thing, it's simply not emotive enough. All it does is describe what is rather than whether or not it makes me want to cry. For another, it does have quite rude implications, doesn't it? One side being correct implies the other sides' incorrectness, and that kind of thing puts you on the short road to mandated sensitivity training.
In describing how dreadfully hurt and offended they are over Dan Brown's low-brow crap, Church spokesmen are shamefully but not surprisingly taking a cue from the modern, feminized and self-absorbed approach to discourse. One would hope for more spine from an institution that purports to reveal and explicate divine, unalterable truth, but at the same time you have to admit that they're merely using the most powerful weapon currently available in the public sphere, the ultimate trump card in all disputes: an expression of personal hurt feelings.