Like a true post-modernist, Brown then inserts a discussion about how modern Vatican is made up of “pious men who truly believe these contrary documents (i.e., Nad Hammadi, DSS, noted in the preceding section) could only be false testimony.” But it is Teabing’s response that reveals Brown’s true feelings:
“As you can see, our professor has a far softer heart for Rome than I do. Nonetheless, he is correct about the modern clergy believing these opposing documents are false testimony. That’s understandable. Constantine’s Bible has been their truth for ages. Nobody is more indoctrinated than the indoctrinator.”
“What he means,” Langdon said, “is that we worship the gods of our fathers.”
“What I mean,” Teabing countered, “is that almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false. As are the stories about the Holy Grail.” (235)
Do not miss the point: almost everything “our fathers” taught us about Christ is not “debatable” or anything else. It is false. And based upon what? The Dead Sea Scrolls (which do not contain gospels anyway), the Nag Hammadi Library gnostic gospels, and enough utter historical rubbish to dizzy the mind.
I note in passing that I saw a blurb on the net a few days ago that puts this kind of rhetoric in perspective: between June of 2004 and June of 2005 Dan Brown made $76,500,000.00 off of this book. Seventy six and a half million dollars. Lies sell.
From this point the narrative moves away from the Bible and the history of the Christian faith for a period of discussion of Da Vinci and his paintings. After introducing the Grail concept, Brown via Langdon begins to promote his “divine feminine” theology:
The Grail is literally the ancient symbol for womanhood, and the Holy Grail represents the sacred feminine and the goddess, which of course has now been lost, virtually eliminated by the Church. The power of the female and her ability to produce life was once very sacred, but it posed a threat to the rise of the predominately male Church, and so the sacred feminine was demonized and called unclean. It was man, not God, who created the concept of ‘original sin,’ whereby Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race. Woman, once the sacred giver of life, was now the enemy. (238)
Brown misrepresents even the doctrines he attacks, as here. He confuses the simple fact of the fall with the doctrine of original sin and its transmission to Adam’s offspring; further, he thinks this somehow makes the woman “the enemy.” Now surely, if Brown’s sole target is Roman Catholicism and medieval theology, there is plenty to complain about therein, to be sure. Medieval theologians speculated, outside the realm of Scripture, on all sorts of things, and were indeed laboring under a grossly sub-biblical view of sexuality, marriage, etc. (a grossly sub-biblical view still represented today in the Roman view of a celibate priesthood). But “men” did not “make up” the doctrine of original sin, no matter how tortured Brown’s understanding of it. The universal sinfulness of man is central to the entire Bible’s view of sin, atonement, God’s wrath, the existence of death, etc. Brown’s thesis is nothing more than a complete rejection of biblical teaching in favor of simple ancient paganism, nothing more. But to attempt to resuscitate ancient goddess worship on the back of a pile of lies about Constantine and the Bible (while making seventy six million in the process) is simply reprehensible.