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Saturday, May 20, 2006

I've watched it and I still believe in God

It’s been 3 days since May 18 – worldwide premiere of The Da Vinci Code. Talks about it haven’t quieted down. To watch it or not is the question on Debate of GMA 7. By Friday, almost every movie critic talks about how disappointing the movie was. Earlier this evening, it was featured on XXX on ABS-CBN 2. And of course, news about is also all over the Saturday papers. I'm sure, bloggers all over the world have their own say on this topic, isn't it? So what is mine then?

There was an article about it on Inquirer Super today. It featured some opinions from teenagers who seem to be the most affected with the movie’s R-18 rating. Here’s my personal take on this one hell of a controversy.
(Questions from Da Vinci’d and Confused by Pepe Diokno)

Why do you think people are so freaked out over the Da Vinci Code?
It tackles a very sensitive and passionate topic – religion. Even if the world is so full of evil, you can't deny the fact that still, a majority are the religious kind. And talk about stirring up a controversy, one needs only to write a novel that insinuates that the Catholic Church has been lying to its flock for the past 2,000 years. In this day and age, anyone can say what they want and present it as the truth. But for sure, someone is not gonna take it lying down. Religious people will definitely take this book as an attack. But for the faithful kind, The Da Vinci Code shouldn’t be something to be bothered with.

Do you think the book, in any way, attacks one’s faith?
Being faithful and being religious are different. I prefer to be the former. I read the book and I watched the movie. While I found the possibility of Jesus and Magdalene being married quite amusing and interesting, I didn’t feel attacked. Or was it because I was just strong enough not to be affected by it? Anyway, it’s fiction for crying out loud. Besides, don’t Ely Soriano and INC bicker on their TV stations all the time? Now, that’s definitely what I call an ‘attack on one’s faith’. Haha!

Is there a difference between faith and religion?
(I like this question very much!) Yep, they are different for me. Like I said, I’d rather present myself that I'm a faithful rather than a religious. Religiosity makes me hear Mass on Sundays regularly, attend processions and novenas, flock to prayer rallies, etc. But faith makes me believe that in all things in this universe, there is a higher power. Religiosity makes me a religious person. Faith makes me a good person.

Do you think that all Church teachings are divinely inspired?
No. All interpretations of the Bible are personal. We interpret it based on our experience. In short, therefore, based on our personal biases. The members of the Church as an institution are all humans. So, they teach according to their personal interpretations.

Do you think God is dismayed or offended by the book?
I haven't talked to Him about it eh! Haha! God is the most understanding being I know. He has been through worse. I believe He is matured enough to not let ‘rumors’ like this affect Him, hehe!

How old do you think one should be to read the book or watch the movie?
PG-13 should be fine. Teenagers should already have a mind of their own to ponder on this kind of stuff. Though in actuality, anyone who has a mind of their own should be able to handle the book, regardless of age. Even if this is fiction, it was written quite efficiently to make it sound more truthful than it actually is. People should be fine, but they should exercise caution.

What do you think of efforts to ban the movie?
Don’t they get it? The more people will find ways to watch the movie. Again, this form of entertainment is fiction after all. The Church should take the lead to ensure that this movie will be handled responsibly. It is not your typical teenybopper blockbuster. The movie is an excellent opportunity to reflect on our personal faith. As members of a religion, we should understand what we believe as a congregation.

The Philippine government has banned movies like Live Show and The Last Temptation of Christ. What do you think this says about the Filipino society?
The problem with our national setup is there is too much meddling by the Church on the affairs of the State. We can be religious without being close-minded. If we really are the good people we pretend we are with the way we exercise religiosity, we should be fine. What the hell are we so afraid of? A movie cannot destroy something that billions of Christians the past 2000 years have believed in. Personally, what I don’t like about our society is that there is too much religiosity and hypocrisy (especially with our leaders) instead of integrity, selflessness and discipline. Kamusta naman na ultimo pag-simba ng mga pulitiko ay may coverage ng media samantalang kapag wala nang nakatingin ay nangungurakot naman sila. Kadirs, ang kakapal. These kinds of people should the ones be banned from existence. =p

Will you watch The Da Vinci Code?
Haha! I already did on the first day of showing. Again, I was entertained but my beliefs stay intact. If you really believe in something you are genuinely passionate about, a 2-hour movie cannot persuade you otherwise. Come on people! At the end of the day, what matter is not whether Jesus and Magdalene had a non-Platonic relationship. A romantic affair doesn’t change the fact the He loves us enough to die on the cross for our sins. (Naks! Hehe..) Whether it is true or not, my faith in God is status quo. Even if proof will be presented against the present teachings of the Church eventually, it won't affect the fact that as long as I do not hurt other people in any way, I should be fine -- world peace will reign! Haha! Ang corny ng last sentence ko! Sipsip kay Lord... =p

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