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Thursday, 2 March 2006
The Da Vinci Code Book and Movie: Dan Brown's Bestseller Book & Upcoming Movie
Topic: WordPress Bestsellers

The Da Vinci Code Book Is a Bestseller. Now The Da Vinci Movie is Coming Out

Here is an interview between apologist Mark Shea and Zenit, a religious publication organization. Apologist Mark Shea and theology professor Ted Sri try to dissect "The Da Vinci Code" in their new book titled, "The Da Vinci Deception." They state that the book has some inaccuracies that purport to threaten the faith of many Christians. The authors' message is not to take the Da Vinci Code book and movie seriously.

"Q: What compelled the writing of this book?

Shea: The short answer is that tens of millions of people have read "The Da Vinci Code" and many have had their faith in Christ and the Catholic Church shaken. This blasphemous book has become a major cultural phenomenon, largely by attacking the very person and mission of Jesus Christ. It must be addressed.

The longer answer is that "The Da Vinci Code" has become the source for what I call "pseudo-knowledge" about the Christian faith.

Pseudo-knowledge is that stuff "everybody knows," such as the "fact" that Humphrey Bogart said "Play it again, Sam" -- except he didn't. Pseudo-knowledge doesn't matter much when the issue is the script of "Casablanca."

It matters greatly when it adversely affects the most sacred beliefs of a billion people, and when it levels the charge that the Catholic Church is essentially a vast "Murder Incorporated" network founded on maintaining the lie of Jesus' divinity and resurrection.

When that happens, very nasty genies get let out of bottles, as when the lies recorded by 19th-century czarist secret police forgers in the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" became the basis for what "everybody knew" about the Jews in the terrible anti-Semitic persecutions of the 20th century.

"The Da Vinci Code" has sold close to 30 million copies. In May, it will appear as a major film and will acquire even more unquestioned authority among millions of historically and theologically illiterate viewers -- unless Christians state the facts and help viewers recognize just how badly they've been had.

The Da Vinci Outreach initiative, led by Catholic Exchange and Ascension Press, will equip Catholics and all people of good will with resources to help them respond to this movie.

Those who say, "It's just a story," simply do not understand that this deception is part of the book's power. People often receive through fiction what they would be on guard against in reasoned debate.

And this is particularly true as Dan Brown, the author of "The Da Vinci Code," has actually stated he would not change any of his basic assertions if he were writing nonfiction. Brown means for us to understand that his claims about the origins are Christianity are true.

Q: What are the main inaccuracies found in the "The Da Vinci Code"?

Shea: Let me count the ways. Blunders include factual errors and outright lies, large and small, about practically every subject Brown addresses in art, history and theology. He purports that bogus documents that even his questionable sources repudiate are factual.

He claims Leonardo Da Vinci doesn't give Jesus a chalice in his painting "The Last Supper" in order to hint that Mary Magdalene is the true chalice who held the "blood of Jesus" -- i.e., his child -- despite the fact there are 13 cups in the painting.

He chatters about the meaning of an Aramaic word in the Gnostic gospel of Philip, oblivious to the fact it's written in Coptic.

He calls Mary Magdalene the victim of a Catholic smear campaign without pausing to wonder why she's a Catholic saint.

He blames "the Vatican" for various plots and conspiracies that are alleged to have taken place centuries before there was any Vatican to plot them.

And, of course, in the biggest lie of them all, he declares that nobody before the year A.D. 325 thought of Jesus as anything other than a "mortal prophet" until Constantine muscled the Council of Nicaea into declaring him God "by a relatively close vote."

Of course, he does not stop to ask why, if Jesus was just a "mortal prophet," he bothered founding a Church at all -- nor what the Church was about for the first 300 years if nobody was worshipping Jesus as God.

Q: How do these inaccuracies challenge the Church, her teachings and the person of Jesus Christ?

Shea: Brown is attempting to establish a neo-pagan feminist creation myth. The basic myth is: Jesus was actually a feminist, agog for neo-paganism. The Church supposedly covered up all this with lies about his divinity. Brown's point here is: Let's get back to goddess worship as Jesus intended.

This laughably baseless claim is, of course, utterly contrary to the facts about Jesus. But many in our overly credulous and historically illiterate culture believe it. So Catholics must undertake to catechize not just themselves but their families, friends and neighbors, or they can expect this dangerous myth to continue spreading.

Q: Why is there a concern about Catholics -- and everyone else, for that matter -- viewing "The Da Vinci Code" movie without a discerning eye and solid background information?

Shea: Because it's written with the express intention of destroying faith in Jesus Christ and replacing it with neo-pagan goddess worship.

The problem is the average reader does not know "The Da Vinci Code" actually makes you more stupid about art, history, theology and comparative religion.

"The Da Vinci Deception" and Da Vinci Outreach are there to educate readers on the quite deliberate falsehoods -- as well as ignorant blunders -- that fill the story. We are also including a resource aimed at educating high school students and helping them to tune their "bunk detectors" to Brown's wavelength.

Q: The recent backlash by Muslims against cartoons on Mohammed seems to signal rising tensions between religion and society. What do you think of the timing of this movie?

Shea: Undoubtedly, the promoters of the movie will attempt to characterize Catholic complaints about "The Da Vinci Code's" assassination of the facts as identical to radical Islamist threats to free speech.

The problem with this claim, of course, is that the Church does not condone burning down buildings or threatening people with death, even when they lie about Christ. We simply and politely request that the creators of "The Da Vinci Code" to not palm off scurrilous lies as fact.

Western manufacturers of culture are always braver about smearing the Church than in confronting radical Islam because, as they know perfectly well, the Vatican does not issue "fatwas" or death threats.

Q: How do you hope this book informs those who plan on going to the film "The Da Vinci Code"?

Shea: "The Da Vinci Deception" breaks down in simple terms the basic pattern of lies Brown deploys in "The Da Vinci Code" so that the reader can clearly see the clockwork going on behind this novel.

The book is broken into 100 questions -- as was our previous book, "A Guide to the Passion" -- that walk the reader through the skillful weave of Brown's very artful falsehoods and show you why it's such a scam. Once you understand Brown's game, you start to realize that it is Brown -- not the Catholic faith -- that is taking people for a ride.

We are confident enough in our book that we would, in fact, urge people to go to the film after having read it -- the better to help deluded family members, friends and neighbors see through the scam.

Q: Why are people taking Dan Brown's novels so seriously? In Rome there are even guided tours retracing the places covered in his book "Angels and Demons."

Shea: "The Da Vinci Code" is yet another manifestation of what I call "the latest Real Jesus"; every generation tends to discover the latest Real Jesus.

A hundred years ago, Albert Schweitzer discovered that the Real Jesus was a Social Gospel Protestant. In the booming 1920s, people found that Jesus was actually a poster boy for salesmanship. In the 1930s, the Nazis discovered a Real Jesus who was Aryan, not Jewish, while the Communists discovered a Jesus who was actually the first Marxist.

In the 1960s, the Real Jesus was found to be a flower child in "Godspell" and a devotee of hallucinogenic mushrooms -- which explains all the visions and miracles nicely. In the 1970s, the Real Jesus was found to be a "superstar" as per the diktats of rock culture.

In the 1980s, he appeared on the scene to promise health and wealth and to heal your inner child -- that's when he wasn't suffering existential crises, grappling with his libido and riddled by self-doubt, rather like a self-absorbed baby boomer, in "The Last Temptation of Christ."

In the 1990s, he was suddenly discovered to be an enthusiastic homosexual in the blasphemous play "Corpus Christi."

Today, we live in a culture obsessed with the sex lives of the rich and famous, credulous about vast conspiracy theories, brimming with half-baked notions about paganism and feminism, and hostile to traditional notions of both reason and authority.

By some unfathomable coincidence, Dan Brown has discovered a Real Jesus who perfectly reflects this broad cultural mood. And when people believe things based on such a mood, particularly evil things, this is dangerous to their faith.

"The Da Vinci Deception" is designed precisely to help people stop taking "The Da Vinci Code" so seriously. Happily, Dan Brown and company have made things easy for us in that department.

His book is so laughably bad, its claims so easily and demonstrably false, the whole thing so silly, that debunking takes on a rather gleeful quality -- which is, I think, only fitting. The best cure for "The Da Vinci Code" is, in the end, hearty gales of well-informed laughter."


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 9:58 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006 9:59 AM EST
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Monday, 20 February 2006
Prom Lasts A Few Weeks, Quincenera Is Year-round: The Best Outfits of the Season
Topic: Spring Fashion Creations

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Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 3:46 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006 3:49 PM EST
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Seoul, South Korea: A Country To Visit and Shop
Topic: Travel & Shopping

The People - Very friendly and down to earth. They are welcoming to Westerners and are quite progressive themselves with their personal use of the latest technology and a high sense of fashion.

The Language - It is said that Korean is relatively easy to learn, plus the natives are helpful and eager to learn English as well.

The City - A modern city with sky-scrapers over 60 stories high, but easily navigated AND amazingly safe for a metropolitan city of this size. And, no need to worry about driving or parking � the public transportation system is superb and extremely clean.

The Shopping - Known as the Shopping MECCA of the Pacific, with an abundance of marketplaces, Seoul offers the exotic shopping and designer names found in Tokyo with much lower prices.

The Country - Experience all four seasons. Take day or weekend excursions to explore the other beautiful sites of South Korea such as the many temples or hiking the Halla mountain, or island hopping to areas such as Cheju Island which has tropical weather, palm trees, sandy beaches and sky-blue clear waters.

The Food and Culture - The food, such as the famous Korean BBQ, is quite delicious, but you will also find many international food choices (and don�t worry they also have plenty of McDonalds). If you have an artistic side you can learn to create Korean pottery and ceramics.


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 12:03 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006 12:06 PM EST
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Sunday, 19 February 2006
What are Stem Cells?
Topic: Medicine & Technology

There have been a lot of talks about stem cells lately. What are they? They are master cells that grow into any type of bodily tissue. Industry analysts say that cells taken from human embryos are uniquely versatile. They could lead to new treatments of Alzheimer’s, type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other diseases. So a lot of scientists have been trying to showcase the benefits and treatments that could derive from stem cells. Through therapeutic cloning, stem cells could be manipulated to form different types of tissues. They could be transplanted into suffering patients whose immune system will not reject them.

Now stem cells can also be extracted from uncloned human embryos. They are mostly the results or by-products of fertility treatment. When an infertile woman undergoes various fertility procedures, sometimes, the reproductive specialists will try to collect various eggs from the woman. The idea is to try to have more fertilization. No wonder that dealing with human embryos leads to the rise of opponents and advocates of the practice. Advocates say that stem cells could lead to disease treatments. Opponents do not buy this view. They state that human embryos are destroyed. What many researchers and TV programs such as 60 Minutes have shown is that these embryos may end up being discarded as biohazards since there is no regulation to deal with them effectively. What is clear is that these scientists can not expect to receive funding from the federal government for research on stem cells developed after August 2001.

Read the rest of this article at Fertility Gold: Stem Cell Research Funding Debate


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 3:22 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006 3:43 PM EST
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Mohammed Cartoon Causes Nigerian Muslims to Fight Christians
Topic: WP Faith & Values

The cartoon published by the Danish newspaper is causing protests in Nigeria where muslim groups are beating and mistreating Christians. According to various reports, police intervene to stop the protests which many groups with their own agenda and grievance are trying to make the unfortunate events of recent weeks a holy or religious war.


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 3:17 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006 3:19 PM EST
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What is Word Press by OprahBookClubFans?
Topic: WP Literary Blog

Word Press by Oprahbookclubfans is about shopping. We are a group of Oprah Winfrey show watchers who love the recommendations of Oprah on books, shopping, style, travels, religion, self-help, empowerment through employment. Word Press by Oprahbookclubfans aims at being an informational tool in the hands of shoppers.

We will also present materials on religious matters in Faith & Shopping Values

Google
 
Web www.podshoppingblog.com





Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 1:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006 3:00 PM EST
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Saturday, 18 February 2006
Fact or Fiction? Oprah Fried Frey on her show
Topic: Oprah's WP Book Selection

Author James Frey confessed to Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he made up details about every character in his memoir "A Million Little Pieces" and the talk show host apologized to her viewers, saying she felt "duped."

"I have been really embarrassed by this," said Winfrey, whose praise for Frey's book in September helped make it the top-selling book on nonfiction lists in the United States last year.

What is Fact? What is Fiction?

"To lying," he said. "It's not an easy thing to do in front of an audience full of people and a lot of others watching on TV. ... If I come out of this experience with anything it's being a better person and learning from my mistakes and making sure I don't repeat them."

Winfrey began by apologizing to viewers for a telephone call she made to CNN's "Larry King Live" show on January 11, while King was interviewing Frey about the controversy. In the call Winfrey said that even though the facts were being questioned, the book "still resonates with me" and called the controversy "much ado about nothing."


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 5:10 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006 5:13 PM EST
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Oprah's Book Selections
Topic: Oprah's WP Book Selection

The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck (2004) Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (2004) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers (2004) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2004) Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton (2003) East of Eden, John Steinbeck (2003) Sula, Toni Morrison (April 2002) Fall on Your Knees, Ann-Marie MacDonald (January 2002)

A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry (November 2001) The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (September 2001)(Selected and de-selected) Cane River, Lalita Tademy (June 2001) Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, Malika Oufkir (May 2001) Icy Sparks, Gwyn Hyman Rubio (March 2001) We Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates (January 2001) House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III (November 2000) Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz (September 2000) The Deep End of the Ocean, Jacquelyn Mitchard (September 2000) Open House, Elizabeth Berg (August 2000)

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (June 2000) While I Was Gone, Sue Miller (May 2000) The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison (April 2000) Back Roads, Tawni O'Dell (March 2000) Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende (February, 2000) Gap Creek, Robert Morgan (January 2000) A Map of the World, Jane Hamilton (December 1999) Vinegar Hill, A. Manette Ansay (November 1999) River, Cross My Heart, Breena Clarke (October 1999)

Tara Road, Maeve Binchy (September 1999) Mother of Pearl, Melinda Haynes (June 1999) White Oleander, Janet Fitch (May 1999) The Pilot's Wife, Anita Shreve (March 1999) The Reader, Bernhard Schlink (February 1999) Jewel, Bret Lott (January 1999) Where the Heart Is, Billie Letts (December 1998) Midwives, Chris Bohjalian (October 1998) What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Pearl Cleage (September 1998)

Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat (June 1998) I Know This Much is True, Wally Lamb (June 1998) Black and Blue, Anna Quindlen (April 1998) Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman (March 1998) Paradise, Toni Morrison (January 1998) The Treasure Hunt, Bill Cosby (December 1997) The Best Way to Play, Bill Cosby (December 1997) The Meanest Thing to Say, Bill Cosby (December 1997) A Virtuous Woman, Kaye Gibbons (October 1997) Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons (October 1997) A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines (September 1997) Songs in Ordinary Time, Mary McGarry Morris (June 1997)

The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou (May 1997) The Rapture of Canaan, Sheri Reynolds (April 1997) Stones From the River, Ursula Hegi (February 1997) She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb (January 1997) The Book of Ruth, Jane Hamilton (November 1996) Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison (October 1996)


Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 4:23 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006 5:07 PM EST
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Tuesday, 1 January 2002
Hot US Travel Destinations: Boston, New York, California, Florida
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Posted by Fashionista Shopping Analyst at 1:00 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006 9:39 PM EDT
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