Have I read it? No. Have I read the Christian bible? People, I was raised a Christian. That doesn't necessarily mean I read the bible, but in my case I did. In fact, I have two translations of the Greek version in the house, one of 'em the King James. You can't read a lot of western literature from the last 1500 years without a copy of one. There are those who will say that Wikipedia makes the bible unnecessary for literary purposes, but what if the power's off? As is often the case up here on the far end of the Olympic Peninsula. And you can't beat those gold-lined pages and Euro-centric paintings of middle eastern people (and in one of the copies I've got, those masculo-amarous paintings that are so male-oriented that the two times the artist did portray society's majority, he just painted guys in dresses. Brokeback Sinai).
I don't much understand the flap over who's right, the original bible, or the modern mysteried-up version. I mean, they're both based on old mystery religions and cobbled-together versions of bits of leftover history, right? The two of them together are about as historically correct as Harry Potter.
Some religious people are excited about a growing spiritual dialogue. They truly think this will get people thinking about religion, and bring them into the cults and sects and various god-gobbling societies.
But that's the key phrase that may not be a good thing for the god-followers: "thinking" about religion.
Remember what happened when the scientists finally sighed, rolled up their sleeves and took on Creation Science? CS kind of put its tail between its legs and whimpered off into the dark shadows it came out of. It ran into DNA and the reproduction of results and kids who'd had basic biology. It just couldn't stand up to the competition. It was all theory and no proofs.
Dan Brown's book, which, from what I've heard, is full of spiritual gobbledygook, never claims to be more than just to be a good mystery and thriller, and a fun script.
Religion, on the other hand, claims to be true. And these days, the Truth has a different definition than it did in the middle ages. Back then you could come up with a good theory and run with it as long as you could scare or threaten anybody else into believing along with you.
Religion has lost its great weapons: burning, beheading, and boarding schools. Without torture and tortured truths, it has no means of forcing anyone to believe. Anyone may think for themselves, and there is nothing religion can do to convict them for or condemn them through heresy.
Dan Brown's book and the movie are going to make a lot of money being entertainment. Religion, on the other hand, by wanting to put the argument on the level of truth, has no truth now but that of science.
Dan Brown doesn't have to prove anything about this book, because it's just fiction.
If religion doesn't want to be fully and finally displayed for the fiction it is, it should do what the scientists did before they got tired of Creation Science trying to grab the funding, and just stay silent and refuse to give credence to the argument.
Because if they ever come out swinging for the Truth, they're going to run into Science — and they're going to get hoist in their own rosaries.