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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Political Thumbnails 6/23/17

Special edition of Thumbnails with political articles: How to live with critics; Obama on the new health care bill; Trump says the poor can't be…

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The fact and fiction of faith

From: Mary Jo Kaiserlian

Yes, Dan Brown's book ["The Da Vinci Code'], hence the film, is fiction but an underlying reality exists. That being, the Catholic Church's refusal to acknowledge scholarly research that serves to question as well as illuminate the "faith" from the traditional interpretations of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The discovery of the scrolls in Nag Hammadi (see books by Elaine Pagels) is a sample of this thought provoking scholarly research.

The church's stance of that's the way it was, that's the way it is and that's the way it will always be is spiritually stiffling. The work done by many academic searchers is seen as a threat to ecclesiastical power, a power that is self perceived, often ignored by many Catholic people, since it defies common sense. For example, Opus Dei could be interpreted here as a symbol of that control, Mary Magdalene a symbol of the subjugation of women in the Catholic Church although in '69 the Church gave up the ghost on MM being a prostitute.

It becomes increasingly obvious even in the approved books of the New Testament that Mary Magdalene held a pivotal place in Jesus's life and that there existed a more spirtitually intimate relationship than previously believed, a private relationship over-riding that of the apostles. "The Da Vinci Code" encourages a focused look into that relationship. Let's face it, this book/film has many milllions of people paying attention to Christianity again. No small achievement.

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