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Seattle Times: Christians try to debunk 'Da Vinci Code'

After reading "The Da Vinci Code," Holly Jespersen wondered if Jesus Christ did in fact wed Mary Magdalene and father her child, as the novel claims.

"It definitely made me question all that I have been brought up to believe," said Jespersen, a Presbyterian who lives in Chicago.

Glen Gracia of Boston, a former practicing Catholic, had a similar reaction, questioning the validity of the Bible if, in fact, it was commissioned and manipulated by the Roman emperor Constantine for political purposes, as the book asserts. "I was basically floored," Gracia said.

Alarmed by reactions like these, defenders of traditional Christianity have launched a counteroffensive against author Dan Brown's fast-paced thriller, which is in its 48th week on The New York Times' fiction best-seller list. It has sold more than 6 million copies, is being translated into more than 40 languages and will be made into a Columbia Pictures film directed by Ron Howard.

Brown has stopped giving interviews. But on the book's first page, he makes an assertion that galls his critics: "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."

Books and articles with titles like "Dismantling the Da Vinci Code" and "The Da Vinci Deception" have been or are about to be published. Preachers are giving sermons to church members who ask why they were never told there was a Mrs. Jesus. Web sites and discussion groups are humming over the book's "heresies."

I read this book and found it fascinating, but nothing that shook any faith I have. I'm not particularly religious, so it didn't make me question my entire world view or the like. But I would be most amused if the Christian church was uprooted by something of this type.

Gotta love a fiction book that spawns a dozen or so non-fiction books aimed at refuting the fiction's claims.

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