To Censor or Not to Censor The Da Vinci Code
The Hamlets at the Thai censor board did a 180 degree turn over night. It seems Paramount threaten not to release The Da Vinci Code in Thailand if the decision to axe the last ten minutes of the film was not overturned. Guess what? No one in authority apparently wanted the worldwide media to write that Thailand was the only country in Asia not showing the Da Vinci Code. That would have been a black eye. The change of heart was accompanied by pronouncements that the film would be sure to tell everyone at the beginning and the end that it was based on fiction. Also the Thai subtitles would be rewritten to remove what apparently translates as “Jesus the Fraud” from the subtitles.
According to the Bangkok Post, it was a close call and the vote of the full committee was 6 to 5, and the Bangkok Post reported,
”The controversy erupted after the Thailand Protestant Churches Coordinating Committee, representing four Protestant groups, asked the Royal Thai Police to ban the film, which is based on Dan Brown's bestselling novel of the same title. Critics say it insults Jesus and erodes the Christian faith. ”
Faith is a business and like any other business the owners seek to protect their turf. Earlier this week a Catholic Bishop hit the nail on the head when he said the film would be dangerous for the unthinking. The description of the unthinking describes with precise accuracy the mass market that religion serves. Global consumerism also targets the same market. As the Da Vinci Code film and book indicate sometimes religious and secular interest collide over profit taking from the vast unthinking market. People who think, reflect, question, or challenge conventional wisdom or historical “facts” are not a serious market for either religion or mass consumer fodder.