Revolution #48, May 28, 2006

Cheers & Jeers

Ian McKellen’s Spot-On Comment

Cheers to actor Ian McKellen for his spot-on comment about the Bible on the NBC “Today” show on May 17. McKellen is one of the stars of the movie The Da Vinci Code, which just opened in theaters nationwide. The film, based on the worldwide best-selling novel of the same title, is being fiercely attacked by the Catholic clerical-fascist order of Opus Dei and other rightwing religious groups. During an interview with the movie's cast and its director, Ron Howard, “Today” show host Matt Lauer asked, “There have been calls from some religious groups, they wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of this movie saying it is fiction because one of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear—if Christ survived the crucifixion, he did not die for our sins and therefore was not resurrected. What I'm saying is, people wanted this to say ‘fiction, fiction, fiction’. How would you all have felt if there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie? Would it have been okay with you?”

McKellen answered, “Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they've seen it.”

(We encourage readers to check out an earlier film, available on DVD, starring Ian McKellan—Richard III, based on Shakespeare's play and set in a 1930s fascist England.)

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