Dan Brown’s America

NY Times:

Dan Brown’s America

. . . . Having dismissed Catholicism’s truth claims and demonized its most sincere defenders, Brown pats believers on the head and bids them go on fingering their rosary beads.

In the Brownian worldview, all religions — even Roman Catholicism — have the potential to be wonderful, so long as we can get over the idea that any one of them might be particularly true. It’s a message perfectly tailored for 21st-century America, where the most important religious trend is neither swelling unbelief nor rising fundamentalism, but the emergence of a generalized “religiousness” detached from the claims of any specific faith tradition.

The polls that show more Americans abandoning organized religion don’t suggest a dramatic uptick in atheism: They reveal the growth of do-it-yourself spirituality, with traditional religion’s dogmas and moral requirements shorn away. The same trend is at work within organized faiths as well, where both liberal and conservative believers often encounter a God who’s too busy validating their particular version of the American Dream to raise a peep about, say, how much money they’re making or how many times they’ve been married.

These are Dan Brown’s kind of readers. Piggybacking on the fascination with lost gospels and alternative Christianities, he serves up a Jesus who’s a thoroughly modern sort of messiah — sexy, worldly, and Goddess-worshiping, with a wife and kids, a house in the Galilean suburbs, and no delusions about his own divinity.

I think the author has hit the nail on the head – Brown is basically cashing in on today’s anti-religious/areligious attitudes.

Those attitudes exist partly because the secular media repeats them on all platforms 24/7.

That was not the case in the 1960s. A man would appear on television from the Standards and Practices Department. He would tell viewers that they watched all of the TV shows to make sure they were suitable for the entire family – and they were.

TV broadcasting for the day ended at 11:30 PM. A film of a beautiful F-104 Starfighter was voiced over with a poem that ended with “and I touched the face of God.”

That was America in the early 1960s. And there was a Nativity in front of the local City Hall and no complaints.

I was there,

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