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It occurred to me recently that I haven’t done a post poking fun at the CAP Alert site in quite a while. Well, I intend to correct that oversight right now. For your entertainment, here are some of the more laughably bizarre reasons why the CAP reviewer saw fit to deduct points from various movies:

Dungeons & Dragons: “many, many images of a form fitting breastplate – female”

How dare those depraved Hollywood liberals imply that men and women are different shapes!

King Kong: “human skulls, repeatedly”

Why is an image of a skull a negative mark on a movie? One would think a creationist like the CAP reviewer would want to praise the skull as an example of God’s wise design, but no. Does he walk down the street with eyes averted, so that he doesn’t see the shape of people’s heads and be reminded that there are skulls inside?

The Matrix: “tattoos (Lev. 19:28 ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.’)”

The CAP reviewer quotes a verse from Leviticus as evidence that Christianity considers getting tattoos to be sinful. I might be inclined to overlook this if he also deducts points from movies that show people eating shrimp (Leviticus 11:10) or wearing mixed fabrics (19:19), but inexplicably, I can find no such references on his site.

The Patriot: “humans as property”

For someone who so often quotes scripture as support for his claims, the CAP reviewer seems to have acquired a sudden case of absent-mindedness when it comes to slavery. Otherwise, he’d remember that the Bible not just condones but explicitly permits slavery (Leviticus 25:46). Even Jesus gets in on the act, comparing God to a slaveowner who whips his slaves (Luke 12:47).

Ocean’s 12: “below navel skin – male”

Evidently, good Christians should pretend that all areas of the body between the navel and the knees don’t exist.

Bedazzled: “secular humanism = ‘yummy'”

This one speaks for itself.

In this post, I’d like to focus on the CAP review of one particular movie, The Da Vinci Code (see also my review). There’s much to comment on here, such as this bit of hilarious paranoia:

“I fully believe getting this single analysis report published was plagued with more obstacles than any other of the more than 1000 other reports we have done. Hint: It all has to do with lack of donations/funding. Something tells me the adversary did not want this report published.”

I’ve always been curious – what, according to Christians, are the limits of Satan’s power? His ability to tempt humans is a well-established part of Christianity, but the above remark would seem to suggest that he can even influence the minds of faithful Christian believers to the extent of causing them to not donate money to the CAP site. Is this indeed something the Devil can do, and if so, how does the CAP reviewer know? Or are Satan’s abilities merely defined by whatever is most convenient to feed the believer’s demoniac paranoia at any given moment?

And then there’s this:

“claim of Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute”

The CAP reviewer lists this claim under “Offense to God”, implying that it would be an insult to God to say that Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. Yet on this point, he has quietly substituted his own assumptions for the wording of scripture. Simply put, the Bible never says this.

Though Luke chapter 7 mentions a “sinful woman” who washes and anoints Jesus’ feet, this woman is never named in the text. John chapter 11 alludes to the same episode, or possibly a similar episode, but names the woman Mary of Bethany. Generations of Christians, beginning with the medieval Pope Gregory, simply assumed that Mary Magdalene was one and the same as the woman in these two stories, but the evidence supporting this inference is nonexistent. In fact, the Catholic church, which gave this assumption life in the first place, has now repudiated it and no longer believes that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. In light of this, it is rather ironic that the CAP reviewer blasts the movie for the following sin:

“portrayal of the painting “The Last Supper” as holy fact rather than one man’s interpretation”

Beam, meet mote!

But all these other offenses don’t hold a candle to the following themes:

“claim of Mary Magdalene being pregnant by Jesus as He hung on the Cross”
“claim of Sarah being Jesus’ daughter by Mary Magdalene, repeatedly”
“claim of nothing said about Magdalene being Jesus’ wife and Sarah being His daughter”
“claim of ‘living descendant(s) of Jesus’, repeatedly”

I have labored hard to understand why the CAP reviewer finds these aspects of the movie so unacceptable. In fact, he lists them under “Offense to God”. What, in his eyes, is so objectionable about the idea that Jesus could have been married and had children? After all, Christians believe that Jesus was fully human in addition to being divine, and nothing could be more human than the desire to start a family and have children. The Da Vinci Code depicts Jesus as married to Mary Magdalene, so it could hardly be said that there was anything sinful or adulterous about the idea. And the gospels hardly rule it out: in fact, the gospel of John closes with, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” What makes the CAP reviewer so sure that marriage was not one of these other things?

The only answer I can come up with that fits is that the CAP reviewer, like many religious fundamentalists, holds a warped and distorted view of human sexuality (one that shines through in his obsession with eye movements and below-navel skin), and believes that sex itself is bad and sinful. This fits with the way which most conservative Christians treat gay marriage, birth control, and other sex-related issues, acting as if sex was not just the supreme moral issue but the only debate worth caring about or getting involved in. To someone who holds such a view, it would make sense that any claim of Jesus having had a sexual relationship would be seen as the ultimate blasphemy.

Other posts in this series:

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...