Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bits and Pieces

A book for history buffs and language lovers, The Guardian reviews Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler. It sounds fascinating even though the reviewer says that Ostler doesn't quite manage to prove his thesis. I love Bill Moyers:

There are millions of Christians who believe the Bible is literall true, word for word. Some of them—we'll come back to th question of how many— subscribe to a fantastical theolog concocted in the nineteenth century by two immigrant preacher who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them wit their own hallucinations into a narrative foretelling the return o Jesus and the end of the world. Google the "Rapture Index" an you will see just how the notion has seized the imagination o many a good and sincere believer (you will also see just where w stand right now in the ticking of the clock toward the culminatio of history in the apocalypse). It is the inspiration for the best-selling books in America today—the twelve novels in the Lef Behind series by Christian fundamentalist and religious- righ warrior Tim LaHaye, a co- founder with Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority.
Lord of the Rings, the musical. How can it all be fit into a two hour play? And a musical? Ugh. Is Dan Brown trying to bring down the Catholic Church? Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone seems to think so:
A top Catholic cardinal has blasted The Da Vinci Code as a "gross and absurd" distortion of history and said Catholic bookstores should take the bestseller off their shelves because it is full of "cheap lies." ... (It) aims to discredit the Church and its history through gross and absurd manipulations.
Um, Cardinal, the book is a novel, you know, fiction. So you got the "cheap lies" part right at least.