May 22, 2009

Angels & Demons: More Demonic than Angelic

The Da Vinci Code was written by Dan Brown after he wrote Angels & Demons. The protagonist in both volumes is Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. In Angels & Demons, Langdon is recruited by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) to investigate what happened to one of its top physicists: he was found dead with a mysterious symbol seared into his chest. It was the symbol of a secret society, long thought moribund, the Brotherhood of the Illuminati.

In time, Langdon becomes convinced that the Illuminati have returned. According to Brown, the organization, which numbered Galileo among its members, was founded to assert the superiority of science over the irrationality of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. It now seeks revenge, having captured anti- matter, a dangerous substance discovered by the scientist who was assassinated. Langdon’s mission is to stop the Illuminati before it blows up the Vatican with a time bomb procured from the antimatter.

The book, if read purely for entertainment purposes, has its merits. Most of the characters that are pure fiction—like the young priest who before he became pope fell in love with a nun (they wanted a child, but also wanted to remain chaste, so they settled for artificial insemination)—are so absurd as to be unbelievable. But, as with The Da Vinci Code, the real problem lay in Brown’s deceit. He takes real life characters, like Copernicus and Galileo; and real life organizations, like the Illuminati; and real life issues, like science and religion, and blows them to smithereens...

Go here to read the entire PDF file from the Catholic League.

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