By Amy Ryan
May 11, 2006 at 07:57 PM EDT

Some Christian leaders are not buying into Sony’s attempt to co-opt their dissent over The Da Vinci Code. But they’ve realized that traditional boycotts can backfire. Instead, one plan is an ”othercott,” asking followers to see something other than Da Vinci when it opens next weekend, like that family-friendly cartoon Over the Hedge. (Hmm, a movie that teaches kids to celebrate theft and gluttony. Nice Christian message there.)

The main objection being voiced now is to the filmmakers’ refusal to put a disclaimer on the movie, stating clearly that its insinuations about Jesus and the Catholic Church are fictional. (”It’s not theology. It’s not history,” said director Ron Howard on Sunday. ”Spy thrillers don’t start off with disclaimers.”)

Of course, the fictional nature of Dan Brown’s tale seems apparent, at least to the compiler of this HowStuffWorks.com article debunking the book. Setting aside the story’s questionable theology, Brown’s book includes demonstrably false information about art history, science, tarot cards, the Louvre, Harvard, Westminster Abbey, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and global positioning technology. Somehow, I doubt Howard corrected many of these falsehoods in the movie. But I do believe it’s true that there is a museum in Paris called the Louvre, and that there is a Leonardo Da Vinci painting there, popularly known as the Mona Lisa. Beyond that, Code-breakers, you’re on your own.

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