Cracking the Da Vinci Code

White Lie: White Man's Burden
by Jonathan Wilson

In summary, the Esoteric Grail Quest is a race-based philosophy.

This is the most visceral of my responses to the claims of Dan Brown and the Esoteric Grail Quest. It is the voice of alarm, my cry in the wilderness, that followers of this quest are not even aware of their racist assumptions.

The pages of history clamor in their witness, to two truths: First, that faithful disciples of Jesus Christ the Risen Savior have been in the vanguard of movements for justice and peace. Second, that nominal Christians, those born within the horizons of "Christendom" for whom Christianity was simply the current religious practice of the nation, have been responsible for the most horrific atrocities the world has known.

If your ancestry hails from Europe's Christendom, and if you have a little knowledge of Jesus, a little knowledge of the Bible, a little bit of religion in your background, "The Da Vinci Code" is singing a siren song to you, playing on all of the same appealing assumptions that appealed to our ancestors.

I am Scotch-Anglo by ancestry. Reading a book that has the new Christ emerge in Scotland whispers a certain appeal. Do you see the danger?

Today, many Whites are not conscious of latent racist assumptions. But along comes a theory, dressed up by "scholars," that Jesus was really one of US all along, and that his genes and blood still flow among Europeans, and it gains wide popularity. Think, just for a moment, about why.

It was the white people of Europe, the nominal adherents of Christendom, who marched in the Crusades, who conducted the pogroms against Jewish citizens, who as recently as the 20th century turned their backs on the refugees of war and holocaust. Nominal Christianity in the United States has Americans awash in the blood of slavery and the extinction of native nations and cultures.

The great lie of the nominal Christianity that flourished in Europe, is that because Christians are white, God is white, and so Jesus is white, and so Jesus was really one of US all along. This lie might be translated in one way or another: in the esotericists it produces the falsehood of Jesus being ancestor to Europe's kings. It surfaced in a mutation of evolutionary theory called "social darwinism." It surfaced in the heresy of Anglo-Israelism, in which the peoples of Great Britain were connected to the lost tribes of Israel and hence the "chosen people." So chosen, they had a divine right to extend an empire around the globe, bearing from God the "white man's burden" to rule backwards people of color. In America this divine right, this white man's burden, was called "manifest destiny."

This divine right is written about by the Victorian authors of the period. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's racist assumptions emerge in his fiction, while Rudyard Kipling is much more generous to the peoples of color under British rule but remains imperial at heart. John Buchan, who in the 1930's was Governor General of Canada, was specific and adamant about the white man's burden, given by God, to rule and civilize the heathen. Read his novel "Prester John" and feel the chill of white arrogance and paternalism.

The truth is, Jesus Christ is a Palestinian Jew, and his origins are thoroughly Semitic and African. He came not that White Europe might govern the world, but that all people in the world might find life and hope.

The blindess of the esotericists to their own race-based assumptions is evident given two facts: First, that the Semitic and African origins of Jesus of Nazareth, attested throughout scripture and independent scientific anthropology, are ignored in favor of European artistic renditions, such as red-haired disciples in Italian renaissance paintings.

Second, that the multi-racial complexion of the Church established by Jesus Christ does not even hit the radar screen of the Grail Quest. Eastern Orthodox Christians, their oversite of the reliquaries in Jerusalem, their continued uninterupted presence in Palestine since the time of Christ, figure nowhere in the lore of the Grail Quest. The Vatican was the center of Christendom for western Europe, the White Christians. The Vatican's hierarchy is to be charged, therefore, with having all kinds of power to conspire against and suppress "the True Grail," because no other Church, a non-white Church of Palestinian origins, is even acknowledged. Actual non-white Christians living in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq for 2000 years do not receive a moment's notice.

I am not saying that people who are reading "The Da Vinci Code" and paying serious attention to its claims are bigots. "Bigotry" happens in people who are mean and full of hate. I do not charge esotericists or those interested in their claims with being mean and full of hate.

I am saying that the entire foundation of Brown's novel is established, not on hate, but on a manifest ignorance of anthropology. The racism that results is unconscious. It is a form of racism that is impervious and heedless, unaware of the basic facts of history such as: "The Christians of Palestine have been Eastern Orthodox, not Roman Catholic." It just does not occur to the esotericists what it might mean to the rest of the world, suffering the shudders of rebirth after colonialism, when a European monarch claims the lineage of Christ.

Consider those who have been committed in their faith. They have crossed all spectrum of color and culture. Committed Christians have been in the vanguard for efforts at racial righteousness, peace, reconciliation, and justice--in everything from women's suffrage to civil rights.

Sir Laurence writes that this is the best of the Grail Code. Indeed, most systems of thought tend to elevate these virtues.

Still, in Christ, these virtues are found through the touch of God by faith in the only Son of God, so that the walls of privilege and distinction between race, economic class, and gender, are removed (Galatians 3:28). These walls of privilege are broken down when people become conscious, through prayer, of what justice looks like in the heart of God.

These virtues are not found, and the walls are not removed, when people with a little bit of knowledge and nominal belief are swept up into a lie that blinds them to their own assumptions about race, anthropology, and manifest destiny.
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