Reacting to the blasphemous premise of the blockbuster movie The Da Vinci Code (that Jesus Christ married and had children with Mary Magdalene), Christians around the world held angry protests. American embassies were torched in Toronto and London, and 12 people died in a stampede in New York. In Hollywood, Christians seeking to settle old scores dragged the movie’s director out of a cocktail party, tarring and feathering him.
Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, pronounced a fatwa on Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code. Williams said Brown had “offended the sensibilities of the Christians.” The pope, asked to quell the violence, simply shrugged and muttered something about “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” Billy Graham, reached at his mountain retreat, said, “This was a deliberate provocation of Christian people, and turning the other cheek only goes so far.”