But if none of that had actually happened, people would know that this movie was coming out. How? Because a lot of churches are marketing for it too. Many, many churches are having "Discussing the Da Vinci Code" (like Otter Creek) or "Debunking the Da Vinci Code" or the like. You can find how many churches are addressing it here.
Here's the thing. I really understand why churches are doing this. I think that there is a lot (from what I've heard; I haven't read the book yet) of material that could really be disturbing to people. The idea that Jesus could have been married and fathered a child is an issue that really bothers people. And so congregations are equipping their members by educating them about it, but they are also doing a ton of leg work for the studios on this. They are keeping Da Vinci in the forefront of people's minds and constantly reminding people that it's coming out. So there's this weird balancing act that goes on.
I like what Brian McLaren has said in an interview about the movie and book:
What do you think the popularity of The Da Vinci Code reveals about pop culture attitudes toward Christianity and the church?
Brian McLaren: I think a lot of people have read the book, not just as a popular page-turner but also as an experience in shared frustration with status-quo, male-dominated, power-oriented, cover-up-prone organized Christian religion. We need to ask ourselves why the vision of Jesus hinted at in Dan Brown's book is more interesting, attractive, and intriguing to these people than the standard vision of Jesus they hear about in church. Why would so many people be disappointed to find that Brown's version of Jesus has been largely discredited as fanciful and inaccurate, leaving only the church's conventional version? Is it possible that, even though Brown's fictional version misleads in many ways, it at least serves to open up the possibility that the church's conventional version of Jesus may not do him justice?
And here's the deal in my mind. I think the real reason people are bothered by Da Vinci Code is the same reason that Christians fight so hard on the evolution/creationism/intelligent design argument. Those things are the micro versions of the macro issue, which is how trustworthy is the Bible. For many people their entire faith is based on truth as revealed through Scripture and any challenge to the authority of Scripture is a challenge to their faith. And so, you get court cases about teaching creationism (only the Christian kind?) and you get churches educating about a movie and doing the marketing for the studios.
And the funny thing is that it doesn't look like the movie is going to be very good.