‘The Templar Revelation’ by Picknett and Prince

I’m re-reading this book because, like a mountain, it was there. (Amazon’s page listing reminds me that I bought it in 2004, seven years after it was released.) “There” in this case means that the book was sitting on my bookshelf in plain view when I put my feet up on my desk and wondered what to read next after finishing the Travis McGee thriller. McGee and the Knights Templar have very little in common, so my reading trend of late has more to do with having nothing new in the house than it does with a consistent, well-managed approach to reading.

Unlike MacDonald’s The Dreadful Lemon Sky, this book promises “The secret code of Leonardo de Vinci Revealed” and that I will learn about the “Secret guardians of the true identity of Christ.” Good Lord, I’m thinking, there appear to be conspiracy theories higher than Mt. Everest when it comes to that old-time religion. A lot of people were wondering about that old-time religion when this book came out since Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982) found a diverse audience and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was about to hit the fan in 2003.

I thrive off this kind of stuff, not because I pay much attention to the daily conspiracy theories coming out of Washington, but because–to my ministers’ displeasue–I’ve always had a lot of questions about the politics behind the Bible’s selection of books and about the “stuff” that seems to be missing from Sunday school class and vacation Bible school. In those days, I was seen as disruptive. Now, other than an occasional post on this blog, I don’t say much about religion. As Salman Rushie found out, saying things about religion isn’t safe.

Religion, it seems to be, has created one hell of a mess throughout the world when you consider wars found over it, people burnt at the stake because of it, and books banned from libraries because the town’s rulers believe stuff that doesn’t fit their kids’ available fiction. So, I’m not about to put a sign in my yard that says Mary Magdalene was Jesus’s wife. I think she was, but in our neighborhood, it’s much safer to put up a “John 3.16” sign than anything more inflammatory. Years ago, the signs would have said “Impeach Earl Warren.”

I’m enjoying re-reading The Templar Revelation because it contains the kind of subject matter that it’s not safe to talk about. No, I don’t believe it lock, stock, and barrel, but I like being free to consider the evidence in the privacy of my home since I’m not really free to say it on Facebook or in a letter to the editor of my daily newspaper.  Freedom of speech and freedom of religion seem to be controlled by the crazy people with basements full of guns.