Friday, June 02, 2006

Immaculate viewers view the maculate?

Religious communities across the US have generally treated The Da Vinci Code phenomenon with hostility. Sensible, given Brown's suggesting that the biblical account of Jesus is significantly inaccurate and his painting of the Catholic Church as both suppressor and potential murderer of the Deity's ancestors. Just as The Passion lionized Christianity and the faithful flocked to see it, I suspected DVC's belittling of Christianity would make it a magnet for non-believers. But the inverse relationship between religiosity and the DVC index isn't statistically significant at even a lowly 80% confidence.

Maybe the index is just too crude. But a few things do relate in a meaningful way.

It's plausible to assume that Christian nations would be the most interested in going to see DVC. While The Dozen Analects Authors and the Confucian Conspiracy might raise an eyebrow, my counterpart in Beijing would devote a Friday night to see it long before I would. And the more nominally Christian a country (including East orthodox, all Protestantism, Catholicism), the greater the relative amount said country spent on the movie. The correlation, with a p-value of .029, is a modest .30.

Or perhaps the gullibility of a nation's population really is the best indicator of how likely they were to see DVC. The less corrupt the country, the more it spent relative to GDP on the movie, with a p-value of .008 and a correlation of .36. A clean society where people trustingly play by the rules--where better to peddle snake oil? Scamming Icelandic folks has to be easier than pulling a fast one on those filching Romanians! I wonder if an incorruptible society is less skeptical than a modern day Zozo.

Okay, that's hefty speculation for a moderate correlation lacking clear causation. Kind of interesting though.

Suspect Romanian Roma! *** Trustworthy Icelanders!

(Politics and Religion)


adog said...

Roma and Romanians are not the same thing.

crush41 said...

Right. But there are Roma in Romania, and that fellow is one of them.