Friends, we are not the only people trying to carry on with daily life in the midst of the Passion ink flood. Other professionals are hard at work.
In fact, Ted Olsen of Christianity Today’s blog makes the excellent point that this is turning into one of the most amazing 24-hour periods for religion news — period. It has been one of the most amazing Salvation Army-challenging, marriage-amendment-endorsing, Ash Wednesday-photographing, theology-scholarship-spiking, Passion-movie-dissecting marathons in the history of the God-beat.
In other words, be careful out there.
Also, those New York City insiders at The Revealer have finally surrendered to the Passion-charting impulse. There are many handy links here.
Also, again, the National Review Online crowd has a large collection of essays up today, including a new version of a major essay by the United Methodist journalist Steve Beard. It includes what may be the best sound bite I have found on this film:
This is the Sunday-school flannel-board lesson for a generation that grew up on violent video games, skipped church, and stood in line to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume 1 — a gratuitously bloody movie with no redemptive purpose. The Passion has an unmistakable gothic and art house feel, with touches of the ghoulish and grotesque. There is one unforgettable scene of Mary, the mother of Jesus, kissing her son’s bloody feet as he dangles from the cross. She then turns around and looks into the camera with his blood on her lips.
Beard’s home page is called Thunderstruck — a “truck stop for the soul.”
Here are the money quotes from Dreher:
With Jesus in his death throes, you wonder: Was it necessary for Mel Gibson to have shown all this gore? “To the hard of hearing you shout,” said Flannery O’Connor. Mr. Gibson shouts. In this barbaric world, he’s right to.
There is Mary cradling the body of her son in her arms at the foot of the cross, and she’s looking directly at you. You can’t turn away. Her gaze says, “Look what you did to him. Look what he did for you.”
I will try to keep adding more useful links in the next day or so.