Of course, there has been the entire debate about the potential manifest or latent anti-Semitic content of Mel Gibson's Passion, now set for a debut on 2,800 screens. Seems perhaps understandable that the Anti-Defamation League would be a little concerned by a film about the Passion from a man whose father still today says that the Holocaust was "mostly a fiction." True, I would hate to be judged by some of my father's more idiosyncratic views on world affairs, but then again (a) these views, even at their nuttiest, are nothing even remotely-remotely along the lines calling the Holocaust "mostly a fiction" and (b), more importantly, unlike Mel Gibson, I have no problem with explicitly disavowing paternal positions I think are nutty.
Anyway, this post isn't about that part of Passion anyway. It's about this idea that Passion might serve this nice function in the service of religion by helping the strengthen the faith of believers and perhaps to convert some of the unfaithful. While perhaps true, it overlooks another function I expect Passion to serve in the spiritual realm: even without seeing it, I have become convinced that, along with, say, the cinematic oeurve of Pauly Shore, it will be in heavy rotation among the films playing on the video screens in the torture cell where I will spend eternity rotting in hell.