GTA: The Rapture - Steal a Smart Car and a Case of Wine
I don't want to talk about The DaVinci Code. Saying that should excuse me for bringing it up to talk about a separate issue found in a recent newspaper article in the Toronto Star.
A group calling itself Campus Crusade for Christ is taking up the torch to educate people about the fictitious nature of Dan Brown's book/movie. They seem to be quite serious and have volunteers ready to hand out flyers to moviegoers as they stand in line, flyers with biblical verses on them showing that Jesus could not have married Mary Magdalene. Don't bother taking one though because once you get into the theatre, the group has spent $63,000 to make a 10 second commercial that will run in the credits before the movie.
You read that correctly: sixty-three thousand dollars for 10 seconds. That kind of coin would buy a lot of cans of soup for Food Banks.
(As an update, Cineplex Odeon has apparently pulled the spots because they were "too controversial". I didn't think the ad was in any way controversial, but when I go to the movies, I don't want to see an ad for Toyota let alone some church group telling me to "discuss" DaVinci. You can see the 10 second spot here.)
Churches are trying to market themselves now. They've shifted in their focus and are trying, some would say in vain, to keep up with the times. In the article I read, one church has come out with its own brand of wines - a cabernet, chardonnay, and a zinfandel. I guess if you had to drink "the blood of Christ" (and how creepy is that!?) every day, you'd at least want it to not taste like...well...blood.
Not to be outdone, the psycho, fear-mongering folks behind the Left Behind movement have come out with a video game called, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, which puts the player in the Rapture (oddly announced on their page as happening in 17 days on June 6, 2006 - 06/06/06 - which seems like the number sixty thousand six hundred six rather than their beastly six hundred sixty six). Maybe I'm wrong.
They describe the gunplay and battles in the game as "'Star Wars' violence", which they think the parents will be ok with. Guys, Christian parents took their kids to see The Passion for fuck's sake. That was a guy getting his ass kicked hard for three hours - I'm sure religious parents will be cool with shooting and killing us left behind non-believers and the ominous anti-christ.
When archaic institutions like churches and cathedrals try to keep up with the times, they seem as if they're either pandering to people ("Look, it's Christ Clear! Just like the old Christ, only with 0 calories and no trans fats!") or like they're changing their minds about what's important ("We can have a violent video game! Violence is ok as long as it's not directed at us godly folks! See, we're hip!"). It's understandable that they will try to keep their ideas alive, but it is sad to watch the death throes.