And now we return (music cue: a swirl of soap organ) to the continuing story of Hollywood screenwriter and Act One educator Barbara Nicolosi and her telephone dialogues with the principalities and powers at The New York Times. It seems that America's newspaper of record has discovered that the former nun can sling soundbites with the best of them, when it comes time to write about issues of faith and Hollywood. Thus, reporters keep calling her and Nicolosi -- a friend of this blog -- keeps posting her notes about these chats at her often riotous blog called Church of the Masses.
In the latest chapter, a Times reporter is looking for Christian responses to the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster (we assume it will be that) based on The Da Vinci Code. The twist here is that Sony is trying to find a way to make this movie less offensive to non-gnostic Roman Catholics and other Christian believers who are not into goddess worship.
So let's tune back in, as Nicolosi chats up the reporter:
When the journalist called me I asked her, "Is this piece going to be fair, or a typical NY Times Christian-hating kind of thing?" The journalist expressed horror at the suggestion that Christians feel like The Times hates them. "Yeah," I said wonderingly, "we kind of do."
I didn't have a lot of hope for the piece because at one point in our conversation, we had the following exchange . . .
Barb: I heard that the studio execs behind The Da Vinci Code are worried that some Christians are going to put them on a hit list. Someone claimed to have gotten death threats during the making of The Last Temptation of Christ. It's so ridiculous. We aren't the ones who throw bombs.
NYTimes Reporter: (paraphrase) Well, there are as many Christians out there throwing bombs as Muslims. Look at all the bombings Christians do of abortion clinics.
I didn't take it further because, well, it was such an astoundingly bizarre statement that I -- for once -- was rendered mute. Here's what I would have said if I could speak at the moment: "HUH!!? ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! AS MANY CHRISTIANS THROWING BOMBS AS THE HOURLY SUICIDE BOMBING NUTJOBS WHO THINK KILLING MAKES GOD SMILE?! ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK?!" . . . or something erudite like that.
Actually, Nicolosi does give credit where credit is due. She thinks the piece by reporter Sharon Waxman turned out pretty good -- which means accurate and balanced. All kinds of smart people show up in this piece, even Amy "Open Book" Welborn. Bravo.