Monday, March 20, 2006


May 19th is the date the Da Vinci Code movie opens. A movie based on a book that wears its heresy and blasphemy as a badge of honor.

What can we as Christians do in response to the release of this movie? I'm going to offer you the usual choices -- and a new one.

Here are the usual suspects:

A) We can ignore the movie. ........

The problem with this option: The box office is a ballot box. The only people whose votes are counted are those who buy tickets. And the ballot box closes on the Sunday of opening weekend. If you stay home, you have lost your chance to make your vote heard. You have thrown your vote away, and from Hollywood's point of view, you don't count. By staying home, you do nothing to shape the decision-making process regarding what movies will make it to the big screen.

B) We can protest. ........

The problem with this option: It doesn't work. Any publicity is good publicity. Protests not only fuel the box office, they make all Christians look like idiots. And again, protests and boycotts do nothing to help shape the decisions being made right now about what movies Hollywood will make in the next few years. (Or they convince Hollywood to make *more* movies that will provoke Christians to protest, which will drive the box office up.)

C) We can discuss the movie. We can be rational and be ready with study guides and workshops and point-by-point refutations of the lies promulgated by the movie. ........

The problem with this option: No one's listening. They think they know what we're going to say already. We'll lose most of these discussions anyway, no matter how prepared we are, because the power of story always trumps the power of facts (why do you think Jesus taught in parables?!). And once again: rational discussion of history does nothing to affect Hollywood's choices regarding what movies to make.

But there's a fourth choice.

On May 19th, you should go to the movies.

Just go to a different movie.

Save the date now. May 19th, or May 20th. No later than Sunday, May 21st -- that's the day the ballot box closes. You'll get a vote, the only vote Hollywood recognizes: The power of cold hard cash laid down on a box office window on opening weekend.

Use your vote. Don't throw it away. Vote for a movie other than DVC. If enough people do it, the powers that be will notice. They won't have a choice.

The major studio movie scheduled for release against DVC is the DreamWorks animated feature Over the Hedge. The trailers look fun, and you can take your kids. And your friends. And their friends. In fact, let's all go see it.

Let's rock the box office in a way no one expects -- without protests, without boycotts, without arguments, without rancor. Let's show up at the box office ballot box and cast our votes. And buy some popcorn, too.

May 19th. Mark your calendars now: Over the Hedge's opening weekend. Buy a ticket.

And spread the word. Forward this e-mail to all the Christians in your address book. Post it on your blogs. Talk about it to your churches. And let's all go to the movies.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's been a pretty busy spring break, and I've gotten tons of work done, but now I think that my eyes are starting to blur from trying to read words off a computer screen. I got like 40 folders finished for the civil rights clearinghouse project that I've been working on, so I'm really pleased about that (and about the money that they'll pay me for it...we gotta pay the bills. If anyone wants to check out the website, it's but it's not completely done yet. We'll probably be working on it for the next year.

I planted a few herb plants by the window in my kitchen on Tuesday, and I am hoping that they'll grow even though they won't get direct sunlight in our apartment. All of our windows face north, so the sun is always on the other sides of the building, but we get lots of reflected light. I also got one of those lightbulbs that is supposed to help plants grow, and I've been shining that on them all day each we'll see! If it works, I'll have some nice thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil to use in my cooking. I need SOMETHING to make me feel like I don't live in a huge city...

We've had pretty nice weather for the last couple of days, but it's supposed to get cold again starting tomorrow...grrr. Oh well. We'll see what happens. It can't stay cold forever, and when it warms up I'm going to go dance a jig in the park by the lake to celebrate the spring. Only one more St. Louis winter!!!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well, it's been awhile since I've written anything, but this afternoon I had my last class before spring break, so I can finally manage to waste a little time. I had a HUGE seminar paper to turn in, and I got it in a few days early because I was so tired of dealing with it. It can get a little tedious to spend weeks reading about reproductive rights in prisons, but that was the subject of my paper, and it was better than what some of my classmates had to write about! Anyway, the first draft has been turned in, and I hope I get some good feedback on it.

Even though I'm on spring break now, I will still end up spending the next 10 days just sitting in St. Louis getting work done because I can't afford a $500 plane ticket to Atlanta...sigh. I was REALLY hopeful that there would be a fare special for this week, but there isn't one because everyone seems to be on spring break. Oh well. It will be a good chance to make some money working on a project for one of the professors at the law school, and every little bit helps. If we have a bit of warm weather, I'll probably go spend a few hours laying in the park some afternoon, too!

James just finished his last day on the surgery rotation today, and tomorrow he has to take the surgery board exam....which is probably the last "big" test that he'll ever have to study for in his life. He'll still need to take the board certification exams periodically, but you pretty much just need to pass those...unfortunately, on this one he really needs a good grade in order to get a good residency. Well, we've been praying about it and he's been studying for weeks and weeks, so it will be fine. But just in case, I'm making an apple is always better when there is dessert.

We had some sad news this week...Jordan's cat Max had to be put to sleep last weekend. He had been really sick, and he took a definite turn for the worst, so it was the only humane thing to do, but Dad (who makes the medical decisions) still felt terrible about it, as did we all. We've had Max 18 years...and he was a member of the family. He will go down in the annals of Patton family history as a cuddly playmate, a soulful sympathizer, a good housemate, and a faithful furry friend. We will all miss him.