Two Thumbs Up for Jim Caviezel

What amazing news that Jim Caviezel, who played Christ in Mel Gibson's astounding movie "The Passion of the Christ," has turned down an opportunity that might have made him a multi-millionaire. The 35-year-old actor refused to sign on for roles in TV commercials and a T-shirt deal that were worth an estimated $75 million. "I think if I had given way on just one scheme, I would have been tempted to do more," explained Caviezel, who said he wanted to remain true to his Catholic beliefs. "It would have been the easiest thing in the world to make that kind of money quickly."

There's nothing wrong with making money (Loose Canon would love to make some--honestly, of course), but it is just astounding and inspiring that an actor would forsake this kind of money because he thinks it might corrupt him. If seeing him play Christ has had such a profound impact on many (including LC), then actually playing Christ must have made a really deep impression on him.

I had no outlet to express my admiration for the movie, so allow me to get on my soapbox (or into my pulpit?) and utter a few words now: It was the backdrop to Lent for me, making the banal version of the Stations of the Cross unbearable while adding so much to the solemn Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday.

If you haven't seen it, blue staters, be broadminded and do so. As for the alleged anti-Semitism, since seeing the movie, I came across an old hymn ("I See the Crowd in Pilate's Court) that expresses perfectly how the Christian reacts to the scenes of Christ being scourged:

"I see the crowd in Pilate's hall,
their furious cries I hear;
their shouts of 'Crucify!' appall,
their curses fill mine ear.
And of that shouting multitude
I feel that I am one,
and in that din of voices rude
I recognize my own."

By the way, I found this on a wonderful web site that gives you access to Anglican hymnals from 1861 through the 1960s. You can even listen to the tunes played on an organ.

Two Thumbs Up for John Ashcroft

I must chide my colleague the Swami for his unkind remarks about John Ashcroft's press conference.

Even though it's hard to imagine terrorists not wanting to stage a Madrid-style (or bigger) event before we go to the polls, Swami believes that the AG is making these statements for political reasons:He writes: "This kind of fear-mongering should have this reaction: 'Hey, pal, why scare us? Why not just nab the terrorists?'"

May I point out to Swami that every time Ashcroft does nab somebody, folks (perhaps folks Swami knows Uptown?) set up a howl about their civil liberties?In the matter of nabbing, by the way, I'm willing to bet that Swami would not agree with this realistic policy suggested by Peggy Noonan in a column headlined "Let's Catch Them Now" in the Wall Street Journal:

"It's kind of crazy out there," Peggy writes. "So this might be a good time to say: Let's do our best as a people to catch and imprison terrorists. Let's get 'em. Let's make it our highest national priority. Let's find those who mean to end the lives of hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of innocent people. Then, once it looks like all or most of the bad guys are captured, let's turn our national attention to studying how we could have done it better, more gently, more justly, more competently. But first the capture, then the criticism."


This just in: "A Vatican statement said the pope had appointed [Cardinal Bernard] Law to be the archpriest of the Rome Basilica of St Mary Major, one of the most important churches in the Italian capital. The archpriest is the senior figure in a cathedral or a basilica, responsible for how it is run and usually presiding at many of the services."