Passion’ate’ Souvenirs

In true Scientific Gospel style, Steve wrote a satirical song about a religious commotion down in Texas reported in USA Today (see Rant about the Virgin of Spumoni from 2001) a few years ago. His chorus rang out: “Some kid dropped his ice cream cone, one boiling summer day,And as he watched it melting down, he heard somebody say, ‘Holy Mary, I can see, in red and white and brown, The Virgin of Spumoni on the sidewalk in our town.'” The Virgin of Spumoni has a verse that goes like this: “Yes, we’ve got a brand new Virgin, who can heal without a surgeon. Business is the best it’s been all year. It looks like a football scrimmage as they crowd around her image. Vendors hawking crosses, cards and beer.”

The North County Times in San Diego usually publishes a column about “News of the Weird,” but this article was not there – it was in a regular report of news items! This is from 25 February 2004.

Nail pendant tied to ‘Passion’ selling out

Santa Ana (AP) – Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” not only has people debating the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ, but also running out to buy such souvenirs as cruxifixes, lapel pins and cards tied to the film’s promotion.

A particularly popular item is a pendant fashioned from a single nail made of pewter and attached to a leather strap, say officials of Bob Siemon Designs, which is licensed by Gibson’s Icon Productions to produce jewelry tied to the film. The pendants represent the nails used to nail Christ to the cross.

Apparently, they are selling like hotcakes and the staff is working 10-14 hour shifts six days a week (I assume they rest on the Sabbath) to keep Christian bookstores supplied with these items. As of last month the company shipped about 75,000 nail pendants to customers.

These people should ask themselves, “WWJD.” I think he would throw them out of the Temple just as he did the money changers back in his time. Hypocrisy at its finest.