- The Washington Times - Monday, December 6, 2004

Passion plea

CatholicExchange.com Editor in Chief Tom Allen is reminding readers of the upcoming People’s Choice Film Awards and the “faithful” public’s opportunity to vote for “The Passion of the Christ.”

“While the Motion Picture Academy has predictably given ‘The Passion of the Christ’ the cold shoulder, Mel Gibson’s epic film has broken into the Top 5 for the People’s Choice Awards for ‘Favorite Movie Drama,’” reveals Mr. Allen, who considers the film “a sign of contradiction in our ever-deteriorating entertainment culture.”

“Let Hollywood know what people of faith believe is the best movie of 2004,” he encourages, posting the Internet ballot site: www.pcavote.com.

Voting ends Dec. 13, with the awards presented Sunday, Jan. 9, on CBS.

Jogging with Jesus

This columnist was recently shedding pounds aboard a treadmill at a 24-hour fitness facility in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and couldn’t help but notice that every last woman in the gym was glancing in my direction — something that never happens on treadmills in Washington.

My resulting ego trip lasted no longer than my stamina, however, when my friend Tim Pohlman, a former vice president of Infinity Broadcasting in Los Angeles, approached me to say: “How does it feel to work out next to Jesus?”

And so it was, the object of all the attention — James Caviezel, the blue-eyed actor who played Jesus Christ in “The Passion,” dripping sweat instead of stage blood.

Religious warming

While we’re on the topic of religion, Marc Morano, senior staff writer at CNSNews.com, was at the National Press Club to hear an MIT meteorologist actually dismiss alarmist fears about human-induced global warming as nothing more than “religious beliefs.”

“Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen.

“Essentially, if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by ‘all scientists,’ you don’t have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief,” said Mr. Lindzen, in a speech appropriately titled, “Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of ‘Science.’”

Bare landscape

Victoria’s Secret is once again sparking outrage. In recent years, the lingerie retailer has angered some with its TV specials featuring models strutting their stuff while wearing nothing more than lacy underthings.

Now, the company is accused of devastating virgin forests: “Victoria’s Secret mails more than 1 million catalogs daily, produced on paper made almost exclusively from forests,” the ForestEthics group said in announcing nationwide protests against the company.

“Victoria’s Secret’s impact on the world’s remaining old growth and endangered forests is simply devastating and unnecessary. The company has the responsibility and the power to ensure that its catalogs are made from recycled paper,” commented Tzeporah Berman of the San Francisco-based group.

She said Canadian forests are being “chewed up for catalogs” and said she was “horrified to discover that habitat for some of the last wild herds of caribou in North America is being destroyed.”

Added another ForestEthics official, Joshua Martin: “There’s nothing sexy about cutting down vast swaths of forests … to make things like junk mail and catalogs.”

Leather affair

Does a black leather jacket pass for “black tie” at a Washington awards gala?

It does if you’re John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted,” who received the Olender Foundation’s Advocate for Justice 2005 award.

“I have more leather jackets than anybody in the United States, more than 57,” Mr. Walsh told the audience.

Jack Olender, who himself sported a black bomber jacket for the occasion, additionally honored Mr. Walsh by presenting an Olender Foundation grant in his name to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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