In the 7.18 New York Times, reporter Sharon Waxman has an interesting piece about Hollywood trying to tailor its movie content and adapt selling techniques to reach the thriving Christian demo — i.e., the audience primarily responsibly for turning The Passion of the Christ into a gargantuan hit last year. In paragraph #2, she quotes Mr. and Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman using the term “hip, young cool Christians.” Whoa…stop right there. It’s all well and good for Hollywood to try and make money any way it can, but can there be such a thing as Christians who are truly “hip and cool”? In a socio-political context — especially if you define “hip and cool” as sympathizing with liberal, neo-bohemian, anti-bourgeois attitudes, being into ars gratia artis, understanding the term “cosmic flow” and trying to roll with this, and respecting other cultures and lifestyles — Liman’s statement sounds like a sick joke. Is there anyone who would argue that an awful lot of Christians seem to be into rolling back the clock and restoring the authority of Christ by destroying or severely reducing the influence of Godless liberal-heathen cliques (especially gays) in the big cities? The reason Hollywood leftie types find 21st Century Christian culture so appalling isn’t the religious convictions of the devoted (i.e., saying they worship and respect and try to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ…we all could use a little of that). It’s the fact that 95% of Christians seem to be unrepentant xenophobes. It’s the impression that most of them seem to embrace radical-right beliefs (Terry Schiavo was mentally alert and just sleeping…women shouldn’t have the right to choose over abortion). It’s their unqualified knee-jerk patriotism (our sons and daughters are dying in Iraq so our presence over there is therefore righteous, and those bald-faced lies used to justify invading in the first place aren’t worth worrying about). And it’s their electoral support of the unregenerately pro-corporate, anti-environmental, deficit-expanding Bushies. On top of the fact that Christians have no fashion sense (walk around any midwestern airport and you’ll see what I mean) and they all tend to smile in such a way that recalls the grinning of the pod people in Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers.