According to today's LAT, rather than resort to the shrill protest tactic of picket lines manned by clergy armed with holy-water-filled SuperSoakers, some Christian churches have decided to take The Da Vinci Code's imminent, mass-market blasphemy and make blasphemy-ade. Upbeat, Da Vinci-themed sermons aimed at debunking the message soon to be delivered by cherub-faced emissary of Satan Ron Howard and spikey-haired incubus sidekick Brian Grazer have proved quite popular, and some progressive ministers have adopted even more modern techniques to head off the coming cinematic apostasy at the pass. Reports the Times:
[California pastor Ken] Baugh wants to encourage members of his congregation to see the film with non-Christian friends. He plans to give them Starbucks gift cards along with the tickets so they can sit down over coffee when the movie ends and offer their perspective on Jesus.
Baugh has already distributed 325 iPod Shuffles loaded with his "Da Vinci" sermons to young members of his congregation so they can give them to friends who do not come to church.
The article notes that even Sony Pictures is trying to seem sympathetic to upset Christians, attempting to mollify potential torch-wielding hordes by establishing The Da Vinci Dialogue, a website dedicated to discussing some of the controversial points in the movie's fictional theology. But the studio may reveal its fundamental misunderstanding of the faithful's concerns with its plans to co-opt the above youth-influencing iPod strategy, shipping crates of movie-branded, multicolored lipstick to high schools and encouraging potential teen ticket buyers to throw their own Da Vinci-themed rainbow parties.