At the close of 2004 everyone is debating the role religion played in a hotly contested election that confirmed that the nation is deeply divided. The year opened with another controversy about religion and media that mirrored the red-blue split on the electoral map.
Yet, I've not seen one article or column on the election that mentioned Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
At a minimum, the success of the movie showed that the legacy media had lost touch with a huge swath of the populace. I also think that the coastal elites's reaction to the film's potential consequences-their fear of how Christians would react to seeing it-was not lost on Red America. They noticed that the usual liberal suspects thought they were stupid, ignorant and prone to violence.