I’m gettign a few emails along these lines:
Hey, K-Lo, given that you’ve been pretty boosterish about Mel Gibson’s
blood-soaked passion play, you couldn’t cut the Shi’ites some slack?
Sure it’s weird to us, but it’s fundamentally no different than a lot
of medieval Catholic practices of mortification, or even some
contemporary passion plays in places like the Philippines where they
actually put a guy on the cross. The blood on children’s faces comes
from painlessly cutting a vein right under the hairline with a razor.
It bleeds like the dickens, but it doesn’t hurt. (The theology behind
it is that they’re expressing their collective guilt for their
forebears’ having abandoned their God-given leader to torture and
It’s weird, but no weirder than the Opus Dei wearing hairshirts and
using cilices and flagella.
Folks have sent me pictures of reenactments of the Passion (not as passionate as the Gibson version, but more than I would care to handle) in the Phillippines on Good Fridays. But still, what called out to me about these photos today are the fact they are of children.