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Hellfire, the Sequel

Those protests over “The Last Temptation of Christ” aren’t finished yet--not with Martin Scorsese among those nominated for the Best Director Oscar. Although conservative Christian leader Donald E. Wildmon won’t be demonstrating Oscar night, Dr. R. L. Hymers Jr.--pastor of the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of L.A.--will.

Hymers told us he plans to lead an anti-Scorsese protest outside the Shrine Auditorium on March 29. “If he wins, that would seem to put the seal of approval on attacks against Christianity,” Hymers said.

Hymers added that he’ll be accompanied by members of his congregation, and “probably, the man with the cross,” referring to the anonymous protester who wears Jesus-like garb and drags a massive cross.

Hymers said he’ll be “a bit more strident"--than in previous protests--for his Oscar appearance. “I’ll be very careful of what I say. I don’t want anything misconstrued.” (He was accused of making anti-Semitic comments during earlier protests, and later apologized.)

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Wildmon, exec director of the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Assn., told us an Oscar protest “would be money unwisely spent” in his view, and considers the fundamentalist boycott of “Temptation” already “a huge success.”

Scorsese, figured Wildmon, has a fair chance of winning the Oscar: “It would be Hollywood’s way of getting back at us.”


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