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SACRIFICE [Professors say Gibson's Apocalypto is biased against Mayan bloodletting]
Newsweek ^ | December 5, 2006 | Newsweek

Posted on 12/05/2006 11:45:28 PM PST by freedomdefender

Let's get right to the point, shall we? About halfway through Mel Gibson's movie "Apocalypto," which opens this week, viewers are treated to a stomach-turning scene of human sacrifice, set in a Mayan city around 1500. It's not revealing too much to say that the movie's hero is captured by a gang of marauders, bound, marched through the jungle, painted blue, and forced to the top of a pyramid where heads roll.

In a smaller version of the outrage and skepticism that preceded the opening of "The Passion of the Christ"—is it historically accurate? is it anti-Semitic?—scholars who study the ancient Maya are concerned that Gibson's film will distort the great civilization and demean its descendents, six million of whom still live in Central America. Yes, the Maya sacrificed humans to the gods, but these rituals were part of a complex worldview: the Maya believed that their bodies, their blood, were created by the gods and that they occasionally needed to repay this debt with human life. "The gods need you," explains David Carrasco, professor of religious history at Harvard. "They depend on human life for their own existence, there's this kind of reciprocity." In sacrifice, he adds, the people are becoming like gods. Based on the trailer, Carrasco believes that Gibson has made the Maya into "Slashers," and their society a "Hypermasculine fantasy."

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: apocalypto; gibson; mel; melgibson
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To: marron
"Sympathy for the Devil"

A.k.a., cultural relativism. Apparently that great Prophet and Priestess Margaret Mead wouldn't approve of this movie either. Brutality is A-OK, as long as it's a part of a non-Judeo/Christian culture.

101 posted on 12/06/2006 11:05:16 AM PST by unspun (What do you think? Please think, before you answer.)
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To: freedomdefender
Canaan - Astarte
Greece - Artemis
India - Kali
Aztecs - Chalchiuhtlicue

Etc.

I'm not saying they sacrificed to all these goddesses rather than the male gods, or even in addition to the male gods. Although, certainly they did to Artemis and Kali. I'm just saying religions with human sacrifice are polytheistic and worship goddesses. I'd welcome a counter-example.
102 posted on 12/06/2006 11:06:41 AM PST by chesley (Liberals....what's not to loathe.)
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To: Antoninus
Antoninus, I saw the preview of "Apocolypto." It is absolutely repellant. As far as "The Passion," I have heard enough about it to know it is not something I can watch.

All I am giving is my opinion and the reason for my holding it.I am not trying to dissuade anyone else from going.

I would be interested in your opinion after you do see it.

103 posted on 12/06/2006 11:15:44 AM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, thank you for Mozart Lover's son's safe return, and look after Jemian's son, please!)
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To: Miss Marple
I would be interested in your opinion after you do see it. As there will likely be a lot of Apocalpyto threads kicking around for the next few weeks, I'm sure you'll see my opinion at some point. However, I admit in advance that I'm biased in favor of this movie anyway as the subject is one that I find fascinating. And having read some of the absolutely horrendous primary sources about the brutal and bloody lives of the Meso-American and North American native people, I'll probably walk out thinking Mel didn't go far enough...
104 posted on 12/06/2006 11:23:36 AM PST by Antoninus (When your party's platform is "Vote for US because THEY will be worse," prepare to lose.)
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To: freedomdefender
OK, so Apocalypto has a lot of blood and gore, which is part of the Mayan worldview, but it is directed by Mel Gibson, who makes that worldview look negative, so it's bad. However, Pulp Fiction also has a lot of blood and gore, and there is no religious or worldview connotation to that violence, it's just gratuitious, but it is directed by Quentin Tarantino, so it is OK.

Sure, that makes sense, seeing that it's coming from Newsweak.

105 posted on 12/06/2006 12:02:00 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: freedomdefender

Regardless of how the nay sayers paint it, the Maya used humans as a sacrifice to their 'gods'. Can't paint the picture in any other way unless you lie.


106 posted on 12/06/2006 12:02:11 PM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: airedale

I'm glad someone got around to pointing this out, and while the film is about the Maya, efforts to portray them as terribly different from the Aztecs are more than a bit disingenuous.


107 posted on 12/06/2006 12:17:39 PM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: TexanToTheCore
I think Mel is building a case for Jesus. A really good case.

I think you hit the nail on the head;it will be another film for those who have eyes to see. The movie may in many cases,open up those eyes that hitherto had been open but not really seeing. Why it may even open some that been shut entirely.

108 posted on 12/06/2006 12:19:08 PM PST by saradippity
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To: Dixie Yooper
Really? Hmmm. Well, it's been a long time since I was down there, and my Olmecs & Toltecs are kinda getting Mixtec-ted together these days, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if mayanists are still dukeing it out about timelines & genetics & linguistic cousins.

But IIRC the way I got it (did a semester down there) was that the decline around 900-1100 ad of the mayan centralized city-states was due to possibly climate change/drought/agricultural catastrophe or possibly the collapse of Teotihuacan created a domino effect, sort of the like the stock market collapse here in 1929.

But this was just the "urban civilization/trade centers" part of mayan culture, the people themselves survived scattered into smaller polities.

Regardless of the much-disputed causes, the decline of the big city-states supposedly might have actually helped ensure the survival of the maya peoples relatively intact ethnically after Spanish conquest, because they were more dispersed in the inaccessible parts like Quintana Roo (Yucatan was almost all dense jungle; still is pretty dense.) & the Guatemalan Highlands

Chichen & Uxmal & Coba if I recall correctly were all very much thriving in the post-classic period. Mayapan did get sacked in a revolt I think though. But the last Mayan city-state at Tayasal (Guatemala,founded by Itza Maya ) didn't fall to spanish colonial control until around 300 years ago.I know that one of the Bishops in charge of converting the maya ordered some important mayan codexes destroyed. (EEK!)

It's been my understanding that the great Mayan cities might have disappeared under the jungle canopy & Spanish rule, but the Maya people (genetically, linguistically & culturally related to the people who built the pyramids) are still there.

But I'm certainly no expert, hopefully someone on FR with better credentials will settle the question for us here.I have a feeling we'll be seeing plenty of threads about this because of the movie.

109 posted on 12/06/2006 12:46:07 PM PST by leilani (Dimmi, dimmi se mai fu fatta cosa alcuna!)
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To: leilani
Wow, someone who actually studied in that area. I'm just a common citizen who enjoyed Latin American history in the public school system back in the 60's and 70's. They were very big on teaching us history about the western hemisphere back then. The story back then was that the Mayan's were an ancient tribe that vanished, much like the cliff dwellers of the southwest (Anastasie?) and the mound builders of Ohio.
110 posted on 12/06/2006 1:28:30 PM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: freedomdefender
"Yes, the Maya sacrificed humans to the gods, but these rituals were part of a complex worldview"

Cultural relativism gone mad.

111 posted on 12/06/2006 1:47:31 PM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: Dixie Yooper

Well, if South Park say it, it must be true!!!


112 posted on 12/06/2006 2:33:24 PM PST by brigada
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To: NYer; Salvation

Did our Lady of Guadalupe come to stop the Mayan sacrifices or was it a different time?


113 posted on 12/06/2006 2:36:07 PM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Dixie Yooper

It was a classic.


114 posted on 12/06/2006 3:00:31 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: norton

This was what was claimed by those who investigated the phenomenon. There is no similiarity to Christians in the Arena since the ceremony was not designed to glorify the power of the state versus a subversive religious group. Nor were the victims considered enemies of the Volk as were the Jews.

Those chosen for this from within were honored and treated with great consideration and solicitude prior to the knife.

Christians have often spoke of the joy of being a martyr for Christ.


115 posted on 12/06/2006 3:04:57 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Whoa! Just because I studied a little bit down there doesn't mean it's right! I was running on some very foggy recollections there. We need to find someone who studied more & has a better memory than I.

I will tell you that I knew people there, as well as a few familes here in the US who look very much like the people in the carvings (very short, squarish heads) and who believe themselves to be full-blooded non-mestizo Mayan. In fact, my parents' housekeeper is Quiche Mayan from Guatemala.

116 posted on 12/06/2006 3:06:43 PM PST by leilani (Dimmi, dimmi se mai fu fatta cosa alcuna!)
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To: Antoninus

Which leads to the ironic conclusion that Montezuma did as well though the knowledge was coming from the satanic side.
He was a priest in the Aztec religion as well.


117 posted on 12/06/2006 3:07:09 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Antoninus

Of course, I am. There were 300. They wouldn't have been allowed to survive had not the Aztecs refrained from attacking them in the beginning before they had time to organize the opposition.


118 posted on 12/06/2006 3:08:57 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: freedomdefender
Perhaps right before the ceremony. But in the time before that they were willing participants who believed they were serving their people by propitiating the gods.
119 posted on 12/06/2006 3:10:46 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: Aquinasfan; freedomdefender
I've yet to get a good answer. I'm not a teacher so this isn't a line I've tried in large groups -- it comes up in very occasional offhand discussions. In my limited experience, it leaves them speechless.

I've sometimes twisted the knife a bit by remarking that the Indians of Central America may have simply changed masters, but at least the Spaniards didn't eat them. I've yet to get an answer to that one either.

120 posted on 12/06/2006 3:43:46 PM PST by sphinx
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To: freedomdefender
...scholars who study the ancient Maya are concerned that Gibson's film will distort the great civilization and demean its descendents, ... Yes, the Maya sacrificed humans to the gods, but these rituals were part of a complex worldview ...

Oh C'mon, are these academics insane? Have they talked themselves into a corner that there are absolutely no absolutes? No wrong that can't be rationalized away? The Caananites (and even the Hebrews who had forgotten God) had a 'complex worldview' that required infant sacrifice - with babies being burned in the fire to Molech...

I always thought God put it best when he responded to this abmonination in Jeremiah 32:

34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.
35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Think of it, this abomination never came into the mind of the infinite God who created the Universe and World... What a depraved people we can become if we don't keep our eyes on God (and His Son) - no depth is too low for us (even stumping the Creator).

Yeah, I'm sure we should sympathize with this culture's complex worldview that required human sacrifice...How Judeo-Christian centric of us not to do otherwise...

Let's call a spade a spade -- this Mayan culture forgot God (I presume their ancestors knew Him in their not so distant past), and man's natural depravity led them to vile practices. I concede that other cultures/ethnicities - not rooted in God - had similarly noxious practices; but don't ask me to acknowledge their world-view as being anything more than depraved.

121 posted on 12/06/2006 4:03:24 PM PST by El Cid
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To: rmh47
It's interesting that the gods always need someone else's blood.

It's all fun and games, until someone's heart gets ripped out.

122 posted on 12/06/2006 4:07:50 PM PST by gogeo (Irony is not one of Islam's core competencies (thx Pharmboy))
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To: gogeo
It's all fun and games, until someone's heart gets ripped out.

Apparently these profs don't have much problem with the heart-ripped-out part, either.

123 posted on 12/06/2006 4:41:03 PM PST by freedomdefender
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Those chosen for this from within were honored and treated with great consideration and solicitude prior to the knife.

Yes, indeed, it was wonderful - prior to the knife. Kind of like asking Mrs. Lincoln, "other than that, how was the play?"

124 posted on 12/06/2006 4:43:38 PM PST by freedomdefender
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To: freedomdefender

For many years, professional indians have been trying to conceal the horror that was Aztec civlization, and the less than sterling quality of the late Mayans. This is part of the story that the Spaniards were the snakes in the indian paradise.


125 posted on 12/06/2006 4:44:39 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: RobbyS

bump


126 posted on 12/06/2006 6:04:28 PM PST by freedomdefender
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To: norton

Thank god they didn't put leashes on their necks and have pictures made with them -- that would 'ave been real bad! .... or make HUMAN pyramids with them!!!!


127 posted on 12/06/2006 6:22:32 PM PST by true_blue_texican (...against all enemies, foreign and domestic...)
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To: true_blue_texican
No plastic bags,
No skivvies,
It'll pass today's review.
128 posted on 12/06/2006 7:30:37 PM PST by norton
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To: Miss Marple

"Yep. Sad but true...Gibson is flat out nuts. Just wait until you see the preview to this movie, Guennie. You will be horrified, and it only hints at the graphic parts.
I won't be seeing any more of his movies."


But then 'Saving Private Ryan' was a masterpiece ????


Reality has its place sometimes.


129 posted on 12/07/2006 2:14:25 AM PST by wodinoneeye
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To: freedomdefender
SACRIFICE Professors say Gibson's Apocalypto is biased against Mayan bloodletting

Like, duh?...< / in best valley girl impersonation >

130 posted on 12/07/2006 2:42:24 AM PST by semaj
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To: wodinoneeye
LOL! I never saw "Saving Private Ryan."

As you can tell, I am not a big moviegoer.

As far as reality, I am not sure "Apocolypto" falls into that category.

As I said earlier, I am only giving my opinion on Gibson's work. I am not trying to dissuade anyone else from seeing this.

131 posted on 12/07/2006 3:10:03 AM PST by Miss Marple (Lord, thank you for Mozart Lover's son's safe return, and look after Jemian's son, please!)
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To: freedomdefender

You act as though I approve of these things merely because I try and explain how the Maya and Aztecs thought of them.
Why would you do that?


132 posted on 12/07/2006 7:35:32 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: El Cid
How does a professor attempting to explain this culture get turned into someone who is claimed is defending it or not recognizing its evil? The FACTS he states are not defenses. What he said about the Mayans is TRUE.

Does that Anthropologist who explains the Voodoo cult automatically become its justifier? Or the Classicist explain Iphigenia's death at the hands of her father defend human sacrifice or killing children?
133 posted on 12/07/2006 7:42:18 AM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
The FACTS he states are not defenses.

If we're talking about the professor who says the human sacrifice was part of a "complex world view," then, yes, he is offering a form of defense. A stupid defense, but a defense nevertheless. (Stupid, in part because there isn't anything very "complex" in the idea that you have to kill somebody in order to appease a god. That "idea" can be explained in one sentence. Stupid, too, because it isn't an argument that makes the ancient Maya look any less savage, in fact it underscores their savagery. Human sacrifice is the very definition of savagery.)

134 posted on 12/07/2006 10:03:30 AM PST by freedomdefender
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To: freedomdefender

Even savages have complex world views at times that fact does not justify anything. And a society as advanced as the Maya and Aztec is anything but savage. Their urban development was far ahead of anything in Europe at the time. Not to mention their astonomical knowledge.

Correctly describing Marxism as a complex economic theory does not make it right or moral or anything else.

If you actually study the theory behind the Nazi persecution of the Jews it is very complex far more than merely blaming the Jews for Germany's problems. And stating that it is complex is in NO way a defense of mass murder.

But I understand how desirable it is for some to make knee jerk attacks on the Leftwing scum who populate our universities. One can hardly find a more loathesome crew.


135 posted on 12/07/2006 12:17:36 PM PST by justshutupandtakeit (If you believe ANYTHING in the Treason Media you are a fool.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
I think we're just going to have to go our opposite ways in disagreement on this one. At least we're in agreement on one thing: 'One can hardly find a more loathsome crew than those tenured educators in our universities (with a few notable exceptions)'; but let me restate why I was appalled at the Professor's comments.
First, his quote:

Yes, the Maya sacrificed humans to the gods, but these rituals were part of a complex worldview: the Maya believed that their bodies, their blood, were created by the gods and that they occasionally needed to repay this debt with human life. "The gods need you," explains David Carrasco, professor of religious history at Harvard. "They depend on human life for their own existence, there's this kind of reciprocity." In sacrifice, he adds, the people are becoming like gods.

Now my deconstruction:
You get the classic "Yes, ... but" defense.
I hate that defense. I know someone is going to try and bamboozle me with soft words. We hear this when CAIR talks about islamic terrorists, and we hear this almost any time the ACLU opens its mouth. Its the subtle movement away from absolutes. 'Sure, Culture X skinned babies alive, but they were really quite advanced in many ways, and what seems to us to be cruel torture, in reality was based on a very complex philosophy ... blah ... blah, and blah blah...

Now the good professor doesn't actually go out and defend the acts of human sacrifice -- however he leads the reader along the path of acquiescence to the idea that these viewpoints are defensible. He plants the seed in the readers mind that this was a complex society (and ...'who am I to judge').
There is a pervasive movement in our culture to champion the idea that there are NO absolutes:
'Who are we to judge?'.
'You are looking at things from a narrow Christian viewpoint'...
We have to understand that evil will always attack the doctrines of light (the Bible) -- and deadening one's sensitivities to evil is one such approach.
I hold to my original statement: A culture that has forgotten God will fall into incomprehensible depths of wickedness. Evil is evil -- and no amount of 'buts' are going to change that fact.

136 posted on 12/07/2006 2:31:54 PM PST by El Cid (Seek ye the Lord, While He may be found...)
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To: pcottraux

"I'm sure the Mayans are deeply offended."

Only those who love sin and death. The rest have converted to Christianity...and don't look back.


137 posted on 12/08/2006 5:24:16 PM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: rmh47

"It's interesting that the gods always need someone else's blood."

It's even more interesting, in fact glorious, that Jesus offers His own Blood!


138 posted on 12/08/2006 5:31:01 PM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: browardchad
Cannibalism is alive and well in this Hemisphere.

That spirit, not of God, who influenced Mayan/Aztec human sacrifice is the same spirit hard at work to eat you today.

Some who have an interest in "know thy enemy" (like me) have a keen interest in this type of CULTure because my ancestors escaped it. Please don't fall asleep unless you want to change your name to "appetizer" or "main entre"...or "browardchad--with a white wine sauce" (Monty Python reference).

MS-13 and other such local hemisphere gangs try to resurrect the spirit of their criminal cult. They are as menacing to mankind as any other terror.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_Salvatrucha.jpg

American pop culture perpetuates violence similar to how our abortion on demand has be popularized globally.

Above is the rival Mara 18 gangmember (wounded after an encouter with MS13 fight resulting in murders). Hard to tell the difference, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Street_gang

Mara18
139 posted on 12/08/2006 6:34:07 PM PST by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: Miss Marple

Sick fascination with violence? Sounds like 60% of the directors in Hollywood.


140 posted on 12/08/2006 6:44:01 PM PST by Hildy ("Death plucks my ear and says - LIVE - I am coming.....")
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To: Miss Marple
I agree about the Patriot - the film would have been better if that one scene with his son had been deleted.

"Apocalypto" however showed much of what I learned about the Mayas in my anthropology class. I closed my eyes during some scenes. Overall, it was an engrossing and exciting film and kept me literally on the edge of the seat.

Very well done, but yes a lot of violence, but not a racist film.

141 posted on 12/08/2006 6:59:36 PM PST by Dante3
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To: Hildy

Exactly.


142 posted on 12/08/2006 7:01:03 PM PST by Dante3
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To: Miss Marple
Violence was evident in the Passion. However, given the definition of gratuitous (being without apparent reason, cause, or justification), I don't think it was gratuitous at all. It brought about none of the baser emotion. There was no adrenaline flowing - only a profound understanding of the sacrifice Christ made for us.
143 posted on 12/08/2006 7:23:00 PM PST by CharacterCounts (-)
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To: airedale
The original Aztecs were landless mercenaries brought in to help when a war. After the victory the Aztecs took the daughter of the the king that had employed then and skinned her alive. They then danced in her skin in front of her father. ........... This isn't a real popular topic in most of the classes pushing Hispanic studies.

It's funny how, in the U.S., the name of the ancient Roman province of Hispania has become a euphemism for "Aztec" or "Meso-American Indian" while, in Mexico itself, "Hispano" means those evil Spanish Conquistadors who put an end to the Aztec Empire.


144 posted on 12/09/2006 8:01:25 AM PST by Polybius
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To: freedomdefender
I went to see it with a world class anthropologist and he thought that while it compressed history by about 700 years...it is a movie after all---it portrayed the people and times very accurately and realistically.

He actually dug in those pyramids down there..so he should know.

I was enthralled by it. Action, adventure, human drama, social and cultural narrative---splendid film!
145 posted on 12/09/2006 4:28:21 PM PST by eleni121 ( + En Touto Nika! By this sign conquer! + Constantine the Great))
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