Skip to comments.SACRIFICE [Professors say Gibson's Apocalypto is biased against Mayan bloodletting]
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 ...
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.
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.
Sure, that makes sense, seeing that it's coming from Newsweak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cultural relativism gone mad.
Well, if South Park say it, it must be true!!!
Did our Lady of Guadalupe come to stop the Mayan sacrifices or was it a different time?
It was a classic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, indeed, it was wonderful - prior to the knife. Kind of like asking Mrs. Lincoln, "other than that, how was the play?"
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.
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!!!!
"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.
Like, duh?...< / in best valley girl impersonation >
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
"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.
"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!
Sick fascination with violence? Sounds like 60% of the directors in Hollywood.
"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.
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.
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