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Brutal Passion - Jesus on the big screen.
National Review Online ^ | 02/25/04 | Steve Beard

Posted on 02/25/2004 10:58:29 AM PST by Fury

A few weeks ago, my wife took our seven-year-old son John Paul to the movie theater. When he saw a marquee announcing the movie The Gospel of John, he noticed that it was rated PG-13. "That can't be," he said with incredulity. "The Bible is not PG-13." Michelle had to explain to him that the Bible was not only G, but that it was PG-13, as well as R. I would add that there are a few spots that are even NC-17.

The Good Book is filled with betrayal, greed, lust, murder, sex, and excruciating violence. As parents, we edit, censor, and sanitize to wisely respect age-appropriateness. Nevertheless, this interaction was a great opportunity to remember that our faith was born out of blood, sweat and tears — far more gritty than a Thomas Kinkade painting or a Precious Moments nativity scene. In our contemporary culture, however, our crosses are studded with diamonds instead of splinters.

Perhaps that is why my son may not be the only one who is surprised by the PG-13 rating. The Gospel of John is a $20 million movie that was produced by the American Bible Society as a verse-by-verse dramatic portrayal of the New Testament book. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and even garnered positive reviews from unlikely media outlets. "Though I approached The Gospel of John with some trepidation, I've now seen the film twice and consider it to be an extraordinary achievement," wrote Scott Foundas in the avant-garde LA Weekly. "Extraordinary for the way it casts its oft-told events in such a fresh light that they do not seem so familiar at all."

The film has successfully been able to avoid controversy, let alone being labeled as anti-Semitic, for two very good reasons. First of all, the executive producer, producer, and director are all Jewish. The second, and perhaps more important reason, is that the movie is never going to produce the kind of cultural fireworks that will have tongues wagging with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ — perhaps the most-debated (before being seen) film in the history of cinema.

It is impossible to be unaware of the media attention devoted to The Passion. Is the film anti-Semitic? Will it incite violence against Jews? Did Pope John Paul II say, "It is as it was"? Who speaks Aramaic anymore? Why in heaven's name would Gibson pour $25 million of his own money to focus in on the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ? Why does it have to be so gruesomely violent?

Gibson and his movie have been under a flurry of ferocious attacks from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker. These broadsides have been fueled by the Anti-Defamation League and a handful of liberal Catholic and Protestant theologians.

"When violence breaks out," Paula Fredriksen breathlessly declared in a hyperventilated article for The New Republic, "Mel Gibson will have a much higher authority than professors and bishops to answer to." In the article "Mad Mel," Fredriksen, a professor at Boston University, went on to dismiss the movie she had not seen as an "anti-historical, anti-intellectual, anti-Semitic film about the crucifixion." This judgment was based on the fact that she simply does not believe that the New Testament is reliable. End of story.

In their coverage of The Passion, the predictably contrarian website Salon.com turned to the Rev. Mark Stanger, one of the pastors at the trendy Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco. "100 percent Hollywood trash," is how he described it. What was his advice to moviegoers? "I'd say don't bother. I think it's a big bore. I think a 5-year-old who has to get cancer surgery and radiation and chemotherapy suffers more than Jesus suffered; I think that a kid in the Gaza Strip who steps on a land mine and loses two limbs suffers more; I think a battered wife with no resources suffers more; I think people without medical care dying of AIDS in Africa suffer more than Jesus did that day. I mean, I don't want to take away from that, but this preoccupation with the intensity of the suffering, I think, has no theological or spiritual value."

Good grief, say whatever you want about The Passion, but calling it a bore is nothing more than fever-swamp ruminations.

STONE SILENCE

I saw the movie in the boardroom of Gibson's Icon Productions last November with a handful of rock musicians and artists. For a group who makes their living with microphones and electric guitars, they were stone silent at the end of the film. We all were. This is definitely not a date movie; it is a think flick. You need a cup of herbal tea and a handful of those aromatherapy candles to chill out and process afterward.

Church folks should be warned, this is not your typical family-friendly "Christian" movie such as Chariots of Fire or The Ten Commandments. The Passion is the most brutal movie you will probably ever see. People will be sobbing in the theaters or running out to get sick in the lobby.

This is the Sunday-school flannel-board lesson for a generation that grew up on violent video games, skipped church, and stood in line to watch Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Volume 1 — a gratuitously bloody movie with no redemptive purpose. The Passion has an unmistakable gothic and art house feel, with touches of the ghoulish and grotesque. There is one unforgettable scene of Mary, the mother of Jesus, kissing her son's bloody feet as he dangles from the cross. She then turns around and looks into the camera with his blood on her lips.

Is there too much gore and violence in The Passion? Probably. It made me turn my head. I just kept whispering, "Dear Jesus," to myself throughout many of the scenes. It is the most sadistic and simultaneously holy thing I have seen.

This is not the kind of movie that you merely watch, it is one you experience. Think back to when you first saw the movie Roots on TV — seeing a white man whip a black man's back. It wreaks havoc on your gut. All of the high-school history lessons about the Civil War changed in a dimension of your comprehension — moving from your head to your heart.

It is painful to watch as Jesus stumbles through the Via Dolorosa — the path of pain — on his way to Golgotha, as his beloved mother watches helplessly from the sidelines, flashing back in her memory to a time when she could still cradle her son in her arms. As Jesus is nailed to the cross, you know you will never view communion the same way again. The same could be said for the way you conceive of Mary (Maia Morgenstern) or Satan (Rosalinda Celentano — say goodbye to the red cape and pitchfork caricature).

JEWS, JESUS & MEL

As our group talked with Gibson after watching the movie, it was very clear that he was most vexed about the charges of anti-Semitism leveled against the movie. He spoke of venting his frustrations on his spiritual counselor, who simply would remind him that Jesus turned the other cheek. "I am good 8 out of 10 days," he joked, referring to the cheek turning.

As to the movie, you could not help but watch it through the prism of the accusations. You looked at every character to see if he were unfairly called upon to portray an anti-Semitic stereotype or if a disproportionate amount of blame was laid upon one person or group. Ironically, Maia Morgenstern, who plays Mary, is the Jewish daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Furthermore, the only appearance that Gibson makes in the movie is when his hands are seen driving the nails into Jesus on the cross — simultaneously driving home the point of his own culpability in the death of Christ.

"There is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish about Mel Gibson's film," said Augustine Di Noia, a theologian at the Vatican. "What happens in the film is that each of the main characters contributes in some way to Jesus' fate: Judas betrays him; the Sanhedrin accuses him; the disciples abandon him; the crowd mocks him; the Roman soldiers scourge, brutalize, and finally crucify him; and the devil, somehow, is behind the whole action."

From my perspective, the film makes it clear that there were righteous and unrighteous Jewish and Roman leaders who played a part in the drama unfolded around the crucifixion of Jesus. It is fair to say that anyone leaving the movie theater with anti-Semitic fervor would have to be deranged and morally warped — or they didn't watch it.

According to Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus, Gibson would say, "Maia, tell me about your [Jewish] traditions. Is this O.K. to do?" Part of the frustration surrounding the accusations against the movie is that it was meant to be "very Semitic," according to Caviezel. "Instead of having an Aryan, blue-eyed Jesus, [Gibson] wanted to have a very Semitic Jesus," Caviezel told Newsweek. "Our faith is grounded in our Jewish tradition. We believe we're from the House of David. We believe we're from the House of Abraham, so we cannot hate our own. That crowd standing before Pontius Pilate screaming for the head of Christ in no way convicts an entire race for the death of Jesus Christ any more than the actions of Mussolini condemn all Italians, or the heinous actions of Stalin condemn all Russians. We're all culpable in the death of Christ. My sins put him up there. Yours did. That's what this story is about."

Christian leaders might find it wise to defend The Passion as well as use this controversy in order to speak out clearly against the heinous and lingering sin of anti-Semitism. "Of course, even the most responsible, well-intentioned movie treatment of the last hours of Jesus will provoke concern in the Jewish community, because so many millions of Jews have suffered and died over the centuries due to Gospel-based charges that they are 'Christ killers,'" writes Michael Medved, the popular movie reviewer and Orthodox Jew, in USA Today. "But the fact that persecutors and bigots have distorted teachings of the New Testament for their own cruel purposes doesn't mean that those Gospel texts, sacred to all Christians, must be scrapped, revised or ignored in a serious work of cinema."

The accusation of anti-Semitism has been an unjust albatross around Gibson's neck. "To be certain, neither I nor my film are anti-Semitic," he said in a statement published in Variety. "Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs; it is also contrary to the core message of my movie...[which is] meant to inspire, not offend. My intention in bringing it to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds. "If the intense scrutiny during my 25 years in public life revealed I had ever persecuted or discriminated against anyone based on race or creed, I would be all too willing to make amends. But there is no such record."

"I have always believed in God," Gibson told us. "From age 15 to 35, I was a hell raiser. In many ways, I still am," he said jokingly. He then went on to tell us that he had "come to a difficult point in my life and meditating on Christ's sufferings, on his passion, got me through it." Christ's passion became his obsession — and ultimately a healing balm.

"I'm not a preacher and I'm not a pastor. But I really feel my career was leading me to make this," Gibson has said. "The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."

That should not be a problem. I have been a Christian for 20 years and after seeing The Passion I wanted to sign up all over again.

Steve Beard is the creator of Thunderstruck.Org and a contributing author to Spiritual Journeys: How Faith Has Influenced Twelve Music Icons.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: christ; moviereview; passion; religion
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n.b. -

"In their coverage of The Passion, the predictably contrarian website Salon.com turned to the Rev. Mark Stanger, one of the pastors at the trendy Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco. "100 percent Hollywood trash," is how he described it. What was his advice to moviegoers? "I'd say don't bother. I think it's a big bore. I think a 5-year-old who has to get cancer surgery and radiation and chemotherapy suffers more than Jesus suffered; I think that a kid in the Gaza Strip who steps on a land mine and loses two limbs suffers more; I think a battered wife with no resources suffers more; I think people without medical care dying of AIDS in Africa suffer more than Jesus did that day. I mean, I don't want to take away from that, but this preoccupation with the intensity of the suffering, I think, has no theological or spiritual value."

God help Rev. Stranger. I fear for the flock that this man tends to. Absoluteley breathtaking his comments.

1 posted on 02/25/2004 10:58:31 AM PST by Fury
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To: Fury
Stranger = Stanger

Mea culpa

2 posted on 02/25/2004 11:03:58 AM PST by Fury
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To: Fury
"Stranger = Stanger"

No, I think you got it right the first time.
What an idiot he is hiding behind his collar speaking such drivel.
3 posted on 02/25/2004 11:11:28 AM PST by Adder
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To: Fury
This is one of the better Passion articles that I have read. Thanks for posting.
4 posted on 02/25/2004 11:14:57 AM PST by DameAutour (It's not Bush, it's the Congress.)
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To: Fury
It is fair to say that anyone leaving the movie theater with anti-Semitic fervor would have to be deranged and morally warped — or they didn't watch it.

I just got back from the movie and feel this way exactly. The last thing I was thinking even know (an hour later) is about the Jews or Romans but of Jesus Christs sacrafice for all of us. Wont be taking my kids ages 8 and 11. Most adults should be able to handle the gore of the sacrifice but its difficult. Gibson does break up the Gore with poignant scenes. Just incredible.....this is the picture of the year and I have no idea how the academy is going to deny Mel and James Carviezal their awards. Just awesome acting and directing. What a story, retold in a time when most needed. THANKS MEL : )

5 posted on 02/25/2004 11:16:14 AM PST by alisasny (John Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)
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To: Fury
Bump
6 posted on 02/25/2004 11:16:24 AM PST by miltonim
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To: Fury
Thanks, Fury. That is one of the better-written articles I've seen. As more and more people become aware of the film's true message of love and redemption, I hope we see more like this one. My gut tells me, though, that we will see fewer, unfortunately. Thanks again!
7 posted on 02/25/2004 11:23:35 AM PST by the lone haranguer
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To: Fury
God help Rev. Stranger.

God help us all.

Had Jerusalem been peopled by the likes of the good reverend, NCS types and NYT movie reviewers the crowd calling for the Crucifixion of Jesus would have been half again as large.

8 posted on 02/25/2004 11:24:55 AM PST by Mike Darancette (Bush Bot by choice)
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To: alisasny
Going in ian hour to see it myself.

I think my wife summed up my feelings at the moment when she said, "I don't want to see this, but I will."

9 posted on 02/25/2004 11:25:17 AM PST by Damocles (sword of...)
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To: Damocles
Honestly, I dont know how anyone can miss this movie.
10 posted on 02/25/2004 11:28:21 AM PST by alisasny (John Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)
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To: alisasny
Honestly, I dont know how anyone can miss this movie.

You haven't met the office liberal where I work. When asked if he would see the movie, he said he would "when Mel makes a movie on the Inquisition"

11 posted on 02/25/2004 11:31:45 AM PST by Fury
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To: Adder
A few years ago, I was speaking with a Nun about the homosexual, pedaphile problem in the Catholic church, and she told me that the real problem with the Catholic church is that the priests have fogotten how to pray and have become golf playing business men and fund raisers for the church.
12 posted on 02/25/2004 11:34:02 AM PST by Eva
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To: Fury
I agree:

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Romans 1:17

Sounds like the flock needs to look for a new shepherd...

13 posted on 02/25/2004 11:35:19 AM PST by trebb (Ain't God good . . .)
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To: Fury
Arent you glad your office liberal is in the minority : ))

Im telling ya....im feeling very positive right now going into the Easter Season....Im feeling very positive about a lot of things. The country is changing, the liberal mantra is getting smaller and smaller. This movie is going to do a lot of good as well.

14 posted on 02/25/2004 11:39:32 AM PST by alisasny (John Kerry is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.)
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To: Fury
"It is fair to say that anyone leaving the movie theater with anti-Semitic fervor would have to be deranged and morally warped — or they didn't watch it. "

The question people should be asking is "Why are people making accusations of anti-Semitism when they know there is no anti-Semitsm?"

For some, they make the charge because they are simply ignorant.

For some, they repeat the charge simply because they have heard someone in their desired social group make the charge.

For most of the others, they make the charge due to their hatred of Christianity. Instead of labeling all of the haters as liberals, Christians should take a closer look at who actually is making the charges and understand where the hatred arises.

15 posted on 02/25/2004 12:00:45 PM PST by FreedomSurge
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To: Fury
"I'd say don't bother. I think it's a big bore. I think a 5-year-old who has to get cancer surgery and radiation and chemotherapy suffers more than Jesus suffered; I think that a kid in the Gaza Strip who steps on a land mine and loses two limbs suffers more; I think a battered wife with no resources suffers more; I think people without medical care dying of AIDS in Africa suffer more than Jesus did that day. I mean, I don't want to take away from that, but this preoccupation with the intensity of the suffering, I think, has no theological or spiritual value."


God help Rev. Stranger. I fear for the flock that this man tends to. Absoluteley breathtaking his comments.


My jaw literally dropped when I read this "man of God's" comments. If this "reverend's" "church" was truly serving the Lord Jesus Christ, the members would meet en masse and kick this guy out as their pastor TODAY! Instead, they'll probably call him up and fawn all over him for his "enlightened and cogent" comments. God help the body of Christ with wolves like these tending the flock! But, what else can one expect when a church begins to preach the social gospel, instead of preaching Jesus and Him crucified.
16 posted on 02/25/2004 12:07:30 PM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: diotima; HangFire; Mercuria; feinswinesuksass; Bob J; agitator; RightOnline; Howlin
You must not miss out on this quote:
In their coverage of The Passion, the predictably contrarian website Salon.com turned to the Rev. Mark Stanger, one of the pastors at the trendy Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco. "100 percent Hollywood trash," is how he described it. What was his advice to moviegoers? "I'd say don't bother. I think it's a big bore. I think a 5-year-old who has to get cancer surgery and radiation and chemotherapy suffers more than Jesus suffered; I think that a kid in the Gaza Strip who steps on a land mine and loses two limbs suffers more; I think a battered wife with no resources suffers more; I think people without medical care dying of AIDS in Africa suffer more than Jesus did that day. I mean, I don't want to take away from that, but this preoccupation with the intensity of the suffering, I think, has no theological or spiritual value."

17 posted on 02/25/2004 12:22:58 PM PST by AnnaZ ("And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." ~Romans 8:28a~)
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To: alisasny
I just saw The Passion and honestly don't have a clue what Abe Foxman and the leftist critics of this film are talking about. The most righteous people in the film were Jews - Joseph of Arimathea, Mary and the "civilian" who takes up the cross when Christ cannot. Only one Roman looks decent -Claudia, Pilate's wife and the Roman soldiers come across as the most sadistic people in the film. How anyone could leave the film blaming "the Jews" and not the failings of all humanity for the cruxifiction if beyond me. And the violence and brutality was simply the way it was described in The Bible. As the Pope purportedly said, IT IS AS IT WAS.
18 posted on 02/25/2004 12:23:31 PM PST by laconic
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To: Fury
Did some googling

http://www.carm.org/misc/crucifixion.htm

http://www.holytrinity.ok.goarch.org/Interesting%20Stuff/Special%20Communication%20Plus%20Picture.html

http://www.frugalsites.net/jesus/scourging.htm

http://www.intermirifica.org/lent/passion4.htm

Scourging of Jesus

At the Praetorium, Jesus was severely whipped. (Although the severity of the scourging is not discussed in the four gospel accounts, it is implied in one of the epistles (1 Peter 2:24). A detailed word study of the ancient Greek text for this verse indicates that the scourging of Jesus was particularly harsh. (33) ) It is not known whether the number of lashes was limited to 39, in accordance with Jewish law. (5) The Roman soldiers, amused that this weakened man had claimed to be a king, began to mock him by placing a robe on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on his head, and a wooden staff as a scepter in his right hand.

(1) Next, they spat on Jesus and struck him on the head with the wooden staff. (1) Moreover, when the soldiers tore the robe from Jesus' back, they probably reopened the scourging wounds. (7)

The severe scourging, with its intense pain and appreciable blood loss, most probably left Jesus in a preshock state. Moreover, hematidrosis had rendered his skin particularly tender. The physical and mental abuse meted out by the Jews and the Romans, as well as the lack of food, water, and sleep, also contributed to his generally weakened state. Therefore, even before the actual crucifixion, Jesus' physical condition was at least serious and possibly critical.

19 posted on 02/25/2004 12:24:32 PM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: EagleMamaMT
His review, Reflections: The Passion of Christ , from the Church's website.

The Passion of Christ

by The Rev. Cn. Mark Stanger

Last week, I attended a special pre-screening of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, set for commercial release on February 25th.

Charges of anti-Jewish content, gratuitous gore (giving it an R rating), and general fuzziness of concept have not been good omens for Mr. Gibson's self-financed, idiosyncratic portrayal of the final hours of Jesus of Nazareth.

I would not recommend the film to a devout Christian, skeptical Jew, or avid Hollywood buff. My fairly traditional Catholic 76-year-old mother, who accompanied me, found it "plodding" and the protracted violence of the torturing of the captured Jesus turned her stomach; she lasted till the end in order to see Gibson onstage, interviewed by the local pastor. (Telling about it at bridge later that week would be quite a trump card, worth any temporary discomfort.)

As a life-long Christian and lover of Jesus and the implications of his life and death for humanity, I found the film dull, trashy, and historically and biblically unsound. It's potentially as harmful to Christians as it may be for Jews.

The determined effort to give a patina of historical authenticity (which could be challenged on many essential points) is expressed most obviously by the use of Aramaic and Latin. Mr. Gibson, in the interview, said it was to add an air of "mysterious reality". Maybe so, but putting another language into a film doesn't necessarily add to its historical accuracy or truthful storytelling.

More disturbing was his second reason for the language barrier. He compared it to a film depicting ferocious Vikings descending with all their barbarous intent and weaponry on a peaceful village. "To have them step off the ship, ready to attack, but speaking English, would diminish the sense of such a frightening confrontation. The same goes for those who put Jesus to death." Apart from the logical inconsistency (the speech of Jesus and his followers was also subtitled, after all), the idea that more brutal terror would be evoked by non-English speakers strikes me as chillingly xenophobic.

The film's anti-Jewish bias magnifies what the Christian scriptures do indeed contain: a growing discomfort between this wild new group of Jews for Jesus and faithful mainline Jewish groups of that time and place. But having the temple high priest Caiaphas as the prominent cheerleader demanding crucifixion unduly villainizes him and the faith tradition he represents. The focus on Pilate's hand-washing (only in Matthew's account) reinforces the perception that the "blame" is laid squarely on the Jews. This is, of course, preposterous and offensive to Jew and Christian alike: Christian theology -- and even a bit of this fragmented film -- affirms that the death of Jesus was freely accepted and necessary. Complicity in his death is shared by the Roman occupying power (the charge and the sentence were theirs), religious traditionalists (who happened to be Jewish), an out of control mob, and, most significantly, by the weak and spineless disciples of Jesus.

Mr. Gibson's larger bias, regrettably shared by thousands, is that the Gospels have been diluted of their power by "revisionists" -- his disdainful word for the past two generations of faith-filled, critical scholars of the texts, including the startlingly enlightened and coherent official principles for biblical interpretation promulgated by the assembled bishops of the Roman Catholic Second Vatican council of the 1960's. Gibson further dismissed the idea that the gospel writers had "agendas", a concept that puts him firmly outside official Catholic teaching and all of mainstream Christian biblical interpretation. That wholesome tradition recognizes the very definite theological, pastoral, and spiritual agendas of the written gospels, not as eyewitness accounts, but as theological works (faith-filled screenplays, if you will) to answer questions and express divine truths in a particular time and place. The late Fr. Raymond Brown, in his masterful two-volume The Death of the Messiah or his profound little booklet A Crucified Christ in Holy Week, far outshines this $30 million piece of bizarre and lurid propaganda.

The violence-induced "R" rating is compared by the film's promoters to the same rating given to "such fine films as Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan." The biblical accounts are supremely less wanton and morbid. The Gospel writers straightforwardly and soberly state that after arriving at Golgotha, "There they crucified him." Only Hollywood, or an overactive and distorted religious imagination, would add such details, literally ad nauseam.

When the pastor-interviewer tried to commit him to doing more biblical films, Gibson squirmed and wisely said, "there are a lot of good stories out there." Indeed, the greatest literature and films often illuminate the mysteries of human suffering, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, brutality and betrayal, renewal and resurrection. For "religious" inspiration, it's often best to skip Hollywood altogether and find a generous group of praying believers. Or go for Hollywood's best and noblest offerings. The Passion of the Christ is not among them.

-- The Rev. Cn. Mark Stanger

20 posted on 02/25/2004 12:25:24 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: AnnaZ
Can't make this stuff up.........
21 posted on 02/25/2004 12:32:58 PM PST by diotima
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To: Fury
INTREP - THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
22 posted on 02/25/2004 12:49:20 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: alisasny
I have no idea how the academy is going to deny Mel and James Carviezal their awards.
My guess is that they'll give it Best Foreign Language Film.
23 posted on 02/25/2004 1:04:13 PM PST by eastsider
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To: eddie willers
"The biblical accounts are supremely less wanton and morbid. The Gospel writers straightforwardly and soberly state that after arriving at Golgotha, "There they crucified him." Only Hollywood, or an overactive and distorted religious imagination, would add such details, literally ad nauseam. "

You know, this is a good point. The gospel writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, do not describe every gory detail of the crucifixion. If such was necessary I am sure they would have done so. Only a handful of Christians saw the actual crucifixion. And Christianity has flourished for 2000 years....no movies necessary. Nobody should feel that they have to like this movie, and don't let anyone bully you into going to see it if you don't want to. It's only a movie. Popcorn...Diet Coke....Milk Duds.

24 posted on 02/25/2004 1:09:04 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
It's only a movie. Popcorn...Diet Coke....Milk Duds.

I saw a lot of uneaten popcorn, candy, and nachos, and full coke cups when leaving "We Were Soldiers" and "Black Hawk Down" ...

Just a movie ...

25 posted on 02/25/2004 1:14:39 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Chief Engineer, Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemens' Club)
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To: Fury
I saw the film last evening. It was a great and vivid portrayal of what Christ willingly went through for us. It is not anti-Semitic!

Critics that take a political view miss the whole point of the film. It wasn't meant to be a stereotype movie, but a graphic display of sacrifice. I encourage everyone to see the film before passing judgement. Would I have done some things differently? Maybe, but not much! Mel Gibson did a great job.
26 posted on 02/25/2004 1:34:17 PM PST by Keen-Minded
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To: Fury
That crowd standing before Pontius Pilate screaming for the head of Christ in no way convicts an entire race for the death of Jesus Christ any more than the actions of Mussolini condemn all Italians,

Italian Fascists received 7% of vote in the last election in 1921. The Acerbo Law (July 1923) allowed Mussolini to consolidate power 2/3 of the seats in parliament. In any case we are looking at millions of Italians who chose Mussolini at one time or another. For example,

    Reasons for the rise of the Fascists (1920-22)
  1. Disgust in Italy at the terms of the peace treaties (didn’t obtain A.H. territory)
  2. The Fascists represented a means to stop the socialists and the communists (in the eyes of conservative politicians, who sought to moderate and control Fascism to their purposes)
  3. Mussolini was backed by wealthy industrialists and landowners (b/c of their fear of socialist reforms) Support from Pope Pius XI and the Vatican (who saw the
  4. Fascists as an opportunity to normalize State-Church relationships)
  5. Lack of faith in Italy’s institutions (failures of WWI, post-war violence, high U…)
  6. After the March on Rome (October 22) the King offered the post of Prime Minister to Mussolini
  7. The violence of the Fascists (i.e.: blackshirts) intimidated opponents
  8. The complicity of the police and the army (who didn’t suppress Fascist violence)

That level of complicity is hardly commensurate with some hundreds of Jews (or what a thousand or so) appointed by Rome and involved in the trial and execution of Yeshua of Nazareth. They were occupied by the brutal Romans.

I do agree that the race cannot be blamed for the sins and crimes of one generation. Those who were too young or not even born in Italy could in no way be held responsible for the deaths.

27 posted on 02/25/2004 1:46:46 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
You know, this is a good point. The gospel writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, do not describe every gory detail of the crucifixion. If such was necessary I am sure they would have done so. Only a handful of Christians saw the actual crucifixion. And Christianity has flourished for 2000 years....no movies necessary.

What, do I hear a voice of reason ?

28 posted on 02/25/2004 1:48:41 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: AnnaZ
I think that the Rev. Stanger is going straight to hell.
29 posted on 02/25/2004 1:56:41 PM PST by Feiny (Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.)
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To: AnnaZ
Also, why does it seem like only democrats think the movie will cause anti-semitism? Could it be that most of them already hate jewish people?
30 posted on 02/25/2004 2:00:47 PM PST by Feiny (Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.)
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To: feinswinesuksass
I love you!
 
(The Left hate all religions except when they can use their adherents to fight that which they loathe the most -- the Christian religion.)

31 posted on 02/25/2004 2:06:07 PM PST by AnnaZ ("And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." ~Romans 8:28a~)
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To: Fury
"In their coverage of The Passion, the predictably contrarian website Salon.com turned to the Rev. Mark Stanger, one of the pastors at the trendy Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco.

It figures that he'd be from Grace Cathedral. Anybody who's read the Tales of the City books will know what I mean!

32 posted on 02/25/2004 7:10:47 PM PST by NYCVirago
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To: ArrogantBustard
"I saw a lot of uneaten popcorn, candy, and nachos, and full coke cups when leaving "We Were Soldiers" and "Black Hawk Down" ... "

No you did not. Fibber! ;O>

33 posted on 02/25/2004 7:12:21 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: af_vet_1981
"What, do I hear a voice of reason ?"

Almost drowned out in the stampede but I try.

34 posted on 02/25/2004 7:18:08 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Almost drowned out in the stampede but I try.

The vitriol over this movie is really taking off. I want your opinion. Do you think they all think they are Christians ?

35 posted on 02/25/2004 7:27:30 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
"To put down this movie because it is based on fact and scripture just because you are afraid of blood or violence is pitiful."

I am not putting down the movie!!! I am just saying Christianity got along just fine without it and people are being very carried away over a movie. A lot of it is politics and the culture war. But I also understand enough about life in America to know that it will blow over in a few weeks and some other big new controversy will take its place. Two weeks ago it was Janice Jackson, now it is a movie. In a few more weeks there will some other sensational event and everybody will forget about the movie. Don't forget how the media jerks our chains, they drive the controversy and then report on it.

Futhermore I do not know how good a thing it is to be caught up in a wave of religous emotion generated by a very sensational movie. The bible is not that sensational and maybe that's for a reason. Emotions are fleeting. It's what you make up your MIND to do or believe that endures. This not to say that a revival caused by this movie is not a good thing. But I would not put all my eggs in that basket. Scripture as written in it's entirety is far more important and effective and always will be.

36 posted on 02/26/2004 7:57:22 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
"To put down this movie because it is based on fact and scripture just because you are afraid of blood or violence is pitiful." I am not putting down the movie!!! I am just saying Christianity got along just fine without it and people are being very carried away over a movie. A lot of it is politics and the culture war. But I also understand enough about life in America to know that it will blow over in a few weeks and some other big new controversy will take its place. Two weeks ago it was Janice Jackson, now it is a movie. In a few more weeks there will some other sensational event and everybody will forget about the movie. Don't forget how the media jerks our chains, they drive the controversy and then report on it. Futhermore I do not know how good a thing it is to be caught up in a wave of religous emotion generated by a very sensational movie. The bible is not that sensational and maybe that's for a reason. Emotions are fleeting. It's what you make up your MIND to do or believe that endures. This not to say that a revival caused by this movie is not a good thing. But I would not put all my eggs in that basket. Scripture as written in it's entirety is far more important and effective and always will be.

Hokay, you probably meant this missive for someone else ...

37 posted on 02/26/2004 8:11:57 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Or you were showing me what someone else wrote you on another thread and how you responded ?

Hopefully cooler heads and warmer hearts will prevail.

Thank you and carry on.

38 posted on 02/26/2004 8:13:45 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
Yeah I did mean the message for someone else. Sorry.
39 posted on 02/27/2004 6:48:10 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: af_vet_1981
"Do you think they all think they are Christians ?"

Are you a real veteran?
40 posted on 02/27/2004 7:01:11 PM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr
Are you a real veteran?

I'm genuine with my letters, commendations, and awards to show for it. It was my privilege to serve and if you are feeling lucky you can go to any AFB and show your disrespect in person. We served so you could have that right. G-d willing, there will always be a volunteer to take your abuse.

I heard there was a secret chord
that David played and it pleased the Lord,
But you don't really care for music do you.

41 posted on 02/29/2004 6:06:15 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
Funny how you like to twist words around AF.

It was fine for you to tell Christians they aren't Christians...but you don't appreciate it when somebody twists words around on you.

tisk tisk...and btw, I've expressed my appreciation and prayers to the boys at Pope AFB many times over for delivering me safely.

PS: if you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen with your twisted words.
42 posted on 03/01/2004 7:39:44 AM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr
Funny how you like to twist words around AF. It was fine for you to tell Christians they aren't Christians...but you don't appreciate it when somebody twists words around on you.

tisk tisk...and btw, I've expressed my appreciation and prayers to the boys at Pope AFB many times over for delivering me safely. PS: if you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen with your twisted words.

I did not address you personally on this thread until you questioned the veracity of my service in the United States Air Force. You have stated you "twist words." I suggest you meditate on your own behaviour as you read or watch movies so that you do not do so again.

43 posted on 03/01/2004 7:29:24 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
You made it personal when you attacked Christians...our military service is small in comparison...I suggest you refer to the PS of my last post.
44 posted on 03/02/2004 12:40:11 AM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
#1) If you believe that Christianity has been "getting along just fine", I think you need to take a look around you. With only a couple of nations as exceptions, Europe has gone almost completely secular. There is a massive battle between Christianity and the secular forces, and the secular forces have been winning 9 times out of 10. I'm agnostic, but from my perspective the Christians have been getting slapped around so badly for the last half a century that I'm -delighted- to see them win a round. Why would you have a problem with that?

#2) "You know, this is a good point." It was a terrible point in that it was based on a completely invalid premise. The Gospel accounts, while by no means overtly detailed in violence, were -hardly- as barren as "There they crucified him" and that was all of it.

#3) "The gospel writers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, do not describe every gory detail of the crucifixion. If such was necessary I am sure they would have done so." It wouldn't have been necessary at the time they were written for people who knew full well what a scourging and a crucifixion entailed. It -is- necessary for the Barney culture.

#4) "And Christianity has flourished for 2000 years....no movies necessary." It flourished for 1800 years or so, I'd say. It's been in a steady decline since, in competition with the humanist, secularist atheist poison of anti-Christian bigotry that was first born in the French Revolution.

#5) "Nobody should feel that they have to like this movie, and don't let anyone bully you into going to see it if you don't want to." I have no argument with this statement, and I wanted to make sure that was understood.

#6) "It's only a movie. Popcorn...Diet Coke....Milk Duds." To you. To others, it's more, and they're just as entitled to feel that way as you are to not like it. Don't demean their enjoyment of the film just because you feel left out.

Qwinn
45 posted on 03/02/2004 12:58:09 AM PST by Qwinn
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To: Qwinn
"It wouldn't have been necessary at the time they were written for people who knew full well what a scourging and a crucifixion entailed."

A few days ago I saw a similar comment, and thought of how they probably reported on how JFK was killed -- "shot in the head". Most folks probably had no idea what that might be like from their exposure to 1950's westerns. The Zapruder film of it made it that more real, and that much more tragic.

It sounds like in Roman days folks had numerous opportunities to see what a crucifiction was like - in real life - not through a magazine photo or TV image.


46 posted on 03/02/2004 1:21:18 AM PST by geopyg (Democracy, whiskey, sexy)
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To: Qwinn
I don't have time to answer your post point by point let me just say that many people, who must surely have read the bible accounts of the passion, have said they "never realized" what the passion of Christ was like until they saw this movie. That begs the question as to whether or not the biblical accounts alone are able to provoke sufficient realization of Christ's sacrifice in people of this or any age. It would not make much sense if they were not sufficient. It would mean that millions of Christians who read the book but never will see this movie or those lived after the horror of crucifixion faded from human memory are at a serious spiritual disadvantage. I think that is preposterous. You also seem to suggest that prior to this movie Christiany has just been limping along since 1800's. In Europe perhaphs but it is growing fast in China, Asia and Africa...all without a movie.

This movie is a work of art, one man's personal vision. Because of that is it not mandatory that anyone Christian or non-Christian view it. People of good will can dislike it, like parts of it, dislike parts of it, or ignore it and still be in God's good graces. My objection is not to the movie but to the harsh trashings and condemnation of anyone who is the least bit critical of it.

47 posted on 03/02/2004 9:31:23 AM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: rbmillerjr
You made it personal when you attacked Christians...

Which Christians do you claim were attacked ?
Please cite a specific post and be precise with your use of the English language.

48 posted on 03/02/2004 7:37:44 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
Simply reread your posts.

I'm sure your comprehension ability will catch up with your reading ability if your memory ability is failing you.
49 posted on 03/02/2004 8:39:45 PM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: rbmillerjr
Simply reread your posts. I'm sure your comprehension ability will catch up with your reading ability if your memory ability is failing you.

In other words you can't back up what you claimed and haven't the wherewithal to admit it. Have you seen the movie yet ?

50 posted on 03/02/2004 8:41:24 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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