Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Caught in the Crossfire: Gibson and his movie
National Review Online ^ | February 25, 2004 | Roy Schoeman

Posted on 02/26/2004 2:59:46 PM PST by nickcarraway

It seems odd that today's self-appointed arbiters of public morality are eager to canonize sodomy as a fundamental human right, and to defend the display of a dung-smeared Madonna at public expense as a heroic exercise of First Amendment rights, while condemning Mel Gibson's literal portrayal of the Gospels as beyond the pale of acceptable social behavior. It is enough to lead one to believe that, to these critics, it is God Himself — at least, a personal God who places any particular requirements on moral behavior or, worse yet, religious practice — who is the enemy. The only God acceptable to them would be an amorphous one with no religious or moral preferences, and the only acceptable religion one that asserts no claim to objective truth. Unfortunately Christianity fails both of these tests, and thus so do Mel Gibson and his movie.

Gibson's The Passion of the Christ commits a litany of unforgivable sins. It accepts the Gospel accounts of the death of Jesus at face value, rejecting the "demythologizing" reinterpretations that have become the pseudo-dogma of the past several decades, thus incurring the wrath of a bevy of doctorate-wielding modern theologians (some of whom, to the shame of the Catholic Church, are on its payroll). It incorporates scenes from the mystical visions of Catholic saints, as though they might actually have historical value and not be simply the delusional hallucinations of pious psychopaths. Compounding the offense is Gibson's apparent belief that God played a role in his making the movie, as though God Himself might have an interest in the Gospel being preached "to all nations," and that Gibson's artistic decisions might have had some help from the Holy Spirit. Gibson's unapologetic admission that he understands Church dogma as it has been understood for most of the past 20 centuries of Christianity, rather than according to the more recent post-Vatican II interpretations, has only added fuel to the fire.

Since Gibson's foes would have a hard time claiming the moral high ground on the basis of their opposition to Christianity itself, they have had to resort to an always-convenient tactic in attacking Christianity — the accusation of anti-Semitism. This weapon can be trotted out perpetually, because there is — let's face it — something intrinsically opposed to Judaism at the very heart of Christian faith. It is not the belief that there is anything defective or inferior about the Jewish race; that is hardly sustainable, given that, according to Christianity, when God Himself took human flesh, he chose to take the flesh of a Jew. Not only was the incarnate God Jewish, but so was — at least in the Catholic faith — the only perfect creature God ever made: the Blessed Virgin Mary. No, Christian doctrine cannot be held to teach the inferiority of the Jewish race; if anything, it is in greater danger of teaching its superiority. But it is precisely because Christianity teaches that Jesus came as the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people that the religion implies that Judaism is in fundamental error in its rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. The "Christian" theologians who have taken the lead in attacking the film — many of them leaders in the "Jewish-Christian" dialogue — have generally made their careers by sidestepping this dilemma by asserting either that Jesus was simply a great moral and ethical teacher, a Rabbi among Rabbis, whose later disciples conferred divine status on him (a view that is by definition non-Christian); or that Jesus introduced Christianity as a way for non-Jews to enter the Jewish covenant but never intended for Jews to become Christian, an interpretation which is contradicted throughout the Gospels. In either case, in their minds, "Gospel Truth" is bunk.

Hence, the attacks against the movie rest on the claim that its literal acceptance of the Gospels makes it unhistorical and anti-Semitic. This supposed anti-Semitism is produced not by the Gospels themselves, but by the false separation of Christianity from Judaism that is part of the modernist spin. Because upon honest examination, it becomes clear that it is not only most of the villains in the Gospels who are Jews, but also all of the heroes, starting with Jesus and his apostles; Caiaphas was no more a Jew than John the beloved disciple.

Our culture pretends that Judaism and Christianity are two separate but equal religions, with equal validity. But that is intrinsically illogical — one or the other must be wrong. They are one and the same faith, separated only by the matter of whether or not Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and the religious consequences stemming from that fact. Yet mention of this point must be avoided at all costs, under the current rules of our politically correct culture, for it implies that either Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and all of today's Jews are mistaken, or that Jesus was not, in which case Christianity is a grotesque and idolatrous error.

Poor Mel. He finds himself on the front lines, abandoned by those who should be his allies, and getting it from both sides of the "Jewish-Christian" dialogue, as well as from anyone else infuriated with Christianity for any reason. I for one pray that he has absorbed more than a little of the spirits of those two famous characters he played, Braveheart and Mad Max. He'll need it.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: melgibson; thepassion

1 posted on 02/26/2004 2:59:48 PM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
bump
2 posted on 02/26/2004 3:22:53 PM PST by TEXOKIE (Hold fast what thou hast received!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
the attacks against the movie rest on the claim that its literal acceptance of the Gospels

v.

It incorporates scenes from the mystical visions of Catholic saints, as though they might actually have historical value and not be simply the delusional hallucinations of pious psychopaths.

3 posted on 02/26/2004 3:27:41 PM PST by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
I don't think that the bus loads of people and spectacular opening day's figures could be accurately termed as abandonment. The people have spoken.
4 posted on 02/26/2004 3:30:08 PM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
I for one pray that he has absorbed more than a little of the spirits of those two famous characters he played, Braveheart and Mad Max. He'll need it.

I disagree. It was obvious in the Diane Sawyer interview that Mel has absorbed more than a little of the Holy Spirit, and that's all he'll need.

5 posted on 02/26/2004 3:33:10 PM PST by pax_et_bonum (Always finish what you st)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pax_et_bonum
I for one pray that he has absorbed more than a little of the spirits of those two famous characters he played, Braveheart and Mad Max. He'll need it.

He has God on his side... should make these anti Christian's slings and arrows quite easy to defend against. Liberal heathens are so frantic and foolish.

6 posted on 02/26/2004 3:39:00 PM PST by Porterville (I see you (o)(o))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Interesting article.
7 posted on 02/26/2004 3:40:52 PM PST by wardaddy (A man better believe in something or he'll fall for anything.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; xzins; Alamo-Girl; editor-surveyor
Bottom Lone:

no gospel is No Gospel is NO GOSPEL

No christian context here,.....just confusion talk!

(great new age press?)

Real Christianity is NOT surrealistic confusion!

/sarcasm

(A T.V. Jerry Springer/Mel Gibson 'Rage/violent Production....)

(..Evolutionist-Humanist ('Gnostic-Mystic') Escape's De-constructionism)

[Romans 10:17)

8 posted on 02/26/2004 3:41:49 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Great article.
9 posted on 02/26/2004 3:45:37 PM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
I saw a news story a few minutes ago that said that Jewish pickets at a New York movie theater were confronting Christians determined to see "the Passion of the Christ." I really hate to see this kind of stuff. About four or five years ago Rabbi Danial Laipin told me that unrelenting attacks on Christianity by liberal Jewish groups like the ACLU and People for the American Way would eventually and totally unnecessarily awaken "a sleeping giant" (he meant resentment by conservative Christians). Well, now with the uproar over "the Passion of the Christ" it's happened.

Liberal Jews from the ACLU, the ADL, People for the American Way, The Southern Poverty Law Center and Hollywood in general have been waging unremitting war on Christianity now for the last two decades. Didn't they ever realize that sooner or later the worm would turn?

10 posted on 02/26/2004 3:54:48 PM PST by DentsRun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
It seems odd that today's self-appointed arbiters of public morality are eager to canonize sodomy as a fundamental human right, and to defend the display of a dung-smeared Madonna at public expense as a heroic exercise of First Amendment rights, while condemning Mel Gibson's literal portrayal of the Gospels as beyond the pale of acceptable social behavior. It is enough to lead one to believe that, to these critics, it is God Himself — at least, a personal God who places any particular requirements on moral behavior or, worse yet, religious practice — who is the enemy. The only God acceptable to them would be an amorphous one with no religious or moral preferences, and the only acceptable religion one that asserts no claim to objective truth. Unfortunately Christianity fails both of these tests, and thus so do Mel Gibson and his movie.

That is one of the most insightful and well written statements I've seen in a long time.

11 posted on 02/26/2004 4:08:02 PM PST by Senator_Blutarski
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Enterprise
>I don't think that the bus loads of people and spectacular opening day's figures could be accurately termed as abandonment. The people have spoken.

Are you nuts? Every
few months, some Adam Sandler
"movie" makes millions . . .

I refuse to think
that's a defining statement
of our modern world...

12 posted on 02/26/2004 4:14:09 PM PST by theFIRMbss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: theFIRMbss
That's your problem, you refuse to think.
13 posted on 02/26/2004 4:40:59 PM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
This film has deeply shaken the Left. They had come to think that they were winning, that they had thoroughly cowed Christianity and the influence of the 'religious Right.' Mel Gibson is Spartacus, and the Left is the Romans, facing an uprising that shakes them to their core...
14 posted on 02/26/2004 5:12:42 PM PST by atomicpossum (I wish I had time for a nervous breakdown.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
This article nails it in many ways. Good for him. Such a clear presentation of what is really at stake. But the conflict will not cease until the end of history. Says the Crucified One: "Be of good cheer. I have ovecome the world. . . . Abide in Me."
15 posted on 02/26/2004 5:25:13 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DentsRun
Those Jews should reconsider. There weren't any Christians at the time of Christ's crucificion. Just a variable bunch of people with variable religions in a time when the Romans had no choice but to put down insurgents for their own government's survival.

Apparently contemporary leftist Jews are not as intelligent as we thought they are.

16 posted on 02/26/2004 5:30:18 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: atomicpossum
"Mel Gibson is Spartacus, and the Left is the Romans, facing an uprising that shakes them to their core..."

You understand history! That is what the Romans had to do for survival. They had too many ethnic groups, religions, and countries to control. They had to enforce their law equally or lose control. Everyone shows their ignorance by not reading history.

17 posted on 02/26/2004 5:35:48 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; All
I will say this I beleive so strongly that Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah that I am willing to go to hell for eternity then deny him......
18 posted on 02/26/2004 5:38:53 PM PST by missyme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DentsRun
I saw a news story a few minutes ago that said that Jewish pickets at a New York movie theater were confronting Christians determined to see "the Passion of the Christ." I really hate to see this kind of stuff.

[chuckle]

Are you saying that Gibson's film has actually fostered acts of anti-Christianism?!?

That is so richly ironic!

19 posted on 02/26/2004 5:49:56 PM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: BobS
>>"Mel Gibson is Spartacus, and the Left is the Romans, facing an uprising that shakes them to their core..."

>You understand history! That is what the Romans had to do for survival. ... Everyone shows their ignorance by not reading history.

I don't like your choice of analogy.

You do realize that Spartacus' rebellion was destroyed after just a few years.

20 posted on 02/26/2004 5:56:41 PM PST by Dr._Joseph_Warren
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: atomicpossum
Nice point, but I hope your analogy is wrong --- Spartacus came to a nasty end.
21 posted on 02/26/2004 6:23:22 PM PST by Reverend Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Reverend Bob
Nice point, but I hope your analogy is wrong --- Spartacus came to a nasty end.

Well, of course, this situation is free to play out in it's own way, but I can see the Left wanting to put Mel in that figurative situation already...

22 posted on 02/26/2004 6:40:27 PM PST by atomicpossum (I wish I had time for a nervous breakdown.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
HALLELUJAH!

JESUS said He came to bring a sword!

AMEN!
23 posted on 02/26/2004 6:55:00 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oberon
Are you saying that Gibson's film has actually fostered acts of anti-Christianism?!?

I don't know if you're arguing with me or disagreeing with me but sure, the semi-hysterical attacks by Foxman et al were unnecessary, unwise and clearly Christophobic. Foxman (and others) tried to say they weren't condemning the gospels themselves as anti-Semitic--only a literal interpretation of them. But it was clear they didn't want the gospels on screen in any form that suggested that the Jewish elite bore any responsibility at all for the death of Christ.

24 posted on 02/26/2004 10:23:10 PM PST by DentsRun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: DentsRun
I don't know if you're arguing with me or disagreeing with me but sure...

I'm not sure either, but I'm pointing out that thus far, to my knowledge Gibson's film hasn't caused any Jews to be accosted in the street. Apparently, however, it has caused that to happen to Christians, said Christians being accosted by the very people who claim to be aggrieved by this movie...and when I say "very people," I mean individuals, not a people group.

I'm sorry if I have offended you, but my sense of humor is based on a fine sense of the ridiculous, and this triggered it in a big way.

25 posted on 02/27/2004 5:15:09 AM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Enterprise
>...bus loads of people and spectacular opening day's figures ... (1) The people have spoken.
>>...Every/few months, some (2) Adam Sandler/"movie" makes millions . . ./I refuse to think/that's a defining statement/of our modern world...
>>>That's your problem, you refuse to think

It was a figure
of speech, but, fine, have a seat
in the rock garden.

Let's think about it:
Box office grosses tell us
(1) folks are religious;

(2) folks are dumb retards.
So, if you think about life
based on film earnings,

you'd have to conclude
that the psycho Left is right --
Americans are

brainless, knee-jerk dolts
with their heads up their butts, who
think they're in Heaven . . .

But, since we both know
that's just the Left's crazy view,
thinking about it

makes it clear to us
that all box office grosses
mean NOTHING at all.

26 posted on 02/27/2004 7:23:30 AM PST by theFIRMbss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: theFIRMbss
"that all box office grosses mean NOTHING at all."

Lemme splain then. If the movie had failed from its initial screenings, the left would be in full roar now. They would be orgasmic that it failed, and they would cite as proof the lack of attendance and earnings! There could be little to counter their assertions other than it is a powerful film, at which they would derisively laugh and jeer even more!. However, the point of my comment centered around "abandonment," and not movie quality. If the people had "abandoned" Mel Gibson, there would have been few tickets sold. However, the volume of tickets sold, and the number of people who watched the movie is proof that he and his film have not been abandoned. I am aware that doofus movies continue to be popular. However, I do not equate Gibson's movie with the doofus class movies just because both are successful. That comparison was made by someone else and it is dreadfully lame.

27 posted on 02/27/2004 7:44:34 AM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Enterprise
>box office grosses mean NOTHING
>>I do not equate Gibson's movie with the doofus class movies just because both are successful

Fine. But which of us,
now, is refusing to think?
Rand says A is A . . .

(There's refusing to
think, and refusing to face
the clear conclusions . . .)

28 posted on 02/27/2004 7:57:57 AM PST by theFIRMbss
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: theFIRMbss
"But which of us, now, is refusing to think?"

That would be you.

29 posted on 02/27/2004 8:15:43 AM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Oberon
DentsRun: "I don't know if you're arguing with me or disagreeing with me but sure..."

(As some here have frequently observed) My mind goes on shore leave half the time these days. I meant to say I didn't know if you were arguing or agreeing with me. But in any case let me say I certainly agree with you. I think Gibson's film brought out a surprising amount of latent Christophobia in some folks.

30 posted on 02/27/2004 11:28:57 AM PST by DentsRun
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson