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"Not peace but a sword" (Safire slams The Passion)
New York Times ^ | Mar 1 04 | William Safire

Posted on 02/29/2004 9:12:37 PM PST by churchillbuff

By WILLIAM SAFIRE

Published: March 1, 2004

Columnist Page: William Safire

WASHINGTON — ...Mel Gibson's movie about the torture and agony of the final hours of Jesus is the bloodiest, most brutal example of sustained sadism ever presented on the screen.

...[snip] — the bar against film violence has been radically lowered. Movie mayhem, long resisted by parents, has found its loophole; others in Hollywood will now find ways to top Gibson's blockbuster, to cater to voyeurs of violence and thereby to make bloodshed banal.

What are the dramatic purposes of this depiction of cruelty and pain? First, shock; the audience I sat in gasped at the first tearing of flesh. Next, pity at the sight of prolonged suffering. And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation? What villain deserves to be punished?

Not Pontius Pilate, the Roman in charge; he and his kindly wife are sympathetic characters. Nor is King Herod shown to be at fault.

The villains at whom the audience's outrage is directed are the actors playing bloodthirsty rabbis and their rabid Jewish followers. This is the essence of the medieval "passion play," preserved in pre-Hitler Germany at Oberammergau, a source of the hatred of all Jews as "Christ killers."

Much of the hatred is based on a line in the Gospel of St. Matthew, after the Roman governor washes his hands of responsibility for ordering the death of Jesus, when the crowd cries, "His blood be on us, and on our children."

Though unreported in the Gospels of Mark, Luke or John, that line in Matthew — embraced with furious glee by anti-Semites through the ages — is right there in the New Testament. Gibson and his screenwriter didn't make it up, nor did they misrepresent the apostle's account of the Roman governor's queasiness at the injustice.

But biblical times are not these times. This inflammatory line in Matthew — and the millenniums of persecution, scapegoating and ultimately mass murder that flowed partly from its malign repetition — was finally addressed by the Catholic Church in the decades after the defeat of Naziism.

In 1965's historic Second Vatican Council, during the papacy of Paul VI, the church decided that while some Jewish leaders and their followers had pressed for the death of Jesus, "still, what happened in his passion cannot be charged against all Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today."

That was a sea change in the doctrinal interpretation of the Gospels, and the beginning of major interfaith progress.

However, a group of Catholics rejects that and other holdings of Vatican II. Mr. Gibson is reportedly aligned with that reactionary clique. (So is his father, an outspoken Holocaust-denier, but the son warns interviewers not to go there. I agree; the latest generation should not be held responsible for the sins of the fathers.)

In the skillful publicity run-up to the release of the movie, Gibson's agents said he agreed to remove that ancient self-curse from the screenplay. It's not in the subtitles I saw the other night, though it may still be in the Aramaic audio, in which case it will surely be translated in the versions overseas.

And there's the rub. At a moment when a wave of anti-Semitic violence is sweeping Europe and the Middle East, is religion well served by updating the Jew-baiting passion plays of Oberammergau on DVD? Is art served by presenting the ancient divisiveness in blood-streaming media to the widest audiences in the history of drama?

Matthew in 10:34 quotes Jesus uncharacteristically telling his apostles: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." You don't see that on Christmas cards and it's not in this film, but those words can be reinterpreted — read today to mean that inner peace comes only after moral struggle.

The richness of Scripture is in its openness to interpretation answering humanity's current spiritual needs. That's where Gibson's medieval version of the suffering of Jesus, reveling in savagery to provoke outrage and cast blame, fails Christian and Jew today.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: blindleadingtheblind; christianity; gibson; gospels; moviereview; passion; safire
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To: churchillbuff
Now would be a good time for the average Jew to rise up against the Pharisees in Hollywood. Let their voice be heard.
101 posted on 03/01/2004 6:25:01 AM PST by cupcakes
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To: jwalsh07
Not only that he does everything in his power to put the ultimate decision on someone else--by sending Jesus to Herod and washing his hands of his blood. Trying to absolve himself of responsibility to save his own hide. I didn't come away with sympathy for him at all. Even though I know the story, I keep yelling at him to do the right thing and as a typical politician he, of course, does not.
102 posted on 03/01/2004 6:27:31 AM PST by cupcakes
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To: churchillbuff
But biblical times are not these times.

Let's put the Bible into the PC shredder pronto!

103 posted on 03/01/2004 6:28:03 AM PST by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: Jeff Chandler
"Their justifiable paranoia, which in former times served as an effective means of self-preservation, lingers on, despite its obsolescence, and, in present times, only serves as an impediment to clarity of thought and sensibility of reason."

Well now isn't this just tooooo rich..... "THEIR JUSTIFIABLE PARANOIA....

Who sits UPON THAT seat to determining what is "JUSTIFIABLE".....

Christ, birth, ministry, and death was all foretold in the OLD by the prophets. Some of these accusers claim to hold the key to. From Genesis on all things points to Christ.

This is beginning to look like a replay of KING JEHU told about in IIKings 9.
104 posted on 03/01/2004 6:34:27 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: freebilly
Same here and not only that I was openly hostile to Christianity as well.
105 posted on 03/01/2004 6:34:48 AM PST by cupcakes
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To: churchillbuff
However, a group of Catholics rejects that and other holdings of Vatican II. Mr. Gibson is reportedly aligned with that reactionary clique.

That's a horribly misleading statement, and Safire is too smart not to recognize that. Vatican II addressed a great many issues, and disagreement with Vatican II does not necessarily mean disagreement with the specific conclusion that all jews should not be blamed for the death of Jesus. In any case, Gibson has expressly stated his view that jews in particular should not be blamed for the death of Jesus, and that all people, of all backgrounds, share that blame. For Safire to imply that Gibson believes otherwise is a knwing misrepresentation.

I don't have a strong religious faith of any kind, but these unfair attacks on Gibson are really bogus.

106 posted on 03/01/2004 6:39:58 AM PST by XJarhead
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To: churchillbuff; hobbes1; xsmommy
The richness of Scripture is in its openness to interpretation answering humanity's current spiritual needs.

Current spiritual needs? What's current? Human nature hasn't changed one bit in 2000 years.

107 posted on 03/01/2004 6:43:10 AM PST by NeoCaveman (New and improved is typically neither!)
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To: dubyaismypresident; xsmommy
The richness of Scripture is in its openness to interpretation answering humanity's current spiritual needs.

Now we have Living Scripture??????

One wonders if Wild Bill is a 'Living Constitution" guy as well.....RMFE...

Human nature hasn't changed one bit in 2000 years.

And Not in the last 218 either.Except for the Worse...maybe

108 posted on 03/01/2004 6:46:39 AM PST by hobbes1 (Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: Swordmaker
Well said. Also it should be noted that if you do any sort of search on the anti-semitic, white only types on the internet you are likely to turn up folks who have a disdain for Christianity and are vigorously pagan. These pagan, white-pride types despise Christ because He was a Jew.
I think Jews forget that, that Jesus was a Jew sent to fulfill JEWISH prophecy. Why on earth would anti-semites choose to bow down and worship the most JEWISH amongst Jews? Or worship a God who long ago set Jews apart?
People have to dig a little deeper to understand the absurdity of calling a devout Christian anti-semitic. They also need to a take a trip to the many white supremacy sites on the net where you will find the vast portion of folks declare paganism and a return to their "white European" roots.

109 posted on 03/01/2004 6:49:00 AM PST by cupcakes
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To: 7thson
Well said!
110 posted on 03/01/2004 6:50:45 AM PST by cupcakes
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To: Arthur McGowan
The Catholic Church never taught anything other than what Vatican II taught. I am sick of THIS particular libel--that the Catholic Church taught anti-Semitism UNTIL 1965.

I am sick of this slander too.

111 posted on 03/01/2004 6:51:35 AM PST by NeoCaveman (New and improved is typically neither!)
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To: Arthur McGowan; hobbes1; dubyaismypresident
The Catholic Church never taught anything other than what Vatican II taught. I am sick of THIS particular libel--that the Catholic Church taught anti-Semitism UNTIL 1965.

most Jews also ascribe knowledge of what Vatican2 provided, to all catholics. i had this very discussion with a Jewish friend and coworker last week. he was aghast when i said i rejected Vat2 and was a preVat2 Catholic. he thought i meant that i rejected the reconciliation with the Jews. though i consider myself fairly well informed, i had no idea that Vat2 was considered the seminal moment in Jewish-Catholic rapproachment. i doubt many catholics do. Yet, he assumed that i had that knowledge because i went to Catholic school and my children do as well. he was surprised to learn that those things aren't TAUGHT in Catholic schools, because Judaism is wrought with rules and law and regulations, he thought Catholicism was taught the same way. we have both benefited from our discussions.

112 posted on 03/01/2004 6:53:29 AM PST by xsmommy
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To: freebilly
Matthew 10:34-39 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Your right. This isn't about moral struggle.

This is warning HIS potential followers that if they follow HIM they will be at odds with their friends and relatives who will still cling to traditional Jewish views and would reject Jesus as the Messiah. - Tom

113 posted on 03/01/2004 7:06:09 AM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: Just mythoughts
Well now isn't this just tooooo rich..... "THEIR JUSTIFIABLE PARANOIA.... Who sits UPON THAT seat to determining what is "JUSTIFIABLE".....

Perhaps "understandable" would have been a more accurate choice of word.

114 posted on 03/01/2004 7:06:36 AM PST by Jeff Chandler (Why the long face, John?)
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To: cupcakes; okie01
Another thought came to me when I read your posts. During the time of Jesus, who were some of the most hated and despised individuals? The tax collectors. Why? Because, they turned against their own people to work hand in hand with the occupying force/power. Who were the occupying force? The Romans. Who were the people? The Jews. They were despised by their own people and were shocked when Jesus reached out to them. One - shamed of his work - became a disciple. This is analgolus of the individual who wrote AMAZING GRACE. Reading the Bible - Old and New Testament - you find multiple examples of good and evil Jews. That is one of the main messages of Jesus - that good and evil resides in all of us! It is who we plant these seeds that determine how they grow.
115 posted on 03/01/2004 7:07:28 AM PST by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a 100 pounds.)
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To: churchillbuff
Has Safire ever before devoted a column to denouncing violence in Hollywood films?

Perhaps he should be crucified. From what I hear, it's not a bloodless activity.

It always amazes me that these elitist-pinheads and/or Hollyweird wackos think nothing of bashing ANY film with a conservative or religious or moral theme but they attack anyone who does the same to flicks like Natural Born Killer or Texas Chainsaw Massacre or any of the other sadistic/pornographic/anti U.S. films that're produced en masse in that hell-hole we call Hollywood.

But, and my fingers are crossed, I think the tide's turning. What with the gay-lesbian activists breaking the law with impunity, with judicial activists making laws instead of interpreting them, and with the "professional" politicians from both parties only paying lip service to the silent majority's complaints . . . I think the Silent Majority has finally decided to be silent no more.

The internet is the Great Equalizer. The New Yawk Slimes, ABCCBSNBSCNN, and all the other liberal newspapers, TV networks, and magazines can no longer lie with impunity.

116 posted on 03/01/2004 7:08:59 AM PST by geedee (The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.)
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To: cupcakes
Mathew’s statement "his blood on us and on our children after us" is simply a fact – no one can tell us to change our bible to please their paranoia. These desert type people used to hold the grudge for many generations. If you killed my father, and I am unable to kill you, may be my son will kill your son. Now this nonsense life of tribes in desert is no longer the way of life in the USA, except the Hollywood crowds, who are still targeting people career for destruction.

The simple fact is millions of people saw this movie, and not one single incident of violence against Jews was reported. The reality is Christians are not like Jews, they were ordered to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES! They walk out of the movie with a sense of sadness of how much suffering Jesus has endured to save us ALL. The Roman, or the Jew who caused him that pain are not related to me or to you, or to any Jew or Italian who is alive today, certainly, we cannot punish people after two thousand years! If my great great grand father was a Jew, do I hate myself now? If I am married to a Jew, do I go and kill my wife? The hysteria, and paranoia of some Jews is very stupid.

117 posted on 03/01/2004 7:13:55 AM PST by philosofy123
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To: jude24
One of my friends tried to use this as an evangelistic film for a classmate, who for some reason thought the scourging scene was terribly funny...

That's sick. I bet/hope it was an act and not sexual. It's clearly a case of the exception proving the point.

118 posted on 03/01/2004 7:26:10 AM PST by Theophilus (Save little liberals - Stop Abortion!!!)
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To: philosofy123
Safire is old hat, nobody even listens to him any longer.

A crochety malcontent who admits he voted for Clinton...lol, what an old joke he has become.
119 posted on 03/01/2004 7:54:00 AM PST by rbmillerjr
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To: churchillbuff
I had never heard of this "Oberammergau" thing. So, I googled:

http://www.jrep.com/Jewishworld/Article-44.html

Oberammergau is a Bavarian town that has staged the Passion annually over the last 370 years. It remains a big tourist draw.

Here's a quote from the article:

"For Jews, the drama, which blamed them for the crucifixion, has had a darker side. It often stirred the crowds into a frenzy of anti-Semitism. After attending a 300th anniversary performance in 1934, a delighted Adolf Hitler praised the play as a "precious tool" in the war against the Jews."

I'm growing weary of this, making Christians responsible for twisted, intentional subversion of the doctrine. Nazism and anti-semitism is not Christian. Its roots are in resurgent national paganism and eugenics; these were intellectual movements.
120 posted on 03/01/2004 8:04:11 AM PST by tsomer
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To: tsomer
Take note about the "METHOD OF OPERATION" being used upon Christians today.

Accuse, lie, deny. Keeps Christians on the DEFENSE and off topic of Christ.
121 posted on 03/01/2004 8:08:53 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: stands2reason
Good one! Yes, English has got to be easier to translate.

122 posted on 03/01/2004 8:15:18 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: AnnaZ
Thanks for the flag. Let's keep Safire and his ilk in our prayers.



=== He has seen what he wanted to see

This brings up my only serious problem with your review the other day: the title.

While the body of the piece made clear Gibson's was a profoundly meaningful work of art in the tradition of any human work which not only further informs those who know the story but communicates to those who don't, I was discomfited I guess by the sounding of the gramscian "art for art's sake" slogan.

It has not been by accident that for generations now we have been accustomed to the abstract, the ritual deconstruction of the human and the encouraging of an "to each his own" meaning where alleged works of art are concerned.

And -- just as the Gospels themselves have been politicized into social justice treatises ripe for a faithbased partnership with the state -- art has been dumbed down such that it's lost its transcendent, universal quality but instead is always now a vehicle for this or that "personal" value or "political" statement.

"Depends on your meaning of 'is' is."

This was one of the profound statements Clinton had or will ever make. It encapsulates the nut of the "art for art's sake" movement and reduces one of the most elegant and instantaneous mediums of human communication (art being second only to the math of music) to a Tower of Babel whose interior is but a hall of mirrors.
123 posted on 03/01/2004 9:08:23 AM PST by Askel5
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To: AnnaZ
Thanks for the flag. Let's keep Safire and his ilk in our prayers.



=== He has seen what he wanted to see

This brings up my only serious problem with your review the other day: the title.

While the body of the piece made clear Gibson's was a profoundly meaningful work of art in the tradition of any human work which not only further informs those who know the story but communicates to those who don't, I was discomfited I guess by the sounding of the gramscian "art for art's sake" slogan.

It has not been by accident that for generations now we have been accustomed to the abstract, the ritual deconstruction of the human and the encouraging of an "to each his own" meaning where alleged works of art are concerned.

And -- just as the Gospels themselves have been politicized into social justice treatises ripe for a faithbased partnership with the state -- art has been dumbed down such that it's lost its transcendent, universal quality but instead is always now a vehicle for this or that "personal" value or "political" statement.

"Depends on what your meaning of 'is' is."

This was one of the profound statements Clinton had or will ever make. It encapsulates the nut of the "art for art's sake" movement and reduces one of the most elegant and instantaneous mediums of human communication (art being second only to the math of music) to a Tower of Babel whose interior is but a hall of mirrors.
124 posted on 03/01/2004 9:08:35 AM PST by Askel5
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To: Askel5; diotima
And -- just as the Gospels themselves have been politicized into social justice treatises ripe for a faithbased partnership with the state -- art has been dumbed down such that it's lost its transcendent, universal quality but instead is always now a vehicle for this or that "personal" value or "political" statement.
This was the point of my review, and such relativistic types my target. All of a sudden art was no longer protected by the End All/Be All of Artistic Freedom. Hardly any reviews took in the film's artistic merits at all, it was a disagreement with the content, cries for changes, pleas for disclaimers, and audaciously insulting projections.
 
How many movies made on Buddha, or some Lama or other, are heralded as "transcendent" and "epic"? Moses never got such a raw deal. If Muslims paused fidgeting with switches long enough to focus on it, I'm probably not exaggerating when I say that a loving paean to Mohammed would be orgiastically lauded.
 
All religions are exclusionary -- they all have some path or set of rules one must follow. But Christianity, which indeed is offered freely to all solely on the basis of believing a miracle, is "divisive". I will probably write on this incongruity next... if I ever get a quiet moment in this place.
 
;^)

125 posted on 03/01/2004 11:47:31 AM PST by AnnaZ (I hate Times New Roman... and it's all Mel Gibson's fault!)
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
For 2000 years scripture as written has been suffcient to convey the passion of the Christ. Now all of a sudden scripture is not enough and everybody has to flock to a sensational movie. Makes no sense.

Congratulations. Let's see, it's too violent, it's anti-semitic, it's inaccurate, Mel Gibson's a whacko, Mel Gibson's father is mean, and now, why make a movie about it, anyway? Almost as much fun as Gibson's success is the nonsense being spouted by people who are trying to discredit the movie without admitting their real problem is that they just don't like Jesus or His message.

126 posted on 03/01/2004 12:00:46 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: churchillbuff
Safire should go play shuffleboard with Andy Looney and Walter Cronkite in Florida. I saw the film. The thing that the anti-Gibson crowd fear the most is the re-awakening of Christians and Catholics who they have tried for years to "put down" and mock.
127 posted on 03/01/2004 12:06:56 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: AnnaZ
Sooner than you know it, you'll wonder where everyone went. I laugh every time I see you fret ... what a joy. === But Christianity, which indeed is offered freely to all solely on the basis of believing a miracle, is "divisive". I will probably write on this incongruity next... if I ever get a quiet moment in this place. If you go that route, you may wish to review the Church's treatment of exactly this difference in Catholicism where -- for all its very real exclusivity -- trad-Caths like Gibson understand our being expressly prohibited from the condemnation of non-believers and enjoined to recognize and respect a man's being faithful to what truth he does know. (Though this does not prohibit us from recognizing and rightfully criticizing those "men [who] have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator" ... as we do on a regular basis those in our our communion who would call us "reactionaries" or a schism of Catholicism in the revolution's wake.) I'm differentiating between Catholicism and the other, sometimes eponymous, sects of Christianity because one critical difference between the faith of Mel Gibson and the faith of some self-styled Christians is that Gibson is expressly forbidden from condemning anyone -- or perceiving them as condemned -- simply for their failure to recognize the Christ or accept the mystery of redemption. Not all men are positioned -- in time, intellectually, emotionally, or otherwise -- to both receive and apprehend this truth. This concept not only is sounded in the movie -- "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do" -- but a critical part of Catholic teaching regarding the Church's relationship to other Christians, Jews, Muslims other believers and non-believers. The key virtue Christ exhibits in his sacrifice is the selfless humility which allows him to forego rationalization or sense of self and submit to his Father's will as effected by the authorities who serve as instruments or catalysts of a sort. (This is very different from the premeditation and rank rationalization of evil that is pragmatism ... where men purposefully choose evil in order to bring about good. This is an example of the fact only God can bring good from a man's choice for evil or from a natural evil ... such as fire, flood, famine or other suffering by which humans transcend themselves somehow and/or draw closer to Him.) Non-believers can share in this sacrifice simply by remaining obedient--in all humility--to those truths they've apprehended, honoring the natural and rightful authority of men over men (such as a father's over the family he has founded and for which he is ultimately responsible), and rendering each his due where circumstance has placed you under the authority of another ... whether giving to Caesar what is Caesar's or respecting the authority of the vineyard owner who pays the same full day's wages to those who worked all day and those who arrived late-afternoon. I wandered a bit there but have no time to scroll back at present. forgive the signature logorrhea. =)
128 posted on 03/01/2004 1:02:51 PM PST by Askel5
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To: dennisw
I applaud Safire for being willing to stand against the general sentiment

What are you talking about? Every columnist and editorial writer on the NY Times -- and in the mainstream media -- has condemned this movie. Safire is FLOWING WITH the "general sentiment." It took no balls at all to write this column for a readership, and management, who hate Gibson and Christianity.

If it's courage you admire, than you should be applauding Gibson for risking hoots from anti-christian Hollywood by refusing to adulterate the Gospels with PC spin.

129 posted on 03/01/2004 3:15:27 PM PST by churchillbuff (?)
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To: AnnaZ
All religions are exclusionary

Actually, Christianity is uniquely so. That's why it's hated by hedonists in a way that nearly no other religion is.

130 posted on 03/01/2004 3:17:58 PM PST by churchillbuff (?)
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To: AnnaZ
((OOOF ... sorry about that ... a clean-up version in the hopes you haven't pulled posts yet and will hit it first.))

Sooner than you know it, you'll wonder where everyone went. I laugh every time I see you fret ... what a joy.


=== But Christianity, which indeed is offered freely to all solely on the basis of believing a miracle, is "divisive". I will probably write on this incongruity next... if I ever get a quiet moment in this place.


If you go that route, you may wish to review the Church's treatment of exactly this difference in Catholicism where -- for all its very real exclusivity -- trad-Caths like Gibson understand our being expressly prohibited from the condemnation of non-believers and enjoined to recognize and respect a man's being faithful to what truth he does know.

(Though this does not prohibit us from recognizing and rightfully criticizing those "men [who] have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator" ... as we do on a regular basis those in our our communion who would call us "reactionaries" or a schism of Catholicism in the revolution's wake.) (see, Para. 884, I think, of the Catechism)

I'm differentiating between Catholicism and the other, sometimes eponymous, sects of Christianity because one critical difference between the faith of Mel Gibson and the faith of some self-styled Christians is that Gibson is expressly forbidden from condemning anyone -- or perceiving them as condemned -- simply for their failure to recognize the Christ or accept the mystery of redemption.

Not all men are positioned -- in time, intellectually, emotionally, or otherwise -- to both receive and apprehend this truth.

This concept not only is sounded in the movie -- "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do" -- but a critical part of Catholic teaching regarding the Church's relationship to other Christians, Jews, Muslims other believers and non-believers.

The key virtue Christ exhibits in his sacrifice is the selfless humility which allows him to forego rationalization or sense of self and submit to his Father's will as effected by the authorities who serve as instruments or catalysts of a sort.

(This is very different from the premeditation and rank rationalization of evil that is pragmatism ... where men purposefully choose evil in order to bring about good. This is an example of the fact only God can bring good from a man's choice for evil or from a natural evil ... such as fire, flood, famine or other suffering by which humans transcend themselves somehow and/or draw closer to Him.)

Non-believers can share in this sacrifice simply by remaining obedient--in all humility--to those truths they've apprehended, honoring the natural and rightful authority of men over men (such as a father's over the family he has founded and for which he is ultimately responsible), and rendering each his due where circumstance has placed you under the authority of another ... whether giving to Caesar what is Caesar's or respecting the authority of the vineyard owner who pays the same full day's wages to those who worked all day and those who arrived late-afternoon.


I wandered a bit there but have no time to scroll back at present. forgive the signature logorrhea . =)

And I'll never miss a "preview" again. sorry about that.
131 posted on 03/01/2004 3:21:51 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Theophilus
Who is Safire calling a sadist?
Someone who pays money to watch someone else beaten?
I dunno...
132 posted on 03/01/2004 4:17:22 PM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: jwalsh07
Thank God, Jesus wasn't killed by Palestinians.
We'd never hear the end of it, and theaters would be blown
up across the country.

Think I'm wrong?
133 posted on 03/01/2004 4:22:26 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Richard Kimball
"If a Caravaggio showing was in town would you refuse to see that, too?"

Would it be my Christian duty to go see it? Would it be my Christian duty to like it????

134 posted on 03/01/2004 7:56:02 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: AnnaZ
"If a Caravaggio showing was in town would you refuse to see that, too?"

Sorry I have to repeat this because I sent your post to the wrong person. Is it my Christian duty to go see it? Is it my Christian duty to like it?

135 posted on 03/01/2004 7:58:49 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: Richard Kimball
"Almost as much fun as Gibson's success is the nonsense being spouted by people who are trying to discredit the movie without admitting their real problem is that they just don't like Jesus or His message."

If I don't like DaVinci's painting of the Last Supper, does that mean I don't like Jesus or his message? Is it my Christian duty to like that painting?

136 posted on 03/01/2004 8:03:32 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: stands2reason
"Have you ever read a book pertaining to Christianity?"

Of course and I have been to a passion play and it was not very good even though it followed the bible. It was not my Christian duty to go, it was not my Christian duty to like it. It was not my Christian duty to defend it when others were critical of it. It was not a sin to be critical of it.

137 posted on 03/01/2004 8:40:20 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
If I don't like DaVinci's painting of the Last Supper, does that mean I don't like Jesus or his message? Is it my Christian duty to like that painting?

Nice dodge. BTW, you replied to me in post 134, and I think you meant to respond to someone else.

No, it's not your duty to like any particular piece of work. However, you objected to the fact Gibson had made the movie in your initial statement. If you objected to the existence of the Last Supper painting, and claimed that Da Vinci shouldn't have painted it, then yeah, I would suspect your problem is with the spreading of the Gospel, and not with the expertise of Da Vinci or the quality of his painting. BTW, do you know why the Last Supper is so famous, especially considering that there were thousands of Christian paintings done at that time.

Oh, and your statement about the Last Supper also proves your initial statement incorrect. You stated, For 2000 years scripture as written has been suffcient(sic) to convey the passion of the Christ. Now all of a sudden scripture is not enough and everybody has to flock to a sensational movie. Makes no sense. Paintings, writings (Pilgrims's Progress, the Chronicles of Narnia, Paradise Lost, Ben Hur, to name a few), poems, and movies have all been used to convey the Gospel message.

138 posted on 03/01/2004 8:57:01 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: freebilly
Sorry, Safire, we know you would like the words of Christ to mean something else, but taken in context they have nothing to do with moral struggle.

Do you then assert they are about a military struggle ?

Do you think the centuries of religious wars between those who called themselves Christians were the fulfillment of those words ?

139 posted on 03/01/2004 9:01:42 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
For 2000 years scripture as written has been suffcient to convey the passion of the Christ. Now all of a sudden scripture is not enough and everybody has to flock to a sensational movie. Makes no sense.

Actually it makes a lot of sense.

140 posted on 03/01/2004 9:02:38 PM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: Richard Kimball
"No, it's not your duty to like any particular piece of work. However, you objected to the fact Gibson had made the movie in your initial statement."

No I did not. I questioned why people are flocking to a movie. A very sensational movie. A movie that is more graphic, more violent and more shocking than the book (the gospels) I am just trying to insert something to think about. Because I am getting the impression that people have been so swept away by this movie that they would make it almost mandatory, one's Christian duty to see it and like it. It's not enough now to read the gospel, go to church and hear sermons.....no you have to see this movie and you have to like it or you just don't love the Lord. I feel sorry for the billions of Christians who were born before this movie came out. What a pale, simpering version of Christianity they were dealt.

141 posted on 03/01/2004 9:41:03 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
For 2000 years scripture as written has been suffcient(sic) to convey the passion of the Christ. Now all of a sudden scripture is not enough and everybody has to flock to a sensational movie. Makes no sense.

This was your initial statement. My reaction is that you felt there was no need to make the movie, since the Scriptures were all that was necessary. However, your problem, if I understand your last post, is that people are going to see the movie. This makes less sense than your first statement. Your objections are still, it seems to me, an attempt to attack the movie without addressing the real issue for attacking it. If you have a problem with anything extra Biblical, then you must have a problem with hymns, Ben Hur, the Ten Commandments, and many other extra Biblical attempts to illustrate faith and bring the Gospel message to people who may not have heard it.

In your last post you stated that you're getting the impression that Christians want to make seeing the movie almost mandatory. Trying to chase your arguments around is getting a little too much like the dead parrot skit, so, I'll just accept that you're pinin' for the Fjords and leave you alone.

142 posted on 03/01/2004 10:09:08 PM PST by Richard Kimball
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To: Richard Kimball
I did NOT object to the fact that Gibson had made a movie. The key word in my statement was "sensational." For it seems to me that this movie is more graphic, violent and sensational than the scripture itself. I gather that because so many people, who must surely have read the bible accounts of the passion, have said they "never realised" what the passion of Christ was like until they saw this movie. It does beg the question as whether or not the biblical accounts alone are able to provoke sufficient realization of Christ's sacrifice. It would not make much sense if they were not sufficient. It would mean that millions of Chrisians who read the book but never saw this movie are at a serious disadvantage.

I agree with you that there are many ways to spread the gospel. A movie is one way. This a movie, a work of art, one man's personal vision. Because of that is it not mandatory that William Safire or anyone else likes it. And because of that people of good will can like it, dislike it, like parts of it, dislike parts of it, or ignore it.

143 posted on 03/01/2004 11:07:46 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats
Is it my Christian duty to go see it? Is it my Christian duty to like it?
Oh, my, no. But adamance in refusing to see it would be odd.
 
I think people are eagerly encouraging others to see The Passion a) because it's great and b) because we should support the effort. But nobody's forcing anyone else... at least they shouldn't be.
 
Shalom!

144 posted on 03/01/2004 11:10:37 PM PST by AnnaZ (I hate Times New Roman... and it's all Mel Gibson's fault!)
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To: af_vet_1981
Troll somewhere else.
145 posted on 03/01/2004 11:31:14 PM PST by freebilly
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To: af_vet_1981
On second thought I'll respond to your questions.

Do you then assert they are about a military struggle ?

No.

Do you think the centuries of religious wars between those who called themselves Christians were the fulfillment of those words ?

No.

146 posted on 03/02/2004 12:10:07 AM PST by freebilly
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To: AnnaZ
"I think people are eagerly encouraging others to see The Passion a) because it's great and b) because we should support the effort. But nobody's forcing anyone else... at least they shouldn't be."

Well right. Nobody is forcing anyone to see it, but I can't help but notice that whoever does not like it will be trashed unmercifully on these threads. I guess that is included with "supporting the effort"???? P> Anyway. I can't find anything wrong with Safire's review. I see nothing against Christ or Christians. He is only against Mel's presentation of the passion. Well I can relate to that. I don't like Jimmy Swaggart's presentation of scripture. All that screaming...yuck! But there are people that like him. That's fine. To each his own. There's no accounting for taste, even in matters religious.

147 posted on 03/02/2004 12:38:54 AM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: DestroytheDemocrats; diotima
Anyway. I can't find anything wrong with Safire's review.
 
Please, then, allow me to help you.
 
— the bar against film violence has been radically lowered. Movie mayhem, long resisted by parents, has found its loophole; others in Hollywood will now find ways to top Gibson's blockbuster, to cater to voyeurs of violence and thereby to make bloodshed banal.
Gibson's blockbuster is such not due to the "mayhem", but to the subject matter (the bar has been lowered? LOL!). It's not like Hollywood hasn't tried, thus this statement is an embarrassment to its author.
 
And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation? What villain deserves to be punished?
If that was his reaction, he's lost. (Unless they're just not reporting the marauding Jew-seeking street gangs.)
 
Not Pontius Pilate, the Roman in charge; he and his kindly wife are sympathetic characters.
Pilate's wife, yes. But if Mr. Safire finds sympathetic a man who chooses political expediency over an innocent man's life -- while claiming an inability to recognize "veritas" -- again, this is his personal character failing.
 
The "review" is a study in projection.

148 posted on 03/02/2004 11:05:32 AM PST by AnnaZ (I hate Times New Roman... and it's all Mel Gibson's fault!)
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To: churchillbuff
Bill Safire the perfect living allegory of liberalism, old and senile.
149 posted on 03/02/2004 11:11:12 AM PST by junta
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To: AnnaZ
Its all about a clever sophisticated new plan to further corrupt the youth of America by exposing them to excessive violence via Jesus Christ. Who knows the the breadth and scale of possible violent outbursts now that I have seen the Passion. Some one stop me before the violent message of the New Testament causes me to kill and maim.......

I know that Gibson's next move, will be to license special "The Passion of the Christ" torture implements, so that we can all participate in the new lesson we all learned from his movie.

150 posted on 03/02/2004 11:14:27 AM PST by diotima
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