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

Skip to comments.

"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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-157 next last
To: churchillbuff
Another commentator who is really attacking the Gospels (in the guise of attacking Gibson) and putting christians on notice that they are not supposed to take their beliefs to the public square --- or they'll be ridiculed, denounced and, if the bigots can pull it off, financially ruined.

Saffire gets a 2-fer. Attacks the gospels and my Church simultaneously. It feels so good to some folks to bash Catholicism. Saffire is one of those folks.

51 posted on 03/01/2004 12:42:00 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: onyx
Forget the church and the gospels... Safire is facing off with Christ. A time is coming, perhaps very shortly, where all such guff will get mowed down for good. Take courage: He has overcome the world.
52 posted on 03/01/2004 12:47:06 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
Not just posted here, but emailed to Mr Safire as well:

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34

Absolutely correct. And if you read other passages I'm too lazy to go look up for citation purposes, you will find His tongue is the "two edged sword of Truth". Truth rarely brings peace, though it may be the starting point thereto.

I feel sorry for people with so little regard for the minds of 'lesser men' that they cannot credit them with understanding that what took place 2,000 years ago was not done by anyone alive today.
If that were the case, I would hate the good people of Missouri & Illinois, who slaughtered and persecuted some of my Mormon ancestors.
I would hate the English, who enslaved, tortured, killed, raped, and otherwise persecuted my Welsh & Cornish ancestors.
I would hate those who drove my Huguenot ancestors to the New World.

I give people more credit than that.
Those that will find in it reason to hate, need no reason; they are already zealots and fanatics, raised to an ethic of ingrained hatred. They will find reason to hate the objects of their hatred where none exists.
The rest of us find understanding; else, why study history?

I will not comment upon the film itself, not having seen it. Yet.
53 posted on 03/01/2004 12:48:06 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gipper81
Safire is a McCain supporter. Nuff said.

That is so irrelevent. Please, this film and its message is too important to drag in such trivilities as transitory electoral politics. Seriously.

I saw The Passion last night with a friend, and we were both deeply moved. By contrast, whether Bush or Kerry wins in November is of infinitesimal importance. Christ has nothing to do with Bush or McCain or Kerry.

54 posted on 03/01/2004 12:51:02 AM PST by Commie Basher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Safire is facing off with Christ.

You are right.

A time is coming, perhaps very shortly, where all such guff will get mowed down for good. Take courage: He has overcome the world.

You are right again.

55 posted on 03/01/2004 12:52:29 AM PST by onyx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Finalapproach29er
>>The gospel isn't why the holocaust took place.

With more than a tiny bit of help from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
56 posted on 03/01/2004 12:56:47 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: McGavin999

We knew these people were empty, but it's almost embarrassing to witness just how empty they are. Don't they know how they are exposing themselves?

It is almost as if all these people have indeed sold their souls to the devil to for their success. How else, given their extreme ignorance, bias, hypocrisy, and stupidity could they have done so well?

Read this for some real insight:

'Protesting Gibson 's Passion Lacks Moral Legitimacy'

http://www.towardtradition.org/article_Mel_Gibson.htm

By Rabbi Daniel Lapin

57 posted on 03/01/2004 12:59:04 AM PST by thatcher (The rule of law has been destroyed by our politicians.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Orlando
The Passion of the Christ movie will pass $200 Million by next Sunday

The Passion is a hit. It remains to be seen if it's that rare mega-hit that tops $300 million, such as the Star Wars films and Titanic.

All the top mega-hits have one thing in common: repeat business. They attract diehard fans that see the film several times, maybe every week, maybe several times a week.

58 posted on 03/01/2004 12:59:35 AM PST by Commie Basher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Commie Basher
Megahit? This will be the one that defines the term Gigahit.
59 posted on 03/01/2004 1:03:32 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
Another commentator who is really attacking the Gospels (in the guise of attacking Gibson) and putting christians on notice that they are not supposed to take their beliefs to the public square..........

Actually attacking Emmerich's/Gibson's version of the Passion. Gospels come in second as a source. I applaud Safire for being willing to stand against the general sentiment
60 posted on 03/01/2004 1:17:23 AM PST by dennisw (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler
It has become obvious that many otherwise wonderful Jews, like many otherwise wonderful blacks, carry within them the legacy of the historic persecution of their people. Their justifiable paranoia, which in former times served as an effective means of self-preservation, lingers on,

It's long been evident to me, living my whole life amid Jews in NY and L.A., that Jews more than other religious groups are most likely to be offended by Christmas displays. But some Jews, like Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, are beginning to see this Jewish hostility and are speaking against it, which is good.

However, I think black conservatives are likely free of anti-white feelings, whereas many a Jewish conservative (like Safire) may yet harbor anti-Christianity feelings (for I think his animosity or more against Christianity that against Christians). This may be because conservatives are more likely to challenge false charges of racism than of anti-semitism.

Perhaps when The Passion does not result in mass attacks on Jews in the U.S., Safire and other Jews will feel more secure, and less hostile?

61 posted on 03/01/2004 1:19:35 AM PST by Commie Basher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
I hope so. It'd be something if it tops Titanic, but that'll require our repeat business, going every week, etc.
62 posted on 03/01/2004 1:20:46 AM PST by Commie Basher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: thatcher
That's a very god one by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I've read it before and it makes even more sense now.
63 posted on 03/01/2004 1:21:37 AM PST by dennisw (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: thatcher
That's a very good one by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I've read it before and it makes even more sense now.
64 posted on 03/01/2004 1:21:43 AM PST by dennisw (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: Commie Basher
Seeing the movie will become an act of religious faith. Nobody believed their soul was saved by Star Wars or the Titanic.

One thing that could spoil the numbers would be an early DVD release. Since Gibson does not seem to be into collecting megabucks for megabucks sake (he wants to put it all into his breakaway non-vatican-ii-catholic church, which is not a very big following), that is a distinct possibility.
65 posted on 03/01/2004 1:32:08 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: Sloth
And "on us and our children" isn't quite the same as " on all Jews for all time" either.
66 posted on 03/01/2004 1:57:31 AM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: hellinahandcart
I want to know why he thinks the other countries will bother to translate ancient dialects of Aramaic, Greek and Latin into their own languages instead of simply translating the English subtitles.
67 posted on 03/01/2004 2:01:01 AM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
He's a day late and a dollar short with this column. And in case he hadn't noticed, "the bar against film violence" was "radically lowered" a long time ago.
68 posted on 03/01/2004 2:05:29 AM PST by NYCVirago
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.

Here is your ribbon.

What, you don't want this ribbon? You must wear the ribbon!

Everyone who is in the march has to have a ribbon!

Hey, everyone! He (Kramer) does not want to wear the Aids Ribbon!

/sarcasm and a very poor attempt at humor.

___________________

I have not seen the movie but plan to. When the movie JFK came out, it was praised by a majority and panned by many - especially the elite on both sides of the politial fence. I liked it because there was not one theory in it that I had not read in books I had previously checked out of my public library. To me it seemed that Oliver Stone's sin was to put those theories in the movie theater in an artistic presentation. I wonder how many on this forum, who have bashed Stone for his artistic license, are now bashing those who bash Gibson for his?

69 posted on 03/01/2004 2:07:10 AM PST by leadpenny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: sfwarrior
Thanks for that link -- good stuff! I particularly liked this paragraph from Zev Chafets:

Today, Muslims are waging a worldwide jihad against "Zionists and Crusaders." Devout Christians are the allies of the Jews in this war. Branding these Christians as dumb and potentially dangerous bigots is obnoxious. It also is impolitic.

70 posted on 03/01/2004 2:09:48 AM PST by NYCVirago
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
To believe that Jesus was crucified and crucifiction is violent apparently makes one "medieval."

I know there are liberal self-styled Christians out there, but surely they all at least believe Jesus was crucified?
71 posted on 03/01/2004 2:11:00 AM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

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

I am surprised a man as educated as Mr. Safire can be so ignorant. What he says is quite simply, factually wrong.

72 posted on 03/01/2004 2:11:57 AM PST by nickcarraway (www.yadvashem.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff; diotima; Bob J; HangFire; Sloth; incindiary; nunya bidness; Askel5
Good grief... talk about missing the mark.
 
A friend and I caught the 10pm show at a very large cineplex on the west side of L.A. We casually strolled in around 9:30, no hurry, it's Oscar night, a Sunday, late, the theater is huge. It was nothin'-left-but-the-front-three-rows packed. With the hip hop crowd. Trippy.

73 posted on 03/01/2004 2:13:10 AM PST by AnnaZ (I hate Times New Roman... and it's all Mel Gibson's fault!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DestroytheDemocrats
Passion plays are hardly new, neither are films about Jesus. No "all of a sudden" about it.

Have you ever read a book pertaining to Christianity?
74 posted on 03/01/2004 2:16:29 AM PST by stands2reason (Liberal lurkers: stick around, you may just grow a brain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: DestroytheDemocrats
If a Caravaggio showing was in town would you refuse to see that, too?

75 posted on 03/01/2004 2:19:22 AM PST by AnnaZ (I hate Times New Roman... and it's all Mel Gibson's fault!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: AnnaZ; Cincinatus' Wife
A friend and I caught the 10pm show at a very large cineplex on the west side of L.A. We casually strolled in around 9:30, no hurry, it's Oscar night, a Sunday, late, the theater is huge. It was nothin'-left-but-the-front-three-rows packed. With the hip hop crowd. Trippy.





WOW. BTTT
76 posted on 03/01/2004 2:21:37 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
I am tired of the consistent error being made in all of the "Mel Gibson's The Passion is antisemitic" arguments. Either overtly or implicitly, the holocaust, is brought into the equation. It is the "trump" card recent history purportedly showing Christian oppression, persecution and revenge against the Jews that provides the "moral high-ground" to those criticizing the movie and its imagined antisemitism.

The truth is that Nazis who perpetrated that great crime were NOT CHRISTIANS. Their symbology and ethos was essentially PAGAN. Along with the huge numbers of innocent Jews slaughtered were thousands of Christian clergy, both Catholic and Protestant.

The true connection with antisemitism seems to be SOCIALISM. The greatest antisemitic pogroms of the 20th Century were committed by Socialist atheists or pagans in their communistic or fascistic forms. The animosity toward Jews from them is more likely brought about by jealousy for their perceived wealth than for any "killing of Christ" accusation.

Although most Jews were employed in the same kinds of work as their neighbors, sufficient numbers of them because prominent businesses that made them easy targets for socialists' purposes of creating a scapegoat to aim their invective at.

Jews, perhaps because of their ingrained need to be fluid in their assets because of a "racial" history of being forced to leave their homes, tended to hold more liquid assets that could be easily carried (rather than "real" assets) and became prominent in jewelry and banking, both associated with "liquid" assets and wealth.

The Jews became the lenders of funds and the purchasers of family heirlooms when people fell on hard times, which tended to give them an appearance of profiteering from the misfortune of others, rather than as benefactors providing ready cash for the newly destitute when needed. There was resentment that always attached to the shame of having to borrow or sell assets to survive. This perception of "somewhat shadily acquired" wealth made them easy targets for the class warfare and demonization the socialists needed to have an enemy to blame for the "failings" of capitalist society.

If one examines the persecution of Jews in the last 500 years, the ultimate cause is more likely this jealousy and resentment usually inflamed by some demagogues than any "blood inheritance" of blame for Jesus' death.

77 posted on 03/01/2004 2:25:05 AM PST by Swordmaker (This tagline shut down for renovations and repairs. Re-open June of 2001.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: onyx; All

Gibson's Passion tops box office - The Passion of the Christ has gone straight to the top of the North American box office chart. - ***Mel Gibson's controversial film about Jesus Christ took an estimated $76.2m (£40.7m) from Friday to Sunday. ***

78 posted on 03/01/2004 2:34:21 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Perfect post. Perfect photo and oh what GOOD NEW$ for Mel and Christianity.

79 posted on 03/01/2004 2:37:14 AM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 78 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
"His blood be on us, and on our children." ...that ancient self-curse from the screenplay...

"His blood be on us and on our children," is not a self-curse. It is prophecy. It is from the Bible. This prophecy is similar to what Caiphus, the High Priest, uttered, as revealed in John 11:50-52:

"You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people
than that the whole nation perish."
He did not say this on his own,
but as high priest that year he prophesied
that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,

and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God,
to bring them together and make them one.

Blood sacrifice was instituted by Jehovah. The first act of this we see was done by God Himself, recounted in the Book of Genesis, written by Moses, when God Himself slew animals and used their skins to 'cover' Adam and Eve in their naked shame. Blood sacrifice was confirmed, again in Genesis, when Abel's offering to God was accepted and Cain's refused.

The blood of sacrifice throughout Jewish history cleansed the Nation from sin and delivered them from death, ref. the Passover. In the Old Covenant blood-letting and sprinkling was conducted once a year by the high priest in the Holy of Holies and upon the people.

In the New Covenant, through Yeshua, the perfect, unblemished Lamb of God, sacrificed from the beginning of the world (pictured throughout the Scriptures, and prophecied over and over again in them) the sacrifice has been done once for all.

It is finished.

His blood be upon me, and on my children.
I say this in wonder, awe, and praise.

It is no self-curse. It is salvation.

80 posted on 03/01/2004 3:28:53 AM PST by .30Carbine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: okie01
What this buffoon and others do not realize or want to realize is that good and evil do not exclusively belong to any one group, gender, or race. Were Jews calling for the death of Jesus? Yes, but that does not mean that all Jews now living and have lived since are evil. Did Jews help the Nazis herd their own people into the showers and ovens? Yes. Did whites lynch blacks in the south? Yes. Do blacks commit crimes against blacks? Yes. But that does not mean that all whites, Jews, or blacks - now and in the future - should be judged by the actions of these people. When will people begin to realize this?
81 posted on 03/01/2004 4:01:11 AM PST by 7thson (I think it takes a big dog to weigh a 100 pounds.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
I have never liked this semi-conservative at all.
82 posted on 03/01/2004 4:04:01 AM PST by bmwcyle (<a href="http://www.johnkerry.com/" target="_blank">miserable failure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
Safire is just another leftist liberal whose condemnation of this film is in effect an approval rating.

Gibson, hopefully, will go on to produce more Biblical epics to further enrage the Godless left.
83 posted on 03/01/2004 4:08:37 AM PST by ZULU (GOD BLESS SENATOR McCARTHY!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
I got a freepmail pointing out that Mel's church wasn't a breakaway but an actual Rome-recognized arm of the RCC. My bad for the misunderstand and apologies for misleading anyone.
84 posted on 03/01/2004 4:40:24 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 65 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
where were these guys when KILL BILL/SCREAM were released???
85 posted on 03/01/2004 4:44:44 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation? What villain deserves to be punished?

Which is exactly the response Jesus forbids, in the very same movie Safire sat through.

86 posted on 03/01/2004 4:53:29 AM PST by Taliesan (fiction police)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gipper81

Safire does not love Jesus or he would not attack the Scriptures which testify about the Christ.
87 posted on 03/01/2004 5:00:45 AM PST by kittymyrib
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: fire_eye
it is out of context for someone in a bloodthirsty mob to call down curses on their own descendents.

Only if you actually believe in the curse, which they did not. If you believe your cause is just, it is a perfectly plausible piece of hyperbole, such as "I swear on my mother's grave." And such hyperbolic moments are ALWAYS reserved for high emotional contexts, which is when something nearly outrageous is required to stand out above the general din and focus the argument. And give assurance to a doubting vote that "if we are SO SURE the blood is innocent, you can trust us on this."

People who are responsible but don't want to be will always borrow extra sincerity from the surrounding zealots, and use it as their own.

Which is precisely what happened in the Gospels, in the most brilliant portrayel of a politician catering to zealots ever painted.

If you follow the dynamic of the argument between the Jews and Pilate, (like the movie did) it fits the context perfectly.

88 posted on 03/01/2004 5:04:10 AM PST by Taliesan (fiction police)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff; veronica
re: Another commentator who is really attacking the Gospels (in the guise of attacking Gibson) and putting christians on notice that they are not supposed to take their beliefs to the public square --- or they'll be ridiculed, denounced and, if the bigots can pull it off, financially ruined)))

ping ;-)

89 posted on 03/01/2004 5:21:16 AM PST by Mamzelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheMole
I thought Edomites were descendents of Esau--?
90 posted on 03/01/2004 5:25:28 AM PST by Mamzelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Theophilus
Nobody can say that anybody got sexual pleasure from this movie or the events depicted.

I know of a few who got their kicks out of watching the violence. (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.) But the vast, vast majority were Christians who found themeselves in deeper awe of the magnitude of Christ's sacrfice for them.

91 posted on 03/01/2004 5:28:16 AM PST by jude24 (Would You like to Know God Personally? - http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~tjminter/4laws/4laws.ppt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Mamzelle
Perhaps the only conclusion to come to, is that all art is open to interpretation, and that a movie like this is a subjective experience. There are people I like and respect on both sides of the debate, pro and con.
92 posted on 03/01/2004 5:34:13 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 89 | View Replies]

To: freebilly
Also in the movie, which Safire conveniently ignored: When Jesus was taken by the Romans in the Garden of Gesthemane and some of the apsotles struggled, He said, "Stop. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword."
93 posted on 03/01/2004 5:52:38 AM PST by Rennes Templar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
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.

One sentence, four major errors.
1) Since when have many parents cared about the violence their children see in movies, on TV, in the computer games they play, or depicted in the music they listen to? A lot of parents have no idea about what their children are fed by the entertainment industry.
2) Mel Gibson is not exploiting any "loophole;" violence, and very graphically portrayed, is a major ingredient in a lot of entertainment these days.
3) Audiences are not flocking to The Passion for the violence; its for the message, the story, the passion of the Christ.
4. Graphic violence has a place in certain movies (e.g. Saving Private Ryan), but The Passion is not going to make mainstream producers push the envelope of violence. Its already been pushed and will continue to be pushed until there is no longer a prurient market for it.

94 posted on 03/01/2004 5:59:29 AM PST by HenryLeeII (John Kerry's votes have killed more people than my guns!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wirestripper
Another interesting point from another area altogether:

I was reading Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, which for its day was pretty shocking reading. Rather than heap praise and eulogize the Caesars, he wrote a tell-all.

The bargain of power in that day was that civil obedience, high taxes, military conscription, etc. would be exchanged for the circus of the arena: bloodsport.

One caesar after another would top themselves in the bloodshed of it all until no amount of blood could compensate the people for the situation they were in.

Pilot reigned in the era of Claudius, the emperor who succeeded Caligula, and to a large extent spent the fourteen years of his rule righting a badly tottering empire left behind to him by that butchering sadist.

To hand a single man over to be murdered to placate the a populace was so small in that era as to be less than a footnote. During Caligula's reign, even Romans were made to battle like gladiators for their lives in the end. Nobody was safe. This incident with Jesus garnered attention only for the fact that never before had a people called for the blood of one man with such unified strength.

To test this lust, Pilot offered a choice between a convicted murderer of Jews, and Jesus, and it wasn't even close.

I think it was charitable that Mel personified Satan in this movie. Ultimately, 'the devil made us do it' might be the dodge.

Ultimately, Christ was killed by the very people he sought to save, including me. The whole 'Jews killed Jesus' question may just be an angle Satan has been using over the millenia to salvage what turned out to be a bad situation for him.
95 posted on 03/01/2004 6:02:11 AM PST by RinaseaofDs (Only those who dare truly live - CGA 88 Class Motto)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: churchillbuff
So another Manhattan salonite speaks.

Do elites have term limits? They have overstayed their welcome by about 30 yrs.
96 posted on 03/01/2004 6:07:25 AM PST by roses of sharon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RinaseaofDs
I think that Dennis Prager said it exactly right when he said that Christians and non-Christians watched two very different messages. I saw the movie on Saturday morning at 12:00 in the afternoon. It was packed 1/2 hour before it even started. It was a very powerful movie. I almost wanted to jump through the screen and just put an end to the torture. As it ended, we walked out stunned, silent, reflective, and peacefull. No one left the movie blaming the Jews or anyone else. I think Mel Gibson used the Pilate charachter as an indictment of our present politicians who knowingly sacrifice our rights, liberty, and freedoms in order to stay loyal to their corporate and special interest masters. I think that Jewish people who criticise this movie as being anti-semetic are giving the same baloney as Italian Americans who criticise the Sopranos. Just pure and utter garbage. The worst part is that most Christians I know are strongly in favor of Israel and fellow Jews, myself included.
97 posted on 03/01/2004 6:08:25 AM PST by chris1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 95 | View Replies]

To: TheMole
Edom is another name for Esau, the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, who was bargained out of his birthright by the wily Jacob. I think Ruth may also have been an Edomite, but I'll have to look further.

So Herod is not without *some* claim.

98 posted on 03/01/2004 6:15:34 AM PST by Mamzelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: 7thson
Your response displays more thought than Safire's entire column.
99 posted on 03/01/2004 6:19:34 AM PST by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 81 | View Replies]

To: wirestripper
It really seemed to me that it was the Romans who conducted (and enjoyed) most of the brutality. I don't doubt that they were as brutal as they were told to be - part of the Roman ideology was to be strong, unmovable, stern, and vicious when necessary. But I thought that the Romans were nothing if not disciplined, and the movie showed them almost as out of control as the mob.
100 posted on 03/01/2004 6:19:40 AM PST by johnb838 (Boycott all Hollywood movies besides the Passion during Lent.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-150151-157 next last

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