Skip to comments.Open Letter To Charles Krauthammer Re:"The Passion"
Posted on 03/05/2004 6:27:49 PM PST by Stand4Truth
Why such hostility toward a movie that has moved millions of Christians to deepen their faith? All true Christians including myself believe that Christ died for the sins of all mankind everywhere for all time. That is the story and Mel Gibson has given millions and millions of Christians a valued and treasured depiction of this central theme to our faith. The fact is that certain Romans and Jews 2000 years ago were directly involved in this story. It is frustrating to many, many Christians and Jews that a small minority has tried to make this a story about Jews vs. Christianity. That does a serious disservice to the movie, the story of "Christ's Passion" itself, and it comes off as quite disingenious. When you get outside of Hollywood and the beltway and speak with average people you have to hunt long and hard (I have yet to find one in my many many discussions of the movie) to find those who sincerely think that Mel Gibson created an anti-semitic movie. Millions of Christians such as myself have a great love for the Jewish people as we do for all races (that is what Christ commanded and incidently Mel went to great lengths to include that communication that Christ commanded us to love all people as He had done).
YOU WROTE:The blood libel that this story had affixed upon the Jewish people had resulted in countless Christian massacres of Jews, and prepared Europe for the ultimate massacre -- 6 million Jews systematically murdered within six years.
So, you believe that the central act of the Christian faith is responsible for the holocaust. Please, spare us the overheated hyperbole. The message of "Christ's Passion in the gospels, in 2,000 years of Church teaching, and in "The Passion" is that mankind turned it's back on God and sinned and in order to provide a way for us (all of us) back to God's grace the bloody sacrifice was necessary. Christ "voluntarily" stood in for us to give himself as that sacrifice.
YOU WROTE: He openly rejects the Vatican II teaching.
Many Catholics reject "the result" of Vatican II because of the devastation it has wraught on The Church. To insinuate that because Mel rejects what Vatican II has done to the Catholic Church makes him an anti-semite is like saying that because someone does not support the war in Iraq they are pro-terrorism. You should really do your due diligence and study the whole of Vatican II, how it has been "interpreted and carried out" by the liberals in the West before you judge someone for accepting it or not based upon a single aspect of this vast council.
YOU WROTE: His other defense is that he is just telling the Gospel story. Nonsense. There is no single Gospel story of the Passion; there are subtle differences among the four accounts.
This is a classic "muddy the waters" strategy so that the non-thinking reader cannot figure out how to disagree with you. The central theme and truth of the "Gospel Story" is what I stated above. All four gospels clearly tell this story as does the movie. Different aspects of "Christ's Passion" are emphasized in the different gospels because they were written by different disciples of Christ who wanted to get certain aspects and truths across.
YOU WROTE: And Gibson's personal interpretation is spectacularly vicious. Three of the Gospels have but a one-line reference to Jesus' scourging. The fourth has no reference at all. In Gibson's movie this becomes 10 minutes of the most unremitting sadism in the history of film. Why 10? Why not five? Why not two? Why not zero, as in Luke? Gibson chose 10.
Why not 15?? Why not 20?? Do you really expect us to believe that Mel overplayed the viciousness of a Roman scouraging?? This wasn't the only one you know. The brutality of this kind of punishment is legendary and the fact that you apparently don't understand that speaks again to a lack of proper research and due diligence before writing your opinion piece. When you take a cat of nine tails with weighted shards of metal or glass and drive it repeatedly into someone's skin with brute force you cannot overplay the result. The gospel writers were writing to people who clearly understood how horrible a "scourging" was and did not need to have it explained in excruciating detail. Your minimization of this portion of Christ's sacrifice is in itself evidence as to why Gibson needed to present this so graphically. If I say that Truman "dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima" those who understand what this is clearly know the devastation, but my kids who have not seen the images or heard the stories would not receive it with the same impact.
YOU WROTE: The most subtle, and most revolting, of these has to my knowledge not been commented upon. In Gibson's movie Satan appears four times. Not one of these appearances occurs in the four Gospels. They are pure invention.
Anyone who understands the Christian faith and the Christian Scriptures to any serious degree knows full well that satan was at the very heart of "The Passion" story and is at the very heart of the battle for souls today and for all time. Without satan none of this would have been necessary. It is the ultimate clash between good and evil. To "not include" this in the story in some way would have been shocking. Satan appears as you say four times and you are using one of them to try and drum up some claim of anti-semitism. The simple answer as to why this has not been commented upon is because objective viewers of this movie who are not "searching for something" would have never dreamed that Mel injected satan into this story to paint Jews, Romans, or any race as particularly satanic. Clearly Christians believe that satan is behind motivating people throughout history to committ heinous sinful acts such as Hitler's murder of millions of Jews, Stalin's murder of millions of Christians, and yes the betrayal of Christ by Judas, the savage beating He received from the Roman guards, and the other brutalities that He suffered for "all" and from "all".
WOW! That's hard to believe they were against it. But why should it be any different than in Jesus day when so many of the "Religious/Self righteous crowd missed what God was really doing and picked at petty stupid stuff.
Please reconsider your statement. Rethink this clearly, please.
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