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Passion bashin' is in fashion
The Globe and Mail ^ | 3-20-04 | MARGARET WENTE

Posted on 03/20/2004 6:03:12 AM PST by truthandlife

Judging by most of what you read, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ is the most dangerous, disgusting movie of all time. Even if you haven't seen it, you know that it's a gore-filled splatterfest with anti-Semitic overtones, that Mel Gibson's father is a flat-out Holocaust-denier, and that Mel himself is a sinister marketing genius.

The movie has been condemned by most reviewers. This paper's Rick Groen said it "comes perilously close to the pornography of violence." Frank Rich, The New York Times cultural writer, has been flaying Mr. Gibson's movie for weeks. "A joy ride for sadomasochists" was among his kinder remarks. The brilliant Christopher Hitchens called it both homoerotic (in a Nazified kind of way) and sadomasochistic. The Toronto Star's Linda McQuaig called it a "torture flick" that will "fan the flames" of anti-Semitism. Commentators of every faith have deplored it as a religious travesty.

So why is The Passion doing such boffo box office?

Because for millions of people across North America, The Passion is a deeply meaningful devotional experience.

"I was profoundly moved," says Ken Godon , who is pastor of Snowdon Baptist Church in Montreal. "It was a very, very emotional experience for me. I saw it twice, and I wept both times. I'm a devout follower of Jesus, and I love him."

The real rift over The Passion is not between the Christians and the Jews. It's

between certain devout Christians and

all the rest of us, especially those of little or no faith. Virtually everyone who mongers opinions in the mainstream media,

including me, belongs to the latter

category.

Rev. Godon is a fine and thoughtful man who counts several rabbis among his friends. His flourishing urban congregation includes Iranians, Filipinos, Africans, West Indians, Chinese and Koreans. Some are converts to Christianity. They feel as he does about the movie. "In the Hebrew scriptures [the Old Testament], there is a chapter which describes what will happen in the future. The Messiah, or the suffering servant, will be marred beyond recognition," he told me. In other words, the gore is precisely the point. "Mel doesn't want people to see a sanitized version of how horrific this was."

In this rendering of Christianity, the suffering is at the very heart of the faith. God allowed His Son to be crushed in our stead. What was done to Jesus is a metaphor for sin. "This is what sin does," says Rev. Godon. "It destroys, it disfigures, it mars. So when you put it all together it becomes a very, very deep reflection. It's a meditation on Jesus and also on my own personal soul."

In the movie, both Jews and Romans howl for Jesus's blood. But Rev. Godon says no Baptist would take a message of anti-Semitism from this. The real message is that we all bear responsibility for Christ's death, and we are all with sin.

In fact, there's no sign that the movie has provoked any upwelling of anti-Semitism. (Some argue that it might be used as a propaganda tool in the Muslim world, but that's another story.) And ironically, the evangelical community is among the staunchest supporters of Jews and Israel. "I have a deep respect for Jewish people," says Rev. Gordon. "I look up to them. I honour them. My faith is connected to their traditions and their scriptures. Everything started with the Jewish people."

He's distressed that some Jewish groups are officially upset by the movie (others are not). "When I look at the film, there is nothing but a profound love for Jesus and a deep respect for the culture from which he came," he says.

Mr. Gibson belongs to a tiny sect of backward-looking Catholics who reject Vatican II and think that everybody but themselves is going to hell. As Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes, the guy's a wacko.

So isn't it odd that a movie with such wide appeal to Protestants came from him?

"I'm not a Mel Gibson expert," says Rev. Godon. "But I feel reverence oozing out of the film."

Christian evangelism -- which accepts the literal truth of the Bible -- is the fastest-growing brand of religion in North America today. As the grand old edifices of the Anglican and United Churches empty out, the new fundamentalist congregations are booming. It's not hard to guess why. The churches of the Protestant upper classes have neutered Jesus of his terrifying power. They got rid of all the militancy and gore, which were seen as hopelessly primitive. The suffering of Jesus is Christianity's greatest calling card, and they threw it away.

The Jesus I grew up with was a California hippie with a peace symbol. He was gentle, meek, and it never occurred to me that he was Jewish. The revolutionary Jesus condemning sinners to hellfire was nowhere to be seen. Even as I marched up the aisle on the day I was confirmed, it had begun to dawn on me that Jesus was just a metaphor. You weren't expected to take any of this hocus-pocus literally. In which case, why bother?

The up-market liberal churches have pushed God to the sidelines in favour of ecumenism and social justice. He has all but vanished. For evangelicals, God is real. The blood is not a metaphor. The suffering of Jesus is holy, and to contemplate it is to bear witness. "To me, as horrific as it was, the movie was hauntingly beautiful," says Rev. Godon.

You won't see this view articulated in the mainstream media. Most media folks are proudly secular types who regard openly religious people as distinctly odd. If you're gay, bi, or transgendered, we embrace you. But if your orientation is toward Jesus, you'd better keep it to yourself. We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous. This stereotype is easy to sustain because we've never actually met one.

After I talked with Ken Godon, I finally went off to see The Passion. To me, the movie was alternately riveting and revolting, moving and unwatchable. Once or twice it almost touched a chord of rapture in me, the sort of rapture that I vaguely remember feeling as a girl.

The Passion is on its way to being the biggest hit in movie history. Something's happening here, and we ought to find out what it is.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News
KEYWORDS: faith; jesus; nonbelievers; passion; spiritualjourney
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 03/20/2004 6:03:12 AM PST by truthandlife
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To: truthandlife; JohnHuang2; toddst; Dataman; sola gracia; George Frm Br00klyn Park; JenB; Jerry_M; ...
'Passion' ping
2 posted on 03/20/2004 6:03:54 AM PST by truthandlife ("Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." (Ps 20:7))
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To: truthandlife
"We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous."

I'm always amazed by this belief. Many of the greatest thinkers and writers in history have been Christian. I cut intellectual teeth on CS Lewis and Chesterton.


3 posted on 03/20/2004 6:09:51 AM PST by OpusatFR (Liberals lie because the truth would kill them all off.)
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To: truthandlife
"Something's happening here, and we ought to find out what it is."

Is a faint light beginning to dawn? Is the Holy spirit at work in this life? Let us pray.

4 posted on 03/20/2004 6:10:27 AM PST by moneyrunner (I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed to its idolatries a patient knee.)
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To: truthandlife
Margaret is one of the few writers I can read at the mop and pail(standard nickname for the Globe and Mail). She occasionally gets it right.
5 posted on 03/20/2004 6:13:40 AM PST by xp38
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To: OpusatFR
A bit off-topic, but I've read a LOT of Lewis, and would now like to read Chesterton.

What's a good start?

-- Joe

P.S. I heartily agree with your comment. Christianity IS historically reasonable, logically defensible, and anyone with belief in objective truth and morality has a lot more to say than an intellectual with a whatever-you-think-is-OK relativistic worldview.
6 posted on 03/20/2004 6:14:12 AM PST by Joe Republc
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To: truthandlife
Finally saw the film last night... For any believer who ever said "Jesus suffered and died for my sins," this film will never let you say that again without remembering vividly HOW he suffered and died.

Throughout the last half, you feel like crying out "Stop beating him already!" Very moving. This film will be packed again Easter weekend...

7 posted on 03/20/2004 6:18:34 AM PST by vrwinger
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To: truthandlife
Excellent and very honest article from one of the media-elite who seems to be able to "get it."

Though there is still a little trouble when comparing the following statements:

Mr. Gibson belongs to a tiny sect of backward-looking Catholics who reject Vatican II and think that everybody but themselves is going to hell. As Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes, the guy's a wacko.

Most media folks are proudly secular types who regard openly religious people as distinctly odd. If you're gay, bi, or transgendered, we embrace you. But if your orientation is toward Jesus, you'd better keep it to yourself. We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous.

The first statement seems to be a full embracing of the stereotype she castigates her fellows for in the latter. Still, barring Saul on the road to Damascus, it's not expected that one "gets it" all in one shot. I'm happy to take what we can get.

8 posted on 03/20/2004 6:19:28 AM PST by Snuffington
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To: truthandlife
I must confess that after seeing the Passion I became very violent.
9 posted on 03/20/2004 6:19:43 AM PST by TAP ONLINE (Not a hater, just smart enough to know when I saw evil..)
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To: OpusatFR
.....Many of the greatest thinkers and writers in history have been Christian......

WELL SAID!

(To God be the glory, great things He hath done......)

10 posted on 03/20/2004 6:20:29 AM PST by Fiddlstix (This Space Available for Rent or Lease by the Day, Week, or Month. Reasonable Rates. Inquire within.)
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To: truthandlife; BibChr; Sabertooth; dsc
It's between certain devout Christians and all the rest of us, especially those of little or no faith

I'm more of a Deist than a Christian, but an honest secular view of Christ's sacrifices and the Christian notion of sin and Christ's sacrifice for the sins of others is still a powerful statement to anyone with a sense of humility.

You won't see this view articulated in the mainstream media. Most media folks are proudly secular types who regard openly religious people as distinctly odd. If you're gay, bi, or transgendered, we embrace you. But if your orientation is toward Jesus, you'd better keep it to yourself. We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous. This stereotype is easy to sustain because we've never actually met one.

The honesty is deeply appreciated, Ms. Wente. Most liberal media types aren't nearly so circumspect regarding their own biases towards Christianity. And honesty towards one's own biases is the first step towards bridging differences.

After I talked with Ken Godon, I finally went off to see The Passion. To me, the movie was alternately riveting and revolting, moving and unwatchable. Once or twice it almost touched a chord of rapture in me, the sort of rapture that I vaguely remember feeling as a girl.

I now see where the circumspection comes from, Ms. Wente - you still have a few threads of faith and humanity running through your psyche.

The Passion is on its way to being the biggest hit in movie history. Something's happening here, and we ought to find out what it is.

A smart liberal. I thought they were just about extinct.

11 posted on 03/20/2004 6:23:01 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: OpusatFR
Not to mention Sir Isaac Newton.
13 posted on 03/20/2004 6:27:36 AM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: TAP ONLINE
I must confess that after seeing the Passion I became very violent.

So violent, that I defaced cornerstones that had roman numerals.

So violent that I no longer eat Roman Bread. So violent that I no longer am a Roman Catholic, just Catholic. Can I be helped?

14 posted on 03/20/2004 6:31:40 AM PST by TAP ONLINE (Not a hater, just smart enough to know when I saw evil..)
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To: truthandlife
It's between certain devout Christians and all the rest of us, especially those of little or no faith. Virtually everyone who mongers opinions in the mainstream media, including me, belongs to the latter category.

Refreshing honesty.

To me, the movie was alternately riveting and revolting, moving and unwatchable. Once or twice it almost touched a chord of rapture in me, the sort of rapture that I vaguely remember feeling as a girl.

Sad and wonderful. God help her.

15 posted on 03/20/2004 6:32:58 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: dirtboy
I'm more of a Deist than a Christian

How do you define deism? I ask you this question because I'm curious as to how people really view Deism.

16 posted on 03/20/2004 6:41:15 AM PST by sirchtruth
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To: Joe Republc
Here's the link for the American Chesterton Society.

I can recommend "Orthodoxy."

Also, G.K. CHESTERTON, THE APOSTLE OF COMMON SENSE is running on EWTN Saturday afternoons at 5:00 P.M. Don't miss it!

17 posted on 03/20/2004 6:41:41 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: sirchtruth
How do you define deism? I ask you this question because I'm curious as to how people really view Deism.

I believe in God but am not certain as to Christ's divinity. Since I was raised an Episcopalean, it was a logical transition.

And no, that doesn't make me Jewish by default.

18 posted on 03/20/2004 6:50:10 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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To: dirtboy
I believe in God but am not certain as to Christ's divinity.

So as you define deist, you would define it as one who believes in God?

And no, that doesn't make me Jewish by default.

I don't understand? Do some think you Jewish because you're not sure of Christ divinity?

19 posted on 03/20/2004 6:55:56 AM PST by sirchtruth
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To: truthandlife
The churches of the Protestant upper classes have neutered Jesus of his terrifying power. They got rid of all the militancy and gore, which were seen as hopelessly primitive. The suffering of Jesus is Christianity's greatest calling card, and they threw it away.

What a testimony from an outsider (who may be on her way in!).

As my favorite marxist jesuit, Ivan Illich, said, "The gospel is like a joke told to a circle of men. And one man smiles."

20 posted on 03/20/2004 7:04:07 AM PST by TomSmedley ((technical writer looking for work!))
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To: truthandlife; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp IV; narses; ...

"I'm not a Mel Gibson expert," says Rev. Godon. "But I feel reverence oozing out of the film."

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


21 posted on 03/20/2004 7:08:23 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: sirchtruth
So as you define deist, you would define it as one who believes in God?

I use an affiliation to deism loosely rather than specifically, as it is probably the closest description of my beliefs. A lot of Deists are outright hostile to Christianity, and I'm not. I just believe in a higher power, have seen what I consider to be evidence of such, adhere to basic tenets of Judeo-Christian morality - but am not certain of Christ's divinity. Unlike some liberal Anglican types who are bishops in their church while expressing doubts about Christ being the son of God, I'm not going to be hypocritical and call myself a Christian - to me, if you're a Christian, you need to believe that Christ was the son of God and was resurrected - or else you're kinda overlooking key aspects of the faith you profess to believe in.

I don't understand? Do some think you Jewish because you're not sure of Christ divinity?

I was half joking - since Jews adhere to Judeo-Christian morality and question Christ's divinity, there is a bit of similiarity in viewpoints there.

22 posted on 03/20/2004 7:09:02 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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To: TAP ONLINE
"...I must confess that after seeing the Passion I became very violent..."

Me too...

My date and I wanted to go beat somebody up.

But we couldn't find any Roman Centurions, so we went and had dinner instead.
23 posted on 03/20/2004 7:09:31 AM PST by moonhawk (Actually, I'm voting FOR John Kerry....Before I vote AGAINST him.)
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To: vrwinger
As a nominal and not very devout Christian, I too saw the film, if only to show support for Gibson against the literati crowd who have seemed to have ganged up on him. I found the film beautifully shot in a great painting kind of way and the violence strangely endurable because it had a purpose, unlike much screen violence which seems to be grossly gratuitous.
While I did not cry, many in the audience did. For me, the most moving scene happens at the end when Jesus is removed from the cross and rests in Mary's arms. The scene is composed almost like "The Pieta" by Michaelangelo. Anyway, Mary kisses Jesus on the cheek and, as the camera moves in, she turns to face us ( the audience ) and, with blood smeared on her cheeks and lips she stares hard at us for what seems like minutes. Her eyes seem accusatory and demanding; Why did you, all of you, do this to my son? Very effective. It had me choked up there for a minute, I tell you.
24 posted on 03/20/2004 7:14:34 AM PST by finnigan2
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To: truthandlife
Yep. It spawned hate in me. It made me want to smack every atheist in the head and say "Get it now???????"
25 posted on 03/20/2004 7:15:17 AM PST by My Favorite Headache (Rush 30th Anniversary Tour Tickets On Sale Now!)
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To: My Favorite Headache
Smakc some athiests ... did they turn the other cheek? But why stop there? The world is full of people who just don't get christ's love. Smack em all until they do.
26 posted on 03/20/2004 7:20:54 AM PST by YourtaxCutMan (http://www.nhccs.org/)
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To: finnigan2
The part thta got me was when mary thought back to jesus as a child and he falls and she runs after him. I think at times Gibson was tryig to make it seem mary had made a bigger sacrifise than jesus
27 posted on 03/20/2004 7:24:41 AM PST by YourtaxCutMan (http://www.nhccs.org/)
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To: truthandlife
Something's happening here, and we ought to find out what it is.

I agree, and pray that you do.
28 posted on 03/20/2004 7:25:37 AM PST by kenth
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To: YourtaxCutMan
I didn't see that at all. Knowing He did that for us willingly drove home the point of His ultimate sacrifice. Mary's anguish was to help show the reality of what happened, to make her real. People are visual and some are better at understanding if they have a visual aid.

I normally dislike grammer police, but it's proper to capitalize Jesus, He when referring to Jesus, and Mary.
29 posted on 03/20/2004 7:38:58 AM PST by kenth
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To: Aquinasfan
The only Chesterton book I've ever read is "The Man Who Was Thursday", for an assignment back in art school. Your link describes it as "great for starting arguments". :D

It started a few arguments in illustration class. "WTF is this book about??"

I think I'll read it again, it's been a couple of decades...
30 posted on 03/20/2004 7:39:40 AM PST by hellinahandcart
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To: dirtboy
I use an affiliation to deism loosely rather than specifically, as it is probably the closest description of my beliefs.

Ok, I see. Let me ask you this, there are over eight hundred prophecies in the OT about Christ. Do know of one that he did not fufill? (I'm not talking factual here, just relative to the OT text).

Here's my point: Since you're not sure of Christ divinity and there is no concrete proof that Jesus was the messiah, why would you put more faith in a "God" that there is less evidence of his existance than Jesus'? At least with Jesus there were supposedly eye witness accounts and testimony? In other words, what basis do you decide why God is and Jesus isn't?

This is not a conversion talk, I'm really just trying to gather information for a topic I might speak on.

31 posted on 03/20/2004 7:42:32 AM PST by sirchtruth
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To: sirchtruth
Here's my point: Since you're not sure of Christ divinity and there is no concrete proof that Jesus was the messiah, why would you put more faith in a "God" that there is less evidence of his existance than Jesus'?

I have seen things in my own life and existance that lead me to believe in God. I, however, can see alternative views and explanations as to whether Jesus is divine or not, and to me you need to have a solid faith in Christ's divinity in order to declare yourself to be a Christian.

32 posted on 03/20/2004 7:45:55 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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To: dirtboy
Ok, thanks!
33 posted on 03/20/2004 7:56:40 AM PST by sirchtruth
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To: hellinahandcart
It started a few arguments in illustration class. "WTF is this book about??"

I'd like to read that one too. I've read "Orthodoxy" and "St. Thomas Aquinas." He's got some great quotes. I'd like to read "Heresies" too.

34 posted on 03/20/2004 7:59:08 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: truthandlife
The Globe and Mail gets it right from time to time (unlike the sleazy and oh-so-politically-correct NY Times, LA Times, Seattle Times...). Thanks!
35 posted on 03/20/2004 8:04:38 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: truthandlife
Mr. Gibson belongs to a tiny sect of backward-looking Catholics who reject Vatican II and think that everybody but themselves is going to hell. As Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes, the guy's a wacko. So isn't it odd that a movie with such wide appeal to Protestants came from him?

I always get a kick out of remarks like this.

The media/critics of the film actually think that Mel Gibson came up with the story of the Passion.

Sure I'm a Protestant and I realize there are some scenes that are Catholic tradition versus actual story from the Gospels.

But that doesn't detract from the fact that most of the movie is straight from the Bible.

I was moved by the imagery, even though I know it didn't actually happen.

For instance, when Christ crushed the head of the serpent that Satan had let loose in the Garden, what a powerful symbolic portrayal of the prophetic pronouncement in Gen. 3:15.

At least this writer is intellectually honest in admitting that she knows there must be more to it, since it is appreciated by so many people.

36 posted on 03/20/2004 8:47:04 AM PST by dawn53
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To: hellinahandcart
I think I'll read it again, it's been a couple of decades...

Don't bother, it's a horrible book. Chesterton at his worst and most annoying.

37 posted on 03/20/2004 9:01:31 AM PST by Maximilian
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To: Joe Republc; Aquinasfan
You can also find nearly all of Chestertons works online at G. K. Chesterton
38 posted on 03/20/2004 9:08:48 AM PST by WritableSpace
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To: finnigan2
I saw in that scene where Mary looks directly into the camera not as an accusing look, but one to challenge us with. More of a look of, "He did this FOR you. Now what will YOU do?"
39 posted on 03/20/2004 9:17:42 AM PST by Conservative Iowan
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To: Thane_Banquo

And Johannes Kepler and Malcolm Muggeridge.
40 posted on 03/20/2004 9:20:03 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: My Favorite Headache
Get it now???????

Yeah, but I still don't believe that there is some old man in the sky.

41 posted on 03/20/2004 9:38:26 AM PST by glorgau
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To: truthandlife
Interesting, if rambling and interspersed with damning with faint praise:

The movie has been condemned by most reviewers.

Flat out not true -- at best the reviews are 50/50 and the more influential ones (including Ebert and Ropert) have approved of it.

Commentators of every faith have deplored it as a religious travesty.

Again, flat out not true -- why is she setting her article up with Jason-Blaire type facts? To make her "big-mindedness" some value?

The real rift over The Passion is not between the Christians and the Jews. It's between certain devout Christians and all the rest of us, especially those of little or no faith. Virtually everyone who mongers opinions in the mainstream media, including me, belongs to the latter

Ahh, the crux of the matter (no pun intended). This is what many of us reading this picked up on -- so we have to ask the question if most of the US is Christian to some degree or other and beter than 80% are religious, then why do we allow the media to not reflect our values?

category.

Mr. Gibson belongs to a tiny sect of backward-looking Catholics who reject Vatican II and think that everybody but themselves is going to hell. As Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes, the guy's a wacko.

Huh? And double-Huh? Gibson is esssentially the Catholic equivilant of Hassidic (sp?) Jews -- a bit backward looking but no Catholic of any stripe thinks everyone is going to hell but them. Again, why these meaningless and mean assertions?

So isn't it odd that a movie with such wide appeal to Protestants came from him?

No, this is from the same New Testament that all Christians read. The artistic embelishments don't change the basic story, which is agreed upon.

The churches of the Protestant upper classes have neutered Jesus of his terrifying power. They got rid of all the militancy and gore, which were seen as hopelessly primitive. The suffering of Jesus is Christianity's greatest calling card, and they threw it away.

Demeaning and wrong. The reason for the draw is that people see the Liberal Mainstream as devoid of any morals, ethics, or scruples. Christianty and Christ's message of love and sacrifice is a refreshing alternative (although really it is the mainstream and these "do anything I want" types are the alternative).

The Jesus I grew up with was a California hippie with a peace symbol.

Then you never read the bible. This is the 60's JC Super Star Jesus that no Christina recognizies except as a shadow of Him.

He was gentle, meek, and it never occurred to me that he was Jewish. The revolutionary Jesus condemning sinners to hellfire was nowhere to be seen. Even as I marched up the aisle on the day I was confirmed, it had begun to dawn on me that Jesus was just a metaphor. You weren't expected to take any of this hocus-pocus literally. In which case, why bother?

In other words, "you Christians are fools and idiots for really believing a human being could be the embodiment of God."

We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous. This stereotype is easy to sustain because we've never actually met one.

No, you know that Christians live based on a Moral Code, there is a Right and a Wrong, and they insist that everyone be held accountable for their actions. This is terrifying to the Liberal Left. How is it possible to have not met one? They represent the bulk of the population of the US?

The Passion is on its way to being the biggest hit in movie history. Something's happening here, and we ought to find out what it is.

ya think? In other words, if this wasn't a success, we could contine to treat the Christians with the distain they so richly deserve. Now, the hands over our eyes and the "nya nya nya" on our lips don't work.

Folks, this is NOT an objective report with refreshing honesty. It is an attempt to innoculate the writer from being like the rest of the idiots in the press and Hollywood in completely missing the fact that they are completely and totally out of touch. The little embellishments I addressed are there so her Liberal friends can nod their head and say "yes yes it doesn't make any sense!"

42 posted on 03/20/2004 10:22:24 AM PST by freedumb2003 (If your cat has babies in the oven you don't call them biscuits!)
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To: sirchtruth
Ok, thanks!

No problemo. If you do end up speaking on topic, please be so kind as to freepmail me a transcript, I'd be curious to read it.

43 posted on 03/20/2004 10:36:01 AM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: dirtboy
Interesting essay, and post. Thanks!

Dan
45 posted on 03/20/2004 10:49:06 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Maximilian
"This is a book I do not like,
Take it away to Heckmondwike,
A lurid exile, lost and sad,
to punish it for being bad.
You need not take it from the shelf,
(I tried to read it once myself:
The speeches jerk, the chapters sprawl,
The story makes no sense at all)
Hide it your Yorkshire moors among
Where no man speaks the English tongue."

Chesterton on Chesterton's The Ball and the Cross
46 posted on 03/20/2004 10:56:18 AM PST by OpusatFR (Liberals lie because the truth would kill them all off.)
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To: OpusatFR
"We are fairly certain that born-again Christians are bigoted, not very intelligent, and possibly dangerous."

I'm always amazed by this belief. Many of the greatest thinkers and writers in history have been Christian. I cut intellectual teeth on CS Lewis and Chesterton.

This is SO true. A friend of mine and I once went to the (Episcopal) priest in charge of the Sunday school, offering to teach a course on the works of C.S. Lewis. His response was, "Oh, I think this parish has gotten beyond Lewis." I completely lost it, I chewed the guy out royally - told him that was the most fatuous thing I had heard all day, and who in the parish had taken firsts at Oxford in Greek and Latin Literature, Philosophy and Ancient History, AND English Literature, who in the parish had written for the Oxford History of English Literature, etc. etc. etc. To say he was taken aback is an understatement. Liberals who think Christians are "dumb" have no idea that Lewis was a first-flight intellect and almost unbearably well-educated.

47 posted on 03/20/2004 11:09:21 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . Ministrix of Venery (recess appointment), TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary . . .)
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To: AnAmericanMother
Yes, but remember, they are both extra-biblical! ( ;

(Just poking a little fun at our more literal brethren...)


48 posted on 03/20/2004 11:26:05 AM PST by OpusatFR (Liberals lie because the truth would kill them all off.)
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To: truthandlife
The Jesus I grew up with was a California hippie with a peace symbol. He was gentle,
meek, and it never occurred to me that he was Jewish.


Even in a conservative Church of Christ environment as a teenager at the end
of the Vietnam War, I had this sort of feeling.
In retrospect, it is shocking that I didn't get more flack for gently expositing
view because:

1.Gentle with the woman at the well doesn't mean there wasn't a justified
@$$-whooping of the exploitative vendors at the temple!

2. "Meek" doesn't really mean being a pacifist wimp...in the Greek sense,
it means "trainable"...as in accepting discipline in the Marine Corps.
(I heard one pastor say that a famous letter from a Greek soldier said that
the strong horse he'd captured from the enemy was "meek"...meaning that this
strong brute of an animal was well-trained and almost instinctively obedient
to the direction of his master.)

3. And suprisingly, my fellow Sunday School class-mates didn't point out
that Jesus or Peter weren't recorded as reading the riot act to the
honorable Roman soldiers that they had encounters with...and no
"give peace a chance, you baby-killer" speeches...

4. As for Jewishness...that was always known...but I'm afraid that a lot
of mainstream Christians don't get a good, detailed view of the Jesus' life
and time in his Jewish world.
49 posted on 03/20/2004 11:31:16 AM PST by VOA
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To: dirtboy; sirchtruth
No problemo. If you do end up speaking on topic, please be so kind as to freepmail me a transcript, I'd be curious to read it.

Likewise, if you would be so kind. This is an interesting discussion for me. I spent over a decade thinking of myself as a Deist. It was kind've a lonely place to be. After experiencing the evidence of a Higher Power (whom I acknowledged as God) in my own life, I began reading the Bible for the first time. The God of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, was "familiar" to me. This, indeed, was the God of my personal experience.

I struggled for years with the Gospels and was unable to take that next step. There is a lot of affinity with Judaism for someone in that position. Yet observation of The Law, as in orthodox Judaism, didn't make sense to me. The only way I found to resolve that dissonance was evidenced in the Gospels.

It was a hard starting place for me. Raised without any religious background, and educated at the feet of secular liberalism in the 1960's of Southern Calif, I didn't even learn until I was 40+ years old that Jesus was an actual historical figure. Since the release of The Passion, I've been somewhat surprised to encounter people with doctorate degrees who likewise hold a firm, completely unquestioned belief, that Jesus is a mythological figure. It raises a lot of questions about why well educated people have arrived at a point where they are so ignorant of history, and they can't recall how they became indoctrinated with this belief. It's also been interesting that most Christians I speak with don't fully realize their non-Christian friends hold as historical fact the non-existence of Jesus. The Passion has generated a lot of illuminating discussion with all parties.

Rambling here, but I would be interested in your transcript should you have one.

50 posted on 03/20/2004 11:44:04 AM PST by lonevoice (Some things have to be believed to be seen)
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