The Jewish perspective

The Jewish perspective
: Jewsweek, the wonderful online magazine, devotes itself entirely right now to Mel Gibson’s Passion.

Editor Benyamin Cohen’s review:

Well, after walking out of an advance screening, my first comprehensible thought was this: I really want to kill a Jew.

In recent interviews, Gibson has been uttering the following mantra: “Wait until the film is released. You’ll see that I don’t blame the Jews.” Well, Gibson not only goes out of his way to blame the Jews for Jesus’ brutal crucifixion, but he goes so far as to portray the Romans as unwilling accomplices, which is, with certainty, a willful distortion of the original text. Meanwhile, Gibson depicts most of the Jews as an angry lynch mob which gains pleasure from watching a man writhe in pain and flood the ground with blood. It would take an act of God to incite more anti-Semitism than this film is sure to ignite.

But putting false claims of theological culpability and biblical fidelity aside, the film suffers from poor storytelling. Since the movie only depicts Jesus’ final hours, we are given no background — why did the Sanhedrin want him dead? What crimes did he commit to deserve such a gruesome death? All we’re shown is these mean Jews who want to murder this nice young man.

… [B]y reducing the film to just twelve brutal hours, Gibson has, unfortunately, undermined Jesus’ spiritual qualities and squandered an opportunity to create a unique cinematic and profound religious experience. Instead, he opts to turn the story of Jesus from one of intense spirituality to one of brutal violence. The film feasts on the physical torture and not the metaphysical elevation. It’s Gibson’s obsession with sadomasochism on display for everyone to see in all its, um, gory.

This does a horrible disservice to the Christian community. By transforming the story from one filled with hope to one mired in rage, Gibson is teaching a new, and violent, Christian doctrine. Contrary to what you may have learned in Sunday School, he seems to be saying, Christianity is based on revenge, not love. This is nothing short of an embarrassment to our Christian brethren.

This reminds me of one thought I had during the film: The fetisishtic treatment of violence and blood reminded me of nothing so much as the unleashing of self-flagellation by certain Islamic sects. It emphasizes the virtue in suffering and pain, in blood and violence — rather than the virtue of good acts and a gracious heart. And that is troubling.

: Jewsweek’s blog points us to the official Mel Gibson Passion souvenirs, such as this pewter spike — just like the one nailed into your Christ’s hand — on a leather necklace. Only $16.99. Oh, man.

: And there is an excerpt of a book on the Oberamergau Passion Play; a feature on the Jewish actress who plays Mary; a story on Mel Gibson’s father‘s infamous anti-Semitism; a backgrounder on the story of the Passion by a Columbia religion prof; a state-of-anti-Semitism story; a story on Mel’s side; and many columns. An impressive report and I’m only halfway through reading it.

  • http://sisu.typepad.com/sisu/ Sissy Willis

    Jews just wanna have fun. Debate = fun.

  • FKS

    Thanks for lecturing us, Jewsweek, about our beliefs and liturgy. To quote Rabbi Daniel Lapin:
    “From audiences around America, I am encountering bitterness at Jewish organizations insisting that belief in the New Testament is de facto evidence of anti-Semitism. Christians heard Jewish leaders denouncing Gibson for making a movie that follows Gospel accounts of the Crucifixion long before any of them had even seen the movie. Furthermore, Christians are hurt that Jewish groups are presuming to teach them what Christian Scripture “really means.” Listen to a rabbi whom I debated on the Fox television show hosted by Bill O’Reilly last September. This is what he said, “We have a responsibility as Jews, as thinking Jews, as people of theology, to respond to our Christian brothers and to engage them, be it Protestants, be it Catholics, and say, look, this is not your history, this is not your theology, this does not represent what you believe in.”
    He happens to be a respected rabbi and a good one, but he too has bought into the preposterous proposition that Jews will reeducate Christians about Christian theology and history. Is it any wonder that this breathtaking arrogance spurs bitterness?
    Many Christians who, with good reason, have considered themselves to be Jews’ best (and perhaps, only) friends also feel bitter at Jews believing that Passion is revealing startling new information about the Crucifixion. They are incredulous at Jews thinking that exposure to the Gospels in visual form will instantly transform the most philo-Semitic gentiles of history into snarling, Jew-hating predators.
    Christians are baffled by Jews who don’t understand that President George Washington, who knew and revered every word of the Gospels, was still able to write that oft-quoted beautiful letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, offering friendship and full participation in America to the Jewish community.
    One of the directors of the AJC recently warned that Passion “could undermine the sense of community between Christians and Jews that’s going on in this country. We’re not allowing the film to do that.” No sir, it isn’t the film that threatens the sense of community; it is the arrogant and intemperate response of Jewish organizations that does so.
    Jewish organizations, hoping to help but failing so spectacularly, refutes all myths of Jewish intelligence. How could their plans have been so misguided and the execution so inept?
    Ancient Jewish wisdom teaches that nothing confuses one’s thinking more than being in the grip of the two powerful emotions, love and hate. The actions of these Jewish organizations sadly suggest that they are in the grip of a hatred for Christianity that is only harming Jews.
    Today, peril threatens all Americans, both Jews and Christians. Many of the men and women in the front lines find great support in their Christian faith. It is strange that Jewish organizations, purporting to protect Jews, think that insulting allies is the preferred way to carry out that mandate.
    A ferocious Rottweiler dog in your suburban home will quickly estrange your family from the neighborhood. For those of us in the Jewish community who cherish friendship with our neighbors, some Jewish organizations have become our Rottweilers. God help us.”

  • http://www.bambinoscurse.com Edw.

    Just returned from the movie and wish it to be noted: I do not want to kill any Jews. I didn’t before I saw the film and I don’t after seeing the film.
    Instead, I’m left feeling penitent for all the times I have felt hatred toward anyone.

  • angell

    I did not want to kill a Jew either–I had these words in my mind–”Forgive them ,for they do not know what they do.”

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Jeff, you should note that the self-flagellation was just as common in Christianity. In fact, we’ve still got a somewhat heretical movement out here in the Southwest called the Penitientes — mostly in Spanish-speaking mixed Hispanic/Indian communities up in the mountains — who not only flagellate themselves into hamburger, but occasionally crucify a volunteer.

  • http://karchner.com/update Ross M Karchner

    Lets not forget that blaming the crucifiction on the Jews was a marketing manuever by Pauls church, in the effort to convert Rome…

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    FKS, please read this, by one of your fellow Christians in Christianity Today.. Thank you.

  • http://mysite.verizon.net/res1uo0x/ A.W.

    This claim that Gibson is blaming the Jews is complete bullshit.
    I wrote this here:
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/002087.html
    Anti-Semitism? I will say this bluntly. You would have to be an idiot to believe this movie is anti-Semitic. Seriously. First off, the argument is always based on the perceived anti-Semitism in the subtext of the movie. But the text itself contradicts that alleged message. Jesus said, looking right at Caiaphas himself, chief among his persecutors,

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    AW, you might want to read the article from Christianity Today also. (See post just above yours.)

  • angell

    Did the Jews NOT crucify Christ? Did Paul’s Church make that up? What are you implyng?
    The Jews did kill Jesus, who was a Jew–that happened thousands of years ago. It is the Gospel truth–as much as Jews may deny it, they can’t. Do I blame today’s Jews-No. But I do blame society for allowing cruxificions to continue today. If it was horrible then, it should be many times more horrible in a more civilized world–yet it does not make the News. It is tucked under some carpet.WHY?
    We can’t change the cruxificion of Christ but we should stop its happening to innocent people today–and it does. Maybe more people should see the movie and say–we can’t allow these muslims to be crucifying Christians. Maybe CNN could do a news story on crucifying in 2004.

  • FKS

    Yehudit…I don’t know what the point is…why should I read what a Christian said who agrees with you…we Christians don’t all think alike. Read the Rabbi…HE disagrees with you! Same point. Kettle/pot.

  • onecent

    Jews shouldn’t be threatened by The Passion. The story has been repeated on every Easter Sunday in every Christian church in America for centuries. Because Mel Gibson commits the story to film, does not mean pogroms will be unleashed, for God’s sake.
    What is really rankles the elite chattering class isn’t that the film is a rendition of an established story in Christian’s heritage, but the audacity of making a religious film in our secular era.
    This is starting to get insulting to those of us that are Christians. I’d worry about the two biggest anti-semites in the country, Fat Al Sharpton(Brooklyn Heights riots) and Jesse Jackson(“Hymietown”), before I trounced Mel Gibson who has no political ambitions.

  • FKS

    Exactly, onecent. Simon and Jarvis are trying to batter us with ‘film critics’ who agree with them. Big deal. What’s the point? Lefties from the coasts are 80 percent of the negative reviews–check it out. They’ve long used film reviews to batter us with their value system, and are always shocked, just shocked that the audience doesn’t agree. As for the ‘power seven’? Katzenberg, Weinstein brothers, Roth, Eisner, Speilberg, Geffen…hmmm…not a Catholic among them. Why should I listen to them either? And their blacklist? To paraphrase the NYTimes…they’d better watch out. Payback is a bitch. I’m already rethinking my lifetime of kneejerk support of Israel…given that the Jewish liberal left has never supported Christian and conservatives–but demands we support their agenda, while they vote hard left. Geffen, Katzenberg, Speilberg…have what in common? Big money bags for the left. Hate Bush. Now hate Catholic and conservative Mel.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “Yehudit…I don’t know what the point is…why should I read what a Christian said who agrees with you…we Christians don’t all think alike. Read the Rabbi…HE disagrees with you! Same point. Kettle/pot.”
    Why don’t you read it first? You’re responding to something and you don’t even know what it says.

  • http://www.shanksvillememorial.com furious

    Hey, Yehudit, you need to broaden your reading material a bit. Be sure to read this, too…the whole thing.
    You have a very limited grasp of the diversity of opinion in Christian circles about this movie, perhaps as profound as what you imagine in those who, because of this movie, you imagine are out to get you.
    Or maybe you’re just one of those embarassing Jewish rotweilers that Rabbi Lapin had in mind.
    Jews are being murdered in the Holy Land by Islamakazes and you make it your sad little mission in life to provoke Christians over the potential of violence resulting from a movie?
    Boy, you need an injection of perspective, STAT!

  • FKS

    Just like you, Yehudit. It’s 9:00 EST…I’m heading out to see it again, this time with an Islamic university group in Cambridge. I’m sure you haven’t seen it once. So take your own advice, you’re respond to something you’ve never seen.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “Did the Jews NOT crucify Christ? Did Paul’s Church make that up? What are you implyng?”
    Even your Gospels say that the Romans crucified him. Jews not only didn’t practice crucifixion, the Sanhedrin very rarely prescribed capital punishment at all, the usual punishment for claiming to be a Messiah was banishment, not death. And it wouldn’t have met on Passover anyway. So probably the Sanhedrin didn’t even ask Pilate to execute him, knowing what that meant under Roman rule, and hating the Roman occupation as much as they did.
    Well, Paul sort of invented Christianity, in that he persuaded this Jewish sect to do outreach to gentiles and to not require them to become Jews first. Before Paul it was a Jewish sect.
    “The Jews did kill Jesus, who was a Jew–that happened thousands of years ago. It is the Gospel truth–as much as Jews may deny it, they”
    Even the Gospels don’t say the Jews killed him, although they do twist it to make it look like the Sanhedrin urged the Romans to crucify him.
    This is a good historical overview.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “I’m heading out to see it again, this time with an Islamic university group in Cambridge.”
    Oh great. Be sure to let us know what they say afterwards. If they don’t come out of the movie blaming the Jews for everything under the sun, I’ll eat my hat.
    “I’m sure you haven’t seen it once. So take your own advice, you’re respond to something you’ve never seen.”
    I have read about 30 descriptions of the movie from people who both loved it and hated it. Meanwhile I am asking you to read one article in a magazine – which you have no idea what it says – and you refuse.
    Well, your bellicosity and your love of this movie are all of a piece.

  • FKS

    Amusing that you get your history from MSNBC! I go to the university library myself. Since you weren’t there at the crucifixion, I hope you’re not offended that I don’t care about your opinion. Just as you ignore mine. This has to do with faith and belief…not secular history. My orthodox friends, be they Islamic, Christian or Jewish understand that concept.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “Jews are being murdered in the Holy Land by Islamakazes and you make it your sad little mission in life to provoke Christians over the potential of violence resulting from a movie?”
    If you ever read my blog, you will know I have many missions in life, and I have publicized the doings of Islamokazis a lot more than you have. BTW your link doesn’t work.
    Is there anyone else you want me to read besides Lapin? So far I have more links to Christians who didn’t like the movie than you have to Jews who did. Not that that matters, except you keep shoving Lapin in my face.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    FKS: I was about to kill your post listing a bunch of Jewish names in Hollywood but I’m leaving it up to illustrate just the sort of anti-Semitism people fear out of this. Why don’t you have the balls to tell us your name. Is it Jewish? Italian? Irish? German? Arabic? Well, if it’s relevant for you to go after others because of their (Jewish) names, then it’s certainly relevant for you, eh? What’s YOUR name, FKS? Do you have the balls of your conviction?

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “I go to the university library myself. Since you weren’t there at the crucifixion, I hope you’re not offended that I don’t care about your opinion. Just as you ignore mine. This has to do with faith and belief…not secular history.”
    So you are not bothering to go to the library about this issue.
    But in that post I also corrected someone who claimed that the Gospels say that the Jews crucified Jesus. You know the Gospels don’t say that, right? But are you going to correct him? Do you care what the Gospels actually say?

  • Doctor Slack

    How about that. I actually agree with Yehudit for once.
    I suppose we should be thanking FKS, in a way, for amply demonstrating what phrases like “lefties from the coasts” are usually code for. I mused elsewhere that Gibson’s film might accidentally wind up clarifying a few things about the American political landscape…

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Erm, Dr. Slack, FKS is one person — though the fact that he hangs out with “an Islamic university group” is… interesting. (I confess to not being sure which element of that phrase is more alarming: “Islamic”, “university”, or “group”.) Also: Mr. or Miss FKS, you weren’t present at the Crucifixion either. So your point is–?
    I don’t know whether or not the movie can itself is anti-semitic (leaving aside the predilections of its director and his relatives), since I haven’t seen it. As to whether this will cause anti-Jewish violence (real physical violence, not just nasty words) — so far I haven’t seen any reports of such, though it is early days, and of course we must remain ever vigilant against the forces of darkness and stupidity. From what I have read so far most Christians who didn’t hate the movie seemed to come away mainly with an urge to be better people — more faithful, less petty, and so on. But these are mostly bloggers I am talking about, hardly a representative group of people across the nation. Yet.
    As for the speculation as to whether the film will somehow incite Muslims to hate Jews, I’d say that ship has already sailed. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear some spouting from some Muslim spokesravers about how Christians and Muslims should ally together against the Evil Jews, but that’s nothing new. What is a danger, to Jews and Christians (and Buddhists and Zoroastrians and Wiccans and of course non-raving Muslims) is if Jews and Christians destoyed their own hard-won relationship with each other without the Islamicist fanatics having to lift a finger, all over a movie.

  • Kevin Gregory

    What Edw said, 2/28/04 at 0418.
    Sometimes I wonder why some otherwise sane people worry that “Bible-believing Christians” would want to kill Jews after seeing “The Passion.”
    Get a grip, people! The real threat to Jews is from Islamo-facists, not Christians!

  • angell

    Yehudit–you did not correct me–you gave me your opinion and I respect that. I will not get into an argument with you about details–you could argue that they both did it if you like. It is pointless as far as I am concerned. The deed is done.This movie did not change my mind about Jews. I was pro-Jew before and after the movie. I do not blame today’s Jews for the cruxificion. If He said Forgive them for they know not what they do, who am I to condemn. This movie will not cause me to flagellate myself or become a muslim supporter against Jews. It just makes me appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus, more.
    The Jews crucified Jesus through the Romans. At the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Romans had conquered all the area in which Jesus lived and taught. The Romans allowed the Jews to continue with their Sanhedrin (their government), but the Romans took away capital punishment from the Jews. In order to have Jesus crucified, the Jewish leaders had to manipulate Rome into doing it. First, the Jewish leaders had to lie – make up charges (Lk. 23: 2, 3). The Jewish leaders persisted in their demands for crucifixion (vss. 5-19). New Testament writers charged the Jews with having crucified Jesus (Acts 2: 36, 3: 13-17).

  • pianoman

    Funny how all the talk about “killing Jews” is coming from the Left.
    Look at all the synagogues that the Christians have set on fire as a result of this film.
    Oh, wait….

  • Ralph Volpi

    Yehudit
    Sigh. Why send me to an article which is to frighten me with the evil that “The Passion of the Christ” is supposed to lose on world which uses as an example, SKINHEADS!!!!! roaming around West LA beating up Jews. Let me tell you SKINHEADS don’t need to go to see “The Passion of the Christ” to work up a reason to pick on Jews. Jeez! To them “The Passon of the Christ” is a chick Flick!
    Get a grip. Do I believe that “The Passion of the Christ” may provoke a christian nut case here and there? Perhaps, maybe. On the otherhand, Hollywood makes HUNDREDS of movies a year where there are big,secret government and big-business (code name JEWS) organizations taking over the world, or killing good environmentalists, or people helping the poor, or trying to stop war or landmines or something good. Why the hell don’t you worry about a Terry Nicholes seeing that? Or about how Isreal is written about by the same people who are dumping on Gibson and who normaly are protraying JEWS in Isreal treating Palaestians as John Kerry says Americans treated Vietnamese in Vietnam, only worse.
    Jews are right in that for a long time Christians DID blame the jews for “killing Christ”, but, come on, that was a while ago, and we have for a long time have been changeing how we think. But Jews have to give up (at least in America) the idea that Christians are trying to kill them. If you live in a paranoid world you begin to make misjudgements as to who your friends are, and hanging around liberal, left christians is not going to help you as jew, or as a defender of Israel (after all, who sent Rachael Kerry (sp?) over to Israel to stand in front of Israeli Bulldozers, the fundes who like “The Passon of the Christ”, or the lefties, who hate it???)

  • Matthew

    Ralph I don

  • angell

    Yes, Matthew, anti-semitism is very real in America–but you best look at where it comes from. I KNOW it dosn’t come from my church. We love you Jewish guys.:):)

  • http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/index.html mary

    Jeff said

  • http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/index.html mary

    oops – missing a paragraph..
    Jeff said

  • angell

    Yes, Mel should have presented a much prettier picture–Jesus on the cross, nice white garment, no blood, and a smile pasted on his face.
    But I don’t know about not loving and respecting those who cause torture and death–we are ordered to respect islam and call it a religion of peace and to believe we deserved 911. Some people think suiciders are brave–just read that Jenny Tonge character in Britain–they are her heroes. They are Bill Maher’s heroes. They are Ted Rahl’s heroes–but that is free speech–Mel is not allowed that.

  • http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/index.html mary

    angell – Mel can say anything he wants, and we’re allowed to criticize him. It’s still a free country.
    As far as I know, Islam doesn’t mean peace, it means submission. Fundamentalist Muslim supremacists demand that people submit to pre-medieval laws. Their everyday lives are regulated by these laws. They don’t take individual responsibilty for what they do, they don’t tolerate other faiths and they’re not allowed to question authority.
    I don’t think that any type of Christianity teaches us that we should tolerate that kind of intolerance – does it?
    Individual responsiblity, questioning authority and tolerating other faiths are essential parts of our liberal democracy. I’m not saying that Mel should ‘pretty’ anything up, I’m just saying that it’s a shame that his somewhat pro-authoritarian Passion play is so popular. I hope that most people are just going to this flick because they’re curious.

  • angell

    I went because Liberals condemned it before it was begun. And I left appreciating the sacrifice of Jesus more than I ever have–I just took it for granted before. And I did not end up hating anyone.
    This is a centuries old story–Mel presented it as it was THEN–we are much more civilized now–though people are more appalled about the violence in a movie than the fact that cruxificions are allowed today without any condemnation or without even being considered newsworthy. That is what I can NOT understand.

  • miguel

    “I don’t think that any type of Christianity teaches us that we should tolerate that kind of intolerance – does it?”
    oh, it actually does, darling!

  • angell

    Miguel–it is atheism and islamism that teach intolerance–200 million people weren’t killed in the last century under atheistic and islamic regimes because of tolerance. Muslims love atheists like Hitler, Stalin ,Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Enver Hoxha. They killed and slaughtered Christians at an unheard-of rate.

  • miguel

    angell, read again!!!
    and BTW did you know that buddhism is atheistic?

  • http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/index.html mary

    Regimes that kill their own people by the thousands (or the millions) have one thing in common – they’re headed by authoritarian dictatorships.

  • angell

    Miguel–I read:):). I don’t think buddhism is atheistic–I think it is agnostic.

  • Matthew

    Yes, Matthew, anti-semitism is very real in America–but you best look at where it comes from. I KNOW it dosn’t come from my church. We love you Jewish guys.:):)
    angell I never said where I thought it came from just that it is out there. Since you brought it up. I have been surprised to read in blogs the couched anti-semitism from the left.

  • angell

    Matthew-It is the ‘think they are superior inflated ego’ far left–but heck, they are as anti-Christian as they are anti-semitic. Just look at some of the supporters of the hard left. Better still, look at whom they support.

  • Catherine

    I think it is interesting that Jeff Jarvis finds one nut (FKS) and ASSUMES his idiocy and racism was born from a movie, and that it somehow proves his point.

  • miguel

    then, dear angell, you should know that Christianity teaches us that we should tolerate that kind of intolerance, that’s why Jesus died for us, that is why he sacrified himself for us and why he took the blame for man – at least that’s the story.
    concerning buddhism you should ask your next decent philosopher or theologist from some renowned university, and not say somethink like “I think it is…”, because that shows that you don’t know!

  • angell

    Well, the guy who was my prof for World Religion History told me so but I don’t always believe what Profs told me. Buddhism is a religion. Buddhists believe in religion but not in God. Atheists only worship themselves.
    No, dear Miguel, I believe in the Just War theory, and after 911 I have no tolerance for murderers. God can forgive them, I can’t.. Turning the other cheek get’s you a knife in the back. The reason why evil persists is that good is rarely willing to do what is neccessary to defeat it.
    Romans 13, is dedicated to the role of government, which in Paul

  • Wes

    This is definately a movie that you need to see before forming an opinion of it. Because of all this talk of anti-semitism, I was looking for it, and I really didn’t see it. Just because a Jewish character has a frown on his face doesn’t mean anything.
    I went w/ my fiance who’s a muslim(I’m a Catholic), & she didn’t notice any either (she isn’t anti-semetic, otherwise she wouldn’t be my fiance). Neither one of us are really all that “into it” all that much anyway, but this did give us a chance to talk about stuff that we never really talk about w/ each other.
    Yehuddit, if you lived in San Diego, I would invite you to come see this w/ me, and to talk about it w/ me afterwards.
    I really would like to know which parts are supposed to be anti-semetic.
    I wonder how many ‘anti-semitic’ aspects of the movie just happen to be theological differences between the two religions. For me, seeing the Ark in the temple broken @ the end signifies God’s new covenant w/ man(isn’t that what JC & the New Testament was all about?).
    For a Jewish person, I can imagine that it could be offensive to see an(the?) Ark like that, but isn’t that what’s in the Gospels & one of the differences between the two religions?
    Pontius Pilate isn’t portrayed accurately in the film, but then again, this isnt’ a documentary. He’s probably isn’t portrayed historically accurately in the Gospels either…. he was a Roman, & thus more likely to get a favourable depeiction in a a Roman land when the Gospels were being written/distributed.
    I feel his character was used as some sort of cinematic device who is asking questions people in the audience would be asking. I think the fact that he’s portrayed sympathetically is probably based on the fact that we in the audience would like to think of ourselves as sympathetic. (I know by this point in the movie, I am needing to feel something other than what I’m feeling from the brutality I’m witnessing).
    I’m sure some the film pros have come up w/ a name for this kind of character in a movie.
    After all is said & done, this is just a movie.
    I rate it a possible classic. I think it’s one of those movies that will hold up well w/ multiple viewings.

  • joni

    Jeff – I hope your comment to FKS wasn’t meant to be as offensive as it sounded. It didn’t sound like your usual level of civility. I understood his point about naming the leading Hollywood directors to be amazement that they would so blatantly threaten to blacklist a Christian. I thought Hollywood had gotten past that, but then I was forgetting they already practice an unspoken blacklist against conservatives.
    Demanding to know FKS’ real name after he’s already said he works at a university where reprisals are taken for un-pc positions is hamhanded. Even if his employer’s disapproval weren’t an issue, I don’t recommend anyone post their real name or email since, as Roger Simon warned his readers a while back, there are people who harvest names and emails from blog comments.
    I’ve enjoyed your blog, and will still check it out from time to time, but the hostile tone toward Christianity is off-putting. I can’t help but think all this emotion is coming out of otherwise-reasonable people because they want to suppress the Gospel. When Christians were offended by The Last Temptation of Christ, we were told we should appreciate it as art. But when someone creates a work that repeats what’s in the Bible, they jump all over it. It seems to me the offense is the telling of the Bible story itself, not an imaginary anti-Semitism.

  • Reid

    “I suppose we should be thanking FKS, in a way, for amply demonstrating what phrases like “lefties from the coasts” are usually code for. I mused elsewhere that Gibson’s film might accidentally wind up clarifying a few things about the American political landscape…”
    So, Doc Slacker, given that the most virulent anti-Semitism is today emanating from the European left and their sympathizers in this country, just where do you get off trying to characterize conservatives, who are Israel’s strongest supporters in this country, as crypto-Nazis?

  • Bryan C

    I saw the movie last night. Having read so much about the subject I was also on watch for any antisemitic slant, but I didn’t see any. I saw some Jews who were bad guys and some Jews who were good guys. Given that just about every major character, including Jesus, is Jewish, I’m not sure what else people expected.
    Most of the criticisms are badly misplaced. I think it’s assumed (maybe wrongly) that the people watching the movie have heard the story before, and based on that assumption the flashbacks do a pretty good job of setting things in context.
    I’m not sure what comparisons to self-flagellation have to do with anything. It’s always been a tenant of the Christian faith that Christ suffered terribly and died for our sins, in an act of love and mercy by a God who refused to abandon his wayward creations. Apparently some people are anxious to forget all that icky suffering stuff and go right to the pastel, soft-focus “spirtual” part, whatever that might be.

  • maor

    “I’m already rethinking my lifetime of kneejerk support of Israel…given that the Jewish liberal left has never supported Christian and conservatives”
    Please, no!!!
    Israelis aren’t like the Jewish liberal left. We just accept money from them:)
    For obvious reasons, we’re not at all worried about a possible teensy weensy rise in Christian antisemitism.

  • Roger

    If a fairly accurate portrayal of the New Testament is condemned as anti-Semitic, what would the critics of ‘The Passion’ have to say about a fairly accurate movie of the Old Testament? Seems to me the Jewish people are depicted more harshly there than anywhere in the New Testament. They consistently turn away from God, kill and abuse prophets, etc. Not because they’re Jewish, but because they’re human.
    Also, I think a lot of the criticism of violence in this movie (including Mr Jarvis’) is a smokescreen for not wanting to accept the reality of what our sins (Jew and Gentile alike) cost Jesus.

  • Hipocrite

    given that the most virulent anti-Semitism is today emanating from the European left and their sympathizers in this country
    Wow. I guess I missed the memo that told me when Stormfront started voting for Democrats. Someone must have forgot to CC me on the memo about CODOH joining the left. It’s odd to hear that the World Church of the Creator has turned 180 degrees. I’m disgusted to see that the National Alliance has joined my side. No good can come of the Aryan Nations joining us. The Christian Defense League is a hideous piece of leftist trash now, I guess. I never really got the Sons of Liberty, but hey, I guess they just realized that Affirmative Action was OK. My favorite was the American Nazi Party’s announcement in support of equal rights for homosexuals.
    No, the most virulant anti-semitism has come will come does come will always come from the far right.

  • Doctor Slack

    I hope your comment to FKS wasn’t meant to be as offensive as it sounded.
    I, for one, hope it was. FKS got off light.
    just where do you get off trying to characterize conservatives, who are Israel’s strongest supporters in this country, as crypto-Nazis?
    ROTFL! I love it! This in the same thread that has Israelis desperately protesting “Israelis aren’t like the Jewish liberal left.” Yep, if you support Israel you can’t be anti-Semitic, no sir! If I wasn’t laughing, I’d be crying.
    With friends like the American religious right…

  • Reid

    ROTFL! (he proclaimed, donning his keffiyeh to join the latest protest / hatefest at Berkeley, NYU and other leftwing bastions of illiberal education.)

  • Doctor Slack

    he proclaimed, donning his keffiyeh
    I take it this lame response means I made my point. Thanks, S-factor.

  • Reid

    If that point was, “Doc Slack is a moron” then, yes, you have succeeeded once again. Don’t you ever get tired of making such an ass of yourself?

  • Doctor Slack

    Ah, the “I know you are but what am I” defense proves devastating once again! You’ve converted me, S-factor. I will duly inform the evil Jewish liberals in their hate-spewing ivory towers that they’ve got a cuddly network of huggable buddies in the American religious right.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    “cuddly network of huggable buddies”
    Dewd, alliteration, kewl.

  • NashvilleCat

    I believe the movie is to depict the extreme sacrifice that Christ made for mankind.
    If we Christians are to be tolerant of Jews and Muslims, should we not expect them to also be tolerant of Christians.
    By the fact, I was raised in the South, a Baptist, and I was taught from day one to respect Jews, as our Savior was from the House of David – that Jews were God’s chosen people – so don’t think Southern Baptists are the Jew-haters. We’re taught more respect than that.

  • D ave F

    I’ve now perused (very painfiully) a garguantuan wilderness of threads at this and other sites about Gibson’s bloodfest, and there is one conclusion I can draw. He has certainly had the effect of setting people at eac h other’s throats, the opposite of what he actually claims to have intended. Someone said this was a revenge type Mel movie where the revenge never happened. Clever. That means the catharsis of hate takes place in the real world instead.
    It is perfectly possible to find out what historians tell us about these events, rather than gospel bashers and zealots. And they tell us Pilate was too cruel even for Rome’s taste in his enthusiasm for nailing up Jews in public (by the thousand) and the odd massacre.
    Nor do all the gospels (which vary wildly as to the actual events) all portray this as the fault of the Sanhedrin. Pontius was demonstrating in his own Saddamite way what happened under Roman rule to people claiming to be the King of the Jews.