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Author Topic: The Passion of the Christ
rivka
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I agree that you shouldn't be asked to, Belle. As I said, I do NOT agree with the loud tumult -- at best, it is useless; at worst, more destructive than most of the scenarios they anticipate.
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Taalcon
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AICN just posted another long support by Lapin - he seems to be quite vocal about this. Interesting.

Link

Oh, and don't go into the Talkbacks at AICN looking for rational thought. You'll come away with a headache, and fearing for the intelligence of the nation.

[ February 13, 2004, 04:04 AM: Message edited by: Taalcon ]

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rivka
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*sigh* I love how he managed to include a plug for his radio show . . . [Roll Eyes]
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Scott R
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quote:
Do you know what Christian teaching is about who is responsible for putting Jesus on that cross?

Me. I am. And every other sinner. And that is what Gibson said he tried to portray, and it's also why he made a cameo appearance - it's his hand that pounds in the nails.

Wow. This really hit home, Belle.

I hope Gibson does make this point in the film.

UW-- I'm going to go see this film, despite the R rating.

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Taalcon
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Even though I'm not LDS, I'd still love to hear what Gordon B. Hinkley thinks of it. I wonder if he was presented a chance to view it.
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Scott R
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Taalcon: he probably won't say anything about it at all.

He's the most media-friendly president we've had in a while, but he's not THAT friendly.

If he does say something, it will probably be along the lines of, "We should get to know Christ through the scriptures and through prayer. This is how to experience the reality of Christ's death and resurrection, in a way that media cannot reproduce."

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Taalcon
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Which would probably indeed be the smartest thing for him to say.

He did 'obliquely' bash Chicago, though. Which I was somewhat surprised at (not that he bashed it - based on a review from someone else, he hadn't seen it himself, he made clear to point out-, but rather that he publicly admonished that it was an immoral film).

Although if he WERE to come out in support of PASSION, I guarantee the Box Office would increase tremendously.

The Pope's "It is as it was" (which, even with alegations that it wasn't said - the evidence seems to point that he did in fact say it) I'm sure helped score a few extra Million.

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Noemon
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quote:
...Jesus googling whores.
--Occasional

See, it's that kind of anachronistic stuff that really bothers me about Hollywood! I mean, the Internet hadn't even been invented yet, for Pete's sake! And yet there Jesus is, using a search engine to find sites about whores.

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Occasional
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I admit laughing at that when I wrote it -- recognizing a possible "funny." However, that is what he does in the film.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Perhaps you meant "ogled" or "goggled at"? (I don't think google was a word before Google, which itself was a play on the numeric term googol.)

PS: I have to thank you, Occasional, for finally giving me a chance to remember how to spell "occasion." It's been my downfall! [Smile]

[ February 13, 2004, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Bokonon
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If the Jews don't speak up for themselves, Belle, even if they are mistaken, who else will?

Personally, I think rivka's plan is the way to go.

-Bok

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Speed
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Hey all you SLC-area Jatraqueros. Century 16 is showing a sneak-preview of the movie on Wednesday, February 25th. Fandango is already selling tickets. I think I'm going to go to the 7:00 show. Who's with me?

[ February 13, 2004, 12:01 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]

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Taalcon
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How is it a Sneak Peek on the 26th if it opens on the 25th?
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Speed
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I think the 25th is just for NY/LA. For us backwoods Utahns, this may be the best we can do.

[edit: I understood that the 25th was limited, I saw showtimes on Fandango and Hollywood for the 25th, and none for the 26th, so I'm assuming it's a sneak preview. We'll see if I'm right or wrong.]

[ February 13, 2004, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]

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Derrell
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It opens on the 25th here in the Phoenix area too.
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Taalcon
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I'm pretty sure that due to their whole grassroots strategy, it's not gonna be a rollout - I think it's Nationwide on the 25. It's coming to the three main theaters here in Savannah.
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Speed
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Okay, I went to the official site. Looks like you're right. I may still see it on the 25th, though. Darn misleading advertising.
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Farmgirl
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Here in Wichita, Kansas, it opens on the 25th. However, at least the first two days are already sold out. A co-worker of mine bought tickets the day they first offered them for sale here, and had to get tickets for the 27th, not the 25th, because there were no more left.

FG

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Dan_raven
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Interesting.

There are a lot of interesting things going on here.

And I personally find them much more interesting than the movie (but less so than the story the movie is about.)

We have Mel Gibson, who produces a movie about Christ's life, in Aramic and other accurate dialects.

It has trouble getting a distribution deal.

Suddenly copies of the script are stolen and sent to the Anti-Defamation League.

From reading the scripts the Anti-Defamation League fears that some scenes may harken back to old bigoted views of the death of Christ.

These scripts, not thin air, is where the charges of bad depictions of Jews came from.

It was wrong of these leaders to accuse Mel Gibson and this movie of anti-semiticism until they see it. The problem is that Mel Gibson won't let them see it early. They send him letters stating their concerns. He does not reply. They want a nice calm discussion of their concerns. He refuses.

Then the truth of his religion comes out. Mel Gibson is part of a ultr-conservative Catholic cult. How conservative? They disagree with anything the church has done since Copernicus. They believe that the Pope is not always right, as he claimed, but that only God and Jesus are perfect, and that they come closer to it than even the Pope. Yes, they claim to be more Catholic than the Pope.

An interview with Mel Gibson's parents, members of this cult, reveal definate Anti-Semitism. They do blame the Jews for Christ's death.

The parents do not control the child. Mel Gibson denies any anti-semitism. Again, Jewish groups ask to see the film so they can lay their fears to rest. They are denied.

The controversy allows him to sell his movie.

I personally did not think the movie would be terrible. However, the more I learn about Mel Gibson's Church (all you Non-Catholics, he said this week, will unfortunately burn in hell together.) the more I dread this movie.

I do not think less of Mel Gibson for making a Christian movie.

I do not think less of Christians for wanting this movie made.

I do think less of the movie for having been made by a "Christian" of Mel Gibson's beliefs. I fear those beliefs are extreme and border on un-christian. I fear they may have contaminated the movie, and may, for some people, contaminate the important story the movie tells.

Now some Jews have rallied together to ask, not that the movie be burned, but that some people have a chance to see it first who are not ultra-conservative Christians.

Instead, Mr. Gibson has berated his detractors as attacking Christianity.

A few people, behind the pulpit and in the press, point to the story this movie is about and are argueing that if you attack this movie, you are attacking that story, you are attacking Christianity.

More argue that if you attack the controversial part of the movie, the chorus of Jews accepting blame for the execution, then you are attacking the bible, for it derives from the bible.

Included in this attack on Christianity is the request that some Jewish groups can preview the movie, to see if there is anything dangerous in it or not.

Instead they are told, no. They are told that there is nothing to worry about.

Imagine a man walks up to you and puts a gun to your head. He tells you that the gun is unloaded, but he is going to press the trigger anyway. You ask if you can check the gun to make sure its unloaded. He says, "No. It is my gun and I know what loaded and unloaded is. I am going to pull this trigger. If you try to stop me, that is assault. If you assault me, it proves that you deserve to be shot."

My favorite turn in this saga is the fearful reactionary responce some have taken. Several Jewish groups are reacting in fear that this will lead to an attack on them and their property. Several Christian groups are reacting in fear that the Jewish reaction is an attack on them.

Meanwhile, some Jewish leaders and some Christian leaders are playing off all of this fear and crusading, gathering their own religious/political strength.

I must say, it is quite interesting to watch.

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katharina
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Dan, you had me until you used the word cult.
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Bokonon
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kat, surely you can ignore a poor word choice. If you prefer you can replace the one instance of it with the word sect. It doesn't change the end of the post, I promise! [Smile]

-Bok

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katharina
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That's a loaded word, though. It's not a matter of choosing between sect and branch. Cult carries heavy connotations with it.
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Bokonon
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Yes, but not everyone uses it in that way. I think it isn't very conducive to discussion if you view one-offs like this as attacks/defamation.

At least ask Dan to clarify. He may even have evidence for calling it a cult.

-Bok

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Hobbes
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Personally, I don't care what Mel Gibson believes when I go to see this movie. I don't care if he didn't let people see it before hand. I just don't care because to me it doesn't change the movie. Either it's good or it's bad (or maybe even in between [Wink] ) but the person who made it no longer has anything to do with my enjoyment of it. Only his final product will do that.

Now if you want to judge Mel Gibson as a person take all that into account. If you want to figure out if it's anti-semitic, then these things can be clues. But once again, I don't know if it is, and all though something like that can ruin the film, it wont necessarily. I think JFK is a great film even though I think that most of the "information" in it is laughable at best.

I'm not really disagreeing with Dan here, just saying that all this contreversy will not change my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of this film. [Cool]

Hobbes [Smile]

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celia60
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heh, you'll leave that up to me.
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Derrell
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If anybody'sinterested, the sect, cult, or whatever you want to call it is The Society of Saint Pius X There are some Catholics who belive that the Society is a cult.
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Dan_raven
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Hobbes, I agree with you.

First, some clarification on the "cult" word. Everything that I've read or heard about this sect rubbed me the wrong way. When I couldn't think of the word Sect, cult came to mind way to easilly.

Hey, its my bias.

But Hobbes, I agree that none of this will help determine if the movie is good or bad as art, or good or bad as far as filmaking, or even story telling.

What I was trying to point out is that this is a movie about a story.

Whether that story is true or not is a debate I don't want to get into here.

But the story, or stories, about the movie are more interesting than the Movie itself.

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jack
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Belle, why would people think that Jesus was Jewish? I know where you come from, religion is an actual, well, faith, where I come from, church is something you do on Sunday. It is more for networking, to create family friendships and to fake piety. I don't know what religion you are, but growing up in UCC/Presbyterian/Catholic type Churches (though not as much in the Catholic Churches), we learned the major stories of the Bible and that was about it. Yeah, theoretically, Jesus was a Jew. So was everyone else. The thing is, unless you actually read the Bible (which, no one I know did, because the preacher always read a couple of paragraphs out of it and then spent the next half hour telling you how it applied to your life today) there is really no mention of things that sound at all Jewish. Did you ever notice that he went into the temple of God. Not "He went to Temple." I don't think I've ever heard anyone I know who is Jewish say they were going to the temple of God. "And the Jews' passover was at hand. . ." When you talk about Christmas, do you describe it as "the time of the Christians Christmas was at hand?" It makes it sound like Jesus wasn't one of the Jews himself. And I don't know if you've ever noticed, but most of the depictions of Jesus hardly make him look like he was a Jew.

quote:
I don't pick and choose what parts of the Gospels I believe.
No, but it's also unfair to expect everyone else to take them as the "Gospel Truth." Not only is the Bible versions of the story impossible to prove true, the docudrama isn't the "Truth" either. It can depict what might have happened. I can depict what the film maker believes happened. It can even resonate with a lot of people as being what happened. It still doesn't make it the truth. And besides, Gibson didn't use just the Gospels as a reference. Some of his beliefs are anti-Semitic. Like the scene we already discussed where a Jewish high priest declares a blood curse on Jews for the death of Christ. Whether or not he leaves that in there, whether or not it is the "truth," it isn't right. That particular line from Matthew help fuel centuries of anti-semitism in the Middle Ages, and it wasn't until 1965 that Catholics repudiated that reading of it and began stressing that his death was part of a divine mission. So, just because you've only been alive during the time where is wasn't politically correct to blame the Jews, it doesn't mean that all of have only been around that long. Also, there is still some question as to whether or not this movie is taken entirely from the Bible. There are those who say that the violence present in this movie isn't depicted in the Bible, but in the work of a nineteenth century nun. And, I must have forgotten it, if I ever knew it, but where in the Bible does Satan Pilate show up in place of Pilate alongside the Jewish leaders? I suppose the film could be edited again, but this time, people already know it what was there.

Also, I don't think any of the Jewish leaders who've spoken out about this movie have ever said anything about Christians suddenly turning on Jews. They are concerned about fringe groups using this movie as an excuse. Do you not believe their fears are justified? I wonder what people would think if there were an "accurate" movie about Isaac and Ishmael. The fact that Ishmael is portrayed like the demon child from hell, I'm sure, wouldn't fuel any anti-Muslim hatred, or piss off the Muslims. Besides the historical differences between the cultures, the "truth" also seem to be in dispute from who was almost sacrificed to even who their Grandfather was. (I have so say, in goggling that, I found a surprising number of "Christian" site commenting on the inherent untruths of the Koran, one even saying "Currently they are in bondage to a false religion called Islam. However, God is in control and the day will come when they will be delivered and enter into a period of blessing.") I just believe a "true" depiction of that would leave a lot of people nervous. But the Jews shouldn't be worried. I mean, here in the US and all, they are pretty far removed from large segments of Muslims. Of course, Israel may have some problems, but whatever.

quote:
The problem I have here, is that I don't see these members of the Jewish community leading the outcry against the movie willing to do that!
I mentioned this yesterday. Please read this. It is exactly what you are asking for. He writes so well about his opinions of what some in the Jewish faith are doing, the problems they created, and his own personal experience and emotions as he watched the movie. He explains the fears, talks about some of the Jews overreaction and why some of it is justified.

http://www.theamericanenterprise.org/issues/articleID.17815/article_detail.asp

Here is another interesting site. http://www.leaderu.com/focus/passionofchrist.html

There are a few interesting articles there, though not related to the topic of the link above.

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PSI Teleport
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Sorry if this has already been said.

I think the most anti-semitic thing in the movie is a blue-eyed Jesus.

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Bokonon
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I would like to add that my UCC-upbringing was a bit different than jack's.

Dan: I kinda figured that's what happened.

-Bok

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littlemissattitude
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I do plan to see the film. I also plan to make up my own mind about it, rather than just depending on partisan statements from all sides of the issue.

quote:
Look, Mel Gibson isn't taking anyone's tax dollars to fund this movie. He's a private citizen (not even of the United States) and he can make any darn movie he wants to. Not everybody is going to like it but they don't have to see it.
Just as a side issue: I believe that Mel Gibson is, indeed, a citizen of the United States. At any rate, he was born here - his family immigrated to Australia when he was a child.
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Taalcon
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quote:
I think the most anti-semitic thing in the movie is a blue-eyed Jesus.
Actually, they've CGI'd his eyes green in the actual flick. Serious.
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PSI Teleport
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That's not very Jewish.
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rivka
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*rolls eyes* PSI, my mom has blue eyes, as do three of my sibs. I have Jewish friends who are blue-eyed blondes and green-eyed redheads, as well as the (more common) dark hair and dark eyes.

And the only convert among them has dark hair and dark eyes . . . [Big Grin]

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jack
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I would think that over 2,000 years, there was probably a bit more ethnic blending than back in Jesus' day.
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Occasional
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"Belle, why would people think that Jesus was Jewish? "

Coming strictly from a Mormon point of view, the consideration that Jesus wasn't a Jew would be incomprehensible. I could never understand why it was such a new idea.

This discussion has reminded me of some concerns, already mentioned, about the movie that could be problematic.

The first problem is violence. The Gospels do not portray a very "pg" rated experience for Jesus. He is scorged, mocked, has thorns placed on his head, gets nailed to the cross and pierced once he is dead. At least one account says that he was bleading at every pour. It really depends on exactly how much more gruesome and violent than that is shown.

Mel Gibson is courting a crowed that makes me nervous. Protestant Evangilicals are taking it under their wings, even though Mel Gibson is a Catholic. Most Protestant Evengilical Christians don't take a liking to Catholics any more than Jews and Muslims. Either they don't realize this, or they have alterior motives keeping them from the usual anti-Catholic rhetoric. Frankly, I find this dynamic more interesting than any "Christian vs. Jew" interplay. As someone eles said, apparently Mel Gibson himself has been rather anti-Protestant in views (but I am not sure exacty of that for it is second hand information and therefore can't hold up in court). And, of course, its interesting that no one has caught a hold of this paradox.

[ February 14, 2004, 12:39 AM: Message edited by: Occasional ]

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aspectre
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Mel Gibson is not a Catholic: he belongs to a cult mimicking RomanCatholic Latin rituals.
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Occasional
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But, does Mel Gibson consider himself a Catholic? And, I disagree with the word "cult" as well. I don't care what scientific meaning it might have; its rude and uncalled for.
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aspectre
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Don't matter what MelGibson considers himself. If he considered a tail a leg, a dog would would still have four legs.

[ February 14, 2004, 01:34 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Occasional
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Temper, temper.
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Taalcon
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The reason it's so easy for people of all Christian beliefs (Catholic, Protestant, LDS, and anything else that may fall beneath the cracks) to support the film equally is that none of the contentious doctrine comes into play win the Gospel Narrative. It's more behind the scenes stuff. There is not much of a chance that any one's group's portrayal of the event would differ in a way to be found offensive. This is the last 12 hours of Christ's life with flashbacks. With all the points of contention in these faiths, the events contained there are pretty much indisputable.

[ February 14, 2004, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: Taalcon ]

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Adeimantus
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I am Jewish. Lets just make that point first. I have a VERY limited background in the new testament and even more so for the Gospels. But, even with my slim knowledge of the story that is played out here, I still have qualms about this movie. i have not seen it. I cannot say that there are definite anti-semetic features to the movie. BUT, as has been said before, Mel Gibson comes from a known anti-semetic background and participates in a "different" practice of christianity that may be called a 'cult' by some. Can anyone spell bias? It seems impossible to make a story about the death of Jesus without anti-semetic emotions being stirred, even if the movie does not make such allusions.

Please, I beg forgiveness from anyone that may take offense to this, but it is my understanding that it was the followers of Jesus that wrote the new testament and the Gospels. How can we count on even these to be historially accurate. I have no grudge against any faith accept that I feel it is hard for me to believe ANYTHING that was written so long ago WORD FOR WORD. Even within the Torah I find some figures hard to believe. Are we to say that whomever was the author(s) of these texts wrote them in such a way that the material is not edited and/or tampered with by the beliefs and feelings of the author or people around him/her. Come on. People will be people, in every meaning of the word. thus, it is my belief that all of these texts from soo long ago are flawed to a certain degree. It is the degree to which they are flawed that should be the main point of argument.

My point is "historical accuracy" within any context alluding the writings of so long ago is an oxy-moron to me. In religion you believe; it is the foundation to any faith. I might believe that 2000 years ago pigs could fly, but does this make my movie about it today "historically accurate" (I do not intentionally compare the death of Jesus to pigs flying, it is merely used to depict my point.)

So, were the Jews involved with Jesus's death? Probably. Did the Jews kill him? WHO KNOWS. If we can believe what is said in the writings about this time, it does make the Jews out as the antagonist. (we must take into account the multitude of inconsistances in the practices of modern Christianty and the what is "true." It has been shown that it is much more probable that Jesus was born within the months of June-August. He would have been Middle-Eastern, not as depicted in the copious amount of pictures that show otherwise, etc and the list goes on)

If the movie is "historically accurate" how could Mel Gibson put it otherwise?
Also, the point has been made before and i will reiterate. If a group of Christians kills a Jewish leader, does this mean ALL Christians should be blamed for the the death? That is laughable.

***Also the movie is in Aramaic and Latin-it is a common belief by many historians that greek was the lingua franca at the time, even spoken by the Romans. NOT Latin. Hows that for "historically accurate?"

A quick point in defense of my Jewish brethren: If we should not speak up now against the possibility of an anti-semetic backlash, then when is it appropriate? After there is evidence of a backlash? That is too late.

Belle: can you support the statement "The vast majority of Christians have no animosity toward Jews." And what you must know is that the Jews are not worried about the vast majority--it is any group of christians that have any amount of animosity, no matter how large or small, that can be swayed by this film into violence.
"Even the few can speak as if with the voice of the whole."

Again, no hard feelings toward anyone's beliefs.

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Eaquae Legit
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I would just like to comment really quickly on one thing.

quote:
the followers of Jesus that wrote the new testament and the Gospels
Those same followers were Jewish. In the book of Acts (again written by Jesus-followers) it is emphasized again and again and again that the early Jesus-followers saw themselves as Jewish and as faithful to the Law and the Prophets. They saw themselves to be faithful to G-d, to have seen the fulfillment of Jewish scripture. It isn't for at least 20 or 30 years after Jesus' death that provision get made for Gentile followers, and it took about 300 years for the Christians to become mostly separate from the Jews.

(Sorry if I'm coming across a little forceful, but I had to write an essay on this last week and it's still in my mind. [Smile] )

Greek was indeed the lingua franca, but for official hearings and Roman business, I can easily imagine that they would have used the official language.

[ February 14, 2004, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: Eaquae Legit ]

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blacwolve
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I'm copy and pasting almost wholesale an email I just got from my pastor. I thought it was interesting in the different issues it raised about the movie. Keep in mind that this was intended for Christians, and is asking its question of Christians.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Here are links to two pieces written on opposing sides of the
question whether the film depiction of Jesus Christ which Mel Gibson
has produced in his new film, "The Passion of the Christ," is or is
not a violation of the Second of the Ten Commandments:

The 2nd Commandment and Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ": We
already possess the 'image of God' today in the church in preaching
and in the sacraments.
http://www.christianity.com/cc_article_email/1,,UFRJRDIzNjgyfENISUQxMjUwNDN8Q0lJRDE3MTY1MTQ=,00.html

Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ": This movie, with its
grisly realism, is a corrective to modern pseudo-gospels with
bloodless Jesuses
http://www.christianity.com/cc_article_email/1,,UFRJRDIzNjgyfENISUQxMjUwNDN8Q0lJRDE3MTIxODI=,00.html

My leaning is in the direction of thinking that we ought not to
attempt to depict Jesus Christ, the second member of the Trinity (God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), except in very
incidental ways for teaching purposes. One example of this would be
Sunday school materials in which Jesus is pictured with his disciples
as he heals or teaches.

I do not believe it is proper to produce visual images of Christ for
the sake of veneration or meditation or adoration, since such worship
and devotion is focused on an image of God, rather than the
representation of God that He Himself chose to give us--namely, the
words of His Word, the Bible.

Further, I believe that many, if not most, Christians who see
Gibson's movie depiction of Christ are using it for devotional, not
common instructional, purposes--and this is precisely what our
Protestant Reformers stood against at the time of the Reformation.

It is at least worthy of note that the producer of this film, Mel
Gibson, is a committed Roman Catholic, and thus that he has no
problem with venerating images of the Godhead.

All of us should conscientiously examine this matter to see what
Scripture teaches--not what famous Christian leaders say or the
majority of our Christian friends do. The question is not how weird
it would be for us not to see this film that the whole world is
viewing, but whether viewing a film depiction of the Second Member of
the Trinity is a violation of the Second Commandment? And then we
each need to act according to our understanding of God's Word.

Warmly in Christ,

Tim Bayly

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TimeTim
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quote:
It is at least worthy of note that the producer of this film, Mel
Gibson, is a committed Roman Catholic, and thus that he has no
problem with venerating images of the Godhead

Interesting. I am not sure it would be worth it to go see this movie. I would rather that all the churches that are going to promote and use this movie as an evangelical tool had just left it alone.

I am curious about something that has been alternatively praised as the harbinger of the next "Great spiritual awakening" and a vessel of hatred directed at Jews and nonbelievers alike.

As things stand now I fear that I would scarce be able to come near the theater without a well meaning evangelical attempting to bring me into "Christ's Fold"

Rarely have I heard or seen such fervor aroused. Regardless of whether or not I see it, I shall be very interested in the general reaction of the American Public. I wonder what Bush thinks?

I bet I'll remember Ash Wednesday for years to come.

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Taalcon
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Reading the second commandment, it appears that the Graven Image refers to ALL things - not just Deity. In effect, if he is referring to film as a plausible form of 'graven images', then every movie or photograph every made is in violation of the Second Commandment.

I have no intention of worshipping the film or using it as a substitute for Prayer or Scripture study. I appreciae and respect Jim Caviezel's work as an actor, and Gibson's work as a director.

But a graven image? Not for me it isn't.

10 more days 'till it's released. Bring it on!

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TomDavidson
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It's worth noting that Muslims use exactly that interpretation of the 2nd, Taal.
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Dagonee
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Ah, well, traditional misinformation spread by protestant churches about Catholic practices. I'm not surprised in the least at that article.

Dagonee

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dkw
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quote:
Further, I believe that many, if not most, Christians who see
Gibson's movie depiction of Christ are using it for devotional, not
common instructional, purposes

Really?? I would find that very strange. I plan to see it for entertainment purposes. Thatís what movies are for, no?
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Scott R
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No, silly.

Movies are to lure you into a false sense of safety/humor/delight/lust.

The better to crush your silliness beneath the power of my Implaccable Engine of Ultimate Destruction. . . (tm)

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