Delaware for Obama

Thursday, April 08, 2004

A Clear Example of Why I Detest Mel Gibson With a Passion
Yahoo! News - Gibson Film Stirs Passions in Europe, Middle East: "But the anti-Semitism controversy has helped it break box office records in many Arab countries. Only a few states like Bahrain and Kuwait have opted not to show it.
'Anything Jews say is bad becomes interesting in this part of the world,' Dubai-based film director Alfred Mutua said. "

Face facts: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ will stir up anti-Semitic hatred worldwide. Many in the US don't believe it will have any such effect, largely due to the success of the ongoing American struggle against all forms of discrimination, prejudice, and hate. This is a highly insular view that fails to recognize that the scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, hungrily seeking fuel for the fires of hatred. The film, which portrays the Jews of ancient Judea as a sneering, angry, bloodthirsty mob, largely portrays Romans as being fair and even-handed. No surprise, then, that the film is massively popular in Italy, where the descendents of Rome continue to shirk responsibilty for the death of Jesus. Torture is strictly forbidden by Jewish law, but widely practiced by the Roman Empire; even so, the supposedly fair Pontius Pilate was recalled to Rome on charges of excessive brutality. Why do so many modern Christians seek to wash Pilate's hands of the crucifixion of thousands of Jews? Now, most modern Christians recognize the fact that the death of Jesus was pre-ordained from a theological perspective, and thus there should be no such thing as "blame" for a death that, according to Christian theology, Jesus chose to accept to save the souls of those who believed in him. This practical philosophy, while endorsed by the modern Roman Catholic Church, is not shared in many areas of the world. My father was beaten up as kid by Catholics who called him "Killer of Christ" in Italian; my fiancee's father, at the age of 8, was stabbed by children who had just learned about the death of Jesus and wanted to seek revenge. This is the mentality that Gibson's film will fuel.

When you consider how little of the love and forgiveness that Jesus taught was included in the film, you come to realize that portraying only part of the story can be a not-so-subtle way of changing the message. And, incidentally, if anyone tries to beat up an Italian in revenge for the death of anyone who lived over a thousand years ago, shame on you; Italy has produced some of the world's finest works of classic art and music.


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