Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A few more things to say about "The Passion..."

The main objection to Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is that it would stir anti-Semitism. Well, a new poll suggests the movie has actually had the opposite effect.

A nationwide survey conducted by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research finds that 83 per cent of Americans familiar with the film say it's made them neither more nor less likely to blame todays' Jews for Jesus' crucifixion...in fact, nine per cent say the film has actually made them less likely to blame today's Jews.

Says Gary Tobin, the president of the Institute, "Jews and Christians can talk about these things, and even argue and debate about them, but that's not necessarily going to be a precursor to more prejudice. The bond between Christians and Jews in this country is strong enough that they can actually have this debate, and have it out in the open as well."

J. Mark Bertrand employs a health dollop of sarcasm, commenting on the issue in his blog: "...the message has come through loud and clear: the Passion is a dangerous movie.

"The fear is understandable. Some people will no doubt leave the theater after seeing Gibson's movie livid with rage. Perhaps groups of rowdy youth will roam the theater parking lots in search of unsuspecting legionnaires or high priests upon whom to vent their wrath. Remember the outbreaks of violence after the release of movies like Pearl Harbor and Schindler's List. We can expect a rampage of similar, if not greater scale now. It is a wonder that the hotheads at First Presbyterian did not start torching their Volvos and Hummers after the sneak preview."

Yeah, while anti-Semitism is not funny, I had to snicker at the thought of rowdy youths vainly searching for high priests in parking lots...

And Jeri Massi commented in her blog yesterday on Dr. Bob Jones III's official stance on the movie. Massi decries the fact that Bob Jones University's talented film department has "has never produced anything nearly as compelling or thought provoking as The Passion."

Asks Massi: "Why, I ask, did Mel Gibson have such a determination to show the starkness, horror, and scope of the passion of the Savior that no Christian Fundamentalist has ever equaled?"

Meantime, my personal review of the film is delayed, as I have not yet seen it.

And on a personal note...

I'm still struggling with whatever tenacious germ has gotten ahold of my head and throat and won't let go! Just when I thought I was feeling better, I was hit with aches, pains, sore throat and stuffed-up nose again last night. I think I'm going to take to my bed until I have to get up for an obligation later today. My sympathies to all those of you out there who are suffering from similar maladies...

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