Thursday, February 26, 2004


Like many others, I have been puzzled by the fuss over THAT movie. The Pope has approved it, evangelical Christians are lining up to buy tickets to it and all it does is re-tell the basic Christian story -- now nearly 2000 years old. Jeff Jacoby makes the best job of explaining the fuss as far as I can see but I still think the claim that it will stir up antisemitism among Christians is do-gooder nonsense.

I do however like the point in the NYT that the film might make the "modern" (read "social") Christians sit up and think a bit.

Now they're threatening Mel Gibson. Never mind [that] 'The Passion of the Christ' will likely prove a hit, Mel is taking a hit from Hollywood types. One tells the New York Daily News he's all but a marked man. Directors will avoid him. And one goes so far as to say audiences will move on from him. No more 'Lethal Weapon' sequels. No more 'Signs.' Says who? Says some Hollywood honcho irked by the 'Passion' or Mel's passion to make it? I just wonder whether those in Hollywood would be jawboning as much if Mel had taken on a different movie project ... Let's say, 'The Passion of Global Warming' or 'The Passion of Migrant Workers.' No, Hollywood selects what passions are appropriate."

What Mel Gibson's foes forget: "These days, the most consistently pro-Israel group of Americans, oddly enough, are evangelical Christians. A sane and rational person might assume that fact would be appreciated and applauded by us. By and large, however, that isn't the case. Many of my fellow Jews don't like or trust devout Christians. When I ask them why, they suddenly become history professors. To listen to them, you'd think the Inquisition had ended earlier this year. Frankly, when I hear them dredging up ancient animosities, I'm surprised they haven't taken a page out of the Al Sharpton playbook and demanded reparations from Spain!"


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