now, vent re: _The Passion_

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
now, vent re: _The Passion_
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 2:03pm
First of all let me say that I am reserving judgement on other's criticisms of the movie as anti-semitic until I see the movie, and even then it will not be in its original form so thanks to all-American corporate censorship we may never know but anyway.......

I just read an article in the Religious News that Mel Gibson is softening the crucifixion scene to make the Jewish mobs (and therefore presumably all Jews throughout eternity) less culpable and more sympathetic. One assumes he is doing this to appease critics of the film in order to secure wide release. So here's my rant: Gibson worked fervently to make a film that was absolutely faithful to Catholic scripture and tradition, there was no intentional anti-semitism added to the movie, almost all Jewish scholars agree on this point. The fear, if that's the right word, is that Gibson's faithful rendering of Jesus' passion will ignite anti-semitism here and now. Is that enough of a reason to call for him to censor his film? Does he not have the artistic right to make the film he wants to make? And, where are these people when anti-Catholicism is shoved into film, books, etc. every day???? Were they lining to protest the "works of art" "Piss Christ" and "Dung Madonna" or was that bit of artistic freedom ok? Why are some groups sacredly protected (yes, I'm being sardonic here) while Catholics are free game? We get scourged on the one side for being hypocritical (sex abuse scandal) and scourged on the other for being overly devout. We can't win for losing. <:(

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 6:06pm
It does seem that Mel Gibson is receiving an awful lot of criticism from people who haven't yet seen his film. Certainly he has the right to make the movie he wants to make and people have the right to see it or not. From what I have read, it's a very emotional and powerful film; Gibson said he felt led to make it...actually that he was afraid not to.

Here's my thought about it, though. This idea that the Jews are responsible for the death of me, that makes no sense. For those who claim His crucifixion as the punishment for our sins, it seems clear, He died for us. If He chose, He could have come down from that Cross at any time, but He remained, and suffered, in love for us. So the Jews aren't responsible; each of us bears some of that blame. I hope this idea comes across in the film.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 11:01pm
I think this is a difficult issue. Yes, he should be able to make the film as he wants. Yet there is no denying that anti-Semitism is alive and well. If I were to create something, and the consensus among reasonable people is that it would incite the more ignorant of our society to anti-Semitism, I may very well choose to edit it. I have a certain responsibility, don't you think? This is not totally parallel, but remember that movie where a scene was edited in which kids lay down in the middle of the street? It was edited out because people were stupid enough to try it. I didn't see the film, but it must not have been essential, because the film continued to show without it.

So I think as long as the editing doesn't harm what Gibson feels called to do, it is kind of him to make changes. He has a wonderful story to tell, and I don't think it should be marred by this type of controversy.

It is true that anti-Catholicism is everywhere as well, but it is also true that Catholics aren't a minority in this country -- nor did they suffer in recent history to the same extent as the Jews. Were someone to complain that a film would incite anti-Protestantism, I would probably share your outrage -- or at least laugh out loud. But most of the time, I just remember that Christ said that we are blessed when we're persecuted for him, and chalk it up to ignorance and misunderstanding.