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 Post subject: Talk About The "Passion"
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:34 pm 
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I haven't seen this and don't intend to. I'd rather sit with my eyelids propped open watching atrocities and listening to Beethoven than fatten Mad Max's coffers.

But I have a couple observations that don't require viewing of the movie.

First, am I the only one that finds it deeply ironic (or at least laughably stupid) that fundamentalist Protestants are running in droves to see a dogmatic movie made by a Traditionalist Catholic who has stated point-blank that all non-Catholics are damned?

Second (as pointed out by a columnist in the Lexington paper), isn't it odd that Gibson was supposedly so committed to authentic detail that he initially didn't even want subtitles for the Aramaic and Latin, and yet he cast a white Jesus?

Finally, a letter to the LA Times:

Quote:
I am a high school teacher and the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Monday morning, Period 1, a student, age 17, comes into my room. She asks me if I had seen the film "The Passion."

I answer, "No."

She continues, "It was so sad. I cried so much. I hate the Jews."

Very, very sadly, that tells the whole story, Mr. Gibson.

Anna Paikow

Los Angeles


Ryan

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:20 pm 
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First, am I the only one that finds it deeply ironic (or at least laughably stupid) that fundamentalist Protestants are running in droves to see a dogmatic movie made by a Traditionalist Catholic who has stated point-blank that all non-Catholics are damned?


Ironic, probably not. Laughably stupid, could be. I find it neither. As a Protestant (though not fundamentalist), I didn't find it dogmatic. There was some talk of an emphasis on the Stations of the Cross, but since I'm not familiar with that Catholic practice, I was unable to see this. I was a little disappointed by a lack of attention to the resurrection and a little creativity with the Temple. Aside from that it was pretty accurate in representing what is presented in the Gospels.

Keep in mind that Mel Gibson was very influenced by his father, who has always been very outspoken in his disagreement with the changes in the Catholic Church brought on by Vatican II.

Quote:
Second (as pointed out by a columnist in the Lexington paper), isn't it odd that Gibson was supposedly so committed to authentic detail that he initially didn't even want subtitles for the Aramaic and Latin, and yet he cast a white Jesus?


I think the jury's still out on the exact ethnic origin of Jesus, but in any case, I wouldn't call James Caviezel the poster boy for white people. I'm sure the gene pool has been muddied over the centuries, but I didn't think Caviezel looked too different from any of the modern Israelis you see on TV.

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Quote:

I am a high school teacher and the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Monday morning, Period 1, a student, age 17, comes into my room. She asks me if I had seen the film "The Passion."

I answer, "No."

She continues, "It was so sad. I cried so much. I hate the Jews."

Very, very sadly, that tells the whole story, Mr. Gibson.

Anna Paikow

Los Angeles


I think this actually shows how stupid people are.

Since this is the forum for religious debate, I posit the theory that since the Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of a Messiah who would die and be resurrected, that Jesus would die one way or another. Instead of hating Jews for killing Jesus, these people should stop and think, and then thank the Jews for allowing Jesus to be crucified. If he doesn't die, he can't be resurrected, and Christians have no salvation through Christ.

On a less religious angle... did this girl, or this teacher, see Schindler's List? If they did, do they hate all Germans because of it? Did they see Glory or any other Civil War movie? If they did, do they hate all southerners?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:29 pm 
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Rspaight wrote:
First, am I the only one that finds it deeply ironic (or at least laughably stupid) that fundamentalist Protestants are running in droves to see a dogmatic movie made by a Traditionalist Catholic who has stated point-blank that all non-Catholics are damned?

Did he really say that?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:35 pm 
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Patrick M wrote:
Rspaight wrote:
First, am I the only one that finds it deeply ironic (or at least laughably stupid) that fundamentalist Protestants are running in droves to see a dogmatic movie made by a Traditionalist Catholic who has stated point-blank that all non-Catholics are damned?

Did he really say that?


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4224452/

Ryan

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:55 pm 
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balthazar wrote:
Ironic, probably not. Laughably stupid, could be. I find it neither. As a Protestant (though not fundamentalist), I didn't find it dogmatic. There was some talk of an emphasis on the Stations of the Cross, but since I'm not familiar with that Catholic practice, I was unable to see this. I was a little disappointed by a lack of attention to the resurrection and a little creativity with the Temple. Aside from that it was pretty accurate in representing what is presented in the Gospels.

Keep in mind that Mel Gibson was very influenced by his father, who has always been very outspoken in his disagreement with the changes in the Catholic Church brought on by Vatican II.


Right, hence my use of "Tradtionalist Catholic," which I *think* is the term they use to describe themselves.

In any case, the irony I found was less with the actual *content* of the film than with the fact that so many are endorsing as a positive religious experience a movie that was made by someone so hostile to their religion. I use the term "dogmatic" because, unlike something like "Lethal Weapon," the religious content of the film is its entire raison d'etre. I'm not saying that the movie itself explicitly expounds a Traditionalist Catholic dogma.

I've not heard that the content itself significantly deviates from the Gospels, just that it chooses to emphasize elements that were glossed over in the Gospels (the torture sequence, for example), from which one might try to divine (ha!) a greater dogmatic message.

Quote:
I think the jury's still out on the exact ethnic origin of Jesus, but in any case, I wouldn't call James Caviezel the poster boy for white people. I'm sure the gene pool has been muddied over the centuries, but I didn't think Caviezel looked too different from any of the modern Israelis you see on TV.


But aren't most modern Israelis immigrants from Europe? I'd think Jesus would look more like a modern-day Egyptian...

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I think this actually shows how stupid people are.


Absolutely.

Quote:
Since this is the forum for religious debate, I posit the theory that since the Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of a Messiah who would die and be resurrected, that Jesus would die one way or another. Instead of hating Jews for killing Jesus, these people should stop and think, and then thank the Jews for allowing Jesus to be crucified. If he doesn't die, he can't be resurrected, and Christians have no salvation through Christ.


That's certainly a valid way of looking at it.

The way I see it (as a non-Christian), Jesus wasn't killed by "the Jews" any more than Malcolm X was killed by "the blacks." Jesus and his followers were all Jews, just like the Pharisees who condemned Christ to crucifixion.

Quote:
On a less religious angle... did this girl, or this teacher, see Schindler's List? If they did, do they hate all Germans because of it? Did they see Glory or any other Civil War movie? If they did, do they hate all southerners?


Indeed.

I just thought it was an interesting little letter that demonstrated that whether or not a scholarly analysis can find anti-Semitism in the movie, an idiot certainly can.

Ryan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:16 pm 
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I've not heard that the content itself significantly deviates from the Gospels, just that it chooses to emphasize elements that were glossed over in the Gospels (the torture sequence, for example), from which one might try to divine (ha!) a greater dogmatic message.


In that context, I could certainly argue the point that Gibson is a proponent of the importance of Jesus's suffering, an ideal the Catholics find dear and represent in their use of the crucifix as a symbol instead of just a cross. This is a point I debate with my wife now and then. Her Catholic background has caused her to place more importance on the crucifixion itself, while my Protestant background tries to argue that from a general Christian point of view, the crucifixion and suffering is pretty useless without the resurrection.

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But aren't most modern Israelis immigrants from Europe? I'd think Jesus would look more like a modern-day Eqyptian...


You bring up a valid historical point there. They probably all would have had darker features.

Quote:
The way I see it (as a non-Christian), Jesus wasn't killed by "the Jews" any more than Malcolm X was killed by "the blacks." Jesus and his followers were all Jews, just like the Pharisees who condemned Christ to crucifixion.


Too many people have too much personal bias to make an objective analysis like that.

Quote:
I just thought it was an interesting little letter that demonstrated that whether or not a scholarly analysis can find anti-Semitism in the movie, an idiot certainly can.


Indeed!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:17 pm 
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balthazar wrote:
Aside from that it was pretty accurate in representing what is presented in the Gospels.

If you read the People magazine (I think it is) article, Mel says something like, "There's no better history than the Gospels."

I'm currently reading this book, which might lead you to believe that -just maybe- the Gospels are not *that* historically accurate. It's widely accepted that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source, and the stuff that's in the former two and not the latter, may have come another source ("Q"). Plus, the earliest surviving New Testament is from the 4th century. That's a lot of time for things to get edited, changed, re-arranged, etc.

Quote:
Keep in mind that Mel Gibson was very influenced by his father, who has always been very outspoken in his disagreement with the changes in the Catholic Church brought on by Vatican II.

I believe the People article says he was kicked out of the church. He had some rather unkind words for the Pope. He also believes the Holocaust was a myth.

Interestingly, IIRC, there's a line in the movie where a Jewish throng says (paraphrasing) "His blood is on our hands." The line remains in the movie, but Mel axed the subtitle.

Quote:
I think the jury's still out on the exact ethnic origin of Jesus, but in any case, I wouldn't call James Caviezel the poster boy for white people. I'm sure the gene pool has been muddied over the centuries, but I didn't think Caviezel looked too different from any of the modern Israelis you see on TV.

Mel did use a prosthetic nose on the actor, and raised his hairline, and digitally changed his eye color. The gripe the Herald-Leader columnist was that his skin wasn't dark enough.

Quote:
Since this is the forum for religious debate, I posit the theory that since the Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of a Messiah who would die and be resurrected, that Jesus would die one way or another. Instead of hating Jews for killing Jesus, these people should stop and think, and then thank the Jews for allowing Jesus to be crucified. If he doesn't die, he can't be resurrected, and Christians have no salvation through Christ.

That assumes that Jesus was the Savior sent by God. Apparently some people back then didn't believe he was.

Also, the Gnostics actually threw the whole resurrection bit out the window and believed salvation came from the knowledge ("gnosis") and understanding of the sayings of Jesus (as would have appeared the in the hypothetical "Q" and the Gospel of Thomas).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:46 pm 
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If you read the People magazine (I think it is) article, Mel says something like, "There's no better history than the Gospels."

I'm currently reading this book, which might lead you to believe that -just maybe- the Gospels are not *that* historically accurate. It's widely accepted that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source, and the stuff that's in the former two and not the latter, may have come another source ("Q"). Plus, the earliest surviving New Testament is from the 4th century. That's a lot of time for things to get edited, changed, re-arranged, etc.


The movie was pretty accurate in regard to the Gospels. How accurate the Gospels are in regard to history is subject to much debate.

Quote:
Interestingly, IIRC, there's a line in the movie where a Jewish throng says (paraphrasing) "His blood is on our hands." The line remains in the movie, but Mel axed the subtitle.


It's in the Gospels. Example: Matthew 27:25. It was probably a wise move to remove the subtitle.

Quote:
That assumes that Jesus was the Savior sent by God. Apparently some people back then didn't believe he was.


That is the basic premise of Christianity. But back then they were Jews.

Quote:
Also, the Gnostics actually threw the whole resurrection bit out the window and believed salvation came from the knowledge ("gnosis") and understanding of the sayings of Jesus (as would have appeared the in the hypothetical "Q" and the Gospel of Thomas).


The Gnostics have met a lot of opposition over the centuries. After reading some of the material they held as scripture, I can see why.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:02 pm 
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Rspaight wrote:
Jesus and his followers were all Jews, just like the Pharisees who condemned Christ to crucifixion.

By "his followers," do you mean the apostles? Cause surely some Gentiles converted during Christ's time on earth. Also, wasn't Luke a Gentile?

BTW, Ryan is secretly a Hindu working in a call center in Bangalore. This whole "Bluegrass state" thing is a front.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:17 pm 
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balthazar wrote:
That is the basic premise of Christianity. But back then they were Jews.

That is the basic premise of Christianity today. But there were lots of other beliefs, too, and back then they all thought they had the keys to the kingdom.

Quote:
The Gnostics have met a lot of opposition over the centuries. After reading some of the material they held as scripture, I can see why.

But some of that material appears in the Gospels.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:39 pm 
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Patrick M wrote:
By "his followers," do you mean the apostles? Cause surely some Gentiles converted during Christ's time on earth. Also, wasn't Luke a Gentile?


Correct. Edit that to "many or most of his followers." I *think* the Christ movement was primarily a Jewish one at first (he was often addressed as "rabbi," after all), though as you say Luke was a Gentile and surely others.

Quote:
BTW, Ryan is secretly a Hindu working in a call center in Bangalore. This whole "Bluegrass state" thing is a front.


Your call is very important to me.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:42 pm 
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balthazar wrote:
In that context, I could certainly argue the point that Gibson is a proponent of the importance of Jesus's suffering, an ideal the Catholics find dear and represent in their use of the crucifix as a symbol instead of just a cross. This is a point I debate with my wife now and then. Her Catholic background has caused her to place more importance on the crucifixion itself, while my Protestant background tries to argue that from a general Christian point of view, the crucifixion and suffering is pretty useless without the resurrection.


Interesting -- that makes sense to me. Catholic iconography (if that's the right word for it) definitely seems, well, *bloodier* than the Protestant equivalent.

Ryan

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:11 pm 
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This is probably old news to you folks, but Mel attributes the Passion to saving his life during a suicidal period in his 30s.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:52 pm 
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That MSNBC link isn't working for me, Ryan.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:59 pm 
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Me either. Those MSNBC links are always flakey. I had the same problem posting one here recently. Eventually, it worked.


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