The Indifference of Mel Gibson:

Correspondence Between Shlomoh and Deke Barker
February 22, 2004

From: Deke Barker
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2004
Subject: RE: Article: ’Passion’ Disturbs a Panel of Religious Leaders

The more I read about "Passion" and Gibson, the more I am becoming convinced that Gibson is at best completely indifferent to the issue of anti-Semitism, and at worst is consciously promoting it.

From: "King Solomon"
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004
Subject: RE: Article: ’Passion’ Disturbs a Panel of Religious Leaders

I agree after having seen his performance with Diane Sawyer. I am also concerned with code words for the enemies of the film, "secualr elite", etc.

Here's another thing. People who are willfully ignorant will equate the enemies of this film with enemies of the gospel.

And if it's the Jews, Paul's saying that "concerining the gospel, THEY ARE ENEMIES for your sake" [Romans 11:28] will have no meaning for the masses.

From: Deke Barker
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004
Subject: RE: Article: ’Passion’ Disturbs a Panel of Religious Leaders


I found the previous article ("Do you recognize... " [recogniz.htm]) quite thoughtful and interesting, but I think the author missed the point. Jesus' blood atonement is but one aspect of Jesus' crucifixion, and (IMO) a relatively small part of what Xianity means to most Xians, even Roman Catholics.

"He and the other Christian clergy members agreed that the movie was based on a "theology of atonement" familiar to evangelicals, one that emphasizes Jesus' suffering and sacrifice over his resurrection.

They noted that the movie had opened with a passage from Isaiah: 'With his stripes we are healed.'

Mr. Blackwell, the Methodist pastor said: 'If your theology is blood, and you're washed clean in the blood, then the more blood and suffering the better because the more salvation there is in it. If that's your theology, the more stripes, the more you are healed.

'For me the question is: Is unrelenting violence redemptive?" Mr. Blackwell said. "What happened to the revelatory preaching of Jesus and his love?' "

It's interesting to learn that the spoken words, "His blood be on us and our children" weren't removed; just the English subtitles, which can easily be returned in VHS and DVD.

I was also interested to see how he portrayed the Jewish leaders and Pilate. Again, I keep getting the impression that Gibson *INTENDED* for his film to enflame passions against Jews. In Braveheart, Gibson didn't make all of English nobility to appear completely evil; there was balance. I don't get the impression of balance here. And the bit about Pilate's wife strikes me as gratuitous, serving only to contrast the Romans with the Jews.

These aren't things that will cause people to go out and persecute Jews. However, especially as played over and over on DVD, they are likely to breed anti-Semitic ideas.

It would be bad enough if Gibson had merely taken factual (or at least, Biblical) evidence and presented it without explaining the context. But what he did was make up his own evidence. At least according to the following discussion, Gibson *SPECIFICALLY* distorted the Jewish leaders and the Romans, Pilate in particular.

Finally ... why Latin? Greece has plenty of actors. Why was everyone speaking Latin when they would have spoken Greek? Isn't that a serious distortion? Why not English if Gibson didn't care to get it right in the first place? What was the point of the languages anyway? IMO, it was more of a marketing tool than anything. "See, I've created an authentic film of Jesus last 12 hours. Even the languages are correct!" Except the languages were *NOT* correct.

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