"The Passion" Revisited - Ooo look! Braveheart with a crown of thorns!

Sept, 2003

A few days ago, Judy's brother-in-law, Steve, asked me if I wanted to go see "The Passion" with him. Taken off-guard, I smiled and asked him if he was aware of the controversy surrounding the film. He said that he wasn't. He had heard nothing about it. I then asked if he knew what the Passion was all about. He said no. I said, "My God! A sophisticated middle aged man like you doesn't know about the Passion of Christ?

Well? When am I going to learn not to be shocked that educated middle class people in America do not know the Bible? When am I going to get it through my head that not everyone in America was on the RIME Religion Conference?

I then asked him, "So then why do you want to see this film?" His answer? Simple! It is a Mel Gibsom film and he is a Mel Gibson fan.

I then proceeded to tell him what The Passion Of Christ is - the last days of Jesus in Jerusalem - his arrest, trial, and death.

OK so far? Yes. He smiles in astonishment. He didn't know! Well now, I ask Steve if he has heard the controversy surrounding the film. He says no. Well, I explain, "You see, there are people that are trying to get the distribution of the film stopped."

Why is that?, enquiring minds want to know.

Well, I explain, if you listen to Imus like I do when I am at the gym [only because they don't have Howard on there, and it is MS-NBC news], you will hear that there was a rather conservative lady on his show who said that the "anti-religious establishment" wants to put a stop to the film.

Steve wonders - who is the "anti religious establishment".

Don't you know, man?  No, he doesn't. He never realized that there was an establishment or that it was anti-religious.

Well there are 2 anti-religious establishments that people talk about, I explain.

First, there is the crowd of aclu-liberal-left-wing-pinko-commie-northeastern-effette-homo-lezbo-beatnick-hippy-bohemo people who just don't want to see religion expressed outside the church or SHUL. And yes, Virgina, those people exist. Frankly Steve, I say, that crowd sort of turns me off because they have nothing better to do than to piss off the country. If we allow them to stop expression of religion, then the next thing they will attack on the floor of the House is Mom's Apple Pie! I simply will not be able to get along without that cold apple pie for desert in my favorite Greek diner.

But SECOND, and here is where the Kanker Gnaws!!! There is a 2nd anti-religious establishment. When we say anti-religious here, we mean bagel-eatin-hook-nose-money-lenders who wouldn't think twice about using the blood of children to bake their holiday crackers!!!

Get what I mean, Steve?

He ain't sure.

Well brother, do I have to spell it out? HOLLYWOOD, fool! You know who runs Hollywood! Didn't that big-titted lady, Dolly Parton, say that her church show was cancelled on TV because the "---s" don't want a church show on? I just love it when people use the definite article. I had to explain to Steve [he be dense sometime] that the use of the definite article is all-inclusive. What I mean is when you say "THE ---s", you mean ALL goddam "___s" dummy!

Like, I have to explain that the Gospels say "Then the anti-religious Hollywood establishment took him and said away with him. Crucify him!"

"Oh", Steve says, looking quizical!

Do you get the direction I am going in man?

He says, "Sort of" and smiles weakly.

Then I start to teach him the facts of life. No, not birds and bees crap. I mean boycotts! I tell him that movie botcotts are useless! Worse than useless. They accomplish the REVERSE of what the boycotters want to acomplish. They arouse curiosity! They make people go to see a movie that you don't want them to see. They also might accuse you of suppressing freedom of expression! How would an extra-liberal-homo-aclu-er like to be accused of that?

Well, he says, I don't get why The Passion or "The Passion" has to be anti-semitic. Well I have to tell him to read the New Testament and make his own judgement. It's a document about how blind and stubborn some people are when they have the "truth" in front of them and don't want to see it; in fact, they want to murder the "truth".

Got it yet? By George, I think the bloke's got it!

So I say, "Sure! I'll go with you to see The Passion. It can't be worse then all the goofy Lethal Weapons and Mad Maxes I know and love!"

But the worst is yet to come!

You know How I get all my unadulterated news from the Howard Stern Show. I don't trust the Heeb-infested-liberal-eastern-effette[whatever the hell that word means but if it's good enough for Barry Berrelle Goltvasser, it's good enough for me] anti-Israel NY Times.

So on Howard's show today, they are talking about The Passion, no not the NT story, the movie.

Howard asks, "What's all this stuff about Mel Gibson's new movie?" Robin says, "Well the people in the Vatican saw it and they got a charge out of it."

But someone says that it is not even in English, and there are no sub-titles.

What's it in?, Howard asks. In Aramaic.

ARAMAIC? Ain't THAT a kick in the TOOCHES! I failed Aramaic 101! Damn!

But, says Howard, I might go see it anyway. I hear the Pope watched it and cried and laughed, and then he touched himself.

To: new46@yahoogroups.com
From: "King Solomon"
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 16:16:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: [new46] "The Passion" Revisited - Ooo look!

--- Deke Barker [deke@andbar.com] wrote:

> Shlomoh:

> It will be interesting to compare "The Passion" to Martin Scorsese's
> "The Last Temptation of Christ", the latter based upon a Greek novella
> of the 1950s.

I know. I read the book before they even turned it into a movie.

> In spite of the frenzied attacks by evangelical Xians, many Christian
> scholars  -- even *CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICALS* -- found that Scorsese's
> work was one of the finest film depictions of Jesus ever seen.

That film was also boycotted, not by Jews but by Christians. It only served to draw attention to it. That's why I have always thought that when people try to supress a film, it always backfires on them. The hullaballoo only made more people go to see the film. When I was a kid, there was a big hullaballoo about what was on The Index. Of course I lived in a mixed neighborhood of Jews and Catholics [Italians and Irish] so I was always listening to them talking about this or that movie being on The Index. Well everytime the Jews in the neighborhood heard that some movie was on The Index, we always made sure to see it. But even the Catholics snuck away to see it. Something like The Index shows that many religious people don't understand the American mentality.

The film was very good. Similar to The Passion, if you remember the Last Temptation, the actors portraying Jews had American accents while the actors portraying Romans had British accents. Using real Latin and Aramaic is the next logical step.

> The trouble with "Last Temptation" was that it tried to humanize Jesus

That may be a problem to some Christians but it is THE problem of Christianity. I believe that even today, 2000 years after the fact, many Christians do not have it straight in their minds - what is the substance of God or Christ? On the original 46, I wrote an essay about some kabalistic aspects of the Trinity. If you are interested, I will look for it.

> As I understand it, Gibson is basing his conception of Jesus in part on a pious fantasy from the mid-19th century.

What fantasy is that?

> COMMENT: In Gibson's first major interview (in January?) about "The
> Passion", he was already complaining that people (Jews, presumably)
> were trying to suppress it. I have read several articles/columns
> stating that there was *NO* public opposition until March.

As the Times article points out, the film [makers] has every right to malign "the Jews". It's America. But then the Jewish crybabies have every right to bitch about it. But if they are going to do it, they should be honest and if they should be honest they should be knowledgable. And who can say if they are either. Judy's brother-in-law did not even know anything about the Passion or "The Passion".

Meanwhile the right wing people are not honest either. They are saying that the "anti-religious establishment" is against the film and "the Jews" are saying that the film is antisemtic.

Here's what I would like to publish in as many places as possible. Let Gibson and his right wing Christian defenders call a spade a Jew, and let "the Jews" call the New Testament what it is, - a document that puts Jews in a shitty light. Isn't honesty the best policy or are we still living in America where a politician can't say what is?

Freedom of expression, my Jewish ass.

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