Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Passion Of Christ, Mel Gibson's biblical opus, has stirred a lot of controversy. No major distribution company would touch it due to the volatile subject matter. Of course, they have no problem producing films about Neo-Nazis, teen sex, serial killers, the holocaust and a variety of other touchy subjects. The film was picked up by an independent movie distribution company, who had little to lose and everything to gain through showing this film in wide release. I understand this movie is not for everyone, personally, I would rather read the Gospels then sit in a theatre for several hours listening to Aramaic and Latin. But, I do take issue with the groups who claim the movie to be anti-Semitic because of its source material.

I have not viewed the film; therefore, my information is based upon media reports. Usually, I am a reluctant to accept a third parties opinion but the reported polarizing views between Christians and Jews says quite a bit. Apparently, the movie takes the Gospels literally giving the impression that Jews betrayed Christ. Several high profile Jewish leaders took issue with this fact. Conversely, the reported impression, by Christian religious leaders, has been extremely positive. Why do they disagree? Christians believe in the sanctity and historical accuracy of the New Testament, Jews do not. Jewish Rabbis won't accept this movie; excuse the pun, as "Gospel Truth" because their faith doesn't coincide with it. That doesn't make the movie anti-Semitic; it simply makes it rooted in Christian scripture and theology.