Monday, March 08, 2004

More Criticism of The Passion of the Christ

Getrude Himmelfarb of the Washington Post has criticized The Passion of the Christ without seeing it. Her attack is basically that the movie is an act of social irresponsibility. She offers a couple "how would you feel" thought experiments.

How would Christians feel if "if a Hollywood producer made a film, in the same "over the edge" spirit vaunted by Gibson, dramatizing another historical event -- the auto-da-fé in Spain in February 1481, for example, in which six men and six women conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity) were tortured and burned alive at the stake, while richly robed prelates triumphally presided over the scene?"

Or, Christian, how would you feel about "a film of the First Crusade produced by a Muslim. The venerable 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes, in relatively sober terms, the month-long siege culminating in the capture of Jerusalem: "The slaughter was terrible; the blood of the conquered ran down the streets, until men splashed in blood as they rode. At nightfall, sobbing for excess of joy, the crusaders came to the Sepulchre from their treading of the winepress, and put their blood-stained hands together in prayer. So, on that day of July, the First Crusade came to an end."".

On a stupidity scale of 1 to Bishop Spong, this argument is way up there. It compares a film about what is regarded as the defining moment of God's redemptive work with human tragedies borne of men, not God.

Nevertheless, the answer is simple: I would not rant and rave like those who are screaming that Gibson’s movie is anti-Semitic, revealing nothing so much as their own anti-Christian bigotry.

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