"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wWednesday, February 25, 2004

SON OF MAN, ANTI-SEMITE?: Here's my take on the controversy surrounding the Passion. The title: The Passion and the Fury. Sounds like a bodice ripper, no?:

By now, we've settled into an old familiar routine. Non-religious, specifically non-Christian, critics rail against Mel Gibson's self-financed The Passion of the Christ and accuse it of anti-Semitism. The New Yorker reviewer called it "a sickening death trap, a grimly unilluminating procession of treachery, beatings, blood and agony," which will give warrant to the old saw that "it was the ancient Jews who were principally responsible for killing Jesus." For good measure, he concluded: "another dose of death-haunted religious fanaticism is the last thing we need."

Gibson & Co. forgo the visceral reaction ("what d'you mean 'we' paleface?") for a rational one, but the facts do not count as an absolute defense when the charge is racial animus. Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League isn't going to care that the line in which some members of the rabble accept collective responsibility for the death of Jesus of Nazareth (the passages in the synoptic Gospels which draw charges of blatant anti-Semitism) was removed from the subtitles, or that Gibson publicly disavows Jew hatred, or that this is a work of art, for God's sake. Gibson practices a schismatic "pre-Vatican II Catholicism," and he's made a movie about the death of Christ, so it must be anti-Semitic, QED [more]

posted by Jeremy at 8:55 AM