A Reader Writes In

Below is a letter by Gr@z Junkeez regarding Noel Vera's review of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.
Click here for Noel's article.
Click here for his review, The Perversion Of Christ.
Noel Vera's comments are in red.


> On the subject on The Passion Of Christ, all these talk about it being anti-semitic and not being accurate enough... I think those who are saying these just TOTALLY missed the point of the film. It's like seeing a few black little dots on a corner of a huge whiteboard.

Why, any great evil will look good if you stand back far enough. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, basically their message and intent was the upliftment of their respective peoples. When you look at the general outline of their rhetoric, it's all noble sentiments and beautiful ideas. It's in the details... the little black dots you spoke so disparagingly of... that their true nature is revealed.

> Anyone can quote the Bible for their own agenda. Many have feared at the apocalyptic imagery in the Book Of Revelation for years, yet only a few truly know what it's talking about.

Just as Gibson through Emmerich/Brentano has just done.

> One can lift a line from the Bible to support any of their sick ideas, be it homosexuality, male chauvinism, exhibitionism

Or anti-Jewish bias

> but if you read where the line is taken from, it's taken outta context 99% most of the time.

Just as Gibson's movie takes much of the gospels out of context, again thanks to Emmerich/Brentano.

> So to say that the New Testament is anti-semitic is totally ridiculous.

Is the Catholic church itself wrong? According to their teachings, please note passages my article and the articles I linked to, the church admits there is anti-Jewish bias in the New Testament, that it has its own historical context, and that the New Testament has been used historically to fuel anti-Semitism. Care must be taken, or guidelines the church itself has set must be followed (again, cited in the articles), that this anti-Jewish bias be not emphasized.

Of course, Gibson does recognize recent church teachings, particularly the Nostra Aetate. Which all faithful Catholics should keep in mind.

> Contrary to some beliefs, Christ was not murdered. Not by the Jews or the Romans. He laid down his life willingly. Go read the Bible for yourself.

I've read it; the question is, how closely has Gibson read it? His movie is more faithful to Emmerich/Brentano than to the various Gospels he has so blithely patched together to create a distorted picture.

>Scholars' commentaries are useful, but they are after all interpretations or view points, not the real thing.

They are based on long research of source materials including the bible, historical documents AND official church documents, and they are an important complement to any interpretation of the bible. Again, I have a quote in my article from official church teachings exhorting knowledge of scholarly writings.

In effect; pick-and-choose theology, which Gibson seems to practice, is, like "a little knowledge," a dangerous thing. The church in general and the Jesuits in particular demand that we use our heads as well as our hearts. It doesn't suffice that something is just moving (tho I certainly found nothing in the picture moving); it must be rational and consistent with history as well.

> It's only there to aid you to understand a bit more about the Scriptures, that's all.

It's crucial in differentiating from orthodox Catholic teaching and heresy.

> How can one judge the movie on its accuracy? Were you there at the time of crucifixion? Did you travel back in time to find out the actual facts? None of us did. Most of them are just based on history records and books, which again can be inaccurate.

But are better guesses than the questionable writings of a 19th century nun and the German Romantic poet who "compiled" (composed) her writings.

> So all these just seem to take people's focus away on the real aim of the film - which is God's love for us. That Jesus died for ALL our sins - past, present & future. I think it's silly to be nitpicking at a film so beautiful (in fact, the best Jesus film done so far)

Have you seen Pasolini's The Gospel According to Matthew? Simple, beautiful, and TOTALLY FAITHFUL to the Gospel of Mark... which is more than I can say for Gibson's religious turd.

As for the message of the movie - read above regarding noble messages and the context in which they are presented. That's why I titled my second article "The perversion of Christ" - because Gibsons' movie perverts the message of Christ.

> and missing out on the fact that Jesus loves all of us.

Do we see that in the movie? He suffers and dies, but you need to know the rest of the story (which the movie does not provide) to know that he did it out of love. For all you know, he was just some hapless Jew pulled off from the streets.

> It's not just the Jews who crucified Him. It's ALL our sins that put Him on the cross. That He so loved us that He is willing to come down to Earth as a human and die for us, so that we can be accepted into God's kingdom and be as one with Jesus.

Think about that more than to just focus on all the minor & irrelevant details.

Except Pilate? Gibson's movie (thanks to Emmerich and Brentano) practically gives him a pass - even more than the acutal Gospels do.

> But then like what someone (was it Frank Zappa?) once said, there's only two kinda folks, those who get it & those who don't.

So please... try and get it, will ya?

For more... email singbigo@singnet.com.sg with the message, "Put me on your mailing list."