March 7, 2004


We haven’t been able to see the movie yet, so I am unable to render my own opinion of this film. However, I have been following the news of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of Christ for many months.

I can understand the desire of an artist to express his deepest faith in his art. And my own interest was sparked by what looked like Gibson’s intense desire in declaring his truth. Before work started on this film, I had never heard any mention of anti-Semitism on the part of this actor. And, I wondered again how anyone could judge the film, sight unseen.

As news built, some concern grew about the affects this film would have on those people whose bigotry lies just below the surface. …Those who in their fundamentalism, judge everything by their narrow view of the world. Those who believe in black and white distinctions of what (or who) is evil and what (or who) is good.

As a child, I felt the sting of Anti-Semitism in my neighborhood. I was called a Christ Killer more than once by so called Christians. Throughout my life, I have heard more subtle innuendos in the speech of otherwise ‘nice’ people. Even unknowingly, good people use language that vilifies Jews.

The climate changed. I don’t hear the same slurs much anymore. …At least not here. But, it is evident that this old hatred is growing around the world. And not just in the Middle East.

At some point in my youth, I began to protect myself from the unwanted comments by proactively revealing my background at the beginning of any friendship. I hoped to ward off any slurs by relying on the desire of others to do the right thing. But sometimes I have heard these things anyway, and I try not to paint these people as evil. At those times, I do my best to speak up. I can no longer pretend not to hear what has been said. Sometimes I do this awkwardly and sometimes in an unloving manner.

I have lived with the fear that what has happened before, could happen again. I grew up with stories of pogroms in Russia, and the Holocaust perpetuated by the Nazis. And, realize that “There, but for the grace of God, go I...”

As a result, I am hypersensitive to bigoted remarks of any kind. And, I know that the ignorance from which they are generated exists within each one of us. This exists within that part of us that acts as the ‘judge’ and within the dark regions of our fear.

I realize that these feelings also exist within me. And, knowing this, I try to be ever vigilant and watchful. But even while doing my best, I have erred.

We humans have been equipped with a mind which enables us to reason. It is a God-given gift. We must be careful how we render this gift. This mind is a tool which can be misused if it’s not ruled by our heart.

I am not talking about emotion or sentimentality, although both are useful. I am talking about that part of us which is filled with the Loving Spirit of the One.

I will let you know what I think of the film. But, I must admit, I am now a somewhat afraid.

Posted by Judi at March 7, 2004 7:10 PM | TrackBack

don't believe the hype.

you have fallen in the way they want you to fall.
trust me when I say this, and it will be evident when you see it. If you know the stories of the Bible in a little way or the pound it was pounded in my head growing up Catholic and all, the movie is the story and does not waiver.

the only way to see the movie as anti-semetic is to see the bible as anti-semetic. (is it? I really dont know.) Anyway, welcome to Hollywood, where controversy equals box office. It's all hype.

Posted by: Martin at March 7, 2004 7:25 PM
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