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Gibson's passion

Sadanand Murthy
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I have watched the furore that ensued when Gibson's movie 'The Passion of The Christ' was completed. This furore gathered steam and has followed him ever since. What I can't understand is why. Why is everyone making such a huge deal of this? The invectives that have been hurled at him by NYT & Andy Rooney boggles my mind. What are these people afraid of? There have been other movies & tv mini series about Jesus & his life. People didn't get bent out of shape for them. Why now? Is it because it deals exclusively with the crucifixion and the events that immediately preceded it? Is it the gore? But then there have been many gory movies where gore was the central theme and was there just for gore's (not Al) sake!
Some jewish people (as well as non-jewish ones) have complained that it is anti-semitic. I don't understand how it is.
I remember when The Last Temptation was made. Nary a peep from those who have taken up arms against Gibson's movie.
I watched his interview with Diane Sawyer and I was very impressed by him. By his convictions, by his faith and most importantly by his strength in his faith. How many people are willing or have the strength to be crucified on the cross of public calumny, a cross which is held up by media stalwarts? Whether one believes in his faith or not, whether one even believes in God or not, such strength (which comes from within) is highly commendable.
One thing I am quite certain about. This movie has polarized this country as no other movie has. And it probably is right up there with Iraq war in this regard.


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Joe Pluta
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Personally, I don't have a great desire to see the movie, so I have no opinion on the matter. But I did read an interesting article which also garnered a LOT Of debate:
http://www.aish.com/societyWork/society/Mel_Gibson_and_the_Jews.asp
Joe
Thomas Paul
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I am convinced that this movie comes from such a Catholic sensibility that non-Catholics aren't getting it. It wasn't the Jews who nailed Jesus to the cross. And it wasn't the Romans either. It was you and me and we continue to do it every day when we sin against God's commandments.
Every year during Lent there is a time in Catholic Churches where Catholics recreate the Passion. The congregation takes the role of the crowd and at one point the congregation shouts out, "Crucify Him." We are the ones shouting out to crucify Jesus.
First Things had an excellent review of the movie. You can read it here:
http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0403/opinion/hittingerlev.html


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John Smith
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There have been other movies & tv mini series about Jesus & his life. People didn't get bent out of shape for them. Why now?
Along with the international war on terror, we are fighting a cultural civil war. There have been a lot of controversial issues that polarized America in the last few years: same sex marriages, pledge of allegiance in schools, involvment of the state in the celebration of religious holidays, to name a few. It seems like the middle is thin, with the heavy mass concentrated on the opposite sides of a gyroscope. That makes it very volatile, and any new intervention is likely to disturb the entire system. The country is looking for a new equilibrium, -- expect to experience a rough ride before we get and settle in there.
Thomas Paul
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Here is a review by Michael Medved. He is an Orthodox Jew.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/commentaries/passion-prejudice.html
Johannes de Jong
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And it wasn't the Romans either. It was you and me and we continue to do it every day when we sin against God's commandments.
Yep.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I am convinced that this movie comes from such a Catholic sensibility that non-Catholics aren't getting it. It wasn't the Jews who nailed Jesus to the cross. And it wasn't the Romans either. It was you and me and we continue to do it every day when we sin against God's commandments.
Every year during Lent there is a time in Catholic Churches where Catholics recreate the Passion. The congregation takes the role of the crowd and at one point the congregation shouts out, "Crucify Him." We are the ones shouting out to crucify Jesus.
First Things had an excellent review of the movie. You can read it here:
http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0403/opinion/hittingerlev.html

I'm not Catholic and I get it. Tom is exactly right. And it is exactly what Mel said. I read a review yesterday where a guy was mad because the context as to why Jesus was betrayed and arrested a night wasn't there. So you missed some understanding of how crucial it would have been to "sneak" up on Him to arrest Him. They didn't know how willing He was going to be to be arrested.
HELLO - LAST 12 HOURS MEAN ANYTHING??
It wasn't Mel's intent to show you this context. If you want to know, go read the Gospals. This was the part Mel wanted to show. Not to give everyone a complete understanding from point A to point B but more a specific window of a moment. THE moment. The last 12 hours.


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Sadanand Murthy
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

I'm not Catholic and I get it. Tom is exactly right. And it is exactly what Mel said. I read a review yesterday where a guy was mad because the context as to why Jesus was betrayed and arrested a night wasn't there. So you missed some understanding of how crucial it would have been to "sneak" up on Him to arrest Him. They didn't know how willing He was going to be to be arrested.
HELLO - LAST 12 HOURS MEAN ANYTHING??
It wasn't Mel's intent to show you this context. If you want to know, go read the Gospals. This was the part Mel wanted to show. Not to give everyone a complete understanding from point A to point B but more a specific window of a moment. THE moment. The last 12 hours.


Agreed. I cannot understand the seething anger of those who say that the
context in which Jesus was betrayed is missing from the movie. Is there anyone in the whole wide world who watches movies (i.e. has access to see movies, read books) who doesn't know the context? Even in Indian classes we read about Jesus & Mohammed in 5th or 6th grades. So this argument from these people is rather specious.
And that is why I can't understand the passion that the movie is generating in those who are opposed to the it.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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If you do need the whole context, there is another movie that just came out that can help there:
http://www.gospelofjohnthefilm.com/
Richard Hawkes
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I wonder if there'll be a flood of God movies now.
Jim Yingst
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You mean like God, God II: The Revenge, and Son of God? Waitaminnit, they've started with the son already; time to do prequels I suppose.


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Richard Hawkes
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"The Wrath of God" perhaps. You won't like him when he's angry, goes the tag line. Great stories in the first book. Noah might make a good film, perhaps the Orson Scott Card version.
Joe King
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
It wasn't the Jews who nailed Jesus to the cross. And it wasn't the Romans either. It was you and me and we continue to do it every day when we sin against God's commandments.

Personally I haven't crucified anyone recently.
I don't know what everyone is getting so stressed about. If you dont like it, dont watch it. There's plenty of other fantasy films out at the moment, Lord Of The Rings is about as believable, but probably with better special effects.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Joe King:

There's plenty of other fantasy films out at the moment, Lord Of The Rings is about as believable, but probably with better special effects.

Actually, there is quite a lot of evidence outside of the Bible to support the fact that there indeed was a man named Jesus who was crucified. Whether or not you believe that man was the Messiah, Son of God, etc is up to you.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Joe King:

Personally I haven't crucified anyone recently.

Personally, I haven't owned any African Slaves. But I am still held accountable in some way today now aren't I.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Joe King:
There's plenty of other fantasy films out at the moment, Lord Of The Rings is about as believable, but probably with better special effects.
We do know from other sources than the Bible (Josephus, for example) that Jesus really existed and really was crucified. The crucifixion itself is accurate. The Romans would always beat the person before the crucifixion. The longer the beating, the less time the person would survive on the cross.
Michael Morris
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We do know from other sources than the Bible (Josephus, for example) that Jesus really existed and really was crucified. The crucifixion itself is accurate. The Romans would always beat the person before the crucifixion. The longer the beating, the less time the person would survive on the cross.
I saw it yesterday and it was as how I supposed it would be. I have heard complaints from some in the movie industry that the portrayal was more brutal than the versions given in the Gospels. While that is true, much of this comes from Catholic tradition and revelations to the likes of St. Bridget of Sweden. One particular instance in the film alluding to this was when the the Roman soldier pulled Jesus' arm to stretch it on the cross. According to a revelation to St. Bernard by Jesus, it was his shoulder that gave him the most physical pain during his Passion. As mentioned, the main point of the scouraging was to weaken the victim by blood loss so that they would not survive more than a couple of days. Breaking their legs would cause death quickly because they could no longer stretch to relieve the fluid building up in the lungs, which is the ultimate cause of death by crucifixion.
No matter how you slice it, it was a powerful movie whether you are a believer or not. Even non-believers should see it as how powerful people react when they fear the loss of that power. Jesus was a threat to the Temple leaders, and instablity was a threat to Pilate, so they had no problem taking an innocent man's life. So not much has changed thru the centuries has it?


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Frank Silbermann
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Gregg Bolinger: Personally, I haven't owned any African Slaves. But I am still held accountable in some way today now aren't I.

Not as far as I'm concerned. As long as you don't express support, sympathy or solidarity with any group that seeks to enslave Africans today, I think it would be most unfair to hold you accountable. (What people fail to consider is that the group with the highest percentage of white American slave-owning ancestry would be American blacks themselves. Many slave owners had more children with their slaves than with their wives.)
Falana Dhimkana
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I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on that. But I have read interviews of Mel's father. Now this guy, Huton Gibson, I must say is a piece of work. He has the audacity to say that the holocaust never really happened. Jews just took off for Sydney, LA etc. Mel, also has tried to tried to underplay the holocaust. When asked about holocaust in an interview he said that a lot of people were wrongly killed in WWII and some of them were Jews The movie may or may not have any anti-semetic intentions but I think the Gibson's are really out of touch with reality. Somebody really needs to show them the mass graves
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Falana Dhimkana:
Mel, also has tried to tried to underplay the holocaust.
Actually he tried to underplay criticizing his father. Those are two very different things.
Joe Pluta
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Actually he tried to underplay criticizing his father. Those are two very different things.
If this report is accurate, it seems to me that Mr. Gibson doesn't quite get the concept of the Holocaust.
Joe
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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I have to admit that I always shake me head when I read something like this:
Rabbi Marvin Hier, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, has accused Gibson of "insensitivity when he compared Jewish suffering in the Holocaust to that of millions of others who died in the war."
Aurora Sandman
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

Personally, I haven't owned any African Slaves. But I am still held accountable in some way today now aren't I.

Christian belief is indeed that we are all guilty of nailing Jesus to the cross, but it's not an "inheritted" guilt, as slave-owning would be. (By the way, I don't agree that contemporay man can be considered guilty for historical salvery.)
The Christian belief regarding "the Passion" is that we are all guilty of violating the Law and stand guilty before God, who is perfect. But this perfect and just God is also loving and merciful. And while, as a judge, He declares mankind guilty, He voluntarily becomes a man and takes the punishment Himself so mankind can be pardoned.
This is why a movie like the Passion will be so moving for Christians. It is somewhat akin to considering the sacrifices of the firefighters on 9/11 who went up those towers to save others, knowing full well that they themslves might perish in the process. Christians are moved because Christ's passion stands as a meassure of the extent of God's love for them, and that God translated that love into providing a very costly pardon for their sins. It's a very powerful scenario.
[ March 01, 2004: Message edited by: Aurora Sandman ]
Mapraputa Is
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If this report is accurate, it seems to me that Mr. Gibson doesn't quite get the concept of the Holocaust.
From this report:
The Times reported Gibson's decision to make changes in his film "The Passion of the Christ," as reported on NewMax.com Tuesday. Gibson has removed the scene of Jewish high priest Caiaphas saying, of Jesus' death, "His blood be on us and on our children."

"But it became clear at the film's first British screening for journalists, theologians and clergy that although Gibson has removed the English subtitle for the line, the words remain in the film, exclaimed in Aramaic. Although few in the audience will understand it, the decision to retain the line makes clear Gibson's reluctance to be swayed by the fears of complainants."
http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,12589,1157484,00.html
[ March 01, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

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Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
Actually he tried to underplay criticizing his father. Those are two very different things.
If this report is accurate, it seems to me that Mr. Gibson doesn't quite get the concept of the Holocaust.
Joe

I believe the Holocaust happened. I am completely sympathetic to it and I believe it is important for people to remember that it happened.
But..
"He doesn't begin to understand the difference between dying in a famine and people being cremated solely for what they are." - Abe Foxman
How can you put a higher significance to dying one way versus another when either way is absolutly horrid? And what about all our US troops who died trying to save all those Jews? Are there deaths less important because they weren't "...cremated solely for what they are."? They were shot and killed for what they believe in.
I have seen interviews with Mel Gibson where he is asked about his father, and I haven't interpreted anything he said to imply that he is not sympathetic to the Holocause or that he doesn't believe in it at all. It's natural that he would want to defend his father. But I don't think defending your father is the same as defending your father's beliefs.
On another note...
I don't see a German and think, "you killed jews". Because he/she didn't. I don't watch WWII movies and want to go out and beat up/kill Germans. Just as I didn't watch The Passion and want to go beat up/kill and Jews.
However, I do hold myself accountable for the death of Christ. But it's on a spiritual level. My comment earlier about being held accountable for slaves was a poor attempt at a comparison.
If you believe Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God, then you have to understand that Christ was born to die. The Jews didn't kill him. The Romans didn't kill him. Christ died because he chose to die. He chose to die for all our sins. And this makes us all accountable. But again, you won't get this if you don't have faith.
Mark Spritzler
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    6

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
You mean like God, God II: The Revenge, and Son of God? Waitaminnit, they've started with the son already; time to do prequels I suppose.

Or how about Oh God!, Book two. Oh, wait they already made that movie.
Being Jewish, I am very interested in seeing this movie to see if there is any reason for this ado.
Mark


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Jason Menard
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GB: How can you put a higher significance to dying one way versus another when either way is absolutly horrid?
I'm not sure about a higher significancer per se but there is something somehow more horrifying when man is the instrument of death as opposed to nature. And given the scale of systematic extermination that we're talking about, there really isn't much in my mind that approaches that level of horror.
And what about all our US troops who died trying to save all those Jews?
To be fair, we didn't know about the death camps and concentration camps until quite some time after we committed troops to the theater, so I don't think we can rightly say that our troops died trying to save these people (although we can certainly say that we and our allies liberated them). Since we didn't know what was going on, it couldn't really figure in to our motivations.
[ March 01, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Thomas Paul
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The Times reported Gibson's decision to make changes in his film "The Passion of the Christ," as reported on NewMax.com Tuesday. Gibson has removed the scene of Jewish high priest Caiaphas saying, of Jesus' death, "His blood be on us and on our children."
When I hear about people demanding changes in the movie I wonder if they also will start demanding changes in the Bible since this is from the Bible. Should Egyptians start demanding that the Exodus story be changed to make Pharoah more sympathetic? Should women's groups demand that at least one of the Three Wise Men be changed into a woman? Maybe we should remove the part of the New Testamnet where Jesus attacks the money changers. After all, this might offend bankers.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Should women's groups demand that at least one of the Three Wise Men be changed into a woman?


Well, then it would have to be the Three Wise Persons.
Thomas Paul
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I'm not sure about a higher significancer per se but there is something somehow more horrifying when man is the instrument of death as opposed to nature. And given the scale of systematic extermination that we're talking about, there really isn't much in my mind that approaches that level of horror.
25 million Russians died during World War II. That seems mind boggling to me.
I am not saying that there isn't something special about the Holocaust but when I hear someone say, "our suffering was worse than your suffering," I just want to roll my eyes and walk away.
Gregg Bolinger
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Since we didn't know what was going on, it couldn't really figure in to our motivations.
I think trying to defeat the Nazi's, who were killing anyone who got in there way, suggest that even though we didn't know about the concentration camps, out motivation was still to stop the slaughters.
But I see what you are saying.
Thomas Paul
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Well, then it would have to be the Three Wise Persons.
My own preference is for the Three Wise Guys.
Gregg Bolinger
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    6

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Well, then it would have to be the Three Wise Persons.
My own preference is for the Three Wise Guys.

Ahh, brings new meaning to "The God Father".
Aurora Sandman
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Originally posted by Mark Spritzler:

Being Jewish, I am very interested in seeing this movie to see if there is any reason for this ado.
Mark

Yeah, let us know if see any grounds for offense.
I, for one, can't understand the anti-semetic concern on any level.
Afterall, it's not only the "bad guys" in the movie who are Jews. Jesus was a Jew. His mother was a Jew. His disciples were Jews. Every author of the Old and New Testaments were Jews. Almost every Biblical "good guy" was a Jew. If you want to be anti-semetic, don't look to the Bible (or movies based on the Bible) for support!
Falana Dhimkana
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Actually he tried to underplay criticizing his father. Those are two very different things.

Correct, but he also tried to underplay the holocaust by saying that a lot of people were killed during WWII and some of them were Jews. Now that's really an understatement/misstatement. Here's the text of what he said
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/2/5/110921.shtml

Among other things Gibson discussed in his interview with Noonan, he told her that "he loved his father," according to the Times. Noonan persisted, telling Gibson: "You're going to have to go on record. The Holocaust happened, right?"
Gibson made clear his position: "I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened.
"War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."
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25 million Russians died during World War II.
Double counting alert. This is the number of all Soviet people, not only Russians. Jews are included also.
Joe Pluta
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Personally, I don't care one way or the other about the movie. That's me personally; my faith is based on a foundation that's not going to be strengthened (or weakened) by a movie.
But I do think that Mr. Gibson had an opportunity to reduce some of the conotroversy with a clear statement acknowledging the Holocaust, and that he instead chose to make a statement that was somewhat ambiguous.
The less charitable might think he LIKES the controversy because, being the very savvy Hollywood personality that he is, Mr. Gibson knows that controversy translates directly into dollars. In any event, I think it's a tempest in a teapot; this movie will neither help nor hinder long-term relations between Jews and Christians.
On side note about the violence. If Mr. Gibson thought it necessary to write an ultraviolent script in order to press his point, I suppose he can be pardoned. Stanley Kubrick did it to great effect many years ago, but it has always been argued that the best sex scenes show no sex, the best violence scenes show no violence, the best horror scenes show no horror. I applaud the effort at depicting the suffering Christ was willing to go through to save the world, but I don't know that he needed to recapture the feel of A Clockwork Orange to do it.
Joe
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  34

Originally posted by Aurora Sandman:

Afterall, it's not only the "bad guys" in the movie who are Jews. Jesus was a Jew. His mother was a Jew. His disciples were Jews. Every author of the Old and New Testaments were Jews. Almost every Biblical "good guy" was a Jew.

Unfortunately, there's a fallacy here. Yes, all these people were Jews. But as any card-carrying anti-semite will tell you, the ones who had the opportunity all immediately ceased being Jews and signed up as the first Christians. The Jews that were left over -- the ones that chose to remain Jewish -- are the ones who are have been historically blamed for Jesus' death.
Of course, I personally have never understood the whole concept of assigning blame in this case, on several levels. First, Jesus was sent to earth, He said, so that He could die for the sins of humanity. If the mob had, indeed, convinced Pilate to free Him, then this wouldn't have happened, the prophecies wouldn't have been fulfilled, and humanity wouldn't have been saved.
Second, Jesus' teachings are about nothing if not forgiveness. "Turn the other cheek" and "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren" and "Forgive them, father, for they know not." Assigning blame for Jesus's death is actually about the most un-Christian thing imagineable.
I'm not talking about anyone involved in this discussion -- it sounds as if everyone here is entirely enlightened -- but historically, organized religion has been the source of an astonishing amount of hypocrisy. It's incomprehensible to me that anyone could have read the New Testament and, based on what they had read, picked up a sword, mounted their horse, and rode off to the Middle East to slaughter the Moors in His name -- but folks spent a few hundred years (or more?) doing precisely that.


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Aurora Sandman
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Let me start off by saying, good points!
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:

Unfortunately, there's a fallacy here. Yes, all these people were Jews. But as any card-carrying anti-semite will tell you, the ones who had the opportunity all immediately ceased being Jews and signed up as the first Christians.

But I don't believe they denied their "Jewishness." I guess I consider "Jewishness" to be unrelated to one's religion. (It's possible most contemporay Jews are secular.) Jesus never rejected his "Jewishness." And the Christian claim is that he was the Son of the God of the Jewish religion.
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
The Jews that were left over -- the ones that chose to remain Jewish -- are the ones who are have been historically blamed for Jesus' death.

I'm sure that's true. But, as you point out, it's kind of stupid reasoning from anyone claiming to have a distinctly "Christian" perspective since it goes agains the teachings of Christ and the teachings regarding the reason and significance of his death.
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
I'm not talking about anyone involved in this discussion -- it sounds as if everyone here is entirely enlightened -- but historically, organized religion has been the source of an astonishing amount of hypocrisy. It's incomprehensible to me that anyone could have read the New Testament and, based on what they had read, picked up a sword, mounted their horse, and rode off to the Middle East to slaughter the Moors in His name -- but folks spent a few hundred years (or more?) doing precisely that.

The point also shouldn't be neglected that organized movements AGAINST religion have absolutely dwarfed "organized religion" in the scale of their acts of inhumanity and genocide. For a good article on that, see:
http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/apologetics/comparisons/realmurd.htm
[ March 01, 2004: Message edited by: Aurora Sandman ]
John Smith
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Second, Jesus' teachings are about nothing if not forgiveness. "Turn the other cheek" and "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren" and "Forgive them, father, for they know not."
He also said, "No one comes to the Father except through me". From here, it's not hard to see why Christians may claim the Heaven as an exclusive place with only one road to it, and Christ as the gatekeeper. The non-Christians deserve a chance to convert at best and a condemnation at worst. Same goes for Islam, -- the non-Muslims are simply infidels.
I saw the movie and found it rather shallow. There is a lot of depth in the scripture, and while I understand that the movie covered just a short period of time, I think Mel Gibson missed his chance. I saw a lot of hatred thrown in my face, and not much of love. Some of you may say that this was the point of the movie, to which I'd say, it's not that simple. The atheists have a very sensible argument going for them: more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other cause. And that is very hard to refute.
I am curious about the Hindu cowboys here. Do you believe that your way is the only way to God? What do you think happens to Christians, Muslims, and Jews after death?
[ March 01, 2004: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
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