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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Other Jews on Roman crosses.

Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's resident conservative op-ed columnist, rarely sees eye-to-eye with James Carroll, but they both really disliked Mel Gibson's Passion. Jacoby's column, however, is the more compelling:

Mel Gibson's movie about Jesus' last day has to be the most graphic and brutal death ever portrayed on film. It is being described as a masterpiece — soul-stirring and beautiful. I found it stomach-turning and deeply troubling. I am not a Christian, but I tried to view "The Passion" the way a Christian might view it. I tried to experience it as a message of God's love and mercy, as a depiction of self-sacrifice so complete and all-embracing as to transform human history. I tried to imagine believing that all that blood — and "The Passion" is drenched with blood — was shed to wash away my sins. I tried to understand this grim nightmare as an enactment of mankind's redeemer being tortured and killed, to accept that this was the purpose for which he was born, to feel that I, no less than the howling mob on the screen, was responsible for — and the beneficiary of — his death. I tried — but I failed.

I failed in part because I am not a Christian but a believing Jew. I don't believe that Jesus was God come to earth in human form — I believe that God is one, incorporeal and indivisible. To me, the Passion is not a manifestation of divine love but a vicious and evil ordeal inflicted on a victim who didn't deserve it. As a Jew I cannot look at the savage murder of an innocent man as anything but a grievous sin. And as a Jew, I could not watch a movie about the crucifixion of Jesus and not be aware of all the other Jews, scores of thousands of them, who also died on Roman crosses.

Read the rest.

("Is 'The Passion' anti-Semitic?" Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe 2.24.04)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 24 February 2004 at 9:16 PM

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