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Mel Gibson defends his Passion of the Christ on Tonight Show

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LOS ANGELES (news) – Mel Gibson said Thursday that his film “The Passion of the Christ” was unfairly prejudged for a year before its release — but he forgives his critics.

    Gibson told Jay Leno on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” that he would try to adopt a loving attitude “even for those who persecute you.” “For a year, it’s been nothing but nasty editorials and name-calling,” he said.

    The movie, which grossed $23.6 million on its opening day Wednesday, is based on Gospel accounts of the last hours of the life of Jesus. Some have praised Gibson’s commitment to his subject while others have called the movie excessively bloody, obsessed with cruelty and unfair in its portrayal of Jews.

    Gibson acknowledged the movie is violent and said it was R-rated for a reason. “The Bible is R-rated. I mean, look at that book. … That’s a hot book,” he joked.

    But he noted that many other films were violent, mentioning “Kill Bill: Vol 1,” the Quentin Tarantino (news) martial arts bloodbath. “Why am I being picked on for this? There’s far more violent movies,” he said.

    Gibson alleged that a copy of the script was obtained “nefariously” before the film was completed, leading to “all these accusations of anti-Semitism,” which he denied. “That’s not what the film’s about,” he said. “It’s about tolerance.”

    Gibson said he never considered changing the script because of protests. “I don’t know any director, any artist who would bow to this kind of pressure. It’s un-American,” he said.

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  • denise

    Yeah, ya know, I’m just going to wait for the book…

    …oh wait…

  • kuros

    oh ya the tonight show now theirs a venue for a serious and insightful look into todays important issues

  • bart

    The book has been out..long before this movie!

    Happy reading.

  • Eric Olsen

    Bart, on a serious note, I am certain that the attention surroundign the movie will cause a lot of people to pick up a Bible, which can’t be a bad thing.

  • Hmmm. I don’t see how one can assume that a lot of people picking up Bibles is a necessarily good thing.

  • I blogged a review that implied Mel Gibson has a Messiah complex just the other day. His believing we need Him to forgive us fits right in. Not Christ. Him. Strange. Unless, Gibson believe he is . . . .

  • BB

    Sorry to hear you feal that way Natalie. Any reasons?

  • BB

    Mac all that I can say is bizarre!!!! Where on earth do you come up with these ideas?

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t think the actual words and spirit of the Bible can do anyone any harm and I can’t see it as anything but time well spent, if only from a literary and moral standpoint.

    If there is a problem it seems to come from selectively picking and choosing passages out of context that fit a given agenda.

  • Because so many people pick up bibles and use them to bash others. Why are you sorry about how I feel? As a point in fact, I did not say that people picking up bibles was necessarily bad.

  • BB

    Right on Eric!!! As with any serious research, context is everything. Too many people pick and choose what they want to serve their own agendas.

    I wholeheartedly challenge everybody to pick it up and read it for yourself without any preconceived notions. Start with the New Testament and the use the concordance in the back for help.

    The New International (Life Applicaton Study Bible) is a good place to start.

  • BB

    I apologize if the word “sorry” offended you Natalie.

    But when you said “I don’t see how one can assume that a lot of people picking up Bibles is a necessarily good thing.” The logical continuation of that thought is that it is may also be a bad thing.

    And that is why I asked you for clarification. No offence was meant 🙂

  • Why start with the New? Why not the Old?

    (Just asking; I’ve read and studied the bible since childhood and spent years teching religious ed.)

  • BB

    Hmmm, good question Natalie and I’m not sure how to answer that. I suppose the short answer is the New Testament is God’s new covenant with mankind. Whereas, the Old Testament is … well you know.

    I too have formally studied the Bible. But to tell you the truth I would have to say that I have probably learned more on my own than in a classroom.

    Just curious.. if you have studied It, why the comment?

    Do you have a copy of e-Sword? It’s a terrific (FREE) resource for research and finding those hard to remember scriptures that are residing at the tip of your tongue.

  • Studying the bible is not the same thing as revering it. I am actually neutral on the subject; the bible is a history and mythology book all in one. If Gibson’s film pushes lots of people to read it, I don’t see that as a good or bad thing — it just is. Whoopie.

  • BB

    Natalie, I respect your opinion although I don’t understand it in light of Mathew 13.

    Take care and it’s always a pleasure talking with you.

  • i hear that jesus wants creative control over his next movie.

  • seethrough

    Thought for the day:


    -probably a lot better off….

  • Good point, considering good seed landing on fertile soil and all.

    Indeed, who has ears to hear, let her hear. Amen to that. My point is, I worry about those who think they hear a certain (though erroneous) message and transmit their misconception and affect others’ lives negatively and sometimes horrifically as a result. Yes, sometimes when people find scripture, it is a good thing. Sometimes, it is not.

  • BB

    Yes, granted there may be a few people on the brink who let their imagination get the best of them. But you can’t judge a book by its cover or a few prepossessed people 🙂

    I guess the point I was making is there is no option for fence sitting.

  • That’s ludicrous. Of course that option exists (unless one is a literalist, which I am not). Otherwise, where would agnostics be?

    In any case, my statement was not a judgment about the bible itself.

  • BB

    Natalie I have to go right now, but very quickly.. the Christ in my Bible demands that a decision be made. There are no ‘luke warm’ options. Take care & bye for now.

  • The Christ in my bible would love the fencesitters anyway. And I don’t buy that only Jesus-accepting Christians are the only ones with a shot at life in heaven.

  • Hilarious, Mark! I can’t wait to see that buddy film with John and Jesus hanging out, knocking back some Strohs and checking out the babes together. Perhaps they can find work for Mel Gibson on the movie — as best boy. A pretty harmless position, isn’t it?

  • BB

    Ok Nat. We’re all entitled to our opinion. But as a student of the Bible I’m curious to know what is your interpretation of this verse?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

  • andy

    BB, my Bible says that Christ chose us…

    Ok hehe I’ll run back to my Calvinist hole and repent for stirring trouble! I just couldn’t resist! 😉

  • BB

    Hey andy, all are welcome including Calvin Klein 😉

  • Doubting Thomas

    The movie raises the question in my mind “Why would Christ have to die in such a dramatic way ?”

    if Christ had died in his sleep, how many of us would believe he rose from the dead? If Christ died in any way that was not public, in full view and undeniable.. how many of us would believe it? How many believe anyway?

    Christ HAD to die on the cross for ALL of US to see and Believe.. Christ’s teaching of Love, Improves our personal life, our community standards ..and It gives us access to a Life beyond this one.. practice the parables and experience the “Living Word”

    I just wish would focus on his message of Love .. That is WHY he died