Home / Safire Slams Passion: “The bloodiest, most brutal example of sustained sadism ever presented on the screen”

Safire Slams Passion: “The bloodiest, most brutal example of sustained sadism ever presented on the screen”

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Okay, back to Mel: the NY Times remains consistent in its disapproval of The Passion. Conservative commentator William Safire sees the fim as inflaming anti-Semitism:

    The word “passion” is rooted in the Latin for “suffer.” Mel Gibson’s movie about the torture and agony of the final hours of Jesus is the bloodiest, most brutal example of sustained sadism ever presented on the screen.

    Because the director’s wallowing in gore finds an excuse in a religious purpose – to show how horribly Jesus suffered for humanity’s sins – the bar against film violence has been radically lowered. Movie mayhem, long resisted by parents, has found its loophole; others in Hollywood will now find ways to top Gibson’s blockbuster, to cater to voyeurs of violence and thereby to make bloodshed banal.

    What are the dramatic purposes of this depiction of cruelty and pain? First, shock; the audience I sat in gasped at the first tearing of flesh. Next, pity at the sight of prolonged suffering. And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation? What villain deserves to be punished?

    Not Pontius Pilate, the Roman in charge; he and his kindly wife are sympathetic characters. Nor is King Herod shown to be at fault.

    The villains at whom the audience’s outrage is directed are the actors playing bloodthirsty rabbis and their rabid Jewish followers. This is the essence of the medieval “passion play,” preserved in pre-Hitler Germany at Oberammergau, a source of the hatred of all Jews as “Christ killers.”

    ….In 1965’s historic Second Vatican Council, during the papacy of Paul VI, the church decided that while some Jewish leaders and their followers had pressed for the death of Jesus, “still, what happened in his passion cannot be charged against all Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.”

    That was a sea change in the doctrinal interpretation of the Gospels, and the beginning of major interfaith progress.

    However, a group of Catholics rejects that and other holdings of Vatican II. Mr. Gibson is reportedly aligned with that reactionary clique.

    ….Matthew in 10:34 quotes Jesus uncharacteristically telling his apostles: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” You don’t see that on Christmas cards and it’s not in this film, but those words can be reinterpreted – read today to mean that inner peace comes only after moral struggle.

    The richness of Scripture is in its openness to interpretation answering humanity’s current spiritual needs. That’s where Gibson’s medieval version of the suffering of Jesus, reveling in savagery to provoke outrage and cast blame, fails Christian and Jew today. [NY Times]

That is the most direct accusation of anti-Semitic intent ascribed to the film I have yet heard expressed by a mainstream writer, a writer who also attributes the film’s perspective to that of a “reactionary clique” of Catholics. Obviously, with the boffo business the film is doing and the many positive reactions we are hearing to it from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the film’s appeal is not limited to this “reactionary clique.”

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation? What villain deserves to be punished?

    I saw the movie this weekend and outrage was certainly NOT one of the emotions that I felt manifest in me or in anyone around me so far as I could tell. What I find interesting is that Safire ignores the fact that, in the movie, there were Jewish leaders who spoke up for Jesus during the Sanhedrin, calling the whole trial an outrage and the charges false. Those leaders were immediately tossed from the meeting to keep them from disrupting what the corrupt leaders were trying to accomplish, the removal of a troublesome voice.

    I’m going to blog my own response to the movie, but I just don’t see what Safire is referring to in terms of any kind of anti-Jewish content. If anything, I think Gibson went to great pains to show sympathetic characters amongst both the Jewish and Roman authorities, though, mostly amongst the Jewish authorities.

    I do think that Gibson shows very directly the politics that often rises up to mar religions. In Jesus’ time, it was the Pharisees and Saducees interested in preserving the status quo, in Martin Luther’s time, it was the Pople, Leo the 10th, who was interested in preserving both his political power as well as the practice of indulgences which was rapidly pulling him out of debt.

    The fact is, I believe that its a good thing for men and women of faith to become involved in politics. Its the best way I know of to curb the excesses of every political system ever invented. What I don’t like is when politicians become involved in religion, which is the heart of the religious clause of the first amendment.

    What we see in the “Passion” is what happens when politicians become religious leaders, or give up their religious role for a political role.



  • NC

    Dennis Prager’s essay on “The Passion” neatly explains, I think, why so many Jewish commentators (like William Safire) see the film as anti-Semitic while so many Christians do not.

  • Gerald Ball


    We have to consider two things:

    1. Anything that portrays any Jew, living or deal, real or fictional, in any sort of negative light no matter the context runs the risk of being called anti – Semitic. The Spike Lee film Mo’ Better Blues was called anti – Semitic because the characters who owned a jazz club didn’t want to pay the musicians who performed there more money, supposedly a “greedy Jews exploiting black people” stereotype. Now, we must ask ourselves why this is the case. As a black Christian male, I supposed that I would be thrilled if no one ever portrayed Christians, blacks, or men negatively, but that wouldn’t be a very principled stand to take especially if my groups were allowed to take shots at everyone else and particularly if the depictions are true. At what point does the “protecting Jews from bigotry” end and the desire not to have people say bad things about you begin?

    2. We must consider the real truth that the heart of all this is an unresolvable religious conflict. Most Christians believe to some degree that Jesus was the son of God (and a part of God and God himself, trinity after all) who took the form of a Jew, died for the sins of mankind, and resurrected to serve as a link between man and God and to facilitate our path to heaven and guide us on earth. Jews of course feel differently, and have a vested interest in making sure that their version of events is not usurped by any other.

    Safire himself came right out and stated what is at the heart of the matter: resentment that Christianity frees people from Jewish law. Furthermore, many Jews fear assimilation and therefore view Christians who proselytize as a huge threat … some Jewish activists even refer to it as a “new Holocaust”, the threat that all Jews will be converted to Christianity, wiping the Jewish religion and tradition off the face of the earth. (They seem to fear not nearly so much Jews becoming secularists and atheists interestingly enough, and have actually encouraged other religions to proselytize EACH OTHER, such as a Jewish leader in Israel recently encouraged evangelical Christians to proselytize Muslims but to stay away from Jews).

    So, Christians are asked essentially to stop practicing Christianity. To view Jesus as a guy, a prophet even, who died for his beliefs and not the son of God who died for the sins of mankind. And to not proselytize. To water down and in truth fundamentally change our beliefs and practices. Liberals take up the charge on the guise of defending Jews, claiming that blind faith on things like the Immaculate Conception and the resurrection is a sign of uneducated ignorance and dangerous religious fervor. Ignoring of course that Orthodox and Conservative Jews believe that God created the world in seven days and parted the Red Sea; that such Jews believe and practice the Old Testament as literally as Christians the new. Yet, do we refer to any Jews as “extreme fringe groups that have rejected mainstream Judaism”? It would seem that the group that asked the Supreme Court for permission to start a public school system solely for members of a specific Jewish sect (not only could non – Jews not attend, but Jews who didn’t even share their beliefs would not either) would qualify. The folks who criticize school vouchers and school prayer on the grounds that they were anti – Semitic were nowhere to be found on that case.

    William Safire is just a guy defending his culture and religion from a rival one. Scarcely different from a University of Southern California football fan saying “LSU sucks!” He has a right to his opinion, but remember that it is a very self – serving biased one from a person who would not care a whit if people were to stop practicing Christianity tomorrow and would actually be relieved a great bit on some levels … so long as those people remained politically conservative and continued to support Israel that is.
    The irony is that the attacks from people like Safire may actually cause support for Israel to wane, as Christians will understandably resent being called anti – Semites.

  • Gerald, this is the most off-the-wall comment I have ever read from you. There are legitimate reasons to be skeptical of the reactionary Catholics behind “The Passion.” They reject the Reformation and just about every progressive thing that has happened since. With the Gibsons, we’re talking about a family that immigrated to Australia to escape the changes that were occurring in American society in 1960s. A father who openly supported the Nazis, apparently. (As did the founder of Opus Dei.) To ignore all that and go off on a harangue about how Jews can’t be trusted is to prove the movie incites the very anti-Semitism you are saying it doesn’t.

  • Roland

    There is one thing I simply do not understand about this film, its title. I read recently an op-ed piece written by a Jewish person that recounted the history of passion plays and the anti-Semitic fervor they tended to arouse in 17 century Europeans. SO Gibson titled his movie “The Passion of Christ.” Was that really a good idea? From what I have read about the history of the Christian church, a fair number of church fathers, both Protestant and Catholic, were virulent anti Semites. I even recall Luther calling them “Christ killers” or something like that. Augustine does the same.

    Why wouldn’t Jewish leaders be suspicious of a such a movie?

  • Gerald Ball

    Mac Diva:

    First off, Mel Gibson’s father took his family to Australia to keep his sons from being drafted in Viet Nam. That fact actually won Mel Gibson some appreciation among the left, and to see it now being spun as Mel Gibson’s father opposing the civil rights movement is just plain dishonest. Hutton Gibson did nothing to protect his sons that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and a ton of other people didn’t do to protect themselves.

    Second, it is altogether too easy to simply make this about Mel Gibson and discredit everything based on it. No different than right wingers who tried zealously to link Iraq anti – war protests to International A.N.S.W.E.R., a communist group. The vast majority of the people who opposed the Iraq War most certainly were not anti – American communists, and the vast majority of the people who believe the Gospels accurately depict what happen are not members of Opus Dei or CTM (I don’t even know what CTM means). Attacking Mel Gibson is just a convenient way of ignoring that you are attacking what at least 60% of the population (going by an ABC News poll that can be found on ABC.Go.com) believe. It is much easier to attack Hutton and Mel Gibson than it is to tell the folks who go to the black Baptist church down the street that their beliefs persecute Jews, isn’t it? That is the scummiest part of the whole deal. Before Mel Gibson’s movie even made news two years ago I heard about Jewish groups pressuring Bible publishing companies to change the Bible. Most of the children’s Bibles have been changed as have many of the new Bible translations and editions. I remember watching one of those debate shows on MSNBC years back when this Jewish activist was screaming at this Christian pastor, accusing him of contributing to a future Holocaust.

    Mac Diva, you have to rise above this automatically siding against people just because of their overall political views. After all, William Safire is an extremely conservative Republican and a lot of black Christians that you are counting on turning out for John Kerry in a few months fervently believe that certain Jewish officials demanded that Jesus be executed because they felt that he had committed blasphemy; a lot more plausible explanation than these vague oblique theories that “Jesus was a threat to the Roman establishment” (why?) and “Jesus was killed for his progressive beliefs (such as opposing divorce?)” and “Pilate crucified many Jews (and Jews stoned many Jews for violations of Hebrew law like BLASPHEMY … Jesus himself saved a woman from being stoned by Jews for ADULTERY, and Stephen, one of Jesus’ followers, was stoned by Jews for BLASPHEMY, remember”?). We are asked to either A) not read the Bible or B) selectively ignore the contents of it if we are to fulfill the wishes of those who have little regard for our religion.

    And by the way Mac Diva … do YOU feel that Mo Better Blues was anti – Semitic? I will bet you that Will Safire does, but somehow I doubt that you will agree with him in that instance. I say that neither Mo Better Blues or the Passion is anti – semitic, so at least I am consistent when it comes to the liberal black nationalist Lee and the splinter Catholic (but otherwise quite liberal) Gibson.

  • Gerald Ball

    Mac Diva:

    I also refer you to my comments on this thread:


  • Gerald:

    I do believe that there are members of the Jewish community who sincerely believe that “The Passion” is going to create new troubles for their community. Their worries are based legitimately on the history of similar passion plays held during the early 1900’s, which were used to foster anger and outright hatred of Jews in Europe.

    With that said, I don’t believe that Saffire is sincerely concerned about this issue. What are his real issues with “The Passion of The Christ?” I’m not sure. Perhaps its just as you say, a legitimate desire to defend Judaism against a faith that has, for 2000 years declared itself to be the FULFILLMENT of Judaism, not just a subset of it. Perhaps Saffire is a secularist who cares more that the movie may spark a wave of reform and/or revival among those within the Christian faith.

    For sure, this movie was made by a Christian for Christians. Its near-universal acceptance and, to put it plainly, the awe at which the movie has been received across numerous denominations has nothing to do with anti-semitism and everything to do with a reverence for Jesus.

    I thought the movie was fascinating in so many ways and I did not think its brutality was over-done. For those who are not aware, this is the way that Romans did things in those days. It was a nation that put rebellions down by sometimes massacring every man, woman, and child in rebellious provinces. Just look to the sack of Jerusalem as an example.

    As for condemned criminals, they were either scourged until dead or hung till death from a cross. Crucifixion was an exceptionally heinous act designed to maximize the suffering of those who were condemned, while, at the same time, making the event a very public affair to servce as a warning.

    Generally, a condemned person could last for many hours, even a day in that state. The agony of the nails which were hammered through their arms and legs, but allowed to prop themselves up on a slight ledge so that they would not die too quickly.

    When the Romans had let them suffer long enough, they broke the criminal’s legs so that they could no longer support their weight with them, causing their lungs to collapse from the stress on their arms, resulting in their quick suffocation. They were then left to rot for extended periods of time on their crosses.

    Brutal but true. So why not reflect what truly happened, just as Spielberg did in Schindler’s List?



  • BB

    “And finally, outrage: who was responsible for this cruel humiliation?”

    William Safire should speak for himself.

    “Movie mayhem, long resisted by parents, has found its loophole; others in Hollywood will now find ways to top Gibson’s blockbuster, to cater to voyeurs of violence and thereby to make bloodshed banal.”

    That would be wrong if violence is only used for violence’s sake. Clearly that is not the case with this film. Violence was only used for the purpose of creating empathy with Christ’s suffering – period.

    “The villains at whom the audience’s outrage is directed are the actors playing bloodthirsty rabbis and their rabid Jewish followers. This is the essence of the medieval “passion play”, preserved in pre-Hitler Germany at Oberammergau, a source of the hatred of all Jews as Christ killers.”

    That is nonsense. The only bloodthirsty Jews portrayed were some of the Sanhedrin and their followers. The movie made it very clear they did not represent all of the Pharisees or Jews which is faithful to the gospels’ account.

    If Christ’s torture and death can be portrayed as “medieval”.. well then that is unfortunately the reality of what really happened. I am really weary of these extremist reviews. If anybody doesn’t like violence or bloodshed then don’t go to see this film. But please do not warp and pervert the intent of this movie which will (mark my words) go down in history as an extraordinary film.

  • No, I didn’t find “Mo’ Better Blues” anti-Semitic. But, then I try to look at the actual behavior not color or religion of the person involved. For example, Brenda Lee says her initial producer ripped her off shamelessly. He was . . . Quincy Jones. Diana Ross has had to sue Motown several times over royalties despite having been the lover of the man who ran it. Moral: Greedy people with power will take advantage of talented people who need their help to become successful. I would say the Jewish club owners were doing the same in MBB.

    However, there is a lot more to indict the reactionary Catholic movement than you are crediting. I don’t think anyone who reads up on CTM and Opus Dei who is not already far, far Right will come away feeling comfortable with the ‘back to before the Reformation’ movement. In fact, their virtual kidnapping of college students alone will make many people consider them a cult.

    Perhaps Vietnam is one reason the Gibson’s immigrated to Australia. But, I doubt it was the only one. The elder Gibson’s politics would shame the John Birch Society. All the changes of the times — Vatican II, the women’s movement, civil rights, gays starting to get uppity — likely bothered him. And, one has to wonder why he chose one of the three countries with white people only immigration policies when he decided to pack up and go.

  • My above comment was meant for Gerald, though of course anyone is free to consider it.

    As for the far, far Right Wingers on this thread, of course “The Passion” appeals to them. It was developed with that intent in mind. Many of them share the prejudices and hatreds exemplified by the reactionary Catholic movement. Case in point: I am stilling waiting for David Flanagan to say, unequivocally, that American slavery was wrong. Thread after after thread, for weeks, he has avoided doing so. I suspect that he doesn’t really see anything wrong with anti-Semitism either.

    I don’t often agree with William Safire. But, in this instance, much of what he is saying strikes me as accurate.

  • BB

    Interesting perspective from someone who:

    a) Has admitted to never seen the movie first-hand;

    b) Resorts to extreme defamatry rhetoric and infantile name calling to label anybody who happens to disagree.

    Very interesting indeed.

  • Gerald Ball

    Mac Diva:

    Again, it is a bit delusional to claim that it is a right wing Catholic conspiracy to brainwash people into believing what most people already believe! Like I said, go to that ABC.go.com poll. 60% of respondents (actually in some context 80%) believe that Jesus was executed by Romans at the behest of Jewish leaders. The poll also stated that blacks are more likely to believe such … realize that blacks are more likely to be PROTESTANT than Catholic. Pretty much the only ones who attribute the death of Jesus to the Romans are liberal revisionists who believe it because, oh well, they are supposed to or else they are anti – Semites. Follow this link below:


    It sort of hedges by saying most people don’t believe that JEWS TODAY are responsible for the death of Jesus. But who believes that? Who preaches that? Does Mel Gibson’s movie even say so? How? When Jesus says “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” over and over again? If Mel Gibson wanted to bash Jews, don’t you think that he would have left that line out? Why not, since he is accused of leaving out all of this “newly discovered historical context” that supposedly exonerates some of the Jewish leaders and the mob that they incited and pins it all on Pilate? (And I suppose that Christians hating Italians for killing Jews is perfectly fine, eh? Hey buddy, don’t shoot me, that guy did it! Where does that get us?)

    The fact is that if 60% of the American population were to make this movie, it would have been made no different in terms of showing some of the Pharisee and Sadducee leaders demanding that Pilate execute Jesus on the charge of blasphemy.

    Heck, I remember watching the Jesus movies on NETWORK TELEVISION as a child that were no different. There was this four hour epic that I believe starred Olivia Hussey of Romeo and Juliet fame as one of the Mary’s … it was a four or six hour long deal that they used to show as a miniseries. They would show Jesus being presented to the crowd along with Barabbas and Pilate asking which guy do you want to free for passover. Initially the crowd wanted to crucify Barabbas, but several of the Jewish temple leaders incite the disorganized huddled masses to free Jesus instead. Pilate to the effect asks: “Are you sure? Why? Well, OK, if that is what you want to fulfill your tradition.” They used to show that and similar movies and miniseries around Easter every year until they, well, just stopped a few years ago. I have not seen a SINGLE Easter movie that portrayed the Romans as being the ones who demanded the death of Jesus among the DOZENS that I have watched … the ones on network television, the ones on local television, the ones on the Christian station, and then on to the passion plays at churches that I have attended and even the plays in public schools.

    Look, this movie made $125 million dollars in 5 days, more money than most of those Marxist crap movies that got nominated for Oscars made in their entire runs combined. There aren’t that many members of Opus Dei in America. If there was George W. Bush wouldn’t need that $100 million dollar war chest and he certainly wouldn’t be a stalwart supporter of Israel. What, you think that Christians support Israel because they merely hate Muslims more than Jews? Nope, the Pat Buchanan/Bob Novak crowd wants the U.S. to allow the Israelites and the Muslims to fight it out because they don’t care who wins, they don’t like both.

    Please, do yourself a favor Ms. Diva … emerge from your progressive universe long enough to acknowledge that on certain issues (mainly religion) the other side is actually the majority in the freest, most prosperous, most diverse, and most tolerant country in the world AND that majority has played a huge role in MAKING IT SO.

    That is the hilarious thing … there is actually less anti – Semitism in America than there is anywhere else in the world, and that includes Israel (lest we forget, a lot of Israeli citizens are Arabs and Muslims who sorta want their land back … they tend to back the Labor Party in elections not surprisingly). It may be easy for your purposes to presume that people who believe in a literal interpretation of the New Testament oppose affirmative action and Great Society programs, but that doesn’t make it so, again especially when you consider that most black folks generally believe the New Testament.

  • Gerald, believe it or not, many Americans have a hard time telling their right from their left. (Perhaps we should have their right hands tattooed to save us the trouble that causes.) Suffice it to say that just because people believe something doesn’t mean they have a clue what they are talking about. Furthermore, even those who have a clue often haven’t really given much thought to what they believe and why they believe it. So, I don’t take polls on topics that rely on faith very seriously. I do believe it revealing that most people who would say they believe the ‘Christ killers’ mythology do not go around abusing Jews. Either there is some cognitive disssonance going on, or they don’t really believe what they say they believe.

  • Bart

    We all contributed to his crucifixion!

    We are all ‘Christ Killers’! Sin was the reason.

  • seethrough

    Its pretty funny how this whole thing backfired big time on the Jewish controlled media establishment. For those of you who don’t know:
    1)Sumner Rothstein – runs CBS Viacom
    2)Michael Eisner – runs Disney/ABC
    3)Neal Shapiro – NBC News president
    4)Rupert Murdock – owns Fox News

    I think Mel’s movie came at a very predictable time. While Israel remains one of the only countrys in the world that supports and endorses religious, political, and ecomonic apartheid, and while major media in the US has been fixated on apparently widespread deviant behavior amongst Catholic priests, is it any wonder that the two would clash? Heard any voice of condemnation coming from the Vatican lately over Mel’s overly ‘violent’ film? While some of us will choose to look the other way, I refuse to ignore the obvious. Instead, as a non Catholic and non Jew, I find it rather amusing. Its like watching Republicans and Democrats bash each other and try to convince the barely voting public that one is morally or ethically superior to the other. The only thing that gets accomplished in the end is that we get to see a little more of the real picture – and just how far we’ve really come from those barbaric days when Jesus walked the earth.

  • Eric Olsen

    Seethrough, I’m confused – what is your point?

  • seethrough

    My point? If you didn’t understand the point my friend, it isn’t worth a re explanation – go back to MTV and Foxnews for your edification – I’m sure they can set you on the path to righteousness and salvation.

  • Eric Olsen

    You mention Israel, Jews in high media positions, pedophile priests, and conflict between Catholics and Jews, and the path to righteousness and slavation lies through MTV and Fox News? I guess your mind is too subtle for me.

  • seethrough

    Perhaps that is why my pen name is “seethrough” and yours is Eric Olsen.

  • Doug

    Courtney…I mean seethrough, I think Eric is more of a CNN guy. Can he still be saved if he watches CNN?

  • seethrough

    For those who pay attention to this stuff, CNN, since Turner’s departure has essentially joined the ranks of Foxnews – so pick your poison. If you want a balanced view you can always surf to Canadian news organizations or God forbid you could visit Al Jazeera’s new english website if you want the full point/counterpoint slant. However, be advised, THEY WILL BE WATCHING YOU. AND YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF ON A DIFFERENT WAITING LINE THE NEXT TIME YOU GO THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY. WHAT A COUNTRY!!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    Would that be the quicker line? If so, al Jazeera, here I come.

  • Joe

    Can I just show them my circumcision scar and be done with all the hooplah?

  • (Scratching head.) I have never seen a circumcision scar. Perhaps it only happens when the wienie is really wee.

    Can’t say I know what to make of Seethrough’s remarks either. He does seem to be skeptical of Big Stuff — Big Media, Big Religion, Big Government. (But not the kind of bigness Joe covets, I suspect.)

  • Joe

    Wrong, but not suprising.

  • Joe

    …that you’ve never seen one.

  • Eric Olsen

    ALL circumcisions leave a big round scar. Small creatures could play ring around the rosie on a circumcision scar, all fall down, and topple to their deaths in the bushes below.

  • Seethrough

    Plus ca change. Plus c’est la meme chose.

  • Eric Olsen

    Is this something about circumcision in French?

  • Joe

    Is that the motto for Lite beer from Miller?

  • BB

    If I may be so bold as to ‘seethrough’ it all, some people unfortunately equate everything in terms of politics – including religious or spiritual matters. Albeit interesting to hypothesize, such viewpoints nevertheless suffer from acute tunnel vision.

  • seethrough

    You call it tunnel vision, I prefer to think of it as focus – focusing on the facts. For your information, there is a powerplay going on in religion and politics. It is widely known that the American Jewish community was very much in favor of invading Iraq. Israel invaded Iraq back in the early 80’s because it felt threatened by a nuclear plant under construction in that country – all the while, Israel was creating one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world. Clearly, with Hussein’s support of suicide bombers, Israel continued to feel threatened and was the most outspoken advocate for invading Iraq – outside of our American oil company executives – but that’s another matter. Who was the most outspoken political/religious opponent of invading Iraq, hmmmm? If you paid attention to your favorite information sources, you would have found it was the Vatican, hmmmmm, I wonder why…. You can call this tunnel vision. I prefer to call it rational thinking and focus on what is really going on. I seldom listen to what people say. I pay great attention (focus) on what they do. Clearly there is a power play going on. And it extends well below the surface from what you can plainly see. Sometimes it pays to ask why people do the things they do, like why does so much of the Arab world hate our guts – jealousy as some spin doctors here in the states would have you believe, or tin pot dictators that the US has supported to get what it wants out of these third world countries. Perhaps if you ‘intellects’ took a moment to pull your collective heads out of your asses, you might actually see a glimmer of the light of day.

  • seethrough

    And perhaps you ‘intellects’ are incapable of ‘seeing’ things from the Vactican’s point of view. Anyone who has seen the slightest bit of US media coverage in the past five years would have to acknowledge that the very foundation of the Catholic church has been shaken by the priest sex abuse scandals. It has had major effects on fund raising and attendance. You don’t think there might be just a little resentment between the Catholic church and the people who control what we see on television every day? Are you that stupid?

  • debbie


    “I do believe it revealing that most people who would say they believe the ‘Christ killers’ mythology do not go around abusing Jews. Either there is some cognitive disssonance going on, or they don’t really believe what they say they believe.”

    This is because you don’t listen to any opinion but your own. The only people that make that leap of faith (that anyone that believes the New Testament is anti-Semitic) aren’t Christians…. thus, they know why ‘Christ’ gave his life. How does this mean that ‘they don’t really believe what they say they believe’? They say that Christ gave his life to atone for our sins.

    “Suffice it to say that just because people believe something doesn’t mean they have a clue what they are talking about. ”

    That could be used the other way too….just because you believe your way doesn’t make it so either.

    What I’m not understanding is: If the movie follows the Gospels, what does it matter which branch of Catholic Church Gibson belongs to?

  • Hello? Because different groups interpret the Gospels differently, obviously. The Catholic reactionaries have been in a lather since Vatican II said the Jews were not mainly or soley responsible for the death of Christ. To elide the Church’s official position in a movie seen by millions is to undermine that position. This is not accidental or incidental. The reason that movement exists is to turn back the clock.

    If it is Biblical inerrancy you are backing, Debbie, I am not the person to discuss it with. The entire idea seems ludicrous to me.

  • Eric Olsen

    What I am still waiting to hear from “seethrough” is what is the result of all this reading between the lines. The Vatican opposed the war in Iraq because it would benefit Israel? The “Jewish-controlled” media is pumping up the Catholic pedophile scandal? What does it all mean, Nostradamus? I am still waiting for something concrete to emerge from all these dark intimations.

  • Seethrough

    If you read my first post Eric, there is no prediction here – just a few observations. The point, if it is not already patently clear by now, is that regardless of all the good jestures and niceties exchanged by these two groups in public, they still despise one another and mean to do each other harm. So from that perspective, very little has changed in the past several hundred years. Like the Republicans and Democrats, they keep trying to tear each other down in the hopes that the masses will recognize that one is superior – when in fact, all that is accomplished is the demeaning of both. Not that they don’t deserve it. From the crusades to the current clash between the little jewish state and all its islamic neighbors, religion has done far more harm than good. The only religions worth a damn are those that incorporate tolerance and humility at their core. The two in question (Catholicism and Judaism)never have – and likely never will. So perhaps its a good thing that they continue to beat up on each other. The world would be a lot better off without both.

  • Eric Olsen

    Ah, a rather sweeping pronouncement. Are you Buddhist?

  • Jason

    UMM have you never seen SAW? Sureley those movies contain sadism much worse than the passion.