Writing an article titled ” Christianity and Judaism cannot be reconciled”, Bruce Anderson of The Spectator might be the only person on the planet who agrees with me (up to a point) about The Passion. Unlike me, he’s seen the film and recently read the Bible. (Unlike everyone else I’ve linked to on the matter, I don’t think he studied at Balliol.)
[Mel Gibson] has been accused of glorying in gore, of pandering to sadomasochism, of turning the Gospel story into an anti-Semitic snuff movie. All these criticisms lead to one conclusion: that the critics have not read the Gospels.
The anti-Semitism is in the Gospels, especially Matthew. “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be upon us and on our children.” If anything, Mr Gibson could be charged with political correctness. Although his Jewish mob shouts the words in Aramaic, they are not translated in the subtitles. In this film, the Roman soldiers beat and abuse Christ all along the route to Golgotha. That is not in the Gospels. One Roman soldier also sneers “Jew” at Simon of Cyrene: another invention of Mr Gibson’s. It is as if he wishes to retreat from the message of the Gospels and spread the blame more evenly between the Jews and Romans.
You might have to register (for free) with The Spectator site to view the article, but it’s worth the minor inconvenience involved. Here’s my original post, by the way.
An article in Entertainment Weekly magazine (which I bought sometime in late-February) reports that Mel is a member of a “traditionally” Catholic sect that does not acknowledge the reforms in Vatican II — among them the pope apologizing for not doing anything to stop the holocaust and absolving the Jews of killing Christ.
When asked by Diane Sawyer if his wife (who is Presbyterian) would go to heaven, Gibson replied that though his wife was “a saint” he had to “go with the book” on that question.