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'Passions of The Christ'

The controversial Mel Gibson movie is set for a theatrical release on Feb. 25. No one has seen it yet, but everyone seems to have strong feelings about this film.

What are your thoughts on the film? Will you see it? Will you boycott it? Maybe you think it's just a film, and all this hub-bub is unnecessary. Let us know.

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Page 17


We have seen the movie last night at a pre show with our church! It is an eye opener to actually see what Christ went through for us. Yes, it is stunning and graphic but a must see event. I would absolutely not bring children!!! It made me uncomfortable at times and I am a believer and an adult.

Suzanne


An excellent movie that is causing people to be so passionate.

I would like to watch the movie as soon as possible.

Ray , Brampton, Ontario


How is it that a movie that's true to the Gospel is called Anti-Semetic? Does this mean that any christian who believes in the new gospel is an anti-semite?

Reviews are claiming that taking children to see this movie is child abuse. I somehow doubt the same was said of the brutality of Schindler's list, a movie that in my opinion correctly portrayed the suffering of the jews through depictions of brutality. Mel Gibson is doing the same thing here.

The difference is that christianity so readily targeted and persecuted by the media elite. I am seeing this movie, it's time christians stopped apologizing for their beliefs.

David, Cambridge


I won't see it, at least not in the theater. I am not afraid of the Passion, or of seeing a film that depicts Jesus' love for all mankind as evidenced by His willingness to die for it, but this is not that film. And, from the sound of it, it is not good Gospel either. And anyone who has read the gospels with an open mind (as I have many, many times and do every Lent) knows that each author tells the story slightly differently (these books were gathered together 350 years after Jesus' death by the Necine council, by the way, and many more holy texts were left out). Faith and history are not necessarily compatible, nor do they need to be. I don't think Jesus' message of love is will be found in an obsessive gore fest that does not even include the reasons behind the authorities' fear of him. Without the procession into Jerusalem, or a depiction of Jesus' actions in the Temple, all we have is an unprovoked assault on a man. Without Jesus' message, His teachings, all we have is violence. Gibson has a right to make his film of course. But he has no right to tell me that my faith is suspect because I do not see things as he does. I feel sorry for him, actually.

Palestine was an occupied country. Rome, the occupying force had total control over the life and death of every member of its empire. It could, and did, promote puppet local leaders to keep the people in line (especially during Passover with the city teaming with pilgrims). Rome killed Jesus because he was a threat to national security. It was just brutal business.

What disturbs me the most is this idea that this film represents some sort of Christian "pay-back" time against the humanistic (do they mean Jewish?) liberal media. Go, go see your Lord scourged if it makes you feel good, but somehow, I think it won't.

ER, Somerville


I plan on seeing the movie, if for no other reason, than to watch on screen what my minds eye already sees when I read about what Jesus Christ has done for the world. And by the way, last I checked, the world is shared by all people, Jews and Christians alike. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all see this movie together and instead of causing controversy (which I'm sure God is not fond of), praise Him for the gift of salvation.

Cheryl, Mass


not sure if I'll see it after all.....on one hand I have to give a lot of weight to what critics see as Gibson's total and uncompromising commitment to something he must have always wanted to do, and an example of his own personal version of devout faith....but I have to wonder about the concentration beyond everything else upon the worst part of the story, the bloody end...and no attnetion to historial and political context (including "religious politics" at work at the time) as well as to teh transcendant part of the story of Christ .... if a human being could endure so much for what he believed (and most religions agree he HAD to be human or the whole thing would have been irrelevant) how that shows us the thread of diviinty we all have inside us and the connection we all share to Jesus and the loving God he tried to tell us about......

Jack , Harrisburg, PA


To the Editor:

I grew up Catholic in Medford until I was 11. I never really bought into religion...too many unanswered and conflicting questions. While I don't necessarily believe that Jesus was divine, I do think he had a divine message with 'Love Your Neighbor'...a remarkably forward-looking vision in those violent times. Ghandi and Martin Luther King were inspired by Jesus, so as an divinely-inspired human, Jesus is an inspiration for me.

So I guess my main problem with what I've HEARD about the film (I plan to see it), is that it concentrates solely on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life. There's hardly anything in the film about the Sermon On the Mount, the Beatitudes, etc. that gave his life meaning. The film concentrates on his horrible death instead. Is that all Christianity is about? Watching a man get grusomely killed and laying blame?

The movie shouldn't be boycotted, and people can think for themselves, but I think some of the more zealous people posting their defense of the film before they've seen it should check out Franco Zefferelli's 'Jesus Of Nazareth' for a broader account of his life on film.

But what's really troubling are readers who post comments like 'Get over it, it's a movie'. Normally, this would be true for most Hollywood pap, but you must understand that the message in the movie has been used for 2,000 years to denigrate an entire race! Six million of 'those people' died within living memory in large part many people believed that idea.

"But who cares! It's just a movie! You people are so touchy!" I'm sure Mel's father said the same thing while denying the Holocaust or rejecting the reconciliation of Vatican II. These days, when people fly planes into buildings when they believe they're full of 'Zionists', how can you just laugh it off?

If that's what it means to be Catholic or Christian, I'd rather be a Jew.

Dave, South Boston


I most certainly will be seeing it. Sorry, paranoid ramblings from the ADL and tabloid brainwashing attempts by the media are not going to change my mind.

sf, Melrose


I refuse to see this film and any other film Mel Gibson has anything to do with. How dare he! With all the riches he has accumulated together with fame, he must think he is G-d.

His crazy father must be proud of him for fostering the Jewish Christkiller myth.

Helene, Reno, Nevada


Yes I am going to see a midnight showing of the film. The brutality of the cross is the reality of what our sin did to Jesus. It is the apex of the Christian faith and the resurrection...dead to the old sinful nature brought by Adam and alive to a new life. It is probably considered "obscene" as noted by James Carroll because he is a non-believer and has no connection with what HIS OWN SIN did to Jesus. He probably as many think they are God's best friend and exempt and deceived at who they really are. Everyone on the planet has the same sinful nature and sin has seperated EACH of us from God. As a non-believer or unrepentant sinner it is distasteful to tell Christians they are out of line w/connecting to the truth of what Jesus endured in our place because a sacrifice was needed to cover sin...the ultamite, Jesus' death was to PUT AN END to it when an individual surrenders. (Not this pray Jesus into the heart which is not scriptural and has produced churches full of hypocrites and tares, along w/Theologians who appointed themselves and NEVER truley have come to the cross). It is not anti-semetic. Truth is truth. The sins of humanity put Jesus on the cross or we would not be redeemable. The religious leaders of Jesus' day did have a MAJOR role in bringing Him to the cross , let's not change history. I as other Christians are not ignorant "dark age" European Christians of the past that killed Jews or other non-believers. We view "our sin" put Him on the cross and make that connection, as Mel. Others who are not Christians are making premature judgements from a secular point of view and putting their views and their hearts on Mel. I haven't seen any Jews defending the many Christians that are slandered, stereotyped and defamed in all of Hollywood movies. However, many are making assumptions that aren't true. "Don't speak bad of Jews in films?"...okay for Christians?

Many churches are flocking to see The Passion because many are lukewarm, apostate as mentioned by Apostle Paul that the modern church of today would be, preachers haven't preached the truth but are "Theologians" not called by God and money grubbing preachers fleecing the lambs. Jesus is about to judge the church. A vision He gave me in 1992-He said it will begin in 2004. What He has shown me and many others (w/out credentials of men but had personal experiences w/Jesus) is about to come to pass. The Holy Spirit is behind this film. It is a wake-up call to the church that is about to be judged.

I pray "Christians" are broken and come back to Jesus and repent of lukewarmness and their apostacy. Mercy, love,....the signs that follow a personal experience w/Jesus I hope is the results. "Christians", don't invite people to your churches! The Holy Spirit will draw hearts and heal, save, and perform miracles. Jesus doesn't need a church that is about to be judged to use this film as an "evangelism" tool. He ALONE is in control w/out the necessity of religiosity and false teachers.

Joyce , Fort Worth


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