Article Overview:   Mel Gibson shows Jesus Christ being beaten nearly to death by leather steel-studded straps before being hoisted on a cross built in a Jewish Temple.   He is being accused of promoting the Jews as Christ Killers in his new movie, The Passion.   But is he a Beast of Terror, or are those who seek to make him that the real Beast?  Find out!


Saturday--August 2, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 689
Mel Gibson Accused As Anti-Semitic Christ-Killing Terrorist
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Aug. 2, 2003-- Mel Gibson is being painted as the Beast of Anti-Semitic Terror when it comes to portraying the death of Jesus Christ.

Mel Gibson's The Passion will be released on Ash Wednesday 2004

     His movie, The Passion, made with $25 million of the actor/directors personal funds, is being called the "most authentic and brutal depiction" of Christ's last days on earth. Gibson co-wrote, directed and produced the movie.
     He is being accused of Terrorizing relations between Jews and Christians because the film portrays Jews as inciting Christ's death.  The scenes of the scourge of Christ dwell on a brutal beating in which steel-studded whips ravage Christ's flesh.   The cross on which Jesus is hung was, according to critics of the film, manufactured in a Jewish temple--further evidence of the role the Jews played in Christ's demise.
     Scholars who have been working for years to remove anti-Semitism from the history of Christ's death are up in arms.  They are calling Gibson's work by default, the work of a Beast of Anti-Semitic Terror.
      They fear his film will fracture rifts the scholars have been trying to heal between Christianity and Judaism by putting pressure on plays and depictions of Christ's death that suggest, imply or infer that the Jews were the driving force behind the Crucifixion.
      For years the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith working with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been drafting guidelines for ridding Passion plays of anti-Semitism.

Sister Mary C. Boys, Professor at New York Union Theological Seminary and proponent of the Catholic-Jewish Colloquium, believes The Passion might be a crises in mending Christian-Jewish relations

       One scholar, Sister Mary C. Boys, a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, said: "When we read the screenplay, our sense was this wasn't really something you could fix. All the way through, the Jews are portrayed as bloodthirsty. We're really concerned that this could be one of the great crises in Christian-Jewish relations."
       In revising the death of Christ to fit such guidelines, the scholars were instrumental in overhauling the most famous Passion play, at Oberammergau, Germany.   Depictions of the Jews as being the instrument of Christ's death, or in playing a major role in Christ's death, are targets for the anti-defamation team, whom some claim, seek to "whitewash" biblical history.
       Gibson's film is "raw" in nature according to critics.  It depicts the Jews as handmaidens in the death of Christ, stirring an ancient pot of resentments between Christians and Jews that scholars seeking parity between the two groups don't want disturbed.
       Gibson has refused to allow the anti-defamation league scholars see the film.  He has, however, shown it to various conservative religious groups and to politicians.   Washington web columnist Matt Drudge, columnists Cal Thomas and Peggy Noonan and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives are among some who have seen the rough cuts of the film.   Also, a convention of the Legionaries of Christ, a conservative Roman Catholic order of priests as well as Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host, saw a preview.
       The anti-defamation scholars are worried because Gibson belongs to a splinter Catholic group that rejects the modern papacy and refutes the Second Vatican Council, which in 1965 repudiated the charge of deicide (Christ Killing) against the Jews.

"I want to show the humanity of Christ as well as the divine aspect. It's a rendering that for me is very realistic and as close as possible to what I perceive the truth to be." Mel Gibson

       Gibson, however, vehemently refutes his film is intended to distort history and promotes it is a true account.   His supports hail his version as accurate and one, Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, says:  "Mel Gibson is the Michelangelo of this generation.
        Scheduled for release next March, the film is under attack because a script found its way to the anti-Semitic scholars who are railing against the film.  The scholars have requested unsuccessfully, a screening.   While not accusing Gibson of anti-Semitism, they fear the film's nature will create violence by fanning the coals of anger and resentment between Jews and Christians, rekindling the work they have done to remove the Jews' stigma as "Christ Killers."
       The issue facing audiences who see the film is one of Vigilance vs. Terrorism.   Will the viewer walk out of the film "hating Jews" or realize that the film is nothing more than one person's viewpoint of an extremely complex story that even apostles, such as the books by Matthew, Mark and Luke, cannot agree exactly how Christ died.
       The anti-defamation league, however well-intended, seems to be trying to expunge any conflict between the Jews and Christ.   It seems the effort is to dance around the potential of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Bigotry, prejudice and hatred between groups of peoples for any reason is not resolved by rewriting history or by trying to eliminate the misinformation that feeds such resentments.
       Vigilance is the key to dealing with conflicts, for it requires we face our Fears with Courage, stand up to our Intimidations with Convictions, and avert Complacency by taking the Right Actions necessary to enhance the evolution of the Children's Children's Children into a safer, more prosperous world.
       Shuffling history and rewriting Passion Plays is an act of Complacency against the art of human expression.  When human beings are denied the right to look at two sides of an issue and elect the best decision that benefits the future of all people, they are denied the fundamental right of choice.   Censors now rule.

Filming The Passion

      It is easy to believe that human beings should all be fed the same pulp so that they might not bite into something that sparks pain, or becomes hard to digest.   The more lofty we construct our ideals of how people should think, the more we cinch the spirit of human choice, the more we strangle Vigilance and create Terror.
      A film that depicts the brutality of the Crucification, or suggests that Jews were instrumental in the demise of Christ, is not the privy of a league of people who seek to mollify human nature by eviscerating opinion.
      Gibson's right to make and show a film that is the sum of his beliefs is as fundamental to human nature as the right to make a decision to see it or not see it.  
      The Beast of Terror is not a film or the message it deploys.  The Beast of Terror is the belief that someone other than an individual can control the thoughts and decisions of the viewer.
      One who seeks to bury Fear, to burn Intimidation, or to destroy Complacency is not unlike a book burner in Nazi Germany.   Such people assume the ignorance of human beings to make decisions, to make right decisions.
      For a child to face his or her Beast of Terror, such a child must learn to face Fear, Intimidation and Complacency with the Tools of Vigilance, Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.
      Prejudice and bigotry against groups of people, either for ethnic, religious, political or economic reasons violates the Third Principle of Vigilance--Right Action for the Children's Children's Children.
      If I were to believe the Jews were Christ Killers and should be punished because they were the cause of the death of the Jesus Christ, I would not be a Vigilant person but a Servant of Terrorism.  I would be fueling the fires of hatred, bigotry and prejudice.
     As an adult, I have the duty to make decisions that involve conflict.   Without conflict I can make no true decision, for conflict forces the best to appear in human evolution.

I would be a Servant of Terrorism if I believed Jews should be punished because they were Christ Killers
(Picture from The Passion)

     If Gibson's film creates Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in me, and I begin to feel that Jews are indeed Christ Killers, I will know that the Beast of Terror is alive within me, trying to get me to hate, to spew venom against another group of people for no valid reason.
     Such thoughts spark my need for Vigilance.   These sparks force me to grow above my defects, to rise above my limitations and the gravitas of my own selfish thinking.
     Despite what I might want to believe, the truth is that harboring ill feelings toward any group only depreciates human value and worth.   Would I tell a child to hate someone because of the color of their skin, or their religious practice, or the place they were born?
     Would such an act improve the future of the child or drive it down into the bowels of the Beast of Terror's lair?
     What would be the Vigilant choice?
     I have not yet seen the Gibson film, but I do hear the cries of those who want to blind whatever truths Gibson believes.    I find it a shame that scholars would rather edit history than spend their time promoting Vigilance.
     Vigilance is not about rewriting history, it is about making history.

Vigilance is not about rewriting history but making history
(Picture  from The Passion)

      We grow only when we are challenged, not when we try to remove the challenge from our lives.
      Watching Gibson's The Passion will challenge those who seek to find fault in his film, as well as those who use it as a launching pad to fuel their hatred and bigotry.
      I hope when both groups leave the theater, they are handed a Pledge of Vigilance to read before they speak their minds.  Perhaps after studying the Principles of Vigilance they will see the film as what it is, one person's opinion.
      Perhaps they will realize the Truth is about Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for all the Children's Children's Children, and the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency they might feel is nothing more than a reminder that the Beast of Terror lives in movies as well as minds.


Aug 1--Nine Eleven Anti-American Movies

©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design