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!
2, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 689
Mel Gibson Accused As Anti-Semitic
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1--Nine Eleven Anti-American Movies
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved -