Thursday, August 21, 2003

Jesus Christ

So some Catholics and some Jews are flipping out about Mel Gibson's new movie, which hardly anyone has actually seen, which depicts the last few hours of Christ's life, centering on his crucifixion.

The Catholics are supposedly concerned because some details apparently don't jive with their established theology. Yeah, well, whattayagonnado? Protestants and Greek Orthodox don't jive with it either. *Yawn*

The aforementioned Jewish flipper-outers are fearing "mass retaliation" and anti-Semitism over this. Which in America is highly unlikely because the very people who would go anti-Semitic over this are completely sympathetic to Jews due to the current fad in end-time prophecy and the "Left Behind" fantasies - in which the fundies feel the Jews are instrumental. And any Christian who's not a fundie doesn't indulge in revenge or anti-Semitism as a general rule, based on the Golden one, as it's all about love, donchaknow. So the fact that the movie is being attacked over this, and some of these attacks often go to the extent of attacking Christianity itself (as in this Salon article), is irony at its most bitter and repugnant extreme.

The fact is, if you take the Gospels as the depiction of actual events, which all Christians do, then some Jewish leaders and their sects wanted Jesus (also a Jew) dead because he was saying things that were blasphemous in accordance to their beliefs (and still are, for that matter). The society of the day didn't have big problems with killing those they considered to be criminals or dangerous people. So, some Jewish people were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But so were some Romans. And so were other people of the day. And, essentially, we all killed Jesus Christ because ultimately the torture and murder of an innocent becomes everyone's fault because it wasn't stopped; we are all culpable.

TLD: Hell, if the Messiah had returned today rather than 2,000 years ago, it'd be the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Anthony Scalia (alleged Supreme Court Justice) and John Ashcroft calling for his head. That was the whole point of the example of the Pharisees; the self-appointed religious "moral leaders" and power brokers of the day just couldn't handle the fact that Jesus loved everyone and not just the righteous.

And the "logic" behind it this brouhaha is kinda simplistic, doncha think? If the fact that Jews were involved in the crucifixion of Christ would lead to their persecution and the misconception that they were solely responsible, then that same logic would dictate that:
- All cops are bad because some cops beat Rodney King stupid.
- All black people are bad because some of them are ganstas.
- All straight people bad because some of them harass and kill gay people.
- All white people are bad because some of them owned black people as slaves in the past.
- All pop music is bad because Britney Spears, "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton with some notes that pierce the upper registry so fiercely that even Mariah Carey's dog would explode in sheer agony, and "Achey Breaky Heart" were all hits at one point.

See the bad math here? Does this really need to be pointed out?

Now, in the past, some very misguided people have persecuted Jews because of this very kind of flawed thinking. And I'm not saying the odd cretin isn't going to latch onto this silliness, because shit like this happens. (Refer to the last presidential election, for instance.) But, there is not going to be some huge wave of resentment and violence that's going to sweep the world because of this movie. Christians are not going to turn against the Jews over this movie, because it's old news, particularly the fact that it's not primarily their fault.

Methinks this is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over nothing.

And if it does bother you, do the most effective thing you can do in situations like this: don't give your money to the people who made the film. Voting with your money still reigns supreme in terms of useful expression.

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