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Mel Gibson's Passion, Take 1: The Simpsons

02/19/2004

I didn't think it was the best idea to give Mel Gibson's Passion yet more space, but since everyone else is doing it, and making a great big deal out of this film, what the heck! So here is Take 1, in a lighter vein. It's an episode from our favorite cartoon family drama, the Simpsons. It won't be the first time the Simpsons show is involved with Mel Gibson either.

Ned Flanders: I've bought tickets for everyone to a Mel Gibson movie.
Bart Simpson: FAR OUT, DUDE.
Ned Flanders: It's a historical movie...
Lisa: OH GOODY.
Homer Simpson: BORING.
Ned Flanders: in Aramaic and Latin...
Lisa: HOW EDIFYING.
Marge Simpson: I just remembered I have to visit my sister.
Ned Flanders: About the Passion ...
Bart Simpson: OH GOOD. IT'S GOT SEX IN IT.
Ned Flanders: of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bart Simpson: Uh, do Jewish kids have to see this movie?
Ned Flanders: Well I suppose not.
Bart Simpson: SHMA YISRAEL ADONAY ELOHEYNU.
Marge Simpson: It says here in the newspaper that it is violent...
Bart Simpson: Maybe I should be getting some religious instruction
Marge Simpson: and Jewish groups say it is racist.
Homer Simpson: That settles it. We have to go. No compromising on our faith just because of
some Jewish groups.
Bart Simpson: RIGHT ON, DAD!

Ami Isseroff


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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000189.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 8 comments

Power to Mel Gibson for his attempt to show all races the truth straight from the scriptures. Sadly so many cannot handle the truth today. Was it not God himself who gave his son??? You Go Mel I cannot wait to view the movie. I blame noone, I thank God for the sacrifice.

Posted by debra @ 02/20/2004 11:41 PM CST

Sacrificing historical truth for the naive belief that brainwashing will eliminate hatred is a very poor exchange.
Bigotry is not based on evidence. If it were, in this case you would see hate crimes against Italians before you would see hate crimes against Jews for killing another Jew.
Don't bother trying to sanitize history, it wouldn't help anyway.
WHen they interviewed Mel Gibson, he said Jesus gave his life for sinners, so all those who have sinned are the ones responsible for his death.
Shall we leave it at that?
The writer is correct that this controversy will probably make the movie a best seller all by itself.
Advance tickets are already on sale.
I have mine. :-)
Shalom

Posted by elden eichler @ 02/21/2004 09:00 PM CST

Well, you know what the Bible says:.....anything you want!!!

Posted by Synical Man @ 02/24/2004 12:43 AM CST

The same Old Testament that promised the Land to the Patriarchs holds many prophesies that are historically evidenced in the life of Jesus ... How can you read Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22 and deny their truth while accepting the rest of the Old Testament as validation for the existence of the nation of Israel or the Jews as a race?

Read I & 2nd Kings and Chronicles. See any corruption in the kings and priesthood there? Like the history of all nations .. we've all had some pretty rotten apples. What makes you think that "priests" in the very politically motivated Sanhedrin serving under the Idumite King Herod of Israel who was kept in power by his close affiliation with the Roman emperors weren't capable of this kind of treachery? Are you trying to convince the rest of us that there were no men of unethical behavior in Israel at the time of Christ? Read your Old Testament ... there aren't many "saints" in there, just like there haven't been alot in Christendom either. That's the point of the movie.

Just because Christians don't like what the Crusaders did, doesn't mean that we can change history by denying it happened at all. Have you ever been upset when a movie shows corruption in the Christian church? There are lots of 'em .. and we manage to live with it ... Why can't you?

In summary, the Gospels have been around for 2,000 years, and this is no big secret that Mel Gibson is revealing for the first time. If you're really afraid of anti-semitism as a result, it won't be because of the movie, it will be because of your sarcastic ridicule of it that will offend Christians.
Try making fun of the Koran and see how many friends that wins you.

Posted by Suzanne Flammer @ 02/24/2004 07:45 AM CST

If you can make a comment like, "you can make the Bible say whatever you want" is a pretty strong indication to me that you don't have a clue what it says. Why don't you try reading it sometime and give me a few quotes from Scripture that prove that Gibson's movie "sanitizes the truth" as you claim. Try reading your book of Isaiah towards the latter chapters and see if you can find any criticism of the behavior of the Jews towards God's prophets. You know Jesus wasn't the first Man of God whose life was severly shortened by the powers in place in Israel. What makes you so sure they wouldn't have done it to Him? And give you give me some Scripture to back up your opinion?

Posted by Suzanne Flammer @ 02/24/2004 07:52 AM CST

As a movie yet unseen by most, it remains largely an unknown quantity. Nevertheless, given Mr. Gibson's known associations with "Catholic" movements which actively oppose post-war papal encyclicals regarding the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews, as individuals and a collective, there are grounds for concern. Had this film appeared 10 years ago it may have been simply regarded as a slightly troubling event. That the release of this film coincides with concerns throughout the western world about the rise of anti-semitism amongst the Left and Right, it is legitimate for Jews and non-Jews to be concerned about its impact. Also that Mr. Gibson's production team appear to have sought and claimed Papal approval for this film, subsequently denied by the Papacy, suggests that his sect is seeking to promote a very distinct view of the life and death of Jesus. The Papacy has refused to endorse this film, I would suggest, because it does not concord with the Papacy's policy of progressive reconciliation with the Jewish community. In seeking Papal endorsement for this film, I also suggest, that the pseudo-Catholic sect, to which Mr. Gibson belongs, is trying to obtain a "back-door" Papal endorsement of a return to a position where the Catholic Church propogated the view that Jews individually and collectively remained eternally culpable for the execution of Jesus by the Imperial Roman Army.
In the last 50+ years much has been achieved between the Christian and Jewish religions to reconcile the differences that have existed between them., It would be a great shame if a movie produced by a member of a minority sect undid the achievements of the majority. It would be better if everyone looked at this film dispassionately and in context of its producers background, and made a calm judgement.
If the film does incite religious / racial hatred, espousing the views of Mr. Gibson Snr then it would be appropriate for the film and its producers to be subject to the anti-racists laws that prevail in various countries.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 02/25/2004 12:22 PM CST

I am not interested in the movie, but I respect Gibson for making the movie. This movie is Gibson's truth based on his intrepretation. There are different Bibles that say the other has inaccuracies. The Bible didn't fall out of the sky bounded in red letter edition. It was compiled, edited and politcially promoted during the many Councils, ie, Nicene, Constantinople,etc. Much of the Old Testament text is plagarized from Egyptians and the New Testament is largely based on Paul's letters. Paul's letters pre date the Gospels by at least 40 years. The whole virgin birth story was added after Constantinople. There were over 100 Gospels - only 4 made it through the vicious and political Councils thanks to Marcion and others. "TRUTH" is relative and often told at the expense of the conquered. I am sure the Canannites would have a different "chosen people" dogma from the marauding Hebrews. If this movie gets you closer to the Creator or validates your beliefs - then that is good, but balance the picture.

Posted by Amandla @ 02/25/2004 08:11 PM CST

It seems that the real problem is that for those who already have hatred for others, and in this case Jews, the movie may give credence to their "reasons" for that hatred! For those who are capable of thinking for themselves, willing to discuss the entire matter as an intellectual subject, there is little problem. In the end, there is no right or wrong, history was not fully and acurately recorded and we all need to remember, this movie is one person's interpertation of events that occurred 2000+ years ago. While only 300 years old, its like trying to figure out what the framers of the constitution intended on subjects that were totally unknown to them when the Bill of Rights/Constitution were written!
To condem any group, polictical/religious for the acts of precedesors committed on others, is shortsighted. I haven't seen the movie, but intend to do so shortly.....SHALOM TO ALL

Posted by Darrin @ 02/25/2004 09:16 PM CST


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