Dat Passion Thing
It seems that in today's climate of tolerance and neo-ecumenicalism saying anything disparaging about Roman Catholicism is taboo. This is no more evident than in connection with Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ. In various forums and conversations, I've made my concerns about the film's content and intent known only to be faced with stern opposition from those who normally I'd believe would be in agreement with me. One night at dinner with some friends, they asked me my opinion of the film. Upon expressing my thoughts I was lambasted for my opinion based on the fact I'd not seen the film. "Don't judge a book by its cover" I was told.
Let's say you see previews to a film and find that those previews are pornographic. Then let's say the producer of the film is interviewed and comments specifically on the pornographic nature of his film and how it was his intention to make it that way. Let's even say the film is based on actual events upon which eye-witness accounts have been writen, and while the producer has certainly got some of the facts in the film, he's added to it the pornographic stuff because he believes the visions of some religious figure...
Do you really need to see the film before passing judgment on it?
While it is true, Gibson's film is not pornographic per-se, none-the-less what is shown in that film could not have been shown thirty, or forty years ago. While we lament the loss of innocence in our culture, why are we praising Mel Gibson's production of such a viceral film?
Many famous people have seen the film and have commented on how 'accurate' it was... yet the film departs from the Gospel accounts time and again to present an enhanced view of what happened... one might consider this 'artistic license' but it is much more than that. By Gibson's own admission these parts come from the supposed revealatory visions of a Roman Catholic nun. The additions therefore are not just added fluff, but are supposed to be considered as factual events. From the wiping of Christ's blood by Mary with the cloths provided by a fictional Roman Catholic saint to the plucking out of one of the theive's eyes by a bird are part of the visions of Anne Catherine Emerich. These were not Mel's additions... but Rome's. This isn't hearsay, Mel himself has provided this testmony in numerous interviews.
Before you cry 'foul' at my connection between Emerich's visions and pornography, let me remind you that the Bible makes little mention of the visceral nature of Christ's crucifixion. Even the physician Luke leaves out the gory details that are in both Anne's book and Mel's movie. You should ask youself why God, in His infinite wisdom, chose not to have the gospel writers elaborate on the gory events... better yet, ask Him. The gory details are , for some reason, purposely left out of the text of God-breathed Scripture. Perhaps God knew that, with such details, we sinful humans might cling to the physical torment of the body of Christ and diminish the spiritual nature of Christ's work. Some have even said that "this movie gives me a better idea of what Christ went through for me...", but it does no such thing for much of what occurs in that film is fiction.
One person has responded saying, "God did put the details in, you just, as western gentile in the 21st century dont get them." Funny how God didn't foresee that need and add those details into the text. Finally, let me add... its just a movie! A believer has the right to see it, or not to see it...
Lennie says it best: