Saturday, October 04, 2003

Now that the Boston Globe reports Peter Boyer to be in the middle of the furor over Mel Gibson's movie The Passion, I've finally gotten around to reading Boyer's article in The New Yorker ( "The Jesus War"; Sept. 15, 2003). It's the first piece that let me put my own passions aside, and "understand" why Mel made this movie and with what particular religious bent.

Mel actually believes that his wife, whom he considers a better person than he, is going to go to hell because she's not of the Church, a Traditionalist Catholic (p 71).

I'm not going to say Mel is anti-Semitic, but it wouldn't be a stretch to assume he blames Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus, because the Bible says so. The Traditionalist looks to the Old Church, and does not recognize Vatican II, of which the primary reforms were ecumenism and reconciliation with Jews.

Boyer raises the point of the film's marketing problems. Who is going to go see The Passion anyway? The active Christian community" (p 68) — i.e., Traditionalist Catholics and evangelical Christians; theological scholars; and me (who is neither, just fascinated by this stuff).

See also Mel Gibson vs. "The Jews" and Divided over "The Passion" in Salon.

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