Be warned, I'm going to go a little nuts here.
Full Disclosure: Born and Raised Roman Catholic, went to Catholic High school, recieved all the sacraments, etc.
Seriously people, "The Passion of the Christ"? Nothing more than a Jesus Snuff film.
How do I know this?
Let's play a little game shall we? If that movie were about any other character, historical, real or fictional, how do you think the Christian establishment would have reacted to the graphic content of the film?
JUSTIFICATION #1: The Stark realism of the film is brutal uncensored true account of the crucifixiton.
I would ask you to check all four of the gospels of the New Testament and note how they are all exactly the same in every detail. Oh, wait, they aren't. NONE OF THE FOUR GOSPELS EXACTLY AGREES WITH ANY OF THE OTHERS. Oddly, you don't find any mention of the details of the Passion in later parts of the New Testament, which one would assume would give some clue as to a definitive version of the tale because it was suppossedly written later. Funny that. Now if you are wondering why this is, you can just go to Wikipedia or Google and put in "Council of Nicaea". You might learn something.
The next reason this particular justification is so laughable:
EXPECTING REALISM AND HISTORICAL ACCURACY FROM A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE IS AKIN TO EXPECTING FIDELITY FROM A HOOKER
I cannot emphasise this enough: This was Mel Gibson's interpretation of the events. He may have taken some creative license or input his own religous influences. Just saying, you may want to apply as much critical thought to the passion as you would to the question of "Hey, do you really think the General Lee could jump over that ravine?"
Of course, this is probably the silliest justification, and the easiest to disassemble. The next ones require...well, they require a bit of a strong stomach really.
JUSTIFICATION #2: We need to see this level of violence to help people get back in touch with their faith.
First off, may I say that heaven help you if you require a Hollywood film to reaffirm your faith in the Almighty. Clearly, your religous values mean very little to you.
Now this may come as a shock to some, but in the days before "The Passion", one could celebrate the miracle of Christ's rebirth without a $30 million dollar Hollywood film. Churches, schools groups, and the occassional theatre group would and surprisingly still do put on their own tiny Passion Plays in this season. One wonders what motivates them; an attempt to spite Gibson and cut into the DVD sales? Or, and this is just a thought, that these are people whom, without the aid of millions of dollars of promotion and one of the biggest Hollywood actors of the last 20 years, are committed to actually expressing their faith and getting in touch with it and spreading their word to the communities that they share their values with? No, that's crazy!
I don't need to watch any movie to be reminded of my faith, and I sure as hell don't need to see every gory detail and buckets upon buckets of blood. Do I appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus? OF COURSE. Jesus was a great guy; he spoke out against blind obedience to the authority systems that prevailed in his day, and taught people to rise above their petty hatreds and nonsensical tribalistic dogmas to address that which was truly important. I believe that to truly appreciate the sacrifice of Christ means to follow in his teaching and how he acted in LIFE. I've never understood the people who obssess over the crucifixion; You can't understand what a guy died for unless you understand what were the teachings he was willing to die for. That's why I do go back to the New Testament and occassionally read from it and try to decipher what it means for ME, for TODAY. Everything else is kind of icing on the cake.
Fair warning; here's where the rant gets very politically charged. So if you have any qualms, turn back now.
JUSTIFICATION #3: We need Christian Fundamentalists to combat the scourge of Islamic Fundamentalists.
That's like saying that you need the cancer in your right lung to kill the cancer in your left lung.
Let's compare, shall we? Last I checked, Christian Fundamentalists wanted:
- The Elimination of separation of Church and State
- The State to rigidly adhere to a literal translation of Church Doctrine
- The State to enforce Religious Doctrine on the people
- The Curtailing of Civil Liberties when they run contrary to Church Doctrine
- The Suppression of Academic and Scientific pursuits that offend the Church
- The Repression of Women
and the Islamic Fundamentalists want...oh right, EXACTLY THE SAME THING, just with a change on the name plates. So excuse me if I'm not quite ready to surrender the concepts of democracy and dissent of authority to a bunch of crazy people so insecure about their belief system that they would burn people at the stake rather then engage in any kind of critical thinking. Look, if you want that, please, go somewhere else and let the rest of us actually try to make this whole "Freedom" thing work, k?
That's all for now. Sorry I haven't posted much in the last couple days.