Two ADL Members Screened Gibson's Passion

The gig is up on The Passion of the Christ. Some members of the ADL finally got into a screening and are speaking out about their disappointments with the film:

Foxman said he is preparing a letter asking the filmmaker, who self-financed the $25-million "Passion," to append a personal statement to the version scheduled for release Ash Wednesday (Feb. 25) in which Gibson would condemn any bigoted interpretation of his Passion narrative.

"Mel Gibson, like all of us, has a right to freely express himself," Foxman said. "As an artist, let him have the film he wants to have. But, given the film he has made, I would like to see him do a postscript. Let him say, 'I did this film because I believe I was inspired by the Holy Ghost. I believe that Jesus suffered for all mankind. Some people want to put the blame for his death on the Jews. Don't do that. I've said I wanted to make a "Passion" of love. Blaming Jews for Christ's death would make this a "Passion" of hate.' "

ADL wants a postscript on Gibson's 'Passion' - LA Times (requires subscription)
The "blood on ourselves and our children" quote is in. If you've seen the trailers, you'll recall a pale, thin-faced man in the crowd sometimes - that's a phyical embodiment of Satan. The Washington Times reports that Satan is only ever seen at the side of Jewish leaders, and implies that Caiaphas controls Pilate. All bad. All of this continues the whitewashing of Roman involvement in the death of Christ, making the religion more palatable to Roman authorities.

But who puts Jesus on the cross in the film? The Times reports that Jesus himself crawls up to the cross and stretches out his arms. This reminds me of a Christian friend who stressed this point to great effect. Since Christians believe Jesus was God, no one could have crucified Jesus without his complete cooperation. Jesus was the only Jew that actually killed Christ.

It's very telling that the two members of the ADL who came out of that screening aren't demanding the film be shelved or edited beyond the asking of an epilogue from Gibson.

But the LA Times article ends on a sobering note.
"[I]t's now likely that more people will see his Passion in two months," Foxman said, "than saw all the Passion plays ever staged in the previous 2,000 years."
Reason enough for concern. Reason enough for Gibson to ensure the message he seeks to impart is the one that people will take away.