I thought this was one of the best defenses of the Passion I have seen. Makes sense to me. I do get a feeling that we are going overboard on the anti-semitism issue. For me the problem remains the emphasis put on violence. Yes crucifixtion is real and terrible, but this fiaxtion on the details, imagined or otherwise, seems to me nore than a bit sick. And, of course, there's the ethnicity of Christ. I like the part of this piece which the author states:
The only real problem with "The Passion" is not racism, but a more subtle form of racial prejudice. I am amazed that in all of the discussion of the film, I have not come across one article or talking head who has pointed out that - for all the efforts to depict the Passion as accurately as possible - we are still seeing Europeans playing the roles of the story's heroes. Mel Gibson went as far as to use three original languages, but could not seem to find an actor of the correct ethnicity to play the part of the central character. Jesus was not white, folks! If we are striving for authenticity, shouldn't someone have pointed out to Gibson that Jesus of Nazareth looked far more like a young Yasser Arafat, than a long-haired Italian underwear model?
Please do not misunderstand. Gibson's embarrassing oversight is not racism. It is what scholars call ethnocentrism - seeing your own ethnic group as central and normative in the world. I also recognize that Jesus' ethnicity is one of my own particular pet-peeves.
Now here is a really good column that puts "The Passion of Christ" into perspective. I urge you to read the whole column, but if nothing else, read this quote and think about it. (Wish Mel Gibson, George Bush, and other sof that mind would!)
One of the tragic things that may be said about the history of the Western world is that we are sometimes led to believe that it was the Jews who killed Jesus, when it is more intelligent and more fair to remember the Jews as those who produced Jesus.