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Review

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST review

It feels so weird to finally be writing about THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. I first saw the infamous film at Butt-Numb-A-Thon after the Australian Zombie film, UNDEAD – a sick joke on my part? Perhaps, but then I’m the sort that watches a Romero Triple Feature every Easter Sunday before the annual showing of BEN-HUR.

I grew up watching Victor Mature plucked blind and pulling a temple down around him in SAMSON & DELILAH. I eagerly watched every time Heston parted the Red Sea by forcefully crying out… “BEHOLD, THE HAND OF GOD!” in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. I came to know Jesus as Ming the Merciless played him in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD… and I also knew that the original captain of the Enterprise played a good Jesus in Nicholas Ray’s KING OF KINGS. However, my favorite Jesus was played by Ted Neeley and he could sure as heck belt a toon in Norman Jewison’s theatrical telling of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

Meanwhile, as a kid my parents took me all over Mexico and I saw the whipped to the bone sculptures of Jesus in cathedrals. Where the crown of thorns looked brutal. In their portraying of Jesus, they highlight the brutality of his suffering. As a kid brought up on horror movies, I was intrigued at the sculptures… a stark distance from the sanitary whitewashed version of Jesus in the states. Most of the churches I’ve gone to in this country tend to not focus much upon that side of things. Many have a cross, but not his body upon it. The illustrations in their bibles a fairly passive and calm passing. In many ways a bit like Tyler Durden’s pointing out about the passive peaceful faces of those in the emergency brochures on Airplanes… calmly and pleasantly putting on the mask.

Growing up, I always found this odd. I never saw that brutal telling of the Christ’s final moments – something that apparently many of the folks that teach about his life and death seemingly de-emphasizing. For me, it was always that final message of Forgiveness that made Jesus’ story so worth telling and spreading. Not only that but the sheer amount of torture he suffered without ever waffling on that. Ok, sure, I was raised by peacenik hippies and taught pacifism and looked for affirmation of that policy. But always conflicted by the mixed message of forgiveness and the embracing of one’s enemies… instead watching many, not all, Christians that rather than remember that, seeking to spread “His Word” by reacting violently to those that oppose their way of thinking. I always believed that a “good Christian” was someone that prayed for their enemies as well as their loved ones. That was someone that didn’t seek revenge, but fellowship and understanding. And that when they were threatened or harmed, understood peacefully that if that was their fate so be it, but not seek revenge, because… well revenge is decidedly non-Christian… at least to my way of thinking.

SO – when Mel Gibson said he wanted to make a movie about the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life in Aramaic and Latin. That he wanted to make it graphic and brutal. Well, I was supportive. One, it was an impressive artistic decision. Two, it was completely different than any telling of the Christ tale as I’ve seen it told. When I got my first look at the meaty tormented Jesus pictures I was taken aback. This was something I’d never seen before. When we debuted that trailer on the site back months ago, I was blown away by what I was seeing. Caleb’s cinematography looked gorgeous. The film was being shot as to convey all the messages visually, as opposed to through clunky dialogue. This was, essentially a silent film, even if it was going to have music and sound effects and dialogue… simply because Mel wanted to release the film with no subtitles. I was captivated, I hadn’t seen this sort of broad expressionism in terms of performances or cinematic devices since many of the “end of the silent era” films. As a film lover, I was desperate to see the film.

When I finally did at BNAT, I was utterly entranced. I loved the film. I saw the movie as a beautifully told story about the grace and strength of a man resolute in his fate. When I saw the film all the comments about the film being a “Jew Bashing” spectacle went away for me, because the message I saw being conveyed could not have been further from the mark. TO ME – “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST” is an astonishingly powerful work of cinema that’s overwhelming purpose is to show the lengths of personal hell one could endure without losing one’s purpose or love for one’s fellow human beings. I found in the film that Jesus wasn’t in the end asking for violent retribution, he wasn’t “pissed” at the Romans for whipping the flesh from his body, nor was he not wanting retribution visited upon those that set Anthony Quinn free instead of him. It was his fate. It was what he was “sent” here to do. From the moment he steps on that serpent’s head, through the end credits… Jesus is accepting his fate. It will not be a pretty one, but he does accept it. In fact, I’d even say that he does things to ensure that it will be his fate. He doesn’t defend himself. He doesn’t make excuses. After he’s “caned” badly by the Romans, he rises in defiance to press them into further action. This was HIS decision, because he needed to be a martyr. That was his purpose.

This wasn’t supposed to be a happy story. What possible message was Mel Gibson trying to convey? I’m not positive, but the message I found in the film. The reason for showing all that horrible violence and personal atrocity… it wasn’t for exploitation or out of his own perverse sense of bloodlust. To me, that violence was to illustrate in excruciating detail the lengths one could go through and suffer through without raising a hand to defend ones’ self, to not cry for revenge, to not curse those that torment you. That in your dying moments you pray for those that would see you dead, not hurl a curse upon them. Not inspire your believes to save you, but to go knowing one’s place and embrace the inevitable end.

I find the film an amazing tribute to pacifism.

The reason my review is late is that I was wanting to see the final version to make sure that the message somehow didn’t change. To see how the “FX” shots that Mel had talked about were portrayed and to hear Debney’s score.

In the end, I found the film less violent than the one I saw at Butt-Numb-A-Thon, and a few scenes were added that further underlined the message of loving one’s enemies and praying for them. Which seemed to really strongly underline the message that I saw in the film originally.

Meanwhile, as I’ve watched this film become a phenomenal success at the box office, I’m glad. Here, a filmmaker had a vision for a film that nobody in Hollywood would accept. Shooting in dead languages. A stomach-turning violent gore film that pushed the limits of an R-rating further than I ever imagined would be allowed. Subtitles. And lastly caring enough to promote the film personally for over 6 months, knowing how difficult it would be, but having resolute faith in the message and the art. To see that work rewarded is so satisfying. That Mel has created a film that has stirred up so much discussion and heated exchanges… well that’s art folks. This isn’t some postcard of the crucifixion, this is horribly brutal. That it became commercial, that is the reward for sticking to one’s independent vision, no matter who says you’re crazy.

The folks shocked by its financial success are the ones that amaze me. Who are these people? The same ones that said Pirate movies are dead. That though Cameron was crazy for the detail and money he was spending on a story “we all know how ends,” as if the ending is the only thing we care to see. If you look at the All Time Box Office Successes in Adjusted Dollars – I think you can see evidence for religious cinema. You’ll find at number 5, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, at number 9 you’ll find the shockingly R-rated THE EXORCIST which had the full support of the Catholic Church… and at number 13 you find BEN HUR. They’re collective total box office? Somewhere in excess of $2 Billion domestic. Those that thought the genre dead, like so many others mistook BAD FILMS as evidence of a Genre’s worth. As always, they will continually be proven wrong.

Now – let’s see the insanely graphic R-rated telling of REVELATIONS by Guillermo Del Toro… heh… I can’t wait to see what Hollywood does to react to this film’s success, you know they will. A Paul Verhoeven SAMSON movie is probably too much to hope for though. Heh.

Readers Talkback
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  • March 9, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Please!

    by The Colonel

    I was rasied Catholic, went to Catholic schools, etc. None of that matters. Take away the religious angle and this is Faces of Death. Should be rated NC-17. It's disgusting. http://www.rawstory.com/exclusives/julianelle/passion.html

  • March 9, 2004, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Harry: Difference between Cross and Crucifix

    by SpeakerWiggin

    It's not that in the states we gloss over the Pain Jesus went through, we're just mainly a protestant nation where there are lots of Catholics in Mexico. Catholics use a Crucifix (Cross w/ Body) and Protestants use a Cross. The Crucifix, in Catholic Dogman represent Jesus on the Cross . . . before you say DUH, I mean, still. Catholic Dogma states that Jesus never left the cross, metaphorically, that he is still in constant pain and every time we sin his pain gets worse. The Cross is empty and is a symbol of freedom, it represents that he made it through the pain and has ascended into paradise to experience pain no more. We haven't forgotten, we just choose not to feel guilty about it.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:36 a.m. CST

    subject/verb agreement is your friend

    by gredenko

    Harry, your enthusiasm knows no bounds, but your writing could use a few more 'once-overs'. Especially considering this is a review of a movie that has been out for several weeks, there's really no excuse for the 2AM blog-grammar and ill-formed thoughts. Get it right, man.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Good job, Harry. Seriously. {bow}

    by JasonPratt

    While I do think Mel ended up shortchanging the Sanhedrin side of the story (which the Gospels themselves do not do, on a close reading, ironically enough); I think you nailed the point quite well. Um, pun not originally intended. {s} Or almost. Whether anyone agrees with Mel or not, he _is_ taking this exact same point into a statement about God: this is how God is. This is what God did, and still does, for us. And yes, I agree that the actor in the film version of _Jesus Christ Superstar_ actually does a better job, in places, getting the confrontative part of the character across. The perfect Jesus movie hasn't quite been made yet, but we're getting closer--and we can kind of paste things together from parts of movies; even the ones we disagree with a lot in certain ways. <a href="mailto:jasonpratt@compuserve.com">JasonPratt@compuserve.com. (I hope this isn't only code when it arrives... {g})</a><br><br> <li><a href="http://swordtotheheartkingofstories.blogspot.com">This is the public project I'm working on at putting together the story-pieces with historical contexts.</a></li>

  • March 9, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST

    A mixed response

    by greyspecter

    first of all, let me say thanks Harry for a thoughtful and positive and honest review (and blissfully expletive-free). i am encouraged by the commercial success of the movie as well as the opportunity it affords to expose others to a mostly true account of the Passsion of the Christ. however, in your impassioned sermon for pacifism, you have missed the main point: *why* did Jesus allow his own death by basically being tortured to death? the answer is not pacifism, nor is it simply love for his fellow man, though that is the driving force behind his reason. no, it is to provide salvation, pure and simple. one of the best touches of the film was the flashbacks to various times in Jesus' life, and most important were those that referenced the last supper and his explanation of the new covenant with God, that was to be purchased through the death and ressurrection of Jesus. if someone who had absolutely no idea of the Gospel accounts of Jesus had seen the movie, they would have left the theatre wondering "What was *that* all about? what had he done to deserve that?" hopefully this will inspire people to read the Gospels and the entire Bible; heck, if just one person comes to Christ through this movie, Gibson will have done his job. by the way, isn't it queer (as in odd) that now that the movie is out, almost noone is here talking about it? before it came out the furor was at a deafening roar, now people are looking forward to Hellboy and Kill Bill 2. even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:39 a.m. CST

    The Passion

    by grgrkoth

    As there are many divisions of Christianity, there will never be a telling of Christ that will satisfy everyone. This film has really split Christians on how Christ died, who 'really' was responsible, etc. As it has upset the Jewish community, there was a loud cry from members of the community for a boycott. And here in lies the rub with films that are essentially passion plays. When you see passion plays, it is about the final hours. It is about the violence and the death. It is about the horror that destroys one's body, but never the spirit. For those of you who saw 'The Passion of Joan of Arc,' the brilliant silent film, you'll understand what I'm talking about. I saw 'Joan' at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie in the Mid 90's. Introduced by a commentator about the film's strange history; there was a live 10 piece mini-orchestra, and 60 voices (with 1 lead tenor, a lead soprano, a lead alto and a lead barotone). It was beautiful! I cried openly (meh, I'm 6 ft. 1, 200 pounds. whose going to laugh?), as did the rest of the audience. 'The Passion of Christ' needs to be understood in religioius as well as cinematic context. It is a Passion play turned film, a la The Passion of Joan of Arc, and it is one man's interpretation of Jesus' final hours, and what he went through to absolve the world. I'm not ultra religious, but seeing this film in its context, I absolutely loved it. I thought it was a powerful, and respectful film. Good job, Harry.

  • March 9, 2004, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Less Violent

    by Veraxus

    I had a feeling that there was something missing. I heard all the prerelease buzz about the violence and the brutality but the whipping scene (Far and away the most brutal scene in the movie) barely phased me at all. Yeah I grew up on horror flicks too but I was expecting a lot more violence and brutality than what we were shown in the final version... it really seems to be 99% dripping blood. Can anyone get more specific about what was cut?

  • March 9, 2004, 1:43 p.m. CST

    one of the few times i atually dissagree with harry....

    by NKG

    i'm sorry but i can understand the tolerance of jesus and his love for the fellow man after 5 -6 whiplashes with the whip with the razors... but 1200 times??? come on!!!! mel has made an utterly boring slasher here with john woo style slo-mo ..... i mean do we have to see jesus fall down 5 times in slow motion to understand the hatred or the suffering??? pah-lease.... here in Greece we had priests going to see it who have never set foot in a cinema,..... and they thought is was pretty much great.... go figure.... personally i got really bored.... i wanted more of jesus's teachings... to actually understand for what purpose he is going through all this... and another thing.... all ths blood and gore all that does is apply to the pittyfull side of people.... i'm sorry but i believe and respect jesus for what he said and tried to do and not because he was made a cebab by the evil romans!!!!!! i hope cristians are smarter that that....

  • March 9, 2004, 2:05 p.m. CST

    As stated by another poster....

    by Manaqua

    Catholics have some strange fixation of having christ nailed to the cross. That pretty much defeats the whole point of His purpose. To leave Christ on the cross belittles his sacrifices. The whole point is the resurrection and defeat of death. Catholics prefer him at his weakest moment. So morbid. And as a side note, I personnally don't plan on seeing The Passion. Everybody i've talked to said it was gratuitously violent verging on masochistic. Yeah we get it already no need to beat us over the head. It irks me also to see churches just jumping on the bandawgon. I got some junk mail from a neighborhood chuch that was using images of the Passion to advertise their church. WTF? M

  • March 9, 2004, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Nice review...but I don't agree.

    by minderbinder

    Mel went so over the top with the violence and gore that it can't be taken seriously. He simply made JC go through the most violence he could imagine and show. After a while I became aware of that and thought, he couldn't possibly have been through that much. And according to the bible, he didn't. Dangling from a chain? A bird pecking a guy's eye out? Come on. When the woman shows up with the glass of water, you just KNOW it will be knocked away. And the "villians" of the story are so hammily portrayed, from the acting to the cheesy horror music, they seem like a joke as well. Some nice visuals, but the story is told with the finesse of a junior high "don't do drugs" video.

  • March 9, 2004, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Nice review...but I don't agree.

    by minderbinder

    Mel went so over the top with the violence and gore that it can't be taken seriously. He simply made JC go through the most violence he could imagine and show. After a while I became aware of that and thought, he couldn't possibly have been through that much. And according to the bible, he didn't. Dangling from a chain? A bird pecking a guy's eye out? Come on. When the woman shows up with the glass of water, you just KNOW it will be knocked away. And the "villians" of the story are so hammily portrayed, from the acting to the cheesy horror music, they seem like a joke as well. Some nice visuals, but the story is told with the finesse of a junior high "don't do drugs" video.

  • March 9, 2004, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Nice review...but I don't agree.

    by minderbinder

    Mel went so over the top with the violence and gore that it can't be taken seriously. He simply made JC go through the most violence he could imagine and show. After a while I became aware of that and thought, he couldn't possibly have been through that much. And according to the bible, he didn't. Dangling from a chain? A bird pecking a guy's eye out? Come on. When the woman shows up with the glass of water, you just KNOW it will be knocked away. And the "villians" of the story are so hammily portrayed, from the acting to the cheesy horror music, they seem like a joke as well. Some nice visuals, but the story is told with the finesse of a junior high "don't do drugs" video.

  • March 9, 2004, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Nice review...but I don't agree.

    by minderbinder

    Mel went so over the top with the violence and gore that it can't be taken seriously. He simply made JC go through the most violence he could imagine and show. After a while I became aware of that and thought, he couldn't possibly have been through that much. And according to the bible, he didn't. Dangling from a chain? A bird pecking a guy's eye out? Come on. When the woman shows up with the glass of water, you just KNOW it will be knocked away. And the "villians" of the story are so hammily portrayed, from the acting to the cheesy horror music, they seem like a joke as well. Some nice visuals, but the story is told with the finesse of a junior high "don't do drugs" video.

  • March 9, 2004, 4:29 p.m. CST

    about crucifixes...

    by dalis

    I have to take exception to the notion that Catholics belittle Christ, dwell on the morbid, crucify Him over and over, etc. We Catholics are not idiots. We are not doing something awful to Jesus. (Psst, it's a statue.). That whole little passage about Jesus rising from the grave and ascending into heaven, thus defeating evil and death and ushering in a New Covenant

  • March 9, 2004, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I think Mel wanted to shock people out of the lack of morality i

    by Fatal Discharge

    If it takes a violent and bloody film of Jesus' torture and death to get one person to re-evaluate their actions in life and consider a moral path then I think his films has succeeded. If someone went through that much pain and chose forgiveness then hey, maybe there's a better way to live than simply racing to see who can make the most money and not caring about others in the process. Look at how Scorcese's The Last Temptation Of Christ basically was ignored by the public even though I thought it was a great and wonderful film of the life of Jesus. Just attaching a superstar's name like Mel Gibson's to a film will get more people out to see it and all the controversy months in advance of its release (fueled in part by Mel himself who didn't shy away from publicity - duh) made it a "must-see" film. Harry, in addition to Scorcese's film (weird that you didn't mention it since it really is much better and emotional film than the hokey Hollywood extravaganza of The Ten Commandments) you should definitely watch Pasolini's "The Gospel According To St. Matthew". It's in black-and-white but with absolutely lovely cinematography and with a non-professional cast it feels the most like the story is taking place the way it actually was.

  • March 9, 2004, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Jesus Christ was the ultimate Liberal

    by Black Caeser

    With all his loving and forgiving. If Jesus were alive today, he'd be called a pacifist liberal tree hugging queer. And this would be by Christians.

  • March 9, 2004, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Mel should make a sequel about the resurrection and call it "Ret

    by Atticus Finch

    Hey, why not?

  • March 9, 2004, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Belt a tune

    by The Finn

    actually, the memorable singing was done by Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) on the Theater cast Album.

  • March 9, 2004, 9:46 p.m. CST

    great review... great movie

    by jackburtonlives

    an interesting picture of america too with regard to the hoopla surrounding the film. PC and the war on terror means free speech is being impinged upon by the left, in the name of political correctness, and by the right, in the name of security and patriotism. even a film on JC is condemned as 'hatred'. a moving film... but i saw something i had never seen before in the story. JESUS was a man who was born having no (earthly) father. many parables center around his father's mansions, sitting by the right side of his father... in brief he evokes an otherworldly state whre he will be legitimizedby the side of his rightful father. AND DURING THE CRUXIFICATION, whre is Joseph? his surrogate father? we just see Mary, and Mary Magdalene, the fallen woman, the alter ego of his Mother. The cry of FATHER WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME took on a different meaning.... jesus as orphan... son of god? or just obsessing over the father he never had. he tried to 'make all things new' and create a reality where he would be united with his father.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Nothing Like It

    by Evil Chicken

    "The Passion of the Christ" was the most powerful film I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it yet, see it. There simply has never been a cinematic experience like it.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Did anyone else catch the part when Jesus got whipped?

    by Joseph Mama

    I know it's hard to notice (I only caught it the 3rd time I saw the movie) but it comes somewhere between the 11th and 118th minute of the movie. HINT: pay very close attention to the scenes that Jesus are in.

  • March 9, 2004, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I have never taken part in Harry bashing, but I must say...in th

    by Brian 2000

    Anyone who can watch this movie and call it art doesn't know his ass from his elbow. This film represents the worst of art -- obvious, manipulative, and cowardly. The only scene that truly works is the actual crucifixation...and I suspect that has more to do with the sheer power of the story than Gibson's craft. But otherwise, the film is poorly constructed. Gibson wastes so much time on depicting the anger of the Jews, and on showing to the audience the "good guy caught in a bad place" nature of Pilate...which is utter BULLSHIT...then there is the moronic visit to King Herod, the scouring, which is one of the most cowardly things I've ever seen on screen, and then there is the fact that Gibson's complete obsession with depicting the sufferings of Christ actively desensitizes his audience as the film goes on. When Christ, bearing the cross, falls in the streets for the eighth time the audience no longer feels the magnitude of it. The screaming of Satan (an otherwise excellently realized character, I must say...in fact I think Satan was my favorite character in the film) in Hell is laughable...and when Jesus is shown reborn I couldnt help but feel as though Caviezel was about to face the audience and wink. This movie is the epitomy of poor filmmaking...I think, for the most part, people are loving it because they are coming out of the theaters with exactly what they brought into the theater.

  • March 9, 2004, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Two Hour Snuff Film

    by JAGUART

    Mel Gibson made this film as if he had two dials in his hands. One read "Whipping" and the other read "Laughter' and he would just crank them up and down as needed, but he mostly just left them on "Eleven'. Brutal and Bloody, there is something weird at work here for people needing to see this more than once. There is an over-emphasis on the mistreatment of Jesus by the Jews and Romans. As if this level of horror is in direct relation to His Divine Origins. In some weird way, Bible Thumpers can cite the Divine Origins of Jesus of Nazareth by referring to the intense suffering in the film. They can use the depicted violence to manipulate you; " He was The Son of God, just LOOK what they did to Him". They can use those scenes of torture to GUILT you into believing. To desensitize yourself to the suffering is to deny his divine origins. Their mantra used to be "The Bible says"..or "Christ died". The sheer inhumanity depicted in the film gives more impact to those words. Those Bible thumpers will eat this up equating Christ's extreme torturing as kind of testament to him being the Son of God. I'll never deny that Jesus was a man that was enlightened and suffered for it in the end, like other religious or spiritiual leaders guiltly of heresy. We just question Him being the Son of any God. The film's horrific intensity tries to blind you to that obvious skeptical question. To doubt his Divine Origin, I can see religious nuts using some bizarre argument that equates your level "scientific skepticism" as taking a diamond studded whip to their Lord's backside. Christ isn't the only innocent man tortured to death for no good reason, but he's probably the most famous one. The blood, the torture and humiliation and excellent production values make the whole Jesus thing more real. Add to all this realism some hints at the supernatural (mixing the truth with lies) and you have something very manipulative that makes a case for Divinity to the weak minded (most people). The emotional impact acheived by preying on people's natural aversion to these horrific scenes makes the experience felt as if you were there. So the film is actually designed to elicit a set of intense emotional responses to get you to believe. Feeling is believing. You just have to make that little extra step about him being the Son of God. Violence has been a form of entertainment for ages. The Jewish religious leaders saw him as a threat to their power and wanted him dead. They wipped up the crowd into a bloodthirsty mob. I believe that the mob in the film could give a shit who Christ was- they just wanted to see a man die for entertainment. No one would speak out against a mob lest they become themselves an object of its uncontrollable wrath. Mobs are like that.This film is no different than a Coliseum gladitorial game. Except because its one the most important spiritual leaders in the history of man, its ok.If anyone sees this film more than once, there's something wrong with them. Its not pleasant. See it once out of curiosity. See it again out of masochism.

  • March 10, 2004, 1:21 a.m. CST

    WTF, Harry? No Amazon links to The Bible?

    by SmarkJobber

    You are not earning whatever they're paying you, my main man.

  • March 10, 2004, 1:42 a.m. CST

    here we fucking go again, " I grew up on..."

    by catman

    Give it up fat-ass. yuo did not grow up on everything that was ever made. Shit, I see this line in just about one of tubby's reviews. "I have seen/read every "cool" thing in every genre, ever since i was a kid, that there is!" Harry is the sorriest name dropping wannabe hipster doofus there is.

  • March 10, 2004, 2:08 a.m. CST

    So Harry waited to see the box office?

    by newscaper

    ... before sticking his chins -- I mean neck -- out on this one?

  • March 10, 2004, 2:21 a.m. CST

    The twisted cross

    by eclipsedman

    Thats the name of the pole with christ on itthat the POPE uses. Jesus hangs limpy from the cross thats twisted downward. Strange ehh

  • March 10, 2004, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Harry finally invests in some decent servers/bandwidth

    by neemz

    Now there's a headline I like to see on AICN

  • March 10, 2004, 2:54 a.m. CST

    Never thought I'd say it harry, but.......

    by Daryl van Horn

    ...for the first time I do believe people are right when they say you know what side your bread is buttered on. Special attention from Mel himself eh? Ooohhh nice. And you gush all over this self-indulgent waste of celluloid just like I was fearing. Except you still wait for the movie to actually be succesful. Your review sidesteps a lot of important points that have people debating this film. Hell you sidestep all of them. You cleverly write it so I can't even tell wether or not you actually are a christian and actually believe in the story or simply see it as a 'story'. I could've forgiven Gibson for his ridiculously hammy over-the-top treatment of this, (seeing how he turns out to be a teensy bit of a fanatically religious crackpot. Sorry, but have you heard what he's been spouting in interviews???) but the fact that he made half the movie up is so deceitful it's disgusting. Not to mention the fact he added dubious 'visions' from some 17th century nun who also had visions of a Jew confessing to strangling christian children and doing things with their blood. This is Mel's favorite saint. He has a relic of her habit. (Yeah where DO those accusations of hating Jews coe from?) In 2 of the 4 gospels they don't even mention the scouring. In the other two it gets a few lines. Why does he choose to make it the centerpiece of the film? Why does he turn Jesus into Rambo with the completely fabricated 'defiance-scene'? You croon and swoon over it! That I find unbelievable. Its weak, cheap and corny button-pushing is the antithesis of any good moviemaking. "He did that to taunt them into hurting him more!" Really. Point out where in any of the dubious gospels that scene is written. Now 100s of kids will remember this fabricated nonsense as truth and history. Well done Mel. Thanks. And at the basis of it all, is still the sickeningly amoral, primitive and unjust notion that 'God' decided that 'sin' is HEREDITARY (anyone wanna go to jail for what their grandpa did? No? Strange, it's how god thinks). That a little child is born and people like Gibson look at it and say it's full of sin. That God decided that baby is sinful because supposedly thousands of years ago some woman ate a piece of fruit. And then god decides that he can only 'forgive' us by someone's horrible torturous death. And I'm supposed to find that 'good'. Unbelievable.

  • March 10, 2004, 3:24 a.m. CST

    what if Richard Donner directed it?

    by Admiral Snackbar

    Nicholas Cage would be Jesus, and while on the cross, he pull sout 2 gleaming 45's and calmly says to the Roman's "I told you I'd be back"

  • March 10, 2004, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Spoof Review

    by afraidoffans

    Last week I posted a spoof review, Harry style, of the Passion of Christ on this site...now that I see the real one, it is spooky how accurrate my spoof was. Here it is again for anyone who missed it.

  • March 10, 2004, 4:20 a.m. CST

    WTF? No Gay Robots?

    by Darth Phallus

    I saw "The Passion of the Christ" last night and was just totally fucking blown-away. Yes, the violence is ultra-graphic but if that's how it REALLY was then I want to see it. It is shot beautifully, there are some disturbing CGI special effect shots in it, like when children teasing JUDAS turn into demons. My favorite moment of the film and perhaps the story itself, is the next to last thing Jesus says before he dies, "My God...why hast thou forsaken me?" It is in that which Mick Jagger once described as "Jesus Christ, had his moment of doubt and shame..." In that moment we are all Christ struggling with the issue of faith. This is so important to me because "HE DOESN"T FUCKING KNOW!!' It's Jesus, he's on the cross, about to die for all of our sins, and he has a crisis of faith. It is in this moment, that Martin Scorcese chose to base the entire movie "The Last Temptation of Christ." Of course, as we all know, Christ finds his faith with his final words, "God...into your hands I commend my spirit." That's not something reserved for the Son of God, that's for ALL of us. In the end there are no superstars, no celebrities, no one is more special. We all pray to commend our spirit to God after death and to me...that's punk.

  • March 10, 2004, 4:27 a.m. CST

    suffering servant

    by stvnhthr

    What many are declaring is the weakness of the film is actually its greatest strength. The central message of the film is Christ as a suffering servant of God. Mel made a film asking the viewer to focus on this key aspect of Christ's life for the duration of the film. Inclusion of "more of Jesus' teachings on love" would be completely out of place. The film reminds me most of Saving Private Ryan or Shindler's List. It is meant to make you uncomfortable for a reason. Sacrifice when portrayed correctly will make you squirm. Anyone looking for just another entertainment fix is going to be jarred into some serious interspection and that too is making quite a few uncomfortable.

  • March 10, 2004, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Mel has announced there will be a sequel

    by Eugene O

    It will be about the four days Jesus was "dead"...walking through Hell preaching to the sinners.

  • March 10, 2004, 6:24 a.m. CST

    Call me what you will but all my life I've found the image of a

    by TheGinger Twit

  • March 10, 2004, 6:31 a.m. CST

    my 2 cents

    by darthhaole

    Personally, I was disappointed by the movie. I'm a fairly conservative Protestant Christian. Although I fully agree that Gibson has succeeded 110% at making the film that he set out to make (one that's sole focus is to present his vision of the last 12 hours of Christ's life), it just wasn't the movie that I was hoping to see, and in my opinion, it was a missed opportunity. Maybe I had my hopes set too high. I mean, the guy had every right to make this movie, but it just wasn't for me. Besides the fact that I don't think it's healthy for anyone (especially children) to experience that much violence especially for that extended period of time, I wish that he'd at least stuck to the Gospel accounts a little better. Obviously none of us was there, so there has to be some dramatic license taken...I mean it's a 2000 year old story. It's necessary, and as long as it remains in harmony with the source material, a healthy dose of dramatic license wouldn't bother me. The stuff that was apparently based on the two mystic nuns though, while every bit Mel's right to include in *his* movie, was a bit distracting. Things like Jesus being thrown off a bridge and being hung by a huge chain, demon children chasing Judas around, Jesus standing back up on purpose to get beat down some more, Pilate's wife bringing Mary some towels, Mary wiping up Jesus spilled blood, Satan's hairy baby and the stare down with Mary, the bird pecking out the thieves eye, etc., etc. Whether based on the nuns visions or simply added for dramatic effect, these extra Biblical things kept pulling me out of the movie instead of adding to the experience. Very distracting. Also, the overall theme that it was merely the amount and intensity of the physical suffering of Jesus that enables His sacrifice to save humanity...well, I really think that misses the point. Sure the movie portrays Christ suffering as being terrible (which it was) but Gibson made it so terrible that I don't think it was realistic. I personally believe that Jesus would have been dead 10 times over before even making it to the cross. Getting thrown over the bridge and hung would have killed me. Then begins the brutal beatings that never stop until He's hung on the cross. I can't see anyone surving being beaten for that long...and in that fashion. Sure, if you subscribe to the idea that Jesus was able to endure this because of His divinity and that in fact this extreme suffering was the key to our salvation, obviously you won't have a problem with this. Although I do believe Jesus was/is Divine, and that His physical suffering was TERRIBLE, I don't subscribe to the theology that it was so bad that any normal human would have been dead and only His Divinity kept Him alive during this period nor do I believe that it was the amount and intensity of physical suffering that makes Christ's sacrifice able to save us. It was/is so much more than that. Christ's sacrifice is sufficient, but not just because He suffered so much physical pain. In my opinion, that theology really belittles what Jesus has done for us. Of course, that's another topic and if anyone wants to hear/discuss my views on what enables Christ's sacrifice to save us,,just email me. Just click my name. Another reason I was disappointed was I kept thinking about how great a movie Mel's team could have made. There seemed to be this potential for greatness that kept peering through all the blood and gore. I so wish that instead of making a movie solely about the Passion, that instead Gibson had made a movie that was, oh, like say 75% portraying Christ's life and ministry and 25% portraying His death and resurrection. Yes, I know this has been done many times before, and that this movie is called "The Passion" for a reason, but I would love to see what the people behind "The Passion of the Christ" could have done with the wider Gospel story. Even with all the distractions, theological differences and excessive gore, what they made had potential. No question about it (in my mind anyway). But they could have made a movie that would have been so much more, at least for me and the thought of this just kind of makes me sad. It was the scenes that portrayed Christ's life, the way He interacted with others, His message of Love that had the biggest impact on me personally. It was during the flashbacks that I found myself weeping. The brutal scenes just made me angry or uncomfortable. Of course it had a lot to do with the contrast with the scenes that sandwiched these flashbacks that made them so emotionally effective. I just wish Mel would have made a different movie. One where things would have been reversed...with the majority of screen time devoted to Christ's life and ministry, and the brutal scenes being maybe flash forwards or simply in sequence and thereby having Christ's life and message made more prominent. And of course devoting more time to the resurrection and events that took place immediately afterwards. This would still have the emotional impact of seeing scenes from the final 12 hours but would have been something that could have been so much more than what we got....of course that's just my humble opinion. As someone said, the fact that the brutality just went on and on had a bit of a desensitizing effect...on me anyway. The never ending whipping actually pulled me out of the movie several times and I found myself looking around worrying that there might be children being exposed to this much gore...and that was very distracting for me. I believe it could have been more effective the other way around. But as I said, it's Mel's movie and not mine. Just don't take your kids. And don't think for a minute that you will be entertained. Peace.

  • March 10, 2004, 6:41 a.m. CST

    This movie copies Krull

    by Bong

    I kid I kid

  • March 10, 2004, 6:47 a.m. CST

    The more fundamentalist elements who have heralded this film

    by Sepulchrave

    often point out that hundredsm, thousands of films containing graphic violence are released under the R certificate every year. Each of these fils is condemned, since a child may sneak in or be brought to seek it. They make far more noise over nudity and sexuality, a moral contradiction that will never cease to amaze me in is hideous implications. Then this grotesque film is released, and the same people use the Christian subtext (the Christianity is this movie seems to be ideologically sublimated in favour of a Torquemada-esque peepshow) to drag small children along. This is organised mental abuse. Children hear none of Christ's words, see none of his great qualities, see and hear nothing but a groaning trunk of torn flesh nailed to a tree. I like violence in films, I enjoy the dramatic and audacious death, the beheading by chainsaw, the sudden dreadful slash of the knife, the comical Bruce Campbell screams. This is because I associate such violence with unreality and indeed with humour. What I object to is replacing spititual grace with visceral agony, placing pain and bodily defilement at the centre of a moral religious universe is barbaric and sadistic. Children deserve to be taught to love their bodies and to hate pain, this film will fill them with pity rehaps, with fear and horror certainly, with numbing dispassion inevitably. It is a bad film, made by a man with a fundamentally diseased and retroactive mind.

  • March 10, 2004, 7:23 a.m. CST

    They very hypocritical roots of our country are seeeded in relig

    by Kampbell-Kid

    I actually have heard parents bringing children to this film appauls me. Just further proves what backward small minded wayward lemmings-like human beings would do taking children to see a passed down story of an overrated martyr suffering before casting stones at people like Janet Jackson & JT in return for just exposing a little nipple action during a super bowl that shows HOW MANY BEER AND LEGAL DRUGS ADS? <takes a breath and sighs> Abosoultely no desire to see this waste of conception on 35mm film.

  • March 10, 2004, 7:43 a.m. CST

    This is a serious question now. HOW exactly did Christ die for o

    by TheGinger Twit

  • March 10, 2004, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Anti-Semetic & Imperialist Apologetic

    by SpiderJeruselem

    It is disturbing what Mel Gibson has been able to do with this powerful piece of propaganda. It

  • March 10, 2004, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Stvnhthr: "It is meant to make you uncomfortable for a reason.

    by Commando Cody

    Excellent post, man. Kudos to you. In far shorter words than many others have done at this site in all the talkbacks about THE PASSION that there have been, you summed up EXACTLY what makes Mel's film PERFECT in its execution, not to mention heart wrenching and thought provoking too, least as far as I'm concerned. Those having problems with the violence seem to be missing this very central and crucial point. Namely that all the pain -- the blood drenched, flesh rendering, you need to turn away because you just can't look anymore physical and human PAIN -- that Jesus endured to take away our sins was indeed a self-sacrifice befitting the son of God. And seeing someone go through that... consciously making THAT choice for the benefit of all... SHOULD make people stop and squirm as they are forced to wonder if they could EVER manage to personally come close to making any kind of comparable self-sacrifice, certainly in these modern times where people are ultra self-centered and vain. And having to face up to that is just too introspective and painful a notion for some to accept...or obviously believe in. Mel, wherever you are, no matter what happens next year at Oscar time and no matter how much the Hollywood elitists snub you, rest assured you've already made THE best movie of 2004. Congratulations on directing a movie experience that is TRULY worthy of the word "art."

  • March 10, 2004, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Jesus (peace be upon him) was never killed, nor crucified, nor w

    by Point_Q

    What disturbs me is that one automatically believes that Jesus (peace be upon him) was killed or crucified. But according to other sources and the bible, he was not crucified nor killed, but God saved him. Please read the following links, they're very interesting: http://jamaat.net/crux/Crux1-5.html http://www.answering-christianity.com/jesus_never_disfigured.htm http://www.answering-christianity.com/sake.htm http://www.answering-christianity.com/contra.htm http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/Bible/Contra/ P.S. Harry, it is not true telling people that Jesus wanted to be a martryr. He never want to, he had to bring the message of the ONE true God (Allah, whom Jesus also called Allah in Aramic) and when reading the so called gospels, it is mentioned that Jesus prayed to God to save him, after he knew that he was betrayed by one of his disciples. And he prayed several times to be saved.

  • March 10, 2004, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Flavor of the month

    by Tom66

    I'm not surprised this film's a hit, considering that fantasy is the flavor of the month. The Bible isn't exactly a history book is it (I'm sorry to disappoint you). I'd like to see a film based on the many historical versions of Jesus, no miracles, no son of God etc., then the whole world might want to discuss the way it has been brainwashed by a man-made religious cult. Wow, wouldn't that make a controversial movie.

  • March 10, 2004, 8:48 a.m. CST

    another article about the non-crucifixion of Jesus, son of Mary,

    by Point_Q

    read this link, it gives further proof that the gospels are corrupt, and that Jesus never was killed or hanged or whatsoever, he was saved by God Almighty. http://jamaat.net/jonah/signofjonah.html

  • March 10, 2004, 8:55 a.m. CST

    SpiderJeruselem: "...but they wouldn

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Hey, buddy, before you go spouting off things as being supportive to an argument you're trying to make, you might want to actually research your facts first. LEFT BEHIND -- the Kirk Cameron movie -- was actually AMAZINGLY profitable and people plunked down MORE than 7 bucks to see it. Basically, it was produced and then marketed much the same way as THE PASSION was ultimately handled. That is, it was financed and made privately and was then pre-sold towards religous groups. So BEFORE it got any kind of theatrical release (which is where you probably first heard about it), LEFT BEHIND was actually offered as a mail order home video selling for a price of about $25 or so...at which point it sold a ka-zillion units to church groups and religious fans of the books. I remember USA TODAY and some other papers did articles on the whole marketing strategy that the producers employed, and how the video was a major success by "selling it in" directly to a marketplace of churchs, individuals, Christian bookstores, etc. In fact, to give you a sense of scale and buying power, today the Christian bookstore marketplace is nearly 7-10 times LARGER than the entire North American comic book marketplace. So, yes, so-called "Christian" people are out there buying "Christian" oriented stuff. Rest assured, the producers made SERIOUS bank off that "fucking Kirk Cameron" movie you were mocking. The only reason the movie was released in the theaters at all was because they then figured they'd try to get some icing on their cake TOO by seeing how much more money they could make via a theatrical release. So the film was put into limited release where it DID pocket a few million more. So before you go mocking it as if it was a colossal failure, you might want to keep in mind it actually made close to (if not over) $100 million -- it just did that by going straight to video and by being sold directly to the religious crowd. Which makes perfect sense since that's who it was INTENDED for anyway...

  • March 10, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Literal Leanings

    by Tom66

    Try arguing about literal meanings with the religious right, the Taliban and the rest. I appreciate that these stories can have meaning for us all, but I presume that Mel thinks that this story is fact, like so many others.

  • March 10, 2004, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Pacifist, not passive

    by Melian

    I really loved this review. I come from Northern Ireland and know quite a few people struggling to come to terms with the results of violence and murder. It's truly incredible what can happen when people forgive. One man here famously lost his daughter in the Enniskillen bombing, and actually went to meet with the IRA to see if he could understand their view, why they felt so strongly that they had to kill people. Ofcourse, every-one from his own community told him he was mad, but he didn't give up. Other people saw dialogue was working and eventually we got a ceasefire. I can't imagine how he managed to find the courage to face his daughter's killers - if he had just been passive and wallowed in hatred, the world would be a sadder place. I fully agree with Harry's description of Christianity. For too long its been abused by people who portray it as a greetings card, feel-good theory, or who completely negate Jesus' teaching of love, forgiveness and 'do not judge, or you will be judged'. I think if its true essence was rediscovered, the effects would be amazing. For this reason the film had to show that Jesus was not living on some spiritual plane above the rest of us, but that he really demonstrated love in the most agonising way with very human suffering.

  • March 10, 2004, 9:35 a.m. CST

    "I can't understand why some people wouldn't think the level of

    by minderbinder

    It's not a question of accuracy so much as consistency. First, there are a number of extra whupass sessions added that weren't in the bible, most notably the ridiculous chain scene. (FYI, some translations use "flog" instead of "scourge") Second, given the beating that is shown, it's hard to believe that he would survive it. Third, if Pilate says "punish him severely but don't kill him" (not in the bible), why would they give him a punishment that usually kills the victim? Fourth, if crucified men usually suffered a scourging beforehand, why have the other two obviously NOT gone through it? The punishment shown is being defended as "typical" for the romans, yet the movie makes it look like he gets special uber-whoopass treatment that goes far beyond what anyone else has received. (especially with Pilate's shocked and sympathetic reaction, he looks like he's never seen a man in that bad shape before) Which is it? You can't have it both ways. Fifth, the bible says that Jesus hasn't had a single bone broken at the time of his death, which would hardly seem possible with the beating shown in the movie. The movie tried to make me cringe and feel bad, but it didn't work because is was so transparently obvious, so blatantly manipulative. It became obvious that anything Mel could think of would get thrown at him. I'm half surprised we don't see him step on a rake and hit himself in the head, or a Roman dropping a safe or piano on his head.

  • March 10, 2004, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Belt a Toon?

    by Mr_Cellophane

    Which toon did you decide to belt? I feel bad for poor Roger Rabbit. Did you actually use a belt, Harry, or did you make ol' Bugs go and cut his own switch?

  • March 10, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Consider Harry is "friends" with Mel and Quinton..

    by Rupee88

    ..there is no way he would give their films a negative review. He is not totally objective towards the films. I think they are both probably good, but I'm sure he is still in the afterglow of talking to them, and that affects his objectivity.

  • March 10, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Isn't it interesting...

    by Roger Thornhill

    that liberals wish to cenosor Mel Gibson's film while preaching freedom of speech and attacking Bush for attempting to restrict the rights of other Americans (the Patriot Act and his proposed amendment to the Constitution to ban gay marriage). As a liberal myself, I find it very disconcerting that other liberals would wish to silence Gibson's film. Come on guys and gals, it's the conservatives who are supposed to be censoring us! We must practive what we preach. The supposed chaos this film was expected to create by liberals never came to reality, so lay off. I see no reason to censor Mel Gibson's film.

  • March 10, 2004, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Don't you people READ and THINK about your Bible?

    by Stoney-321

    Um, it's pretty clear to me that the important part of Jesus' sacrifice (to ensure eternal life for man) happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffered and felt all pain and sin for each man, to the extent that he bled from every pore. After that (which he asked to have the cup removed, but he'd do it if God wanted him to) it was just a matter of dying. Didn't matter how. He could have been run over by a raging water buffalo carrying mead kegs. It sickens me that we are so hungry for images of pain and suffering that the cruciform is lusted after. I see people getting whipped up into a frenzy of ectasy over his broken, bloody body. Yuck! If you believe in Jesus, get hyped up over the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount. Get past the blood and guts and FOCUS ON HIS MESSAGE. I have heard it said that God crawled to the furthest corner of heaven to allow Christ to suffer as a man, thus Jesus crying out Father, Father, why have thou forsaken me? BTW, I don't believe in any of the diety or magic that Christians believe in, but I love the messages of Jesus: kindness in all things. Let's get that stuff out instead of the Christians today getting hot and bothered about TV and titties. Turn the other cheek, and turn off the TV.

  • March 10, 2004, 10:19 a.m. CST

    "liberals wish to cenosor Mel Gibson's film"

    by minderbinder

    Actually no, they just think it sucks. There is a difference.

  • March 10, 2004, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Let Verhoeven do his historical Jesus movie!

    by Some Dude

    It would put Gibson's fantasy to shame.

  • March 10, 2004, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Hey, Ginger... a straightforward answer (I hope).

    by JasonPratt

    Ginger, Okay. A straightforward answer. (Sorry if there are no paragraphs. I tried. {s}) God doesn't treat us like robots, or like a computer game He gives the three-fingered reboot to whenever we do something abusive to ourselves or to someone else. People are always asking why God lets people do evil things. It's because He loves us enough to let us make our own contributions to His story (which is history), even when we insist on doing evil as our contribution. (And by 'we', I promise I also mean _me_.) Fine. But then, where does the check finally land for this? Even though we have our own blame for what we do wrong, and even though God _does_ do _some_ things to stop us... where does the responsibility _ultimately_ lie? When the crew on the ship misbehaves, who is held ultimately responsible? The Captain. God holds Himself responsible for setting up situations where we _can_ do evil, and then _letting_ us be the people we insist on being even if we are insisting on being evil. So, He doesn't just sit up in the sky (so to speak) above it all, condemning us left and right but keeping Himself out of it, as if He had nothing at all to do with the situation. He acts to put Himself under the same injustice; He shows us what He lets us do, graphically, in history. This is how we abuse God's grace when we sin; and this is how He shows us that He suffers with us and for us when other people abuse _us_. He isn't leaving us alone; He comes and shares our load. This is what our sin costs God, by His own choice. It's the fair thing for Him to do. There are other reasons and goals for Christ's death, but this is the one I've found to be the most straightforward. One thing to keep in mind, is that if Christ is not Himself God in action, then His self-sacrifice for the sake of fulfilling love and justice doesn't mean as much. In fact it might be worse: Muslims are _quite_ correct that God would never send a prophet to pay for what God Himself allows to be done. No prophet has ultimate responsibility for allowing us to sin. But then, orthodox Christians aren't saying that Christ was simply a man; nor even simply a holy man or sinless man; nor even merely a son, nor even merely _the_ son of the Deity... but God Himself, Allah, the One Who bears the final responsibility as our Father. Ever been pissed off at God for something horribly unfair that happened? God knows. He's been there, too. He didn't just let it happen without paying for it Himself. He chose a time and place in history to do it, and did it. There's more to it than this. But not less. I hope this helps.

  • March 10, 2004, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Ginger- Another straight forward answer

    by christonomist

    Maybe not a popular or easy to swallow one, but one from a guy with a Master's in New Testament Theology (not that you should ever be impressed by degrees...a lot of ignorant people have letters by their name). Essentially, God is holy. He is full of glory and perfect in every way, and he will not allow His name/reputation to be ultimately dragged through the mud. He's a just judge, and when all is said and done, he will rightly pay back all disobedience against him (if you don't believe God has the right to judge us or be angry about our sin, that's a personal objection, not a question of what the Christian scriptures teach--the Bible's point of view is essentially, "It's his creation and his story, he's perfect and we're not; he has the right to display his glory and run the show however he wants".) Of course, as most people are quick to point out, none of us are perfect, we all sin, and guess what, that's exactly what scripture says as well. So, if God is just and holy, and yet is also loving, and wants to give eternal life to anybody, then we have a problem: the only people available are ALL on death row. How can a perfect judge still be just if he lets people off the hook? The answer of the New Testament is that God has chosen a representative, a king over God's people, to stand in their place, on their behalf. In the ancient world, it was common to see kings as the representatives of their nation, so that what is true of him is true of them. He's been appointed to the office of taking on the people's burdens, sharing in their troubles, and leading them to victories. Basically, when God sent Jesus, he was appointing him as the royal representative of the people. And if the king has taken the death penalty, the people are considered by God to have died with him. Punishment done. Price paid. We have "died with Christ". Moreover, in similar imagery, in the Old Testament, animals were sacrificed for Israel's sins. When these offerings were given, they had to be spotless. A shoddy sacrifice isn't going to cut it with God. His offended holiness is worth more than that. Therefore, the New Testament also recognizes (by way of analogy) that if Christ was unworthy (i.e., another sinner), his sacrifice would not be sufficient for the great mass of crimes the people have committed. So, he had to be sinless as well, just as the lambs had to be perfectly white (and, of course, no mere man could do this--the early Christians quickly recognized him to be God himself in the form of a man). So when Jesus embraced his death, what we mean when we say he "died for our sins" is that he, as God's appointed, royal, perfect representative, received the sentence God had pronounced over our crimes against him. With that penalty fully paid, God can pronounce anyone who is part of Christ's kingdom to be debt-free and forgiven. God's justice is no longer a barrier to his sharing a loving relationship with us--we're off death row and he can adopt us into his family without compromising his wrath against sin. By becoming a man himself, the judge in our capital trial has actually stepped in and borne our sentence himself because of his immense love. When Jesus, in Mel's film, is arching his back before his torturers, or standing back up to continue carrying the cross, the implication is that he is saying, "I will not back away from embracing this death; I will not quit until the full price of my people's sins is paid, so that they may be free to be accepted by the Father." Obviously, there are a number of issues there that may bring flaming posts upon my head, and you may not buy it all, but that's the teaching of the Christian Bible on the matter. You requested a straightforward explanation of the point, and that's about as close as you can get. This isn't a short and simple matter, but I hope that helps some people understand it better. Take care.

  • March 10, 2004, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Huh?

    by Mr. Bad Example

    I don't get it, never got it, probably never will... How can you make anything "godly" out of the lunatic actions of this authentic wacko, jesus. This is probably the most pointless movie ever made about a masochistic, delusional mental patient. 2000 years ago this guy must have made quite an impression - but the rise to prominence of his cult couldn't have anything to do with politics, oh no, never. I hope for his sake that jesus was the son of god 'cause if he wasn't, he is bar none the stupidest MF'r to ever walk the face of the earth - moreover, why anyone would seek to emulate his life is beyond me. This guy had the "criminal energy" attributed to Hitler, to Manson, to all the charismatic nut jobs that have shaped human events since the incipience of civillization. So he died, like a wussy in the end too- crying out. Boo Hoo. Sorry but the bible should've ended there - but we know how artifice works after all. Hollywood owes the bible a debt of gratitude - the bible has the first lame-ass Hollywood ending ever concieved! Nothing new under the sun...

  • March 10, 2004, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Coincedence?

    by Sloppopotamus

    Take a look at this review that I wrote for a forum I go to, several weeks ago... I also sent it in letter form to New Market Films. "I am not a practicing Christian, nor am I very religious at all in any way for that matter. I am one of those guys that believes that faith comes from within. I believe that there is probably a higher power, but that our brains are not wired to understand it... It's like when my cat watches my TV... "There's something going on inside that strange box, so it can only be magic!" He has no clue what the fuck that thing is, but he'll stare at it for hours on end and never figure it out. You get the idea... Although I don't practice any sort of religion on any regular basis, I am most familiar with Christianity because it was the most popular religion where I grew up and for no other reason than that. I went to Church and Sunday School until I was about six years old, but have no real memories of it other than an apple bobbing contest we had during a Halloween party. My parents stopped going to church after they realized that it was more of an excuse for a social gathering and to "be seen" than it was for anything else... They felt that practicing their faith was more of a private thing. They never pushed it on me, and let me have my freedom. I had a lot of respect for that... even as a kid. Anyway... What I do take away the most from being raised around Christianity, is the image of Christ crucified on a cross. It was usually an image in most people's homes in one form or another. It's a story I've heard as far back as I remember... Jesus Christ died on the cross, so all of us sinners could be saved. Christ on a cross. Big deal. It's everywhere. After a while, it is what it is... all you see are these amazing oil paintings, stained glass, and sculptures of this image of Christ on a cross. Everyone has a halo, everyone's clothes are clean, everyone's hands are outstretched with palms up as they look to the sky with these blank looks on their faces... it's almost beautiful. It's like looking at one of the most significant religious moments in history illustrated by the people who do the safety pamphlets that they give you when you fly on an airplane. Well, last Sunday, you managed to completely destroy every one of these preconceived notions in my head with one single movie. A hand reached into my brain, grabbed everything I thought I knew about the passion play, and covered it in blood. "Christ's suffering" which I had heard about so many times turned into confusion, doubt, torment, and torture. That pristine image of Mary always represented on stained glass was turned into a mother watching her son die a brutal and horrible death while she mopped up his blood. The romantic story of Judas' kiss of betrayal turned into a man haunted by demons from the coldest and darkest depths of Hell, driving him to a lonely horrific suicide. So, here I am... a few days later... and many of these images are still burned in my mind. As you know, the relentless scourging and Crucifixion scenes are constantly mentioned on the media, but in my opinion they were only half of it. The representation of Satan was easily one of the most evil, intelligent, and downright creepy things I have ever seen, and the demons that haunted Judas now seem to haunt me... there are more... many more. So, ultimately, I don't think it's the violence that has caused such a stink. I don't think it has anything to do with anyone being antisemitic... Most of all I think it has to do with is the fact that you took something that has lost its impact throughout history because of these gorgeous and angelic images, and made it exactly what it was... dirty, bloody, grotesque, cruel, and horrible... all while using VERY powerful images and symbolism that make people very uncomfortable. You made it real, and that is threatening to most, I think. I just wanted to thank you for enlightening me, and bringing me into your world... I think it was a very brave and honorable thing that you've done by making this movie, and wanted to thank you for that as well. I get moved by a movie every so often, but this one inparticular will have a lasting effect that will undoubtedly be carried with me for a long time."

  • March 10, 2004, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Wrong Message

    by ipfgodfather

    I saw this movie and LOVED it. I agree with Harry 110%. I am hardly religious in the strictest sense of the term but since the film I've been moved to pick up the Bible several times, and have renewed interest in going back to church. That can't be a bad thing?!?! The reason why, is that I saw the film for it's true message : loving and forgiving your fellow man PERIOD. It sickens me that the liberals, and (yes I'm sure I'll now too be labelled an anti-semite for saying this)radical Jewish critics continue to argue that it's all about discimination, prejudice, hate, and bigotry. If that is the message you're getting you should either see it again or accept the fact that your religious beliefs have you so paranoid and downtrodden that you actually believe this movie revolves around anti semitism. First of all, the Romans, and even disciples like Peter are shown just as responsible for his death- with a few minor interventions NO ONE helped him and basically EVERYONE beat him emotionally, mentally, and physically. Secondly, read the Bible. Obviously, taking dramatic license is involved and the overemphasis on violence is not as prevelant in the scripture but its purpose in the movie is to exaggerate the point. Additionally, the Gospels do have the High Priests accuse and insist on his death and Pontious Pilate does declare him innocent. Finally, if I'm not mistaken the Vatican made statements to the world absolving the Jew's of any wrongdoing and clarifying the true message of the text. Will some zealots freak out and become angered, sure. But guess what, we live in a society where people use religion as an excuse to crash planes into builings, an/or blow themselves and innocents up in public. This movie should be the LEAST of your concerns, it's message is peaceful. If you interpret it differently you're feeling sorry for yourself. Going back in history EVERY race, religion, and nationality has faced persecution (some more than others) but this movie doesn't aim to do that. God Bless You.

  • March 10, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Fantastic review. Thanks

    by Tsunami3G

    It's good to know that someone else took the same message from the movie as myself. Even if you are one crazy looking MFer. :-)

  • March 10, 2004, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Complaining must be human nature

    by Indy77

    I wish Mel Gibson would have done a different version without the blood and violence and played that one. Then we would hear people complaining about how the movie was a disgrace and not real, etc. The first thing people tend to forget is that the King James VERSION of the Bible is just that, a version. It was edited and manipulated from previous versions to best suit the church's needs at that time. So stop acting like the King James version is canon. I found this film to be inspiring and inciteful at many levels. Firstly, it really does make a person with the lowest of Christian convictions realize the crucifixion wasnt't a walk in the park. It was very symbolic of what Jesus went through, even if it was violent. The second thing I really enjoyed was that how the Jewish Temple was pretty much a commentary on the power and arrogance of the Christian Church today. It wasn't antisemetic...if anything, it was anti-Roman, so hope any of you true blood Romans don't start getting death threats. People need to stop looking for something to complain about. It was a good film showing the torment and sacrifice of Jesus. We need to stop being so PC and sensitive.

  • March 10, 2004, 6:29 p.m. CST

    this movie was not so hot

    by perryfarrell

    alright i'm all about vivid imagery and being free to portray as much violence as you want and all that. what upset me is that, in this case, take out the violence, and you really don't have a movie. no one would feel bad at all if they didn't have to sit through that beating scene. there wasn't much point to the movie at all in fact. mel gibson's pretty much just showing us some stuff to make us feel queasy, and then whispering in our ear: "feel bad.... feel really, really bad." and as far as the acting, all the characters did their jobs fine and all, but no one had that much dialogue really, and most of the time they just had to look sad. in fact even the acting can be chalked to "feel bad, for the love of god, please, feel bad." but really that was all the movie could possibly be. it's not like it's gonna tell us an original story - it's just a movie about jesus. so it can't have much of a point, besides, "here, again, is what happened... and feel bad about it." anyway it was beautifully shot.

  • March 10, 2004, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Watch Life of Brian within 2 days of seeing this

    by Sharpel007

    Seriously, a good dose of British mystycism will bring you back to reality. Or even better do like I did and watch the Python version first. If your deeply religous say what you want, but this whole clash over the jew issue will fall into its rightful place

  • March 10, 2004, 8 p.m. CST

    answer to TheGingerTwit

    by darthhaole

    This will be as brief as possible, so for a more complete and much more interesting answer (with all the juicy details to back each of the following statements) please email me (just click my name). Christ died as a way to reconcile His Creation back to God (Himself) and to answer the question of what is the true end result of disobeying God. His life, ministry, and death, was apparently the only way to accomplish this. You see, the questions have been raised, "Can God be trusted" and "how can we know that disobedience to God's law isn't more expedient for us"? This question was first raised by us when Satan tempted Eve in the Garden. He told her that God couldn't be trusted, that God didn't have her best interest in mind, and that she would be better off to disobey God....to do her own thing...to eat of the forbidden fruit and that doing so would bring her wisdom. Satan also said that by eating it, she wouldn't die as God had said she would (essentially, Satan said you don't need to obey God to have life...which is of course a lie). This same question (Can God be trusted) had been raised earlier in Heaven when Lucifer convinced a third of the Angels that God was a tyrant. Lucifer convinced them that God did not have their best interests in mind and that they were better off to do their own thing...to rebel against God. Eventually, to preserve the peace, the rebellion was cast out of Heaven, just as Adam and Eve were later cast out of Eden. The angels that remained, although they never rebelled, I believe still had reason to wonder if God could truly be trusted. They wondered if God was worthy of true worship or simply was to be obeyed out of fear. So did Adam and Eve. So do we. This is why it's so important that we fully understand the true character of God. This is why the cross is so important. Can God be trusted? **Is God's way the right way or is His way holding us back from something better?** Just what is so wrong with disobeying some of God's laws if they don't hurt anyone? Further, should we obey Him out of fear or can we truly obey because we believe His way is right? Because we love Him? Is it even possible for us to obey? How can anyone know that God wasn't really the tyrant that Lucifer/Satan said He was? It was not just to answer these questions for us, but for all of God's creation that Jesus came to Earth and lived His life, carried out His ministry and eventually made His sacrifice. So how does Christ answer these questions and what did He accomplish...I'll get to that. First, what is the problem with rebelling against God? Well, for one thing God is the source of life. Like unscrewing a light bulb, when you disconnect it from the power source, the light goes out. Think of our life as the light. We need God for life. God loves us and wants to give us that life...forever. However, God requires that we live according to His will in order that He can grant us that life eternally. He doesn't want to grant life that will cause pain and suffering. Sure some of us have it pretty good...but think of life under the Taliban...or for those living in desperate poverty, etc. Eventually this cycle of "sin" will come to an end (and no this end does not involve an eternally burning Hell which I believe is a misinterpretation of scripture). Yes, God is sustaining life on our little rock for now, but God will not allow suffering to continue forever. He has a much better plan. So what is God's "will" for the universe? What is God's law? Simply this. *LOVE*. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love. That's it. God wants a universe that is governed by the principals of love because this is the only way anyone (including God) can be truly happy. If people only treat others with kindness because they are afraid of some sort of retribution, there will always be those that look for the loopholes or that will "cheat" when nobody is looking etc. Since I love my wife, murdering her is so foreign to my thinking that it is unthinkable. It's a foreign idea to me. I love her, so why would I kill her. No one has to threaten me into compliance. I don't choose to not kill my wife because it's against the law. That law is written on my heart. It's a part of me. Other laws of love are not yet completely part of who I am, so I have to struggle to comply. And even in my "obedience" I still fail because I am still a "sinner." That is for another discussion but for a brief example of this concept, Jesus said that if you look at a woman and lust after her, you have already committed adultery with her. God calls adultery sin. Unfortunately, lust is sometimes what I do when I see a beautiful half naked girl on the beach here in Hawaii! Sure, I don't have sex with her, but I can't say there isn't ever any lust in there...from time to time. If that lust goes unchecked it could turn into something worse....something that would lead to my wife's suffering and essentially mine as well. In fact, it already hurts my wife. She sees me looking and it hurts her inside. She knows exactly what is going through my head and it kills her that I "must not be fully satisfied with her...that she isn't enough for me.." This is one of the reasons why God calls even lust that goes on in your head a sin...something that is against God's law of Love. I don't want to hurt my wife, so I struggle against it and patiently wait until God works that out of me. I don't just say, well, I'm a guy. It's normal. Fortunately, my wife is also patient...at least thus far. God may not fully root out that lust before I die, but this is where Grace comes in. I still struggle with sin rather than giving in to it because it's bad (it causes suffering and can lead to worse pain if left unchecked)...not to earn salvation...because through Christ it is already mine but because I simply don't want to hurt my wife, myself of others. Anyway, like I said, that's another topic for another discussion. Anyway, think of how great it would be if we ALL had God's laws of love written on our hearts now. We wouldn't have to fear. We wouldn't have to lock our doors. We could live in peace and harmony. Utopia! So here's the thing. I personally believe that everything that God asks of us is for our own good. For our own edification. We may not understand everything yet, but this is where trusting Him to have our best interest in mind comes into play. Sure, in life I may be able to get ahead if I step all over my coworkers to get a promotion, but I know that this is wrong because it's not in compliance with the law of Love, and so I choose to not take those particular opportunities to get ahead in life. Yes, by following God's way, I will most likely have to make many sacrifices along the way, but I trust that God has something better for me. Why do I trust Him? Because of the Gospel story. Because what I understand happened 2000 years ago. Jesus, who according to scripture is also our Creator, left Heaven and all it's glory, to come to Earth and live a perfect human life, and in the process, He...God Almighty...suffered and was murdered at the hands of sinful human beings. His Divinity was covered by humanity and thus He allowed Himself to be hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, tired, etc., just like we are. He can relate to our situation because he lived it. He lived His human life the same way as His Divine...according to His own law of Love. He went around and did nothing but help and care for others. His message was beautiful and filled with only good. And the result? He was brutally tortured and then killed. He did not ask for this. He did not "will" it to happen. God did not force anyone to carry out their evil against Him. He didn't stand back up so that the Romans would beat Him more furiously. But He did *allow* it to happen. He did know that this would be the result of mixing perfect love with sin. He did nothing to stop it. Perfect Love and sin cannot co-exist. God and sin cannot co-exist. We cannot fully love and still remain in sin. Sin will always flee from God's presence or turn on Him. But sin had it's one day of victory only because God allowed it...and on the third day Jesus was resurrected. Fully victorious. Oh Death, where is your sting? Christ is victor! And so are we!! He allowed His suffering and death to happen to answer or more so to illustrate once and for all the end result of sin and the true nature and character of God. Sinful man would actually prefer to kill God than to change. God would prefer to die than to leave us in our suffering. And I fully believe that when Jesus felt forsaken, that He could not see the other side of the tomb. That for at least a time, when He cried out (to God the Father) "My God why have you forsaken me" that Jesus (God the Son) believed that His sacrifice might mean PERMANENT death...yet He was still willing to go through with it. He didn't call for the aid of the angels. He didn't come down off the cross and strike down His tormentors. Instead He prayed for them, forgave them, and hung there willing to give everything to save us. Jesus allowed His suffering to show the true end result of rebellion against God's law (LOVE) and the unbelievable amount of love that God has for us in return. Because all sin leads to suffering (even if it's only minor suffering) all sin is bad and unacceptable to God. Sure, most of us would never kill anyone much less Jesus of Nazareth. But others would. Others have. What was Lucifer's rebellion really about? The unfallen angels were able to watch and see for themselves. They saw Satan tempt Christ to sin, tempt the priests to kill Jesus to save their positions, tempt the Romans to whip Him a little harder, tempt Peter to deny Christ, etc. etc. They watched Satan gloat over the beaten body of Jesus. Because of this event, no longer is there a question in there minds as to what Satan's rebellion was really all about. No longer did they question whether or not God was worthy of their worship and adoration. No longer does man need to question either. At least not if we believe that what the Bible is saying is true. If we believe it, we can trust God. We can love Him. We don't have to serve out of fear or even hope for reward. He is worthy of our true heartfelt worship because He is amazing, wonderful, and deserving of this worship...and this is made plain at the Cross. Sure, we see innocent blood shed all the time, and absolutely, people lay down their lives to save others...just look at the firemen during 911. True heroes. But Christ gave more because He put more on the line. He is more worthy of our praise and adoration than any earthly hero because Jesus is God and thus His sacrifice is unmatchable. The cross has the ability....if you believe...to transform your life because it enables someone to fully turn back to God. Not just in meaningless ceremony..but to fully give our heart to Him. To fully submit to His law of love. To plug back in to the source of power. To end our sinful rebellion. Through Christ, all things can be made new. Sure, we will still sin....we are still sinners...but in turning to Christ He is able to begin the process of writing His laws on our hearts. Whatever work is left to transform our characters into His will be accomplished at the Second Coming...if only we so desire it. If He is our Lord, where we fail, His Grace is sufficient to ready us for Paradise. There is so much I've skimmed over but this is already so long. Email me if you want more or have any questions. I'm sure I've missed something that I had intended to include. I'm also pretty sure this post will anger more than a few people, but so be it. I love ya'll anyway. Peace.

  • March 10, 2004, 8:25 p.m. CST

    THE PASSION OF THE LIBERAL

    by think4yourself

    By Ann Coulter In the dozens and dozens of panic-stricken articles The New York Times has run on Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ," the unavoidable conclusion is that liberals haven't the vaguest idea what Christianity is. The Times may have loopy ideas about a lot of things, but at least when they write about gay bathhouses and abortion clinics, you get the sense they know what they're talking about. But Christianity just doesn't ring a bell. The religion that has transformed Western civilization for two millennia is a blank slate for liberals. Their closest reference point is "conservative Christians," meaning people you're not supposed to hire. And these are the people who carp about George Bush's alleged lack of "intellectual curiosity." The most amazing complaint, championed by the Times and repeated by all the know-nothing secularists on TV, is that Gibson insisted on "rubbing our faces in the grisly reality of Jesus' death." The Times was irked that Gibson "relentlessly focused on the savagery of Jesus' final hours" -- at the expense of showing us the Happy Jesus. Yes, Gibson's movie is crying out for a car chase, a sex scene or maybe a wise-cracking orangutan. The Times ought to send one of its crack investigative reporters to St. Patrick's Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Good Friday before leaping to the conclusion that "The Passion" is Gibson's idiosyncratic take on Christianity. In a standard ritual, Christians routinely eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus Christ, aka "the Lamb of God." The really serious Catholics do that blood- and flesh-eating thing every day, the sickos. The Times has just discovered the tip of a 2,000-year-old iceberg. But the loony-left is testy with Gibson for spending so much time on Jesus' suffering and death while giving "short shrift to Jesus' ministry and ideas" -- as another Times reviewer put it. According to liberals, the message of Jesus, which somehow Gibson missed, is something along the lines of "be nice to people" (which to them means "raise taxes on the productive"). You don't need a religion like Christianity, which is a rather large and complex endeavor, in order to flag that message. All you need is a moron driving around in a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"). But to call it the "message" of Jesus requires ... well, the brain of Maureen Dowd. In fact, Jesus' distinctive message was: People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day because I'm here to redeem you even though you don't deserve it, and I have to get the crap kicked out of me to do it. That is the reason He is called "Christ the Redeemer" rather than "Christ the Moron Driving Around in a Volvo With a 'Be Nice to People' Bumper Sticker on It." The other complaint from the know-nothing crowd is that "The Passion" will inspire anti-Semitic violence. If nothing else comes out of this movie, at least we finally have liberals on record opposing anti-Semitic violence. Perhaps they should broach that topic with their Muslim friends. One Times review of "The Passion" said: "To be a Christian is to face the responsibility for one's own most treasured sacred texts being used to justify the deaths of innocents." At best, this is like blaming Jodie Foster for the shooting of Ronald Reagan (news - web sites). But the reviewer somberly warned that a Christian should "not take the risk that one's life or work might contribute to the continuation of a horror." So the only thing Christians can do is shut up about their religion. (And no more Jodie Foster movies!) By contrast, in the weeks after 9/11, the Times was rushing to assure its readers that "prominent Islamic scholars and theologians in the West say unequivocally that nothing in Islam countenances the Sept. 11 actions." (That's if you set aside Muhammad's many specific instructions to kill non-believers whenever possible.) Times columnists repeatedly extolled "the great majority of peaceful Muslims." Only a religion with millions of practitioners trying to kill Americans and Jews is axiomatically described as "peaceful" by liberals. As I understand it, the dangerous religion is the one whose messiah instructs: "(I)f one strikes thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" and "Love your enemies ... do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you." The peaceful religion instructs: "Slay the enemy where you find him." (Surah 9:92). Imitating the ostrich-like posture of certain German Jews who ignored the growing danger during Hitler's rise to power, today's liberals are deliberately blind to the real threats of violence that surround us. Their narcissistic self-image requires absolute solicitude toward angry savages plotting acts of terrorism. The only people who scare them are the ones who worship a Jew. _________________________________ Do you see the motives of the liberal media establishments? I do.

  • March 10, 2004, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Why Hollywood Hates Mel Gibson

    by think4yourself

    Sacred Blood Mel Gibson

  • March 10, 2004, 9:28 p.m. CST

    It's nice to see antisemetism still sells.

    by Smurfette

    You gotta be kidding me. Like father, like son, I guess.

  • March 10, 2004, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Black Caeser is the smartest person on this talk back.

    by Smeg For Brains

    """From: Black Caeser Subject: Jesus Christ was the ultimate Liberal Comment: With all his loving and forgiving. If Jesus were alive today, he'd be called a pacifist liberal tree hugging queer. And this would be by Christians."""" This is the most dead on comment about modern day American Christians that I've ever heard from another person. I see ridiculous bumper stickers that ask "What Would Jesus Do?" Well I can be pretty certain that Jesus would not have supported the invasion of Iraq. Jesus would NOT support cutting welfare. Jesus would provide health care for every American. When exactly did neo-conservative values replace Jesus's teachings as the most important thing in a Christians life? Someone explain to me ONE Christian thing that George W. Bush has done in his time as the Illegally Selected Presidential Replacement? Give me ONE example of anything that could show that he is actually a Christian, other than that he says he is one. Oh and I loved this movie, I admit that I haven't read the Bible since I was in grade school, and also that I don't think you have to be a religious person to be a good one, and vice versa. This movie did one thing for me. It reaffirmed my belief that Jesus was a good man with good ideas about love and caring, and that he was killed twice. Once was for teaching those beliefs against the will of the men in charge of his society. The second time was by all the people who have spent the last 2000 years perverting his teachings into better and better ways of controling the masses, and gaining, and keeping power over them. It's interesting to see that their work lives on today in so many ways, while Jesus's teachings get pushed out of the religion that uses his name.

  • March 10, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST

    DonKnotts

    by christonomist

    Good comeback. Very clever. Thanks for that.

  • March 11, 2004, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Why does EVERYONE only see one side of things?

    by SK909

    First off - yeah, Catholics concentrate on the pain and suffering of Christ and Protestants concentrate on the resurrection, and one is saying that the other isn't important. You're both right and both wrong. The suffering is important because, although he was resurrected, there was never a guarantee that he would be delivered from it. He put his total faith in the belief that God had a plan for him and that God would carry it out. But the intense suffering and the fact that he was human up until the point of deliverance gives the sacrifice meaning. If he KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he'd be resurrected, then where would the sacrifice be? This is the entire POINT of religion - faith, and it is wrapped up in Jesus's putting all of his fate in the hands of God. And the resurrection is important because it shows that God did not fail him. So they go hand-in-hand. ***** Secondly, the controversey surrounding the portrayal of Jews. On one hand, I think it's preposterous. Pilate's portrayal in the film is nearly the ONLY way to interpret him upon reading the Gospels. Why on earth would Jesus be sent to Herrod, whipped, AND then put with Barrabas before the crowd BEFORE the decision is made to crucify him? It is so obviously because Pilate had no clue what the hell Jesus did and it must have frightened him that the Pharisees were taking things so far. Not that he was compassionate. If he was, he wouldn't have allowed the crucifixion or the flogging. Everything he did, he did out of TOTAL INDIFFERENCE to the situation. He didn't give a shit about Jesus OR the Jews. All he cared about was his position and keeping things running smoothly in the area under his immediate control. Why stir the pot? Let them have their crucifixion if they're so determined. This is hardly a sympathetic man. As far as the portrayal of Jews, I really think it's no different than saying that it's possible that we will hate all Germans after watching Schindler's List or any of the umpteen holocaust documentaries, films, or museums. However, because of how much anti-semitism there already is in the world today, I can see the Jewish community being concerned that this could spur even more anti-semitism from religious zealots, either Christian or Muslum. I doubt the majority of Jews, or human beings of any religion for that matter, would like to see a man beaten the way Jesus was beaten. I don't think that they'd like to do that to all Christians simply because they're Christian. Both views are just as ignorant. Individuals are responsible for Jesus's death, not their Jewish faith. Just as individuals are responsible for the Holocaust or the Inquisition. Why does it seem that nobody sees this? However, like I said, I can understand being a bit leery of ANYTHING that could be mis-construed as anti-semitic being eaten up by the masses. If I were Jewish, I'd probably be a bit worried as well. But this is a problem with religion that will not go away unless religion goes away. The problems always lie with the invididuals and their misinterpretation. ***** Lastly - although Bush's motives for the war on Iraq are questionable, I don't believe that the Iraqi people were better off living under the thumb of a brutal dictator. If it is somehow possible for democracy to take hold in Iraq by the current generation that is coming of age there right this moment, the war on Iraq will be remembered for questionable motives that had an outstanding, world-altering outcome. I actually do believe that when such egregious violations of human rights are taking place under ANY regime, WMD's are the least important thing in question. If the guy that lives above your apartment is beating the living shit out of his kids or his wife on a daily basis, do you only worry about it if you think he is a threat to you personally? If he wasn't, would you just sit back and let it happen instead of notifying the authorities? Now the moral equivalancy question with Iraq or any country where such violations are occuring is this: what if the guy beating his kids lives TEN floors above you? what if he lives down the block, but you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is happening and that nobody else will do anything about it? Do you take a stand against a fellow person's suffering or do you just ignore it because he's no threat to you personally? I don't know... personally, when I hear about a country that's still bashing babies brains in right in front of their parents and having massive executions and tortures of supposed 'infidels', then I think it's time that someone more powerful step in and fuck those bastards up. Who gives a shit about their sovereign rights, they didn't give a shit about HUMAN rights, and I think that JESUS HIMSELF would say that that's more important. Like I said... I'm just as skeptical about motives, but let's not act like the Iraqi people were better off before.

  • March 11, 2004, 12:10 a.m. CST

    yes, the passion is good and all....

    by HOB

    But if Gibson wanted to truly appeal to the masses, he should've cast the insatiable Tibor Feldman, protagonist of Entertainment Weekly's Top movie of the millenium, "Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid" as JC!! Sir Feldman would've brought the same 'passion' he brought to that classic to 'The Passion'...

  • March 11, 2004, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Nail Pendants, Dude.

    by Maestro_Sartori

    Nail Pendants.

  • March 11, 2004, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Did I see a different movie from Harry

    by jtp8000

    Okay here is the premise: We are going to show the son of God being tortured,we are going to make it turn everyones stomach that not only can this be done to anyone much less the Son of God- of and by the way, the JEWS did it. Pilate was their toady- the JEWS did it. But then I can go on Leno , promote the movie and say I'm not anti-semite and anyone who doesn't like the movie is persecuting poor me.

  • March 11, 2004, 1:52 p.m. CST

    multi-page religious/political posts on AICN

    by perryfarrell

    what's with them? eh? am i right??

  • March 11, 2004, 2:13 p.m. CST

    What could be more ironic than someone by the handle "think4your

    by minderbinder

    instead of, I don't know...thinking for himself? A better suggestion for a username: drinkinthakoolaid

  • March 11, 2004, 2:14 p.m. CST

    minderbinder

    by perryfarrell

    what's more ironic? the state of the music industry. think about it.

  • March 11, 2004, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Pacifism isn't entirely what the Bible promotes

    by jorson2

    To Christians, Jesus didn't die to appease anyone, and to many, pacifism in terms of both personal action or inaction as well as things like foreign policy is just that, appeasement. It is considered appeasement to avoid confrontation at all costs, then playing victim for sympathy if "costs" are incurred. If Jesus were a real pacifist and appeaser, he would have just accepted people's ideas about him, apologized for being so loud and gone on his merry way. Instead, he REFUSED to back down from his beliefs and he ACTIVELY brought upon himself the scourn of the Jewish Sanhedrin and the Roman Empire. The last point, at least, is echoed in Harry's review. Yes, it is a story about forgiveness and love, but to many like myself who consider themselves Christians, forgiveness and love is NOT completely synonymous with pacifism.

  • March 11, 2004, 2:53 p.m. CST

    jorson

    by perryfarrell

    shut up! just shut the FUCK up!!

  • March 11, 2004, 3:38 p.m. CST

    www.WhiteEyeLid.com

    by MattyBoomStar

    www.WhiteEyeLid.com

  • March 11, 2004, 4:10 p.m. CST

    "If Jesus were a real pacifist and appeaser, he would have just

    by minderbinder

    It's not about compromising your beliefs or even inaction or "avoiding confontation". You can be incredibly confrontational and still be a pacifist. It just means you don't use violence as a solution, and Jesus Christ fits the definition of a pacifist. (If he wasn't a pacifist, where are the biblical passages describing him kicking roman heads in?) What about MLK, he was definitely a pacifist, but did he compromise or avoid confrontation, did he seek to "appease"? Of course not, the only people who equate pacifism with appeasement are those looking for an excuse to go to war.

  • March 11, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Give me a break

    by BillEmic

    Some of you bleeding heart "Liberals" crack me up, whining about how The Passion is nothing but a S&M fantasy and how it will scar our children. Please, give me a break. If you are so offended and disturbed by this film, then just accept the fact that it wasn't made for you. Mel Gibson owes you nothing - he made this movie out of his own pocket, expressing his own personal beliefs. No studio was involved insuring that The Passion was an easily digestable, commercial picture. As such, don't expect from The Passion what you expect from other films. What you have to understand is where Mel is coming from. None of the violence in this film is needless or obscene. In fact, it's arguable that The Passion isn't violent enough. But whereas most major studio films are filled with scenes of senseless, random violence, every blow upon Jesus' back carries meaning for a believer such as Mel Gibson. It only makes sense that Mel would focus in on the extreme torture Christ endured - not only to visual and make real those things to his fellow believers, but also to emphasis the fact that "by his wounds, we are healed". So if you're offended by human suffering, don't go see The Passion. But let people that want to enjoy it - whether they're believers or just audiences in seek of a well-made film. Worry less about the effect this film will have on the poor, innocent children and just lighten up. It's only a movie!

  • March 11, 2004, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Just have to get this off my chest

    by vic_vega

    First of all, anyone that sees this film finds themselves having one of three opinions. The first is that it's brilliant. That it shows things as they were and is reaffirming to one's faith. The second is that the film is overly violent. That it destroys the meaning of Christ's life by focusing only on his death. The third is that it is blatantly Anti-Semitic and should be disregarded because of that. I am of the first opinion, and since many of that camp have already voiced their opinion, both here on the boards, Harry Knowles, and Ebert and Roeper have supported that group, I feel no need to go into that too far. I will instead give my opinion on the other two. Let's start with the complaint on violence. First of all, if you went to see the film expecting anything other then what you got, you my friend have either been living in a hole or have a brain the size of a peanut. In which case, if you are the latter, I'm surprised you were able to buy a ticket and find your seat. Every paper, magazine, entertainment show, news show, everywhere they were telling us one thing. This is a film about the last 12 hours of Jesus' life and is extremely violent. If that wasn't beaten into your head by the time it was released, I have no pity for your revulsion. Now on to the real argument. This is history folks. Whether you like it or not, this happened to Christ, (if you believe it, as I do), and this is what it would have been like to be there. The pain, the agony, every aspect of it. What you see on that screen is as close as you can and ever will get to jumping in a Delorean and going back in time to see it for yourself. That it focuses on this part of Christ's life does not make it singleminded. I don't know what movie you saw, but this film showed me his pain, suffering, and how His teachings, through flashbacks, applied to His ultimate sacrifice. You see, what he endured was the final culmination of all his teachings. It was the final test, to show that if he can keep these tenants while going through things we could never fathom, then we should have no trouble at all keeping them in daily life. I am a Catholic. I go to Mass on Sundays, and when I see the Crucifix, I am instantly humbled. The main difference to me between a Protestant and a Catholic is not their beliefs or their love for God and His Son, but by the way they choose to show that devotion. A Protestant revels in God and Christ. They sing, they get excited, they CELEBRATE the Lord. If that works for you, SO BE IT. I don't care, because anyway that makes you feel closer to God is hunk dory with me. I, however, prefer the Catholic faith because of it's reverence. In our eyes we are nothing but servants to Him. We are his children, but when I get down on that damned uncomfortable kneeler and look up at the windows and statues, I feel closer to Him then I do in, say, a Baptist church. That doesn't make me wrong, or those Baptists wrong, but it sure as hell does not make me wrong and them right, or vice versa. Like that preference, this movie will be accepted depending upon yours. Is Christ something to celebrate, or is his pain something you feel you must meditate on. It's up to you. About that Anti-Semitism, I didn't find it. WATCH THE FUCKING MOVIE GUYS!!! He looks up, sees Caiphas and all his fellow Priests as he gets close to Golgotha, and has a flashback. What does he say in that flashback? "No man takes my life from me. I lay it down of my own accord." How much more plainly can it be stated that these men, no one man is responsible!? OPEN YOUR EYES!! He came here to die, He came here to show us who he was, He came here to suffer for our sins so that our hearts might be clean. He did so, and blamed no one for it. He did it of his own conviction. To come out and see this film bashes Jews is to look on the surface and not use that pink, fleshy muscle known to some as a brain. That's it, I'm done with this tirade.

  • "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4) What I dont understand is that you automatically believe what the bible says about Jesus. A lot of pagan (Greek) influence has been added to the original story. People used to believe in the elder times, that God had sons or daughters, or that there where several gods, just as the Greeks used to believe. This has been added to the original religion of Jesus. They added that Jesus was the son of God (so now God can beget children, like humans and animals, I mean come'on.) they also added that according the so called trinitarians, that God exist in three, namely, the father, son and the holy ghost and together the are God?? I mean, is not not ONE? Don't you guys never read the 10 comandments, remember the first commandment? Well in hebrew one reads : Shema Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. Translated it means: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4) . This is the basic principle of Judaism and of Islam. God says in the Quran: "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (The Noble Quran, 112:1-4)" One can say that Judaism and Islam are more compatible (if I can use this word) to the teaching of Jesus. Jesus himself was a devouted Jew and no God nor a son of God. He prayed to the ONE God, let us look at Luke 5:16 "And he (Jesus) withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed to his God." And Matthew 26:39 "And going a little way forward, he (Jesus) fell upon his face, praying and saying 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.' " And Hebrew 5:7 "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." Question, can God be temped by the devil? Answer:no! Why? God is the creator of the heavens and earth and of all the creatures and none has any power against Him, that is because all power belongs to God. God was and is the Creator of Lucifer. It is aburd to believe that Lucifer himself would try to deceive God, while he knows that God is the Al-Knowing, the Al-Mighty. Look at what Jesus said to Lucifer in the Bible: Mathew 4:8-10 "Again the devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him: All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me. Then Jesus said to him: God away Satan! For it is written, It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone, you must render sacred service." In this statement of Jesus, he actually tells Lucifer (or Satan or the Devil, or whatever you want to call him) that he (jesus) is not God, nor is Lucifer God. He makes a distinction between the Creator and the creatures. So how can someone believe that Jesus is God or a son of God, when the devil himself tried to temp or deceive Jesus? That is because Jesus is NOT a son of God or God himself, he is just human, like you and me (besides the fact that he did miracles, but he was not the only one who did miracles, Moses did them and other prophets did miracles, some even greater than the miracles of Jesus himself. But the fact that these people or prophet performed miracles, doesn

  • March 12, 2004, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Brittany Danel makes me think sin

    by MyGlockYourMouth

    That lady has sex and sin written all over her.

  • March 12, 2004, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Why I love Harry...

    by MyGlockYourMouth

    He tends to nail things. This is one. Great review Harry. You are going to take a lot of shit for this one; but you are one beautiful bastard. Stand tall. You make movies great; that is all I will say about you. So "haters" does that make me "queer" that I respect this man? Fuck you.

  • March 12, 2004, 8:11 a.m. CST

    "If you are so offended and disturbed by this film" In my case

    by minderbinder

    You're hearing what you want to hear. The complaints about "too much violence" aren't that it is so offensive, but that it is so redundant. Personally, I don't care about how much violence is in a movie, unless it's an excuse to avoid having characters and plot. And of course I knew what the movie was going to be about before I watched it (VCD bootleg, sorry guys I don't plan on lining Mel's pockets). Just because it's common knowledge that the film is violent and is only the last 12 hours, that still doesn't make it a good film. If I made a film of myself taking a dump for two hours, does it somehow become immune to criticism just because I call it "Billy Takes a Dump"? "How can you complain?? You knew what the film was going to be about..."

  • March 12, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST

    no one will read this

    by TheGinger Twit

    Cut all those scenes with Satan, the wrath of God, the resurrection and the Roman stabbing him.... you'd have a real winner of a film. Satan just makes the whole thing wierd. The wrath of God never happened in the bible. Nor did the Roman stabbing Christ. And that resurrection... Jesus ... for on thing, in the Bible it was made clear he had no wounds. In the film he had two gapping holes in his hands. Plus, in the bible, the nails went into his wrist. This was to lock him into place and not have him slip off.

  • March 12, 2004, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Point Q

    by littleboy

    I doubt the sources you are getting this from. Assuming your practice Islam I know that muslims believe that Christians and Jewish misinterprit Allah's word. Rather than being spoon fed (excuse me if I'm wrng and my apologies) about what Christianity teaches how about actually reading the bible and making research on your own? It's the people of Islam that considered the children of God as gods. Coincidentaly I found this on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel#Hierarchy and I quote "Islamic views A belief in angels is central to the religion of Islam, beginning with the belief that the Quran was dictated to the Prophet Muhammed by the angel Gabriel. In the Quran, Jewish and Gnostic angelologies seem to be intermingled. In Muhammed's time the old >>Arabian<< goddesses (Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat) were spoken of as angels and daughters of God (Quran, sura xxxvii.

  • March 12, 2004, 11:31 a.m. CST

    One more thing

    by littleboy

    Now for the part of Jesus being the son of God. I happen to know,however I am not an expert on Islam and don't claim to be, muslims beleive that Jesus is not the son of God becuase God cannpot proccreate in such a manner. It's all amatter of context In a sense the Father is equeall to creater. Also no one said that one need to procreate biologically to be someones father. btw-- the nail in the wrist ahs been disprovene and shown that they indeed nail people though the palms. Also one of the disciples did touch Jesus wound after the ressuretion.

  • March 12, 2004, 11:55 a.m. CST

    The prophecy held that in 2000 years christ would return. THIS i

    by TheGinger Twit

    Good old Ned Flanders is taking Rod and Todd to see this film... and now they are all asking 'Why do we worship this man?' Dies for our sins? No, That's a misinterpretation. Jesus was crusified to saves his people, because if he were allowed to live then his followers would be made to suffer. I can't believe this bullshit has overrun our society.

  • March 12, 2004, 11:56 a.m. CST

    PASSION HAS BROKEN THE JEW TABOO

    by THE DUDERINO

    ever since the holocaust, it's been a taboo to present jews in a negative light. what jews really fear about 'passion' is that it might bring jews down to human level. this means jews and their power, influence, and deeds can be scrutinized like that of everyone else. jews want to maintain the special priveleged status like the one israel enjoys with the US. jews know they have alot of power. they know their hands are just as dirty as those of anglos, germans, french, russians in the oppression, exploitation, and imperialism of the 19th and 20th century. jewish bankers have financed tyrants, bankrolled german military machine, and invested in western imperialism. no, jews were not worse than others but as a powerful minority, they participated in all the evils of europe, just as jews were also instrumental in every positive development of western society--science, arts, social reform, national prosperity, etc. prior to WWII jewish influence was primarily seen in a negative light. after world war II and the holocaust, jews have been mainly seen in a positive light. in the US, almost ONLY in the positive light. in fact, most movies based on jewish misdeeds have been anglo-cized. for example, tim robbins plays a typical jewish hollywood tycoon but as a wasp. gordon gekko is based on a jewish corporate raider and but presented in typical wasp style(michael douglas, though jewish, is of classic wasp mold). also, since jews have pretty much dominated the media in the US, jews whitewashed themselves. but, passion dares to present jews as not nobler-than-the-rest but equally capable of bigotry, fear, paranoia, hysteria, and brutality. it doesn't say jews were worse; it only says they're just like the rest of us. this is what bothers the jewish groups in america. the jewish groups want SPECIAL recogntion and protection of jews and jewish image. while it's okay to show good anglo and bad anglo, or good german and bad german, or good japanese and bad japanese, jews demand that ONLY good jews be shown. for example, anyone who dares to make a movie about jewish atrocities against palestinians is going to be hounded as an anti-semite and virtually blacklisted from hollywood. gibson has violated this unwritten law, and what jews fear is they will come under equal scrutiny as other ethnic groups. this is bad for 2 reasons. the argument for israel argument will become more tenuous. only through special recognition from the US has Israel been able to maintain a defacto apartheid system. now, whether this system is justifiable for israel's survival against the barbarous and vengeful arabs is another--and valid--issue. but, israel IS a western colonialist and discrimatory state. no nation other than US and its puppets recognizes the validity of israel's actions against the palestinians. gibson's movie has successfully broken the taboo for three reasons. gibson, like george lucas, has defied the jewish hollywood stanglehold on big movie financing and made his own movie. secondly, it has weathered the fierce storm of controversy. jewish activists and press have used every dirty smear campaign trick against gibson--even dragging his father's embarassing and nutty views into the open(hoping to see gibson lose his cool and throw some anti-semitic tantrum)--but, gibson has remained calm and reasonable, making jews look paranoid, hysterical, bullying, intolerant, censorious, self-righteous, and hypocritical. thirdly, passion has not only won over some critics but has triumphed at the box office. jews will now try to punish gibson because gibson has broken the jew taboo, just as spike lee's jungle fever broke the black male/white female taboo. gibson has challenged the jewish demand for affirmative action in portrayal of jewish image. jewish argument is that jewish image need speical protection and promotion because of the centuries of christian slander and oppression. while this has some validity, ultimately truth and balance are worthier goals than favoritism. in this sense, gibson's Passion has brought jews down to the level of humanity, warts and all.

  • March 12, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST

    oh god

    by perryfarrell

    once again, everyone shut the fuck up. this movie was very, very pretty. and it was about jesus. great. no one will care in 5 years.

  • March 12, 2004, 12:40 p.m. CST

    gingertwat, have you even looked at what the bible says?

    by minderbinder

    "The wrath of God never happened in the bible." Well, the temple splitting in two did if that's what you mean. "Nor did the Roman stabbing Christ." That's in there too. "in the Bible it was made clear he had no wounds" I guess you've never heard of doubting Thomas? Christ shows him the holes to get him to believe. "in the bible, the nails went into his wrist" Wrong again. (not that I'm saying it's historically accurate, but at least the movie agrees with the book on those points) It's odd to be "defending" this movie, but hell, at least get your facts straight. And don't make me quote the book at you, 'cause I will.

  • March 12, 2004, 1:42 p.m. CST

    littleboy

    by Point_Q

    The sources which I used is the bible you read! I have quoted the chapter en verse numbers in my previous message, so read it again please. And as for your angels being the daughters of Allah, that is not true, As I explained previously, God does not beget nor was God begotten, God only creates, that why he is called the Creator. And bring me your evidence of your so called daughters of Allah from the Quran that Allah has daughters. The Quran is pointing out the contradiction in their beliefs (pagans), that they ascribed daughters to Allah (God), but preferred to have sons themselves! But Allah clearly say that he does not BEGET, so no sons for Allah and no daughters!! Those where the beliefs of the pagans and Muhammed (pbuh) was sent by God to the whole mankind, telling them that there is one God. After all religions and books (yes including the bible had been tampered en changed) He revealed te last book (Quran) to the last Prophet. And certainly, it is also a point of belief in Islam that muslims are also awaiting the return of Jesus, the Messias, son of Mary. I will quote the following verses you point from the Quran, cause I assume that you didn't read it well. God says in the Quran 37:150 -- 158 : "Then ask them whether your Lord has daughters and they have sons. Now surely it is of their own lie that they say: Allah has begotten; and most surely they are liars. Has He chosen daughters in preference to sons? What is the matter with you, how is it that you judge? Will you not then mind? Or have you a clear authority? Then bring your book, if you are truthful. And they assert a relationship between Him and the jinn(spirits); and certainly the jinn do know that they shall surely be brought up; Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the things they ascribe (to Him)! " so littleboy, if this is not clear enough to proof that your claim is wrong then I will give you other numerous proofs in the Quran that God does not beget and is not begotten and does not share any authority. God is not three as most christians think, God is one. God is not the holy ghost, nor is God Jesus. God is the creator of Jesus and the Holy Ghost.

  • March 12, 2004, 4:43 p.m. CST

    TheGingerTwit

    by darthhaole

    Just wondering if you'd seen my response to you a couple days ago. If not, just do I find for darthhaole (I think I only posted twice before in this particular talkback. Peace.

  • March 12, 2004, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Point_Q

    by darthhaole

    The Trinity is a difficult concept to grasp, but is well supported in the Bible. You have to understand that in order to grasp any Biblical concept (such as the Trinity), you have to gather all available texts and then try and piece together the truth. No one text will suffice. Leaving some out, will lead you to the wrong conclusion. Of course, just as it is impossible to empty the ocean into a bucket, it is impossible to explain the characteristics of God in simple human terms. The Trinity is simply a word that tries to explain the Biblical concept of God. As of taste, I would recommend that you read the 1st chapter of Hebrews, especially keying in on verses 8-12. Here for example, God the Father says to Jesus the Son: "Your throne O God is forever and ever... and in verse 9 the Father continues "...Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions"...and in verse 10 continues by calling the Son Lord saying "You, Lord , in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands...". Clearly, here the Father is referring to the Son as God, Lord, and Creator. If you'd like to have a Bible study on the matter, click my name, darthhaole, and send me an email. I'd be glad to chat with you. Jesus clothed his Divinity with Humanity for the short time that He walked this planet. He voluntarily "turned off", if you will, His God "side" to be fully human while He was here and was fully dependent on God the Father for all things Divine. He did this for many reasons, probably even some not revealed in scripture. This also makes for an interesting study. Peace.

  • March 12, 2004, 5:23 p.m. CST

    As religious symbols go, crosses are kind of morbid, don't you t

    by chasfkane

    And bloody, dying Jesus on the cross is even more morbid. I think Bill Hicks got it right: "A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see a fucking cross?"

  • March 13, 2004, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Great review Harry; I disagree but repect your thought

    by MyGlockYourMouth

    It's why I keep comming back to your website. Thank you.

  • March 13, 2004, 2:35 a.m. CST

    curious

    by Billuism

    Has anyone else ever noticed that alot of the things that Jesus preached/said was communist? I always felt that it was odd that no one ever brought that up. Maybe it's just my interpretation of the bible, so I'm by no means trying to say it's so, but would like to hear if others felt the same way or not.

  • March 13, 2004, 8:45 a.m. CST

    darthhaole -- 82% of the words in the bible are not directly fr

    by Point_Q

    please visit : http://www.answering- christianity.com/at.htm There you can find answers on the trinity concept. It is not my website, I wish. Second, there is no saying, I repeat, saying of Jesus (peace be upon him) telling that he is a part of the so called trinity or that God exist in three, he never told en preached that, he told people my God and your God, plain simple. Please read my previous comments on this talkback. He (Jesus) didn't teach people about the trinity and he didn't teach people to worship him. He taught people to worship the one true God. My God and your God he said(again). He also said that he has no power, and that all power belongs to God and that on his own (Jesus) he cannot do anything, everything is the will of the father. I wont go in detail again, Jesus testified of the first commandment, and those are his own (according to the new testament) words. The bible contains a lot of contradictions, that it cannot be read asp the word of God. Because in my opinion, God is perfect. so are his books perfect and contain no contradicions in it. The gospel of Jesus(pbuh) doesnt exist anymore. Please read : http://www.answering-christianity. com/sake11.htm there you can find that 82% of words of the bible are not from Jesus. The Quran is simple, it does not come with mathematics about God, it clearly says like the first commandment: The Lord is one. There is no vague text about any division in three or 4 or milions like the hindus believe. It is simple and clear. God says in the last book of revelations, the Quran: "O people of the Book! Now has come unto you Our messenger, revealing to you much of what you used to hide in the Book, and passing over much. Indeed, there has come to you from God a light and a plain Scripture (The Noble Quran, 5:15)". Jesus is the son of man and the servant of God and so is Muhammad the servant of God, peace be upon both messengers of God. Muslims are the ones who accept all messengers and do not reject any of them. Unlike Jews who disbelieved in Jesus and Christians who disbelieve in Muhammad. And as you know, the Muslims are awaiting the second coming of the Messias (yes Jesus, son of Mary, messenger of God). Muslims are the ones who pray like Jesus and the previous Prophets, bowing down with the forehead on the ground, that was the way Jesus (pbuh) prayed, humble, sincere,with fear for God as a true servant and slave of God. It is written in the (so called)gospels. The philosophy of christianity is not based on the words of Jesus, but on the words of the so called authors of the gospels, the 82% of the new testament. The Holy Quran is 100% the word of God, revealed to the last messenger of God, Muhammad (who is mentioned in the old and new testament, please read: http://www.answering-christianity.com/predict.htm) and next to the Holy Quran, we have numerous sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Islam is clear and simple.

  • March 13, 2004, 9:15 a.m. CST

    *sigh*

    by drjones

    indeed i`m quite happy if harry takes a pacifistic message with him out of this movie but the christian message is NOT to ACCEPT YOUR FATE WHATEVER IT IS. that was the medieval attitude:"let it be.....it`s god

  • March 13, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Though a very good movie, PASSION OF THE CHRIST is not , in my o

    by JohnnyTremaine

    The best ever Jesus movie is Franco Zeffirelli's JESUS OF NAZARETH, an 8-hour miniseries. Rent that at Blockbuster or anywhere else----great acting, cinematography, etc. And for a television mini-series, probably one of the best ever made, right up there with ROOTS.

  • March 14, 2004, 4:36 a.m. CST

    I hope someone sees this message....

    by ethandarkseid

    Because even if you don't agree with mel gibsons religion or his film, you can at least see the obvious BIAS evident in the rottentomatoes.com website. It's like this: on the front page of rotten tomatoes it shows that "passion" has scored a "splat" which means that the majority of reviews are negative. Well, when you look at the "passion" page you can see that the number of positives is greater than the negative ones. Look for yourself...this was copieddirectly from rottentomatoes: Reviewscounted: 199 Fresh: 103 Rotten: 96 Average Rating: 6.6/10 Rottentomatoes is a horrible site and they should be ashamed of themselves. I'm no bible thumper (after all...I do visit AICN on a regular basis lol) or anything like that ......but I do recognize bias and blatant hatemongering when i see it. I've emailed them about it but they won't respond. So I'm asking my fellow talkbackers to email rottentomatoes untill they correct this error or monitor the scores as closely as they seem to monitor it for such crap as starsky and hutch. heres the link: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ThePassionoftheChrist-1129941/ and notice on the front page they adversise this movie as being an overall "splat" heres the page to voice your opinion: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/pages/contact thanks.

  • March 14, 2004, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Darthhalo

    by TheGinger Twit

    I was raised with christians and bible readings and honestly I think I just read into it different meanings to what everyone teaches. And when I see this film all I see if is a man being tortured to death... and for what? There's more important things in MY world. Sorry.

  • March 14, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Pratt's the right handle for him/her GingerTwit

    by Pontsing Barset

    NT

  • March 14, 2004, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Two hour dump minderbinder?

    by Pontsing Barset

    There's this stuff called Metamucil, you know?

  • March 14, 2004, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Amen to the mutliple sources darthahole (sorry, couldn't resist)

    by Pontsing Barset

    Interesting explanation of the Trinity. Ever heard of the Council of Nicaea/Nicea?

  • March 14, 2004, 4:52 p.m. CST

    You didn't read the fine-prin ethandarseid.

    by Pontsing Barset

    A movie has to get over 60% overall positive reviews to get ranked as 'fresh'. TPOTC (hey they stole Pirate's acronym!) is only at 52% positive. Here's what the site has to say about the 'average rating'stat: How is the Average Rating calculated? Each critic's original rating scale (star, letter grade, numeric) is converted to a 1-10 scale, and then an average is produced based on the converted rating scale. Reviews without original ratings are not counted, and a minimum of five reviews with original ratings is required.

  • March 14, 2004, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Hmmm, the k and d on this keyboard appear to function intermitte

    by Pontsing Barset

    <N >

  • March 14, 2004, 5 p.m. CST

    T for 2... *sigh*

    by Pontsing Barset

  • March 14, 2004, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Pontsing Barset

    by darthhaole

    Hey thanks for the affirmation. I have heard of the council of Nicaea, Nicea. Held in 325 to settle issues over the divinity of Christ/the nature of God etc. Some assume that the doctrine of the Trinity found it's origin at this council but I disagree. I believe that as it was a concept taught by the Apostles (though never called the "Trinity" in scripture) and was already understood by Christians the world over before the council was held. Honestly though, I really don't pay much attention to early Church history or pronouncements other than to be informed. I try to base my personaly "theology" on what I can learn from scripture and not what anyone else has "decided" over the years. Peace

  • March 14, 2004, 6:13 p.m. CST

    The GingerTwit

    by darthhaole

    That's cool man. Just wanting to answer your question from my perspective. I've found a philosophy that totally makes sense to me and offers me hope for the future. You've found a different one. If you ever want to chat, just email me. If not, I'll see you around the AICN boards. Take care.

  • March 14, 2004, 6:20 p.m. CST

    mynameisnobody

    by darthhaole

    by the way, my post to Pontsing Barset regarding early church history was in no way meant as a slam to you for quoting early church writings/leaders. So please don't take it that way. I just think we need to have one foundation for truth on which we base our understanding of the divine. Of course other sources/writers can be helpful, but only as they are in harmony with that singular foundation. Mine is the Bible. I just take to heart Paul's warning in Acts 20:28-31. Peace.

  • March 15, 2004, 12:24 a.m. CST

    The Power of the Passion is Truth

    by AntoniusBloc

    If the history of Jesus Christ's life was simply the story of a wise and respected teacher of moral lessons, such as the stories of Confucius or Buddha, then Jesus, and a historically accurate film about his life, would not be controversial. If the history of Jesus was simply that of a man whose purpose was to give wise, practical, moral lessons, then the fact that he was a legitimate historical figure based on reliable historical sources would not be questioned by the modern mind, and the many throughout two thousand years of history that have arrogantly sought and wrongly predicted Christianity's demise. Since its profound and unprecedented immediate growth following the death and resurrection of Christ, Christianity has been attacked, threatened, and challenged in every way possible, yet has endured and gotten stronger outlasting civilizations, empires, myths and has met the intellectual challenges of various competing philosophies, theologies, in addition to logically answering the claims of contradiction to scientific discoveries. The power of Christianity lies in its message of Truth, and the deliverance of its message as Truth. The power of the film, therefore, lies in its realistic portrayal of the historical foundation for that Truth. Why is Christianity attacked and a film about the life and death of Christ controversial? Because the story is NOT about a man who is simply a wise teacher of morality and practical ways of living. At the burning bush, Moses asks God what his name is, and God replies I AM. As shown in Gibson

  • March 15, 2004, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Black Caesar, I salute you.

    by Mr T

    "Jesus Christ was the ultimate Liberal With all his loving and forgiving. If Jesus were alive today, he'd be called a pacifist liberal tree hugging queer. And this would be by Christians." The irony has never been so perfectly pointed out. Amazing how so few "Christians" actually follow Jesus's teachings. Imagine if some scruffy guy with long hair told George Bush (for example) that he should love his enemies and not to judge others, lest he be judged...

  • March 15, 2004, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Dang AntoniusBloc...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... the brain-washers really did a number on you didn't they?

  • March 15, 2004, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Point_Q

    by littleboy

    Touche, [sp?] nice comeback. However you misread what I wrote. The info what I got about the Arabs claiming about the angels being sons and daughters of God was from an online encyclopedia "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel#Hierarchy " they give a list of their sources. Let me ask you something. Yes I admit that God is the Creator but can't the Creator also be seen as a Father figure? Remeber one can be someone elses father without biologicaly procreating them. Dictionary.com uses the verb fathered as "To act or serve as a father to (a child). To create, found, or originate. To acknowledge responsibility for. To attribute the paternity, creation, or origin of. To assign falsely or unjustly; foist." Also the title Father in hebrew isn't used in the way it is used in english. The word abba can mean Creater, Father,progenitor and it has no gender meaning at all when reffering to God. Interesting about what you said about the muslims waiting for the return of the mssiah. I was told the opposite by somone studying the qu ran. Could it be denominational differences perhaps? Aren't there different types of muslims?

  • March 15, 2004, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Hollywood's Answer? "TC10: The Ten Commandments: Rise of a Natio

    by Funmazer

    Here's why: (1) It's safer than a Jesus movie but still religious (2) It has the whole "swords & sandals" thing goin' on that made Gladiator (and likely Troy) mega-bucks. (3) Hollywood can make a religious movie AND get to put in their beloved CGI "crowds of thousands" (that still won't be as impressive as 10,000 or so REAL PEOPLE in DeMille's) (4) It can have TONS of special FX, which they love (5) They'll get to spend a TON of money on it, it could EASILY go past the $200 mil mark. (But that's OK because it's a "sure thing") (6) It can star Ashton Kutcher as Moses and Beyonce Knowles as his wife.

  • March 16, 2004, 1:13 a.m. CST

    The NY Times headline: "Hollywood Rethinking Faith Films after P

    by JohnnyTremaine

    This article in the Times basically says how bigwig studio executives are baffled by the success of Passion and are eager but confused about how to emulate its success. Hey, Hollywood guys, here's some advice, no charge: make a film with religious themes, that is reverent, respectul and GOOD. How about (slap on forehead) a well-made, G-Rated family film about the Birth of Christ. You have a snearing villain in Herod, and your heroes are Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men. Just get Francis Coppolla, a Roman Catholic, to write and direct. There, easy box-office blockbuster, which will also sell like hotcakes on DVD and able to re-run on TV every holiday season ad infinitum.

  • March 16, 2004, 4:51 a.m. CST

    eh.

    by thegreatlexini

    Whomever said that Jesus would be rejected by most Christians these days, they're totally right. Hey maybe we'll get lucky and he'll arrive with "what would jesus do?" and these really spiffy nail necklace thingies!!! There is nothing more pathetic than the commerical Buddy Christ. That he had no message other than to die, that he had no teachings, that he did not heal people. That's the reason that I won't be seeing this movie. All anyone wants to see Jesus, is on the verge of death. Pathetic.

  • March 16, 2004, 8:36 a.m. CST

    "here's some advice, no charge: make a film with religious them

    by minderbinder

    You really think that's why it did well? More like make one that's filled with violence to make it more "emotional", panders to your audience, and most importantly keep an iron hand on your spin machine by only screening it for the flock, fabricating quotes from the Pope and convince pastors and "believers" to do your advertising work for you, Amway style.

  • March 16, 2004, 3:27 p.m. CST

    people have lost their minds

    by oscarnut

    I just don't get it! How is it that a film with the word (name) Christ in it must bring out the bad in all movie-goers. Comments made by many, including Duderino, who feel that this film is good for society because Jews now are "brought down" to a certain level with other groups is perposterous. Gibson's film is beautifully directed, the cinematography is remarkable, and is definately a landmark achievement in the aesthetics of movie-making. HOWEVER, this film has many gaps in story-telling and the violence separates the audience from the story Gibson is "trying to tell". All of that aside, we should not be criticizing Gibson for his latest project (there are many propoganda films that are cinematic pieces of art ...eg - Leni Reifenstahl nazi films of the '30s), what should be condemned is a underscoring hatred this man has to a community... disregarding responsibility to his loved audience, defending the words of anti-semetic publications, and his avoidance of direct questions in regard to his father's views. Mel, a word of advice from a "former fan", if you want to show your Passion to millions of people world-wide than you should at least have the courtesy of CLEARLY vocalizing your beliefs to those same millions WHY we shouldn't feel the way I do. SHAME ON YOU MEL!

  • March 17, 2004, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Passion of the Nutjob

    by WoodyStiffer

    Mel Gibson is one crazy ass fruitcake.

  • March 19, 2004, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, to describe Christians as "brainswashed" shows ignoran

    by AntoniusBloc

    Usually when one does not have a logical response, one resorts to name calling. Yet, if Christians are simply part of a brainwashed cult of sheeple, then how does one explain history during the last two thousand years of its existence? History itself contradicts the ridiculous notion that Christianity is simply a cult. Lee Strobel makes the point strongly in this statement:

  • March 19, 2004, 8:53 a.m. CST

    The Passion 2!!!!!!!

    by Hell is Home

    Jesus returns in the all-out bloodfest, "Jesus Goes To Hell: The Final Easter". Gibson was quoted as saying, "I realized that i could juyst slap on the name Jesus to any peice of shit film i could think of, and all those Christian Cocksuckers would still eat it up!" The storyline as of now is, Jesus is dead, but durring the autopsy his foreskin is eaten my the Medical Examiner, allowing Jesus to posses him and use his body to get revenge on those who wronged him. I personally cannot wait for this film! And if they cast Hulk Hogan as Jesus we might have another hit on our hands!

  • March 21, 2004, 7 p.m. CST

    Bladerunner, The power of Christianity and its unprecedented rap

    by AntoniusBloc

    The appeal of Christianity was and remains its universality, appealing to all classes, whether poor, middle class, rich; all races, all cultures, all professions, all levels of intellect. Your explanation of its rise ignores the explanation of its unprecedented spurt of growth almost immediately following the Resurrection(before it became an official religion of any state), when substantial facts could possibly have been used by its powerful enemies to refute its miraculous truth. No convincing evidence could be found to refute the witnessing of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The problem is those facts that could have refuted these miraculous historical events did not exist. The early Christians who began the movement were of various economic classes, not just the poor, and the historical fact is all were willing to die for a movement that was persecuted by the powerful political institutions of the time(however,not by suicide or by taking other innocent lives along with them, or murder). In your post, Bladerunner, you argue: "If you want to esxplain the endurance of christianity, well, call if cultural inertia. And the fact that the object of dedication is imaterial and insubstantial just makes it more hard to be left behind." Cultural inertia would be an inaccurate description of a movement that has lasted over 2000 years and outlived the civilizations that at first embraced it and then tried to discard it. History has shown the fall of the civilization and the rise of Christianity again, at renewed strength. As G.K. Chesterton points out in The Everlasting Man, "Christianity does appeal to a solid truth outside itself; to something which is in that sense external as well as eternal. It does declare that things are really there; or in other words that things are really things. In this Christianity is at one with common sense; but all religious history shows that this common sense perishes except where there is Christianity to preserve it.

  • March 25, 2004, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Lutheran

    by keevans

    This movie is similar to The Exorcist-- lots of mayhem with lots of theology, a religious movie you can't take your kids to see. The current American view of "Christians" as those who want a "Buddy Jesus" and lots of empty, sanitary crosses is being challenged. Lutherans and Episcopalians, by the way, reject the "happiness is an empty cross" theology and for the most part embrace the crucifix.

  • March 26, 2004, 3:12 a.m. CST

    My definition of Christianity:

    by Robert Blake

    Once, there was this hippie dude who said "peace and love, brother". Some other dudes didn't dig that, and killed the hippie dude. Two thousand years later, you are expected to think this shit is somehow relevant to your life.

  • March 26, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Ok Antonius, you know some history...

    by Pontsing Barset

    So why is it that you can't see that Christianity, as practiced on Planet Earth amounts to little more than a 2000 year attempt to supplant Judaism and exterminate its adherents? I'll tell you why: Because you have made a leap of faith and the facts don't matter to you anymore. Jesus was a Jewish teacher - deal with it.

  • March 26, 2004, 3:32 p.m. CST

    An atheist's plea

    by The Jailer

    I haven't seen it yet so, as a totally committed atheist, I want to know if there is anything in this film for me (apart from gore). Should I bother with it or just go see Dawn of the Dead instead ?

  • March 26, 2004, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Did white people murder Christ?

    by Dewi

    I read long ago that during the Haitian revolution about 200 years ago many of the rebel slaves shouted that they were avenging the death of Christ: "Les blancs L'ont tue: tuons les blancs!". Maybe this is a fable - does anyone here know. Anyway, it's certainly true that to blame the entire white race for the murder of Christ is at least as logical as to blame the Jews for it. Some of Christ's killers were Jews, but all of them - Jewish and Roman alike - were white

  • March 26, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Did white people murder Christ?

    by Dewi

    I read long ago that during the Haitian revolution about 200 years ago many of the rebel slaves shouted that they were avenging the death of Christ: "Les blancs L'ont tue: tuons les blancs!". Maybe this is a fable - does anyone here know? Anyway, it's certainly true that to blame the entire white race for the murder of Christ is at least as logical as to blame the Jews for it. Some of Christ's killers were Jews, but all of them - Jewish and Roman alike - were white

  • It's all a conspiracy for crackers to take over the eart- AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 30, 2004, 10:56 p.m. CST

    JC had it easy.

    by Wild At Heart

    I've been reading a book about atrocities of the Roman Emperors (Of a matter of mered decades after Christ's death - and resurrection, if that's your bag; not mine ). How different would religious iconography have been if Christ's execution had involved being sodomised to death by sex-crazed baboons. Believe me, no matter how Christ's fate might appear in this movie it's a virtual cakewalk compared to what happened to the many unfortunate Christian martyrs under Caligula, Nero and co.

  • March 31, 2004, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, you are the one ignoring the facts.Yes, Jesus was a Je

    by AntoniusBloc

    Pontsing, you obviously didn't read my posts because I support my arguments with historical facts. You tell me to deal with the historical fact that Jesus was a Jewish teacher. I have no problem with that, and happen to agree with that. I also agree, as many do, that Jesus was a wise and good teacher, who taught peace and love, and forgiveness. It is also a historical fact that he said repeatedly that he was the divine savior, the Messiah, which was his primary purpose, not simply to teach. It's a historical fact that although Jesus taught peace, he said himself that the fulfillment of his purpose would also cause division. That is why the Passion is so powerful, because that was the "mission" of Jesus, as Chesterton puts it; Jesus had a real purpose, not simply just to teach. So why shouldn't we believe somenone who is historically accepted by those of various faiths as a good, wise, and moral teacher? Also,how does one explain these historical FACTS:-the willingness of the disciples to die for what they experienced. -the Revolutionized lives of skeptics like James and Saul. -the radical changes in social structures cherished by Jews for centuries -the sudden appearance of Communion and baptism -the amazing emergence and growth of the Church.(and the speed of its growth) A growth that occurred almost immediately following the resurrection and ascension. One can only explain the power and endurance and growth of this movement by the truth of the miraculous Ressurection of Jesus. If the resurrection was not true, the many enemies of Christianity AT THE TIME could easily have refuted it, by producing a body or a specific alternate location of the body, and put down this movement, yet not even a legitimate alternate theory of what happened to the body of Jesus has endured history. Christianity not only overshadowed competing movements at the time and througout history, but put an end to mythology. Throughout history Christianity has survived various attacks, and has proven wrong countless predictions of its demise. Throughout history brilliant scientists and philosophers, two occupations which require skeptical questioning to reach the truth, have been convinced and even argued for the truth of Christianity. Rather than tell you to deal with these facts, Pontsing, I will only ask you to explain them. But as I pointed out in my earlier posts, not even the enemies of Christianity AT THE TIME of the Ressurection could come up with any solid and enduring historical facts that disputed its truth. Finally, you bring up the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition as if these historical events, and the simple fact that they happened, disputes the historical and factual truth of Christianity. In actuality, they are a reflection of a primary Christian philosophy: that we are all sinners; they reflect the Fall of man, and that weakness toward sin can corrupt and distort God's word. But simply pointing out that Christians commit sin, no matter how great, not only is a weak argument against the factual and historical truth of the Ressurection and Christian philosophy overall, but actually supports it.

  • March 31, 2004, 6:35 a.m. CST

    A British view

    by Bozzer

    Saw this on Teletext in UK Mel Gibson's brutal depiction of the last 12 hours of Jesus invents a whole new genre: religio-porn. Whatever anyone now says of this film, it's already a huge hit. The manna is raining down, if not from heaven, then from the millions of paying customers worldwide intrigued or appalled at the prospect of two unrelenting hours of floggings, flayings, scourgings and bloody crucifixion. The 18 certificate puts The Passion in the good company of, say, Last Tango and Emmanuelle

  • March 31, 2004, 9:32 a.m. CST

    Look mate, If I went around telling people I was devine....

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... they'd lock me up! All you said in that post is that what makes all the difference is that Jesus said he was (and therefore WAS, by your logic), 'Devine'. It's called a leap of faith Antonius, and there's nothing inherently wrong with it. It's only when it becomes something that divides people instead of drawing them together, that it becomes something bad. I wasn't using the Crusades and Inquisition to refute the origins and/or tenets of Christianity. I merely brought them to illustrate how Christianity has been PRACTICED over the last 2000 years. Supporting my assertion about the persecution of the Jews(?) ***"Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call; too many people have lied in the name of Christ that I can't believe at all".***

  • March 31, 2004, 12:30 p.m. CST

    You missed the point.

    by Moonrocks

    You say the point of the movie is to show Christ as the ultimate pascifist: not seeking andy sort of revenge even under the most dire torture. As a christian, I see a much deeper reason for Christ's suffering and martyrdom. Before Christ, God wasn't known for being very forgiving, as a matter of fact, he wasn't. It was either follow his way or suffer the consequences. This was because of the huge gap between God and man that came about after Eve introduced the good in evil (by eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) into the world. Jesus was a part of God, born as man, and he suffered and died to bear the brunt of thousands of years of sin that actually widened the gap between God and man. What Jesus brought was mercy and forgiveness so man could have the option to be reunited with God. He closed the Gap. THAT was the point. He wasn't just the ultimate pascifist, he made it possible again for man reach God while here on earth. So endeth the lesson......

  • March 31, 2004, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Never has a talkback been filled with so much crap

    by fevriul

    Its a fucking film people, for fucks sake, most horrors show worse. What particularly stupid is the amount of people, who have'nt even seen the fucking flim judgeing it. By the way it was the Romans, who flogged and crucified christ, yet no one says its Anti-Italian. There are Nazi's in various Indiana Jones flims, no one says their Anti-German, so why is this Anti-Semetic? For fuck sake, virtually everyone apart from the Romans are JEWISH!! Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism!!!!! Listen we all have shit in our pasts that we'er not happy about get the fuck over it.

  • April 1, 2004, 3:42 a.m. CST

    The Passion

    by WoodyStiffer

    Is only powerful to religious nutjobs who like to beat off about their "savior". The entire idea of someone dying for their "sins" is simply laughable. But enjoy your fantasy ya nutjobs. Oh, as Southpark has clearly shown, Mel Gibson likes to pinch his own nipples and rub his feces all over walls. That crazy ass douche.

  • April 2, 2004, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Again, Pontsing, you miss the point. And Woody, wake up.

    by AntoniusBloc

    Of course, if you, or anyone went around claiming to be divine they would be considered insane, but in all probability, a complete profile would indicate other symptoms of mental illness. History shows that Christ did not fit the profile of one who is insane; the profile of one who is insane contradicts the historical profile of Jesus being a wise, good, and peaceful teacher. You can

  • April 2, 2004, 10:36 a.m. CST

    okay

    by WoodyStiffer

    Like I said psycho, you believe anything you want to. And when you die Jesus will be there to reward you with chocolates and teddy bears for being such a good Christian. Weeeeeeeeee!!!!

  • April 2, 2004, 12:32 p.m. CST

    I haven't missed the point at all Antonius.

    by Pontsing Barset

    The point is: you believe, I do not. At least not in the: "holier than thou, accept Jesus as your personal savior or burn forever in hell, you are rejecting your birthright to salvation, your sins have been cleansed by the blood of the lamb", bollocks that Evangelicals and Born Against prattle on about. And there

  • April 2, 2004, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Erm, concerning dEvine vs dIvine, please reverse that in the pre

    by Pontsing Barset

    Oh and Antonius? "You can

  • April 2, 2004, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Pontsing Barset

    by darthhaole

    Pontsing, as you may have seen from some of my posts above, I'm a pretty conservative Christian....but I actually agree with some of your points (not all of course) and disagree with some points made by other Christians who have posted. I'm sure many Christians here disagree with my theology as it is sometimes outside of standard Evangelical thought. For instance, I believe the whole idea of an eternally burning Hell is a terrible misrepresentation of God's character, is based on faulty theology and is not as firmly grounded in scripture as most Christians have been lead to believe. Although a study of key texts can lead to the idea of Hell, a much deeper study of all available scripture on the subject will reveal a God that will definitely put an end to sin but it will be that *end* that is eternal, and not the suffering of sinners. The idea of Hell actually plays into Satan's claim that God is unjust, unlovable, and can only be served out of fear or hope for reward. The true message of the Bible, especially in light of the Cross is that God is Love. He is Just. He is truly worthy of our worship and praise, and as humans understand God's true character, they are enabled to fully worship Him from the heart. I'm not saying that Christians who accept Hell as truth are unable to love God, but I am saying they have a lot more baggage and are believing a lie. Many intelligent minds reject the entire idea of God because of this faulty doctrine. It's a shame. If you want some texts to prove my point, just ask. Moving on, I too believe people like Buddha, were also "enlightened." Anyone that puts that much emphasis on Love and peace is in a sense teaching what I believe to be God's true law. They may not have recognized the God of the Bible as their Creator and Lord, but they were in many ways teaching His message. I'd like to believe that if Buddha had been presented with a more "complete truth" that he too would have worshipped the one true God. Throughout history, I believe God has had many representatives...many outside of those generally recognized by Christianity. Some have had more "light" than others. I also believe there have been many who claim to be representing God, who have actually done Him a huge disservice. I personally believe that the Bible presents the fullest, the most complete picture of Divine truth that we have (I have many reasons for believing this), but it is not the only truth that God has ever revealed through human beings. Because I "believe" it is the most complete, I use it as my standard for "judging" the truth of other sources. However, it is certainly not my only source for learning about God. But it is my measuring stick. I would agree that certain aspects of modern Christianity leaves a lot to be desired. However, there are many wonderful Christians, and much good is to be found in the Church today. It is far from perfect and I really believe in real need of major reformation. I find it interesting that many of the gripes raised about Christianity by agnostics are actually in the areas where modern Christianity is out of line with scripture. Of course to believe in the Bible as being God's Word requires a degree of faith, but certainly not the huge leap that false doctrine and character misrepresentation have created. Let me know if you want to chat. Otherwise, have a great life and I'll see you around the AICN boards. Peace.

  • April 3, 2004, 11:59 a.m. CST

    POWERFUL MOVIE

    by titanrhg

    It was a brethtaking movie.I am 13 years old and i got the message.Every thing about the movie was breathtaking.It is the only movie tht has made me cry.It just was an amzing movie that should be seen by all.

  • April 4, 2004, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Passion

    by cowgirl2

    At last! Someone who can use the English language correctly and seems to have some sense of the artistic worth of films and is intelligent! I agree with the review as to what seemes to be the point Mel is making. As a follower of Jesus, I was hoping this would not be a disappointment, and am happy to say it was not. I was overwelmed at the sheer amount of violence at one point and just shut down in my mind and thought,"We know He's going to the cross; let's just get Him there and get this over with!" Then I realized I was simply watching an actor portraying what Jesus actually endured for hours, and I couldn't even stand to watch it for a few minutes! At that point, the tears started again and didn't stop until the end. And what an end! That's what Easter is all about; He doesn't stay dead!! Oh! I'm sorry! Did I give away the ending? Hope I didn't spoil the movie for you!

  • April 5, 2004, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, you continue to miss the point

    by AntoniusBloc

    You said,

  • April 5, 2004, 4:54 a.m. CST

    You continue to miss the point, Pontsing

    by AntoniusBloc

    You said,

  • April 7, 2004, 2:19 p.m. CST

    The Bible's Authenticity

    by Nathyn

    There's a whole breakdown on the Bible's authenticity at http://everystudent.com/features/bible.html#2 -NB

  • April 8, 2004, 6:18 p.m. CST

    gibson

    by CampNoLime

    Anyone who makes a movie where people cry for 2 hours is an asshole. I'm a film-maker and from seeing this, I'm never going to make a movie that purposely makes people feel bad. Seriously, just think about it. Mel Gibson is a jackass for making so many people cry. Whether it was so you would appreciate Jesus more, or not. There are better ways to do that. Mel Gibson is not God. Why is it you think his movie comes straight from God himself? It's dumb. I don't blame people who fell for this movie. The movie hurts a character you like. That can make you cry. I, personally, am not going to become Mel Gibson's bitch by praising this movie. Another thing, this woman I know thought it was a huge sin to have a bootleg copy of The Passion. It's just as much a bad thing as owning a bootleg of Eurotrip. The only person you're hurting is Mel Gibson. Jesus didn't bank-roll the movie. Mel's the one making money off of everyone's faith. Over All: Bad movie. Read the book, it's better.

  • April 10, 2004, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Three weeks later...

    by Sepulchrave

    ...and Gibson's movie is going through the roof all over the Arab world, bootleg copies everywhere. Apparently the VERY STRONG rereading that's taken hold is Jesus' body as Palestine itself, the Romans as American/Israeli troops and the Jews as modern Israelis. So Gibson has actually created a metaphor that condemns the paradigm that he seeks to exalt. And now that the US is turning Iraq into one huge Gaza Strip, it can only get hairier. what a fucking moron.

  • April 11, 2004, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Gibson and pornographic violence?

    by devxmike

    So many people think that Gibson simply had this running image in his head of a horrible, bloody Jesus snuff film, a very sick dream of his that he put on film. The truth is, Gibson's sacred texts include not only the Gospels but also the writings of Anne Catherine Emmerrich. He truly believes what she wrote. If you ever wade through THAT lengthy accounting of the Passion, you will see how much Gibson has toned it DOWN. Nearly ALL details of the movie not in the Gospels are in there. Some questions of sources that I hope to hear someday that I haven't found anywhere: why are demonic *children* tormenting Judas to suicide? and what's up with that crow plucking out the eye? *EVERYTHING* else is from either the Gospels or the Emmerich writing. Mel's being faithful to his faith (for the vast part), that's all.

  • April 13, 2004, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Only @ AICN

    by tequilaworm

    morons trash a movie with a message and love stupid shit with anything zombies, Hulk Hogan, Jack Black, Krull and beanpoles. DON'T GET ME WRONG...I am probably one of the worst sinners in the world and I am not conservative at all. I have never robbed (only when I took money from my dad's coat to go to the Arcade, I was about 10 yrs old...but Who hasn't done anything minor?), I have never killed (yet) but I am tempted with flesh. I have screwed around with married women and still wish to fuck some wives that I know. I AM NO SAINT and I have not been to church in years. If I die soon, I'll probably have a ticket to hell waiting for me...BUT GUESS WHAT? I try to be a good person with everybody SPECIALLY TO MY DAUGHTER. God knows I am a sinner but he also knows I am a good hearted person. I chose not to be blind when I saw the movie. The Passion is in no way anti-semitic. There were many Jews in the movie crying when Jesus was being tormented. Mel's point was to make you see the kind of love and heart Jesus must have in order to go through pain and than forgive. If I had gone through that torture, I probaly would have wished slow painful deaths to my tormentors and their children also. Every lashing he took, he did it for us because God knows we deserve it...CHEERS Amigos!

  • April 13, 2004, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Pontsing, you're still missing the point

    by AntoniusBloc

    You said,

  • April 16, 2004, 8:33 p.m. CST

    hip and cool

    by urquell

    for many years it has been the cool thing to joke about christianity.you would not say something that would offend your jewish or muslim friends,but the media has no problems offending the christian Believers,with a bit of luck this film will make us think twice about trash talking jesus.it would do the world no harm to be respectful of all religious beliefs.

  • April 24, 2004, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Still hammering away after all this time Antonius?

    by Pontsing Barset

    It's YOU that are missing the point. What I've been saying in various ways is that the whole concept of "the fall of man" is a crock of shit. Christianity is MAN MADE like ALL religions, but is is the ONLY one that revolves around the idea of original sin and man's redemption through the sacrifice of the blood of the lamb. To quote a certain Zen Master (who's name escapes me at present) speaking about modern Christianity: "God against Man, Man against God, Man against Nature, Nature against man, God against Nature - very funny religion!" The stories in the Bible are METAPHORES; they are not literally true. You've yet to address the way that Christianity is actually practiced. The whole concept of missionarys is EVIL: Oh! we HAVE to save the poor savages from themselves! Nevermind that we're going to destroy their culture and environment, and exploit them economically in the process. WE are RIGHT, and all those other religions are FALSE. There's no such thing as a Buddhist missionary my friend. You need to expand your horizons and read something other than the MYTHOLOGY contained in the Bible if you want to participate in an intelligent discussion about comparative Theology.

  • April 24, 2004, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Pontsing, your Zen Master is way off

    by AntoniusBloc

    Pontsing, you obviously are not reading my posts carefully because I address every point you have made. In my last post I specifically mentioned the way Christianity is practiced. Briefly, my point was that Christians are human, given free will, and susceptible to sin. Original sin tells us that we are not perfect and can be tempted to turn our backs on our Creator through sin. Therefore, the WAY Christianity is practiced will also be imperfect. That doesn

  • April 24, 2004, 3:01 p.m. CST

    last sentence edit:. Christianity is truly original in this char

    by AntoniusBloc

    Christianity is truly original in this characteristic, along with its historical basis. One can only describe the spreading of this Truth as good.

  • April 25, 2004, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Your grasp of Buddhism is fatally flawed Antonius, and your fait

    by Pontsing Barset

    II

  • April 25, 2004, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Talk-Back postijng order is hosed (wonder who got banned) pleas

    by Pontsing Barset

    <NT>

  • April 25, 2004, 12:48 p.m. CST

    parting shot for you Antonius: Manifest Destiny...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ...which is essentially your argument for Chritianity over your last couple of posts - the 'right' of 'missionarism' etc., is as big a crock of shit as "the fall of man".

  • April 25, 2004, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Timely response from Antonius? What was I thinking?!

    by Pontsing Barset

    It's SUNDAY! He's still in Church listening top some cretin tell him how eternal fire an damnation await if he doesn't embrace Christ as his personal savior.

  • April 25, 2004, 12:56 p.m. CST

    "Missionary work is not evil because it spreads Truth, or what t

    by Pontsing Barset

    No, it's intrinsically arrogant and imperialistic.

  • Why hast thou forsaken me, brother???

  • May 4, 2004, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, your grasp of logic is fatally flawed

    by AntoniusBloc

    First of all, your statements are not only illogical but also intolerant. What greater intolerance can there be than to refuse to debate with someone because they hold a certain belief? Yet you say I

  • May 4, 2004, 3:15 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, your grasp of logic is fatally flawed

    by AntoniusBloc

    First of all, your statements are not only illogical but also intolerant. What greater intolerance can there be than to refuse to debate with someone because they hold a certain belief? Yet you say I

  • May 4, 2004, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Pontsing, your grasp of logic is fatally flawed

    by AntoniusBloc

    First of all, your statements are not only illogical but also intolerant. What greater intolerance can there be than to refuse to debate with someone because they hold a certain belief? Yet you say I

  • May 4, 2004, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Sorry Antonius, that was a bit over the top.

    by Pontsing Barset

    What I SHOULD have said is: "It appears to me that no matter how logically I present an opposing viewpoint you will not be swayed by, nor even consider the possible validity of, an interpretation of the Bible that differs from your own" - I've been feeling a little hostile towards my own species of late and I apologize. The purpose of debate is usually, (but not always) to convince your opponent of the validity of your opinion. It APPEARS to me that you are prepared to reject out of hand any opinion of Christianity that falls outside of the religious beliefs and convictions taught to you in the Christian church. I believe that the Bible is not literally true. That it is not the literal word of "God". But is rather a collection of stories - myths concerning a rather remarkable group of people - including Jesus of Nazareth, that draws upon far older mythologies for much of it's message on how one can put their selves in resonance with the singularity - the 'uncomprehendible energy' from whence the Universe came into being. The Bible is IMHO metaphorical, not literal. One need only study the mythologies of disparate, unrelated, unconnected societies to see the similarities contained in the creation myths and other moralistic stories found in all human cultures. I think that there is not ONE right religion, one right philosophy, etc. It depends rather upon how the teachings of these varying traditions - most of which teach very much the same ideas, affect how one approaches and acts out their life within the arc of time. Should you wish for clarification of the ideas I have expressed here, check out the Joseph Campbell

  • May 4, 2004, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Is the story of Adam and Eve not an example of dualism then Anto

    by Pontsing Barset

    What is the difference, other than semantics, between "Good is the opposite of evil" and "good is the absence of evil"? I could make an argument (if I wanted to, I long ago rejected most of the tenets of Moral Relativism) for the idea that there is no such thing as evil, that everthing is relative. My whole problem with Christianity, the way I've seen it practiced both during my time in the physical plane, and historically, is that it purports to have a monopoly on truth.

  • May 6, 2004, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Apology accepted. But when you accuse someone of believing they

    by AntoniusBloc

    I accept your apology, sincerely, Pontsing, but your fear that I will not follow the rules of logic and reason shows me that you continue to ignore the fact, which I keep repeating to you, that I am NOT a fundamentalist. Your fears, of me taking the entire Bible literally, and putting faith above logic and reason would be justified IF I am a fundamentalist, but I am not. I believe in apologetics, which means applying logic and reason to support and defend one

  • May 6, 2004, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Soundly trounced.

    by Pontsing Barset

    Ok Antonius: You're right and I'm full of shit. A totally illogical mess. You win, and I guess I'm going to hell. Have fun in heaven bro. There should be a lot of Christians there I guess because The Lord isn't going to let anyone else in. I and my kind are screwed. You're right about everything; there is only one true religion and I have rejected it. Seeya, erm no, I guess I won't.

  • May 11, 2004, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Just for the record Antonius...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... I believe I phrased my OPINIONS in terms of "I think" and "I believe". Hardly the language one would use were they propounding that their ideas are "The Truth".

  • May 14, 2004, 11:12 a.m. CST

    The Passion

    by roxiedog

    Okay, I'm a bit late on this, but I just saw the film against my better judgement last week...I live in Rome Italy, we are a bit slow over here. Anyhow, am I the only person that HATED this film. I mean, why do people always concentrate on this particular aspect of his life? Are there not good lessons to be learned from the teachings of Jesus, like patience, understanding those who are different,unconditional love? I'm no Christain, but even I recognize Jesus was a pretty cool guy with lots of good points to make. Just another example of Hollywood catering to the masses by showing lots of gratuitous violence...that's just my opinion and I defiently seem to be the minority.

  • May 26, 2004, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Pontsing

    by AntoniusBloc

    Again, Pontsing, you confuse me with a fundamentalist, and seem to challenge arguments or assumptions I have never made. I don

  • June 19, 2004, 3:53 a.m. CST

    A Sadist's Wet Dream

    by Joshua Skye

    Imagine, if you will, that a neo-goth sadist were to make a film about Christ... wait, you don't have to... its been done! Snuff films usually involve sex right? This should have been in the asian Guinea Pig series.

  • Sept. 16, 2004, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Very Good Movie

    by Flix

    I think "The Passion." was very well made and acted. The Aramaic and Latin actually made me enjoy the movie more (though I'm glad Mel changed his mind about the subtitles because I would not have enjoyed the movie as much if they were not included)and made the movie stand out from others on the subject such as "King of Kings" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told." Yes, the torture scenes may be tough for some people to watch but they were by no means gratuitous like in a Friday the 13th movie. In the end, very good movie and I look forward to seeing it again.

  • Oct. 20, 2009, 5:36 a.m. CST

    The Passion of the Christ

    by Bugskull

    I disagree with the review on several points. First, calling something art simply because it (is so brutal that it) doesn’t suit a postcard is ridiculous. You can dress your friend as Santa and photograph him pooping in the snow and this certainly would not look good on a Christmas card but would not be great art either (unless you do it with talent and dedication, but I can see no reason why one should be interested in wasting his or her talent on a subject like this at all). And on the other end there are a lot of great paintings by great artists that would make a perfect postcard. Second, saying that promoting this film was a challenge to Gibson is an overstatement in my opinion. Achieving box-office success with a film like this would probably be extremely difficult to do for a first-time filmmaker with no connections in Hollywood, but for a top Hollywood star with a huge budget to spend and no need for a producer support this wasn’t as difficult as one might think. This movie is a very typical product of contemporary cinema which gets more violent by day as we come across a lot of “daring” and "taboo-breaking” movies. That this film is violent is no surprise to anyone who had watched any of Gibson’s previous films. I would actually be shocked if Gibson tamed down his blood thirst and made this film more suitable for a wide audience – now, THAT would make it truly groundbreaking, imo. After watching “The Passion of the Christ” I only wonder what movies will be like, say, thirty years from now – I think they will (quite predictably) be a lot more violent than today (it’s hard to imagine that, but that’s no problem).