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1.22.2004

"The Passion of the Christ" is NOT anti-Semitic 

Mel Gibson is bracing himself for an onslaught of criticism as the release date for his film approaches.

I don't understand how anybody who has actually read the Gospels can claim that a representation of the events detailed therein is anti-Semitic. Jesus was a Jew. His disciples were all Jews. Just about all the ordinary people Jesus interacted with were Jews.

The Pharisees -- the religious leaders who, according to the Gospels, wanted Jesus killed -- were a very small sect of all of Jewry. They were formed some time before Christ in an effort to call the Jews back to faithfulness, but according to the Gospels they became legalistic, intolerant and hard-hearted. In that respect they might be compared to, say, the Guardian Council in Iran, and I don't think you'd hear too many people who would say that speaking out against the rulers of Iran constitutes hate speech against Islam.

In fact, a faithful reader of the Volokh Conspiracy notes that conservative Christians today are staunch supporters of Israel, since they still regard the Jews as God's chosen people. The ADL and other Jewish groups have other things to focus on, like the millions of people in the Arab world who from childhood are indoctrinated with vile falsehoods about Jews.

Of course, the more salient point of the movie is that in the cosmic sense, all of us human beings who walk this earth are responsible for the death of Christ...

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