Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Passion and anti-semitism 

I have not yet seen The Passion of the Christ, although I am eager to do so. But there is so much talk about the supposedly anti-semitic tone the film takes, and I want to comment about that briefly.

First off, it's just a movie, about events that happened long ago. I realize the cultural impact this particular one is having, but really... is anyone going to walk into the multiplex with no prejudices, and walk out a couple of hours later hating Jews? I don't think so.

The Passion portrays a historic event, and it just so happens that some Jews were involved in the chain of events that ended with Christ's crucifixion. Not "the" Jews, "some" Jews. And all of this happened 2,000 years ago.

"The" Jews at the time were no more responsible for Christ's death 2,000 years ago than "the" Arabs are responsible for Islamic terror today. And the Jews of today don't have any connection to the handful who urged the Roman provincial government to execute Christ so long ago. I really don't see how any portrayal of the people involved in 2,000-year-old events could cast a bad light on their descendants. There's no logic in that.

I think most people are smart enough to realize this. The French, after all, don't think back to Caesar's conquest of Gaul and decide to hate present-day Italians because of it. And anyone who hates Jews because "they" killed Christ is clearly ignorant. It's not Mel Gibson's fault--such people have been idiots since long before The Passion was released.
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