In the Passion landslide

GibsonDirects.jpgWe are, of course, in the midst of the pre-Passion of the Christ landslide in the mainstream media.

Doug and I could have created an entire blog just on this one issue and not get a wink of sleep for several months. So far, I have written only one column about the film — because I am a reporter and I actually need to quote real people. I focused on the Jesuit who did the translation work for the script.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to do journalism when no one can talk, other than the angry people on both sides who are in the midst of fundraising heaven.

I have been fascinated by the lack of critical voices among conservative Protestants. At some point, the overwhelming Catholic symbolism is going to tick off a really conservative Reformed Protestant and the fur will fly somewhere online. I would keep an eye on the letters pages of World magazine and its blog.

And I have also been searching for commentary on the orthodox — small or large “o” — side of Judaism.

Two of the best pieces I have found are:

* David Klinghoffer, on what Jewish scriptures have to say about issues related to the Passion.

* And Dennis Prager, on the profoundly different ways that Jewish and Christian believers can view the same movie.

Here is a sample from the Prager piece:

When watching “The Passion,” Jews and Christians are watching two entirely different films.

For two hours, Christians watch their Savior tortured and killed. For the same two hours, Jews watch Jews arrange the killing and torture of the Christians’ Savior.

In order to avoid further tension between two wonderful communities that had been well on their way to historic amity, it is crucial for each to try to understand what film the other is watching and reacting to.

In the midst of the flood (new metaphor), please check these out.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Luanne Austin

    Thanks for offering some illumination on this. Even as a religion reporter, I didn’t bother to look behind the paranoid and the “this offends me, so get it away” remarks of Jewish leaders. now I’m thinking perhaps I should interview some local Jews in my city for their responses.

  • josh morgan

    Oh My, it is about time somebody got it right. I like what you said about conservative christians coming to realize the catholic overtones in this movie. I have not seen it but i have read about it and looked at the photo book that Tyndale put out. The picture book alone reveals to the knowing eye that this film is catholic: Mary wiping up the blood of Jesus, Mary coming to Christ in his hurt after he falls with the cross and when he was young. The lady who wipes Jesus’ face with the white towel, the backlash image during the crucifixion to the last supper-look at the book and you see a upper body pic of Jesus and next to that pic is one of Jesus holding up the bread, then the next page has a pic of the blood on his feet and next to it a pic of him holding the cup in his hand at the last supper. Do I have to continue? Wonder what ya think.

  • steve baughman

    I launched this site the day after seeing the film.


    steve baughman

  • steve baughman

    I launched this site the day after seeing the film.


    steve baughman