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March 14, 2004 - Mel Gibson's movie becomes the film that defines George Bush...

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More on that film this week.  Folks are still talking about Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”


And this week I’m glad I’m not Jewish.  Mel isn’t after me.  And the Jay Leno show is surprisingly theological.  So sign the petition!  And by the way, there is this new "Constitution Restoration Act" before congress – for you fans of theocracy.


Say what?  Okay, let’s review.


As many of you know, this guy (below) had some objections to Mel Gibson’s new film.  Frank Rich, the media critic for the New York Times was ticked off about the film – something about it being sadistically violent and anti-Semitic.  Yeah, yeah.  In a New Yorker piece Gibson reacted to Rich’s comments - "I want his intestines on a stick... I want to kill his dog."   Indeed so – and discussed here on 21 September last year.   Gibson clearly wanted this guy dead, real dead, and painfully.  That was his righteous Christian response.


Last weekend Rich pointed out Gibson may allow that Rich should, maybe, be forgiven.  So evangelical Christians, to please Mel and God, really shouldn’t plan to torture and assassinate Frank Rich after all.  Cool.


See this -


Mel Gibson Forgives Us for His Sins

Frank Rich, New York Times, March 7, 2004


A bit of it?


Thank God — I think.  Mel Gibson has granted me absolution for my sins.  As "The Passion of the Christ" approached the $100 million mark, the star appeared on "The Tonight Show," where Jay Leno asked if he would forgive me.  "Absolutely," he responded, adding that his dispute with me was "not personal." Then he waxed philosophical: "You try to perform an act of love even for those who persecute you, and I think that's the message of the film."


Thus we see the gospel according to Mel.  If you criticize his film and the Jew-baiting by which he promoted it, you are persecuting him — all the way to the bank.  If he says that he wants you killed, he wants your intestines "on a stick" and he wants to kill your dog — such was his fatwa against me in September — not only is there nothing personal about it but it's an act of love.  And that is indeed the message of his film.  "The Passion" is far more in love with putting Jesus' intestines on a stick than with dramatizing his godly teachings, which are relegated to a few brief, cryptic flashbacks.


And on and on it goes…


Rich throws a bone to the Christians who like the film:


My quarrel is not with most of the millions of Christian believers who are moved to tears by "The Passion."  They bring their own deep feelings to the theater with them, and when Mr. Gibson pushes their buttons, however crudely, they generously do his work for him, supplying from their hearts the authentic spirituality that is missing in his jamboree of bloody beefcake.  Jews, after all, can overcompensate for mediocre filmmaking in exactly the same way; even the schlockiest movies about the Holocaust (Robin Williams as "Jakob the Liar," anyone?) will move some audiences to tears by simply evoking the story's bare bones in Hollywood kitsch.


But he still doesn’t like it.


And in the middle of the week Bill O’Reilly on his Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” referred to this column and attacked Rich as essentially a crybaby.  He did that for a few nights.  Bill likes Mel and his film.  He doesn’t like Frank.  Says Frank Rich is out of touch with the real America.  Bill and Mel aren’t.  And Bill kept pointing out that the New York Times is a lousy paper and everyone is always picking on the poor Christians for no reason at all.


As for Frank Rich?  He’s worried.


The vilification of Jews by Mr. Gibson, his film and some of his allies, unchallenged by his media enablers, is not happening in a vacuum.  We are in the midst of an escalating election-year culture war in which those of "faith" are demonizing so-called "secularists" (for which read any Jews critical of Mr. Gibson and their fellow travelers, liberals).  Politicians, we are learning, seem increasingly eager to wrap themselves in "The Passion of the Christ" as a handy signal to indicate they are opposed to all those "secularists" whose conspiracy is undermining all that right-thinking Americans hold near and dear.  Predictably enough, both the president and Mrs. Bush have publicly indicated their desire to see Mr. Gibson's film.  But when even Connecticut's John Rowland, a scandal-ridden governor facing impeachment, starts to rave about "The Passion" in public ("Unbelievable!" "Breathtaking!"), as he did last weekend, it's clear that we're witnessing the birth of a phenomenon.  You come away from this whole sorry story feeling that Jesus died in "The Passion of the Christ" so cynics, whether seeking bucks or votes, could inherit the earth.  


Okay then.


But then this press release is just cool.


Department of Justice Petitioned to Evaluate Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" for Violations of Hate Crime Statutes


A new petition implores US Attorney General John Ashcroft to evaluate possible actions against the creators of Mel Gibson's "The Passion" for violation of state and federal hate crime statutes in the purposeful encouragement of anti-Semitic violence.


UNION, NJ (PRWEB) March 10, 2004 -- Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ," through purposeful rewriting of the Christian Gospel mythos has, itself, become an anti-Semitic diatribe which, since it’s February 25, 2004 release resulted in hate crimes against Jews, Synagogues and Jewish Cemeteries in cities throughout the US. Mel Gibson’s unbiblical and a-historical account of the "crucifixion" story has taken Hutton Gibson’s claims that the Holocaust is "fiction," even one step further.

Just as Adolf Hitler described the 300th anniversary performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play as "a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry" in 1934, Gibson and Writer/producer Tom Fontana’s 2004 use of extreme graphic and excessive violence set up and perpetrated at the urging of "the Jews" in their portrayal displays a clear prejudicial bent against the Jewish faith.

Roman Catholic Biblical Scholar Father Gerald Caron, Professor of Biblical Studies at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, calls Gibson's film "anti-Jewish, theologically flawed and historically dubious." In an interview with Rabbi Tovia Singer for Israel National Radio on the date of the film’s release, Dr. Caron stated "The teaching of contempt – hate of the Jews or hate of their religion – is part and parcel of Christian history. This is a Christian problem that we have to get rid of, and its not a movie like this one that will help us continue our efforts to get rid of the denigration and condemnation of our Jewish brothers and sisters."

United State law defines "bias related" or "hate crime" to mean a "designated act that demonstrates an accused's prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibility, physical handicap, matriculation, or political affiliation of a victim of the subject designated act." Depending on the state, criminal and / or civil laws may apply, as well as recently enacted Federal statutes.

A digital petition at www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/765533849 implores US Attorney General John Ashcroft and the US Department of Justice to evaluate the anti-Semitism clearly presented in Gibson and Fontana’s portrayal, and asks that civil, criminal, and Federal hate-crime laws, as appropriate, be utilized not only against the perpetrators involved in each and every act which it has encouraged, but against the directors, producers, and screen writers responsible for the work itself.


One of my friends has already signed this petition and sent it off to all her friends.


This could get hot.  And get Bush reelected, or elected, or whatever.


You don’t think so?


Consider this:


Movie Critics And Political Pundits Just Don’t Get It!

Debbie Daniel, 03/12/04 - American Daily


Debbie’s point?


I don’t know when I have laughed so hard. But as the numbers keep coming in for the “doomed” Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ,” I just can’t help belting out a yippee and a howl ... oh, what a feeling!  Two hundred twelve million dollars and counting.  Wow!


It’s not the dollar amount that has me rolling on the floor; it’s the fact that these numbers represent people who are either searching for the “truth” or are being empowered in their Christian faith.  The critics would have you believe this is just a one time exception, certainly not a trend.


What they don’t understand is: There’s a “silent majority” out there that’s ready to “shout” from the mountaintops ... “We love the Lord, we love our country, and we’re ready to take back America in the name of Jesus Christ.”


Okay then, how does she make the connection to Bush?


Just as the movie critics fail to understand what the American people want, so do the political pundits in trying to tell us why George W. Bush will fail in 2004.  They tell us everyday why we should despise him.  The critics and pundits have a whole lot in common . . . neither is in touch with mainstream America.  It is millions of Americans who have a deep and abiding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So just wait, you haven’t seen anything yet.


We’ve just begun to hear from our president.  He was gracious enough to let the Democrats pick their candidate, have their say with no real opposition, and now he’s ready for the challenge ahead.  I feel a groundswell of support for George W. Bush; don’t you feel the earth rumble?  Ha!


He, too, has a deep faith in the Lord.  What you critics and pundits don’t understand is that when Christ becomes the center of a person’s life . . . God always wins.  And that’s all that matters.


Okay then.  Click on the link and read the whole thing for details.


And she ends with a warning:


Christians have patiently loved others, they’ve been tolerant, and they’ve not wanted to judge.  But now you’ve pushed them over the edge; they’ve become emboldened . . . in fact, I would say their passion is starting to show.


And you still don’t get it.


Consider yourself warned.


Of course, my friend Ric in Paris (France, not Texas), which he has now taken to calling “Sin City,” did point out a few things.


Let's say 125 million United States residents are certified Christian fanatics.  At nine bucks a pop, 212 million bucks worth of faith means mean the Christians are short 113 million smackers worth of movie tickets.  Discount the totally deranged who have seen the movie once a day since it launched, the kids who can't help what their parents do to them, and the persecuted Christians in jail for murder, rape, mayhem and for massive embezzlement and other frauds, including wife beating and child molesting, and you can still get the idea that there are quite a number of truly crazy people in America who have neglected to see the movie.  They might be waiting for the edited-for-TV version.


But that's America.  Colonized by nuts, intolerant escapees from other 'official' intolerance; born again to make scads of money off ignorance.  How sweet it is!


And Ric notes this woman says "It's not the dollar amount that has me rolling on the floor; it's the fact that these numbers represent people who are either searching for the ‘truth’ or are being empowered in their Christian faith. The critics would have you believe this is just a one time exception, certainly not a trend."


He replies…


What? She hasn't heard about "The Passion of the Christ II" yet?  It opens on 11 April, concurrently with the annual rebirth of the Easter bunny.  Coming next year - 'Crusade VI' - the live version of the recapture of Palestine by Christians.


Give these people the 15th century back.  Give them the Holy Office.


Meanwhile Europeans should take back everything they've been thinking privately about America.  We should be compassionate.  Nobody deserves what you've got.


Yep, it must seem odd to see this from Old Europe.


This woman does kind of cheer for Mel Gibson, Jesus and George Bush - and somehow gets the three of them all mixed up.  Well, maybe in some minds they are now the same person - an updated version of the Trinity.  Which one is the Holy Ghost?  As for his comment on the next Crusade for "the recapture of Palestine by Christians" - well, perhaps he's being ironic, but such things are discussed on the Christian right over here.


As for characterizing the United States as "colonized by nuts, intolerant escapees from other 'official' intolerance; born again to make scads of money off ignorance" - well, perhaps so.  Should the Europeans feel sorry we've come to all this?  Maybe so.


Mel started something.  Or brought things to a head.


Things are beginning to move.


There is the new 'Constitution Restoration Act' before congress. 


This is a new bill submitted in both houses to limit the jurisdiction the Supreme Court and federal district courts over cases involving any federal, state, or local government official who publicly acknowledges God as the source of law, liberty, or government.  If passed, you cannot stop him from saying God’s will trumps the law and the constitution.


Sounds like theocracy is on the way.


Judge Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, introduced the bill at a press conference in Washington last month.  You remember he was removed from office because he refused to take down a Ten Commandments display he placed in the state courthouse building.




Robert Aderholt (R-AL) introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives in February - the "Constitution Restoration Act," or H.R. 3799.  There are seven co-sponsors to the bill, and it has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review.  The co-sponsors of the House version of the bill are Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Robert Cramer (R-AL), Terry Everett (R-AL), Jack Kingston (R-GA), Mike Pence (R-IN), Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Mike Rogers (R-AL).


Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced the same "Constitution Restoration Act" into the Senate in February as S. 2082.  There are five co-sponsors to the Senate version of the bill, and it is under consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The co-sponsors of the Senate version of the bill are Wayne Allard (R-CO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Zell Miller (D-GA).


These guys all say this bill say it was designed to counter “the radical judicial activism that has taken place in recent years to remove any reference to God in American society.”  They say too many legal decisions are an effort to secularize government and remove moral standards in the law.


Let the fun begin.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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