The New Yorker: “[Christian historian Elaine] Pagels explained that the four gospel writers of the New Testament probably wrote between 70 and 100 A.D. These were the years following the Roman defeat of the Jews, which left the Temple and the center of Jerusalem in ruins. Acts of sedition by the Jews against their conquerors were met with swift execution. As a result, Pagels said, the Gospels, which were intended not as history but as preaching, as religious propaganda to win followers for the teachings of Christ, portrayed the conflict of the Passion as one between Jesus and the Jewish people, led by Caiaphas. And, though it was the Roman occupiers, under Pontius Pilate, who possessed ultimate political and judicial power in Judea, they are described in the Gospels—and, more starkly, in Gibson’s film–as relatively benign.”
Frank Rich: “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.”
The Washington Post: “The District school system is investigating allegations that a teacher at a Southeast elementary school showed sixth-grade students excerpts of the R-rated movie ‘The Passion of the Christ.'”
The Miami Herald: A man in Jacksonville sold out of all Passion-related merchandise.
Reuters: Passion still #1, moves past $200 million mark.
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