Blocking "The Passion" Film Could Backfire

Charles Bronson, the actor, died the other day. In one of his "Death Wish" films, I remember Bronson confronting a supposed "bad guy," in a New York City subway station. He asked his victim, who was wearing a necklace, with a crucifix on it, "Are you a Christian?" The man answered "Yes." Bronson, the revenge-seeking vigilante, then shot him dead!

You could interpret that movie, produced by Jews, as giving someone a license to kill in cold blood a Christian, who just happened to wear a cross around their neck, if their death made the shooter feel righteous. Now, just try and imagine the outcry if the shooting victim had been a Jew, who was wearing a yarmulke! If it were the latter, that would have been, surely, Bronson’s, and the producer?s, last movie in LaLaLand.

Enter celebrated actor/producer Mel Gibson, and his soon to be released film, "The Passion." His movie, based on the gospels, is slated for release in April, 2004. It focuses on the last 12 hours in the life of Christ, his trumped up trial, and his agonizing crucifixion in Jerusalem.

I checked out a trailer for movie on its web site. It’s going to be an artistic, visually impressive and moving classic that Gibson, a Catholic, and also the film’s director, can be very proud of. Some in the Jewish community, however, like Abe Foxman of the ADL, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LA, without even seeing a preview of it, disagree. They have condemn the film as "anti-Semitic." Jewish leaders in NYC, according to published reports, are planning "to hinder its distribution."

I can’t even begin to count how many Hollywood films, that I have seen, produced by Jews, that have been demeaning to Christians and to Christianity. I recall one particularly disgusting movie, which opened with a scene set in a church showing a couple having sex up in the choir loft, while a Christian prayer service was being performed below by the clergy. Talk about vulgarism. This was truly obscene and grossly offensive.

Movies with bloody shoot outs and murderous mayhem in a church, Catholic and Protestant alike, are legion, too. Strange, however, considering how many films have been made in old Tinseltown, but I don’t ever recall seeing one, where a couple had sex in a synagogue and/or there was a shoot out in a Jewish house of worship. I wonder, why not? Could there be a double standard?

Hollywood’s stereotyping of African-Americans, Arabs, and Islam, too, has an even longer and uglier history (See for the details on its degrading portrayal of Arabs, Jack Shaheen’s groundbreaking "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People"). That’s another alarming story about the racial, ethnic and religious bigotry of some of the West Coast moguls. But, here’s the question: Where were the "Tolerance Brigade" from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in LA, and Abe Foxman, when all of those Christian, African-American and Arab bashing flicks were being put out by Hollywood? Huh!

Thankfully, there is Michael Medved. He is one of my favorite people. He’s Jewish, a gutsy film critic, and the former president of his synagogue. He has dared to criticize Jewish-dominated Hollywood for being "anti-religious," citing Miramax’s film "Priest" as an example of its bias. Medved has seen a preview of "The Passion," and he thinks Foxman & Co. are being "unfair and inappropriate." Way to go Michael Medved!

The Jewish critics of "The Passion," are playing by the rules whey they complain about the movie’s supposed content, its potential meaning and effect on a diverse audience, and even when they plan to picket and/or boycott the film when it hits the theater market. This is how the First Amendment works.

However, any attempt by Jewish leaders to interfere with the distribution of "The Passion" could backfire. We just saw an example, where some swollen egos (Bill O’ Reilly, please copy) from Fox News had tried to block a new book by comedian Al Franken that mocked the network. It failed miserably in court. Franken’s book then hit the top of the best sellers’ list. The same thing could happen to the popularity of Gibson’s movie.

America is still a predominately deeply Christian country. I’m convinced that its members will bitterly resent an elitist Jewish clique, via their huge commercial power, censoring and/or blocking them, from seeing a movie of their choice. This will be especially so, since the disputed film, "The Passion," is about the founder of THEIR religion!

Christians will be even more outraged when they find out that the heavy censoring hand comes from a coterie within the Jewish community, that has also been silent about the contents of other movies that have for so long viciously disparaged Christianity. Finally, keep in mind, that anyone attempting, within a Constitutional Republic, to curtail the liberties of a free people, does so at their own risk.