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Posted by Mrs. Isis Fabulous at on August 22, 2003 at 12:32:59:

In Reply to: Re: Kevin's comments on THE PASSION posted by Kevin on August 22, 2003 at 11:18:58:

I guess I should re-iterate here that I mean no deliberate offense to people with Christian beliefs. I'm just speaking from a different perspective and I must apologize straight up to the Christians in the house -- as a non-Christian I know much of what I'm saying is just inherently offensive to you (not you, Kevin, but all the Bible-readers in general).

: If you doubt
: the Bible holds water as said accurate description, that's a you against the world, "Dogma"-
: type argument (trust me, I know); because most of the world - religious and secular -
: acknowledges the four Gospels as the historical record of Jesus' life and death.

From where do you draw this statement? I haven't talked to most of the world lately, so I honestly don't know.

Do you mean that the Gospels are the ONLY record of Jesus' life and death? Because I can agree with that. But they aren't a "historical record". We haven't exactly got a birth certificate for the guy, nor is there any physical record of him on the Roman census. And obviously, if the story is true there's no remains of him to be found.

In other words, we've got no proof the guy ever existed other than the words of his followers. Now, in MY mind, that's a fine thing, and the very point of faith -- to believe what one has no proof of, simply because it speaks to one's soul.

That's what seems to me ultimately ironic about prosletyzing Christians of Mel's ilk. If one's faith is strong, why does it need validation? Why must others hear and learn and agree with Mel's specific beliefs and practice?

If one is to argue that Mel's intentions with this movie are to tell a cracking good dramatic story rather than to share The Truth with the world, then the burden of proof is on you. He seems to have made clear in every interview I've read that his intention is to glorify Jesus and spread the word. Which is fine and beautiful, but is bound to offend those who do not believe in Jesus.

: That's the kinda grade school theological argument that "Dogma" is made up of, so I
: appreciate it. However, until alternative texts show up, all we know about Jesus we know
: because of the four Gospels of the New Testament. I'm not saying they're iron-clad, 100%
: accurate (if you'll recall, I made a movie that maintained they weren't); I'm just
: acknowledging that those books are the recognized source of any Christ data we have.

Agreed, see above.

: That's not true at all. Historians the world over, religious or not, recognize the Bible as an
: historical document. Go ask one.

I entirely disagree with you on this. The King James Bible? It dates to medieval times.

The original scrolls and texts that later became what we know as the Bible? Okay, those are historical documents. But as I said, the earliest of those appeared hundreds of years after Christ's death (and barring any Methusaleh-like age capacities of the disciples, long after their deaths as well). But don't take my word for it, as Levar Burton would say.

: Now, whether or not you feel the BIBLE is
: accurate is a whole different argument.

That was kind of my whole point. I don't have any real opinion on whether the Biblical stories are true or not; I wasn't raised Christian and am not now, so they can be true to the letter or entirely false, it makes no difference to me. Asking me if the story of Jesus is true is like asking me whether Buddha really wrestled the demons of his ego beneath the bo tree. I don't care if it's true; all that I know is I can learn something from it and I don't like when people push me to accept it as fact.

Again, apologies if that's totally offensive to everyone. But bear in mind that's what any non-Christian would say.

: Take if from a guy who's been there: that's not true at all. That's the statement of someone
: who doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about.

No need to curse; what do I know? It was an offhand statement.

: Any boycott hurts the box office.
: Ask Scorcese. Ask me.

Since you bring up Scorcese I should mention that I adore THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST because it both admits and takes liberties with the Christ story. I find it MUCH more intriguing when a movie, such as TEMPTATION or DOGMA for that matter, is being protested by the people whose beliefs it portrays. That implies to me that something new and challenging is being said.

The fact that Mel's movie is being protested by the people whom you'd expect to be offended by it would seem to indicate that it's your stereotypical same-old same-old. But I'd really have to see it to know.

: Whatever limited audience that flick had to begin with, it's gotten
: even more limited with all this brouhaha - not to mention some embarrassing private stuff
: about Mel Gibson and his father has surfaced because of it.

Now, this I just don't get. Why is the revelation of Mel's religious affiliation "embarrassing"? I would assume he's not ashamed of it, or he wouldn't be putting it out there.

And there's not much "private" about Gibson Senior's interview with the New York Times. In direct quotes, he denied that the Holocaust ever happened (talk about denying historical fact) and has not called or written in to request a correction since. Now, that IS embarrassing, but it's his own fault. It's not like Linda Tripp was sitting out the bushes taping his personal conversations.

: Controversy may get you a bunch of (unwanted) free press, but it doesn't bring in ticket-
: buyers; it keeps them away.

I guess we'll see. I don't know, *I* wouldn't normally be much into seeing a movie about a subject I've seen covered (well) any number of times, filmed entirely in languages I don't speak, directed by some guy whose beliefs are offensive to me...but I'm intrigued to see it now.

Isn't everyone?

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