Gertrude Himmelfarb of the Washington Post has criticized The Passion of the Christ without seeing it. Her attack is basically that the movie is an act of social irresponsibility. She offers a couple “how would you feel” thought experiments. The excellent response of David Heddle is:
On a stupidity scale of 1 to Bishop Spong, this argument is way up there. It compares a film about what is regarded as the defining moment of God’s redemptive work with human tragedies borne of men, not God.
Nevertheless, the answer is simple: I would not rant and rave like those who are screaming that Gibson’s movie is anti-Semitic, revealing nothing so much as their own anti-Christian bigotry.
To claim that this movie is socially irresponsible etc. is a grand case of a person with a plank in their eye, trying to remove a speck from Mel Gibson’s eye. Where was the outrage at Seven, The Silence of the Lambs, Romper Stomper, Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting for daring to profit from portraying casual violence and explicit drug use? These egregious films could promote murder and hard drugs!
Where was the outrage at The Heist, Oceans Eleven, and the Italian Job for glorifying theft of enough wealth to ruin hundreds of people? It might cause more bank robberies! Where was the outrage over It’s a Beautiful Life, Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan, for an unsympathetic portrayal of the German race? It might promote anti-Aryanism!
Where *IS* the outrage from educated women over the multi billion dollar industry that is pornography, flooding the West, that degrades and objectifies women, attacks self-esteem, promotes promiscuity, destroys the concept of filial love, and is the favoured entertainment for rapists around the world!??!!
“Hypocrite” is a word often slung at Christians who fall, as humans are given to do. However in this case it seems to me that many journalists are also worthy of the title. Journalists love to take the moral high ground, especially when it comes to the Christian faith.
There’s really not much room up there, this guy hanging on a cross seems to have the pre-eminent position.