Gibson's film an embarrassment to informed people of faith

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2004

"The Passion of the Christ" is a very disappointing movie. It is not really about the suffering Christ who endures humiliation for me. It is a brutal horror film that could be called, "The Torture of Christ."

Gratuitous violence at the hand of the Nazi-like Roman soldiers is redundant, gruesome and nauseous.

The depiction of Christ as a stammering, ambivalent pitiful figure is a gross distortion.

This is a fundamentalist film which seeks to overwhelm the viewer and generate pity for Jesus. Pity as a basis for belief is dysfunctional. Faith must be founded on firmer stuff.

Jesus of Nazareth was a mystic. He was not a hero. He was not a martyr.

Mel Gibson has it all wrong and uses the all too familiar fundamentalist tactics of fear, guilt and shameless emotional manipulation to exploit the audience that he belittles by insulting our intelligence.

"The Passion of The Christ" is a lot like a movie that has the characteristics of a high school film class production.

The Christian message, the "greatest story ever told" is told so poorly by Mel Gibson that we should all be wary of his personal need for egomaniacal masochism.

The biblical passion of Christ is of a profoundly spiritual nature, which Mel Gibson has carefully avoided.

Portraying Christ as transcendent diety seems too difficult for Mel Gibson, whose film is an embarrassment to informed and thoughtful people of faith.

Jon Walters


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