The Raving Theist

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God Squad Review LXXXIV (Reaction to The Passion)

April 12, 2004 | 10 Comments

“The problem I’m having is that all I can think about is the bloody torture and suffering of Jesus,”reports a Squad reader who recently saw The Passion. Although “[i]t didn’t make me hate Jews at all” and the gore “helped me prepare for Good Friday,” the reader continues, “Christ’s Resurrection was shown only the last 10 seconds of the film, and that wasn’t enough for me to feel uplifted . . . [h]elp me get beyond the blood of Good Friday to the hope and joy of Easter.”

The Squad agrees that “anyone with eyes and an open Christian faith who has seen the film might have trouble this year conjuring up images of the Resurrection powerful enough to stand against the images of Good Friday.” But they suggest that “you don’t try to move away from the blood, but through it to the Resurrection.” Specifically, they advise:

As a Christian, first look closely at the question of why Jesus suffered. He didn’t suffer because he was trapped. He didn’t suffer because he was guilty. He didn’t suffer because he was betrayed. He suffered because it was God’s will and Christ’s freely accepted mission to suffer for the sins of all people over all of time.

* * *

Also, the blood stops flowing with Jesus’ death, and he is cleansed and we are cleansed and you are cleansed through his Resurrection. I scream, you scream, we all scream for . . .

Yes, I made up that very last line but I don’t think the answer suffers any for it.

I’ve outlined my problems with the moral of Christ’s “freely accepted” but nonetheless God-willed and prophesied mission here and here and won’t bore you with another repetition. But I must say that it’s rather sad that an adult has the problem described by the reader. He knows how the whole Jesus fairy tale is supposed to go, but he’s so easily manipulated by a movie that he almost loses his faith because the director has placed a disproportionate emphasis on one element of the plot. Worse yet, he knows exactly what the problem is but lacks the imagination to create a longer Resurrection scene in his mind.

It’s also pretty scary that anyone’s first comment about a movie would be “it didn’t make me hate Jews at all.” Bambi and The Wizard of Oz didn’t make me hate them either (okay, maybe a little bit), but that wasn’t foremost on my mind upon leaving the theater. I guess it’s a good thing; I’m just surprised that more newspaper ads don’t use that line (“Moving,” Stirring,” “Didn’t make me hate Jews at all . . . ).


10 Responses to “God Squad Review LXXXIV (Reaction to The Passion)”

  1. PurpleCar
    April 12th, 2004 @ 12:28 pm

    “Damn it all. When are we gonna get a good Jews-Hating movie out there, anyway? I really believed in Mel. He let all us whities down.”

    I think there are people who went to the movie BECAUSE it was promoted as being anti-semitic. And I say promoted, because with those anti-vatican II types, anti-semitism is a good thing.

  2. Joe
    April 12th, 2004 @ 4:42 pm

    The only movie that would make you want to hate jews is any one of them staring Barbara Streisand. O.k. and maybe a few Woody Allen movies, but other than that I think jews are fly, g!

  3. AK
    April 12th, 2004 @ 5:33 pm

    Does the God Squad Rabbi agree with the Xtian preacher that all of the Jews (and himself) will be converted on the rapture or whatever?

    These God Squad peeps (pun intended) seem really wishy washy with their beliefs

  4. Ben
    April 12th, 2004 @ 9:50 pm

    He suffered because it was God’s will and Christ’s freely accepted mission to suffer for the sins of all people over all of time.

    So why all the hoopla over who killed Jesus? Why are the Pharisees made out to be evil, subversive, power-mad miscreants? Why are the Roman soldiers made out to be insane, sadistic, blood-thirsty caricatures? What’s the point of the dramatic dichotomy? Aren’t they doing God’s Will? I’ve never understood that.

    I guess “Jesus died of old age for YOUR sins” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  5. June
    April 12th, 2004 @ 11:46 pm

    OK OK, granted that JC suffered horribly for a few hours, or even a couple of days. How does one good whipping make up for all the billions of sins committed on Earth before and after that? I mean, JC gets a few lashes for all the rapes and murders ever done on Earth, but he’s gonna send me to hell for eternity for a couple (ok, a dozen) fornications? What’s up with that?

  6. Daniel
    April 13th, 2004 @ 2:57 am

    And even more, he gets to become the vice-ruler of the Universe for the rest of eternity.

  7. Kommander Killjoy
    April 13th, 2004 @ 12:28 pm

    Stupid Jesus!! I tell ya one thing, if he comes back and shows up on my door I’m gonna open up a can of holy woop-ass on him!

    Jesus at the disco: “Help, I’ve risen and I can’t get down!”

  8. Julia
    April 16th, 2004 @ 4:45 pm

    The entire premise of jc dying for all sins, pre and post, is ludicrous. “yes, yes, I love you all so much, that I’m having my kid (who is really me and the holy ghost as well) murdered in a couple of days, to absolve absolutely EVERYONE of every sin they have ever/will ever do for all time. Remember that, ok?” But the rider is that the son of a bitch will STILL roast your sad, unbelieving ass in hell forever for certain sins, and not just the sins he officially posted

  9. Julia
    April 17th, 2004 @ 12:49 am

    Um, and “Also, the blood stops flowing with Jesus’ death….” Yeah, well it would, basic physiology being what it is and all…you know, heart stops pumping, blood stops flowing…

  10. Tisiphone
    June 10th, 2004 @ 7:18 am

    I’m waiting for “Passion 2: After The Resurrection” in which a severly psychotic Jesus, with 2000 years of post traumatic stress disorder brought on by the torture he endured back on Earth, causes him to go on a rampage.

    After all, since “Passion” did so well in the theaters, we have to have a sequel. Why not? They’re making “Battlefield Earth 2″.

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