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Which side is the bigotry on?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jun 25, 2003

Have you ever been scolded for criticizing a movie you haven't seen, or a book you haven't read? The standard liberal line is that, no matter how offensive the subject is, you can't talk about it until you've experienced it.

So it's curious that the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed on Mel Gibson's forthcoming movie, The Passion. That's right; his forthcoming movie. Nobody has seen it yet. Not even the final screenplay is available.

But that didn't stop Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Weisenthal Center from writing, along with his colleague Marvin Hackman, to say that the movie is anti-Semitic.

If you're familiar with Hier's track record, you know that he accusations of anti-Semitism are his stock in trade. But take a close look at his logic:

The passion of Christ  the crucifixion and hours leading up to it  has been used by bigots, including popes and kings, to inflame anti-Semitism through the ages... Any film about such a sensitive subject would set off alarm bells.

So now we're not supposed to talk about the Crucifixion?

You might find yourself wondering, as I wonder, why the LA Times published an essay that look an awful lot like an effort at censoring Catholics. You might find yourself writing a letter to the editor on that topic.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 26, 2003 4:44 PM ET USA

    To certain loud so-called "Jews" anything about Jesus is "anti-semitic." In fact, however, the worst anti-Semitism is the slaughter and expulsion of the SEMITIC Palestinians by the non-Semitic, Eurasian, so-called "Jews," the Israelis. How long before the biggest lie ever told will be unmasked ?