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The causal sequence

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 14, 2003

You may have caught the story listing among today's News Bytes headlines: the head of the Simon Weisenthal Center charges that Mel Gibson's new movie, The Passion, is fueling anti-Semitic hatred.

Now anti-Semitic hatred is a bad thing. And I suppose we'll have to take the word of Rabbi Hier (who is, by the way, a notorious anti-Catholic) that the mail he's receiving really is hateful. But even at that, do you see a problem with the sequence of causality here?

The Passion hasn't hit the theaters yet-- and won't, for several more months. So it's quite impossible that the movie itself is causing all that negative mail to the Weisenthal Center. Almost nobody has seen the movie.

What people have seen is the spate of attacks on the movie by Rabbi Hier and others-- attacks that have frequently sounded like attacks the faith of Christians.

Again, anti-Semitism is a bad thing. But if it's being stirred up right now, it's not by Gibson.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 18, 2003 7:48 PM ET USA

    I've taken to answering these critics "Is your problem with "The Passion" or with its source material, the New Testament"?

  • Posted by: - Aug. 14, 2003 11:52 AM ET USA

    It is all a mystery, isn't it? The behavior of our elder brothers in the Faith was a figure of the perfideous, i.e. unfaithful, behavior of today's Christians. How many times did Moses have to bring them back? Then, what they said to Pilate - "Crucify Him!" - is exactly what we Christians have done repeatedly for 2000 years. History is history and we cannot change it. No offense, dear brothers, we are as guilty as anyone. We just used your voices those many years ago, but you did say it.

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