The Corner

Gotta Love The French

A reader just sent me an Agence France Press stroy from last year about the then-premature controversy about The Passion.

Here’s how the article ends:

“The film is going to be a classic,” said Dean Hudson, editor of the Catholic magazine Crisis.

“It is going to be the ‘go-to’ film for Christians of all denominations who want to see the best movie made about the passion of Christ.”

The harsh criticism reminds many of the Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988) which many considered blasphemous.

Why such controversy?

“The crime in question is a big one: the killing of God,” wrote National Review Online editor Jonathan Golberg.

Now, never mind calling me “Jonathan” — than happens all the time. And forget about dropping the “d” from my name. What bothers me is that I never spoke to anyone from AFP about the movie so I can only assume they’re quoting my syndicated column from last August. Am I wrong to complain that the quote was not only edited but also changes the tone if not the context of what I wrote at least a little bit? Here’s the passage from which they get the quote:

This has got to be one of the strangest controversies in a long time. A movie that won’t be released for months is being denounced by people who haven’t seen it. Why? Because they claim the film assigns blame for a crime to a handful of people who have been dead for 2,000 years.

Now, to be sure, the crime in question is a big one: deicide, the killing of God. And the handful of people are a pretty controversial bunch: “The Jews” – scourge of history to some, heroes of history to others, ethnicity of accountants, borscht-belt comics and deli sandwich makers to most.

Nevertheless, I still find the controversy over Mel Gibson’s yet-to-be-released film, “The Passion,” too rich in irony to take at face value.


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