Well, Mel Gibson’s Jesus movie has been in theaters for almost a week now, and so far, there have been no synagogue bombings, or Bible-Belt pogroms. Do you think maybe the Jewish leaders who anticipated these things might admit that they were a tad ungenerous to their Christian neighbors? YEsterday, for instance, I read an email from a Jewish Dallas Morning News reader. The man mentioned that he warned a friend of his to be careful about displaying his Jewishness while this movie is popular. I thought, Do you really think Christians are a drooling mob of anti-Semites ready to leap at the opportunity to attack Jews? I completely understand the fears and concerns that Jews had about this movie, but I’ve got to say that it gets to me that so many have so little faith in the hearts and minds of Christians in this, the most philosemitic (thank God) nation on earth, besides Israel, of course.
Dallas is full of evangelicals, and if, God forbid, someone were to harm a synagogue or a single Jew over this film, you’d see an outpouring of Christian condemnation and support for the Jewish community like you wouldn’t believe. It’s painful to think that so many of us Christians are thought to be barely weaned off the Jew-hating that we presumably received with our Sunday School lessons; some comments made by Christian leaders, reminding Christians that we should not blame Jews for killing Jesus, do not help much.
Anyway, this terrific piece by Mark Shea perfectly captures the reaction that I had, and many Christians I know had, to the film.