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Old 03-02-2004, 05:08 AM   #211
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
Many people use these things in an attempt to evangelize:

"Why the heck are you wearing a NAIL around your neck? " - opens the conversation to talk about X - the movie and how you were affected by it, your personal relationship with Christ, whatever.
*makes mental note not to inquire about why a person is wearing a nail around their neck*

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Old 03-02-2004, 11:28 AM   #212
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Ahh yes, the selling of The Passion. Also a pet peeve of mine I guess you might say. If its not enough that we can't just let the film be a film, if its compelling then let it speak . . . but of course let's try some marketing ploys. Let's sell trinkets of a horrific death and maybe a board game for my kids.

This is an excerpt from an article I read, I feel similar to this........

Quote:
"Speaking of agendas, it’s fascinating to me to see the groundswell of activity surrounding this film. Not only are we slapping up posters and buying tickets like crazy, we’re turning the film into the centerpiece of a whole evangelistic campaign. At thepassionoutreach.com, the main banner proclaims, “Perhaps the best outreach opportunity in 2000 years.” Can’t think of your own way to respond to (or ride) the film’s popularity? No problem. The site gives you 13 pre-packaged ideas—everything from a suggested sermon series, to a saturation mailing. In Canada, you can even go to Passion training—sessions where you’ll learn to share your personal testimony in 3 minutes.
"On the one hand, I applaud the church’s enthusiasm. After years of opposing popular culture and non-traditional art forms, I’m encouraged that we’re moving forward. I’m pleased to see that we’re attempting to address culture in the movie house, not just the “house of the Lord.” At the same time, however, I’m nervous that we’re attempting to shrink wrap the gospel and turn art—Mel Gibson’s personal vision of the crucifixion of Christ--into something it was never meant to be: propaganda.

The Passion booklets, The Passion-themed Bibles, The Passion jewelry…it just goes on and on. Churches have developed ads to air before the film. Little spots that say, “See the movie then come join us on Sunday.” No offense, but I don’t particularly like seeing commercials for Chrysler before a movie, let alone commercials for Christ. I don’t want to get a tract on my way out of the theater nor do I want some stranger to shake my hand and pretend to be my best friend. Thanks but no thanks, and I’m a Christian!

The church marketing machine is strong. (Been to a Christian bookstore lately?) We can do bracelets, mugs and T-shirts with the best of them. But is it right? Are we interested in engaging with culture, or simply trying to convert people? When we invite friends to see the movie, will we feel that our night was a waste if we don’t get a chance to share The Four Laws? Is our agenda to buy people tickets so that the whole night feels like an awkward first date—you know, the “Well, he bought me dinner so I guess I have to kiss him,” scenario? Are we interested in people’s honest questions about the film, or only their response to the film (i.e. did they pray the prayer)?

My sense is that all our enthusiasm could actually backfire and keep people away from what may or may not be a great film. At the same time, however, all our efforts will no doubt demand a payoff. You just know that elders somewhere are going to be counting how many people attend post-February 25 services and trying to calculate how many people came to Christ because of this film."
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:38 AM   #213
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
Many people use these things in an attempt to evangelize:
Or as a daily reminder to strengthen their own faith.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:38 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


*makes mental note not to inquire about why a person is wearing a nail around their neck*

Why not - you may be encouraged by what they have to say. :WAVE:
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Old 03-02-2004, 12:05 PM   #215
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Quote:
A Passion for Hatred That Mocks Christ's Message

Robert Scheer writes a weekly column for The Times.

March 2, 2004

It took me a while to realize what they were saying. "You kilt our Lord," the guys looking for a fight would snarl, just before landing a punch on my nose. This was in the New York City of my childhood, where the accents were heavy and the theology more than a bit crude when you wandered into the wrong neighborhood.

When I finally got the drift of what the true-believer hoodlums were saying, I was tempted to utter in plaintive defense, "No, only half of me did it!" — meaning that my father was born in Germany and raised Protestant. But my father would have taken his belt to me had I employed that cop-out because of his intense shame over the genocide perpetrated by his Christian countrymen against my Jewish mother's people in Eastern Europe.

As opposed to Mel Gibson's father, mine never underestimated the horror of the Holocaust. Nor do my Christian relatives in Germany, who have underscored the depth of wartime Germany's depravity by pointing out to me that the local minister had been one of the town's leading Nazi enthusiasts, even wearing his Nazi uniform under his clerical garb.

Old wounds, I know, but I just saw Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" and it is a blood libel against the Jewish people that should have every prominent Christian minister and priest speaking out in opposition. All they have to do is look to the pope's apology for the Catholic Church's sins against Jews.

It requires a deeply felt anti-Semitism on Gibson's part to depict the community that nurtured Jesus as nothing more than a venal mob that forced an eminently reasonable and kind Roman overlord to crucify Jesus. Even the beastly lower-level Roman legionnaires who whip Jesus for most of the movie's duration are engaged in this orgy of sadism not to please Caesar but rather to mollify the rabbis.

Of course, the movie should not be censored, nor can it be totally dismissed.

I found it useful to be reminded of the suffering that Christ endured for his convictions, and even the sadomasochistic preoccupation of the film could not obscure the fact that Christ never endorsed vengeance or departed from his message of universal love. Ultimately, however, this is just an exploitation flick that serves up the body of Christ as an object of continuous sick torture while ignoring his life and thoughts.

As soon as I got home from the movie theater, I opened my King James version of the Bible, one that has the statements directly attributable to Jesus conveniently printed in red type. Opening it at random, I read in the Gospel according to St. Matthew a clear reassurance that Gibson has it all wrong: When Christ "opened his mouth," which he rarely does in the movie, he told his disciples all of those things that super-militant Christians who seek to divide us never want to hear: "Blessed are the poor …. Blessed are the meek …. Blessed are the merciful …. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

That's the Jesus we need in our lives, and I say this as one who self-identifies very much as a Jew. But I am as uncomfortable with the dogmatists of Jewish theology as I am with all others this side of the deism or Unitarianism that commonly marked the philosophies of a number of leading authors of our Constitution.

Religious mythology of all sorts is valuable when it informs and enlightens rather than seeks to displace scientific and other rational thought.

Admittedly, I am not in Gibson's target audience, and I do not begrudge others finding solace and meaning in the scriptures of their choice. What I fear is hatred spawned of religious fundamentalism, the same type that tore apart the world of my childhood and continues to be an enormous producer of pain, warfare and division. Despite our pretensions of modernity and humanitarianism, the world is currently plagued by Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Hindu fundamentalists who seem more passionate about employing their holy books as weapons than as instruments of peace.

Sadly, that is the essence of Gibson's movie. But the good news is that the actual words of Christ that have been passed down to us do not lend themselves to such a mean-spirited enterprise.
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:35 PM   #216
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On a lighter note ...

The Passion of the Christ: Blooper Reel
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:10 PM   #217
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I really wish I hadn't read those bloopers now. I want to go see the movie again, but now I might think of the bloopers and start laughing.

The lightening strike is the funniest.... almost like saying enough with the fooling around !
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Old 03-05-2004, 05:28 PM   #218
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I saw this review in the Toronto Star which I think is excellent. I don't think it has been posted, I haven't read all 14 pages of this thread.

I have not seen the film and I was debating it. However, after reading this, I don't think I will.

From the Toronto Star:
Quote:
Gibson's Passion exploits believers

PETER HOWELL

The pious and the profane are both taking credit for the stunning success of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, and I find it unsettling.

Even more unsettling than the movie itself, which frankly appalled me. The Passion is a two-hour snuff film, the spectacle of a man being brutally murdered in a public arena, created for the satisfaction of popcorn-chewing voyeurs. I consider it artless and pointless, although I don't doubt the sincerity of Gibson's misguided motivations for making it. I thought it should have been titled Gladiator 2: The Sadist's Cut.

I don't shrink at the sight of blood and gore. I'm used to seeing gratuitous violence on the screen, and some of it I actually defend. Any movie critic or regular film-festival attendee witnesses more murders, rapes and pillages in the average year than the citizens of Sodom or Gomorrah.

In recent months, we've seen the dice-o-matic swordplay of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 (and how will Vol. 2 ever top the beheading scene?) and the ridiculously bloody remake of Tobe Hooper's 1974 cult-horror artefact The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

We've also seen Gaspar Noé's Irréversible, in which a woman is sickeningly raped in real time, while the unblinking camera stares. The woman's boyfriend seeks revenge by killing a man in a club whom he believes is the rapist. He bludgeons the man into hamburger with a fire extinguisher.

Some of this can be justified in artistic terms, as indeed Noé attempted to with his weak "time destroys everything" argument about the inevitability of human brutality. There's also the standard "it's only a movie" line: People watch things they would never consider doing themselves, and in so doing purge their darkest fears and instincts. In most cases, though, it's really more about making money than about making art.

But the big difference between The Passion and other violent films is that Gibson's film is being sold as a religious experience, thanks in large part to the gullible assistance of many priests, ministers and other Christian leaders. By subjecting ourselves to the real-time horror of Christ's degradation and destruction, their argument goes, we can better understand what He went through to save and redeem us.

In return for our willing participation in Christ's torture, we are supposed to feel closer to Him and His teachings.

Even though these same teachings get scant treatment in Gibson's film, as does the Resurrection, which is presented almost as an afterthought just before the credits roll on the bloody mess.

So intent are religious leaders to spread the Gospel According To Gibson, they have been using their church pulpits to promote The Passion. Indeed, movie marketers are already marvelling at how the film managed to earn a stunning $135.3 million (U.S.) through its first six days of release, despite a relatively modest TV advertising campaign, competition from Oscar films and the hindrance of subtitles.

In less than a week, it surpassed the $128.1 million earned by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for its entire run.

It's also smashed Crouching Tiger's 2000-2001 run's record as the most successful foreign-language film ever to hit North America.

But that's not hard to do, when you have respected church figures acting as unpaid pitchmen, and reaching deep into congregations that might not normally ever darken a multiplex or scan a movie listing.

What really disturbs me about this is the hypocrisy of the whole thing. Many of the same church elders who routinely preach against violence in the media, wringing their hands over Kill Bill or assailing the realistic mayhem of video games, apparently find no contradiction in endorsing a movie where the beat goes on right up to and past the point of a man's horrific death.

Gibson's pious apologists reason it's not just acceptable but downright essential to stare at Christ's suffering, because it's a redemptive experience presented just as the Bible describes it — even though all kinds of Bible scholars have stepped forward to dispute The Passion's claim to authenticity.

How far would they be willing to take this thinking? If it is indeed healthy for the masses to share Christ's pain in the most realistic Hollywood manner, then wouldn't we also profit by communing through other big-screen exploitations of ghastly experiences?

How about an IMAX movie about the Holocaust, in which we can fully engage with the atrocities committed in the Nazi death camps and gas chambers? How about biopics on Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy, in which every one of their victims are violated, murdered and consumed before our greedy eyeballs? Perhaps only by witnessing evil acts in the most intense way possible can we fully understand the pain of victims.

Such an argument is absurd, of course, yet it is being promoted as justification for the masses who are marching off to see The Passion . It's strange how when Osama bin Laden promotes murder as a means to enhance spirituality, he is reviled for it. But when Christians rally at the multiplex to relive Christ's killing, they pat themselves on the back for having lived their faith.

You can be sure it won't stop with The Passion, either. Now that the Hollywood moneymen have seen how much dough is to be made by feeding raw violence to the gullible in the name of religious intensity, they'll be tearing the Bible apart for similar stories of man's inhumanity to man. And all other movies will also crank up the carnage, now that it's been proved that even churches aren't bothered by it.

And if Hollywood goes a little overboard, who cares? Surely no righteous moral figure can now bleat about film violence with a straight face, now that The Passion has passed muster.

I figure Quentin Tarantino should launch Kill Bill Vol. 2 in as many churches as he can round up. His bloodthirsty audience awaits.
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Old 03-06-2004, 12:18 AM   #219
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Well, I went to the movie.

I had to leave after about the first hour.



I can not reccomend this to anyone.
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Old 03-06-2004, 07:37 AM   #220
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What were your particular reasons for leaving?
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Old 03-06-2004, 01:23 PM   #221
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blacksword
What were your particular reasons for leaving?
my short answer

which will probably require more explanation

is that i would not subject myself to the unnecessary graphic violence and,

in my opinion, Gibson's bias, I saw much anti-Semitism.


each of us (may) have our own personal relationship with the story of Jesus.

I will not cheapen mine with Gibson's heinous, bias, perverted depiction.
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Old 03-06-2004, 02:55 PM   #222
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.......................and all i can say is :

Don't worry be happy
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Old 03-06-2004, 03:03 PM   #223
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Best post on the topic so far.
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Old 03-06-2004, 04:50 PM   #224
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Well, I went to the movie.

I had to leave after about the first hour.



I can not reccomend this to anyone.

I wasn't going to see the movie but some friends invited me with the idea that we'd discuss the film afterwards. So I went.

I have to say I agree with you, deep, I wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone, particularly those feel that the movie might be too gory. It is.

The violence was way overdone. To what extent does one have to flay Jesus to make a point? I turned my eyes away at certain points in the movie. I suppose Gibson's idea was to appeal to our baser instincts. His understanding of the Passion is odd, to put it lightly.

On another note, I feel Gibson fell short in his storytelling. To me this screenplay consisted of a middle and an end, no beginning.
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Old 03-07-2004, 02:12 AM   #225
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Quote:
Originally posted by pub crawler
To what extent does one have to flay Jesus to make a point?
I think it's meant to show Christians how we often take for granted the physical suffering Jesus endured on our behalf.
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