Review of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion'

I saw Mel's THE PASSION,

And learned that Satan is gay,

Children are easily demon possessed,

And the real reason Jesus suffered so much was because Roman guards can't follow orders. ("Hey, I said just to punish him, not to kill him.")

The movie raked in over 117 mil from Ash Wednesday through its first weekend. And the demand for movie memorabilia (Christian kitsche) items like the "single nail" pendant, cannot keep up with demand. I guess the "crown of thorns" pendant was a little too irritating against one's skin or tore up fragile blouses, and so it didn't make it past the "trial" stage -- which is where I too almost walked out of the movie. Though I hope the new lipstick shade, "Kissed by the Blood of Christ," sells well.

It did strike me as a bit odd that any man could lift and drag a cross whose SOLID wooden beams were of the thickness portrayed in the film, even more surprising if it is a man who had already lost that much blood and been beaten and bruised so. I imagine that's one of the least heralded miracles in the Bible, Jesus' Samson-like strength.

Were Jesus' captors in the garden, the Jewish priests, Jewish people, Romans, and Herod as vile as they are portrayed in the film? Evil oozes from them (rather like the way it does in movies about the pre-Flood generation of sinful man on earth, or movies about Sodom and Gommorah), not a single humane spark amongst them. Oddly enough, Pilate comes off rather well, yet we know more about Pilate's blood stained historical past than anyone else's in the film. Pilate was a "biter" in real life.

The story of Jesus' trial and suffering was probably a Christian creation or exagerrated emendation, composed during a time when the Christians and Jews were at odds with one another. The Romans probably did crucify Jesus at least as a disturber of the peace and potential insurrectionist.  But the stories about the Jewish involvement and the story of them pursuing Jesus in such a single-minded fashion have probably been exagerrated at least to some degree, since every religious group thinks the whole world revolves around them.

By the way, The Gospels and Acts disagree on how Judas died, was it from hanging himself or by falling "headlong" and having his guts burst open? A little later a third story was invented by Christians concerning how Judas met his final end, i.e., by being crushed to death by a passing mule cart in a narrow gateway of the city of Jerusalem.

Since Pat Robertson owns the Ice Capades, he and Mel should get together and put on another blockbuster:
Two problems:
1) You'd have to use the zamboni to clean the ice a lot more frequently.
2) After seeing the show, the audience might not be able to even look at a "cherry snow-cone" again.

-- Edward T. Babinski
and Barry Karr (Barry Karr edits the Skeptical Inquirer for CSICOP)

Minister Dies From Snakebite During Easter Service At ChurchPOSTED: 10:59 AM EDT April 14, 2004
UPDATED: 11:19 AM EDT April 14, 2004

ROSE HILL, Va. -- The minister of a church in far southwest Virginia has died after being bitten by a snake during church services.

Authorities say the Reverend Dwayne Long of Rose Hill was bitten by a rattlesnake Sunday afternoon and refused to seek medical treatment. He died early Monday at his home.

Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons says Long was a minister at a Pentecostal church where members practice serpent-handling.

Parsons says Long was holding a rattlesnake during an Easter service when the snake bit him on the back of a finger. He says the congregation prayed for the minister, but no one -- including Long -- sought medical treatment.

The sheriff says he doubts any charges will be filed, because, in his words, "it's their belief."

Actors Whip Easter Bunny at Church Show
Associated Press
GLASSPORT, Pa. - A church trying to teach about the crucifixion of Jesus performed an Easter show with actors whipping the Easter bunny and breaking eggs, upsetting several parents and young children. People who attended Saturday's performance at Glassport's memorial stadium quoted performers as saying, "There is no Easter bunny," and described the show as being a demonstration of how Jesus was crucified. Melissa Salzmann, who brought her 4-year-old son J.T., said the program was inappropriate for young children. "He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped," Salzmann said.
Patty Bickerton, the youth minister at Glassport Assembly of God, said the performance wasn't meant to be offensive. Bickerton portrayed the Easter rabbit and said she tried to act with a tone of irreverence. "The program was for all ages, not just the kids. We wanted to convey that Easter is not just about the Easter bunny, it is about Jesus Christ," Bickerton said. Performers broke eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt and also portrayed a drunken man and a self-mutilating woman, said Jennifer Norelli-Burke, another parent who saw the show in Glassport, a community about 10 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. "It was very disturbing," Norelli-Burke said. "I could not believe what I saw. It wasn't anything I was expecting."
Information from: The Daily News

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