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Saturday, October 23rd, 2004
12:05 am - [Everything the Critics Said About Mel Gibson's The Passion Was Wrong]

"Gibson’s film is also a vindication of orthodox Christianity. Though condemned by a handful of liberal churchmen, it was warmly embraced by believers of all denominations. Significantly, all of the criticism of Gibson’s film came from countries where Christianity is either on the defensive or actually dying. In the Third World, where the Faith is growing, no one condemned it. Instead, it was embraced by the entire episcopate of the Philippines and the leading churchmen of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa. Gibson’s depiction of Christ was thoroughly orthodox. As Kenneth Woodward wrote in the New York Times, Gibson’s Jesus "doesn’t promote social causes. . . . He certainly doesn’t crusade against gender discrimination, as some feminists believe he did, nor does he teach that we all possess an inner divinity, as today’s nouveau Gnostics believe. One cannot imagine this Jesus joining a New Age sunrise Easter service overlooking the Pacific."

Those who prefer a New Age Jesus (or no Jesus at all) were shocked by Gibson’s film, which, for a moment, caused a welcome shift in our national discourse from endless chatter over such trivialities as Janet Jackson’s "wardrobe malfunction" to matters of real importance. It is hard to imagine a film about any other historical figure having such an impact. Whether one believes in Him or not, Jesus remains the central figure in history. And Gibson’s depiction of His last hours will continue to be watched long after all of Gibson’s critics are forgotten and their efforts to deconstruct the Gospels have come to naught."

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