Saturday, August 26, 2006

Does Meathead Tip Hollywood's Hand?

Actor Rob Reiner said that Mel Gibson's apology to the Jewish community wasn't enough. He has to acknowledge that "his work reflects anti-Semitism," particularly the 2004 hit movie "The Passion of the Christ," Reiner told Associated Press Radio.

For more, read Meathead: Mel Gibson Reflects Anti-Semitism

The passion of Christ is anti-semitic? Would Mr. Reiner say that the Gospel of Matthew is anti-semitic? Or how about Mark, Luke, or John? Or how about the Acts of the Apostles where St. Peter, when speaking of Christ, said to the people, that it was they "with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross," or when speaking to the Jewish Sanhedrin, said to them of Christ, "whom you killed by hanging him on a tree." St. Peter was anti-semitic, right Rob? Was St. Peter also anti-Italian? How about St. Paul, when he said about the Jews, "Because of their transgression (the rejection of Christ) salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious." Was St. Paul anti-semitic because he said God brought salvation to another people rather than Israel? Or, how about Jesus himself, when he said to the Pharisees that they were "a brood of snakes, whitewashed tombs filled with dead mens' bones, and hypocrites? In Revelation Jesus called the place where the Jews of Smyrna meet as the "synagogue of Satan!"

Did Mel say anything close to that?

If you are to be consistent, Rob, you'll have to focus your rage on the founder of Christianity, Christ HIMSELF. I'll wait to see if you do that.

My opinion, since I don't know Mr. Reiner that well, is this: the rant against Mel Gibson's deplorable and drunken behavior may be more a back lash at his success with "The Passion of the Christ." Had Gibson not produced and directed such a high impact movie with such success, but perhaps had continued with banal projects, such as "Lethal Weapon V, VI & VII" or Conspiracy Theory II, or "Bird on a Clothesline" or another post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" movie, Mel's idiotic and evil behavior would have gone unnoticed. Many politicians, those on the left side of the aisle, have said anti-semitic remarks, with little media attention in comparison.

Let's hear it Rob, from your own lips, Christ is anti-semitic.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

People want to see mel Gibson screw up. He has done a bang up job keeping his personal affairs out of the media's clutches and now that he's had a few slips--the media is all over him like flies on cake.
I feel sorry for Mel.
It's like telling your co-workers you're a Christian--they watch you extra close so that when you screw up, they can be the first ones to point it out.
Sounds like sour grapes to me.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Yes. I would call it more an anti-Christ spirit. If Mel was faithful to the Gospels, then people, in order to be consistent, must also say the Gospel writers, even Jesus was anti-semitic.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

There really is no doubt that Mel's actions and words betrayed an anti-semitism he harbors at some level. That brings into question the level of it he brought with him into his interpretation of the gospels in his movie The Passion.

If you are looking for anti-semitism in the gospels you can easily find it, but that would be one's own interpretation. Heck, some people accused me of being an anti-semite because I condemned Israel's bombing on Lebanon's civilian population and infrastructure. Anti-semitism is easy to find anywhere if you look hard enough, as is all bigotry.

Just a side question, why would someone find it necessary to tell their coworkers that they are "a Christian?" When a coworker told me he was a vegetarian I couldn't help but notice when he eat a ham sandwich. "How is that vegetarian thing working out for you?" Just like when my self-described Christian coworkers would gossip, it stood out as something they said they shouldn't be doing.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous js said...

The thing that really pisses me off with all the cool-aid drinkers on either side of the isle is that they attack whatever the other party is for and they stand behind idiocy withen their own party, the left just wanted Mel to fail because he made the Passion and it slaughtered everything hollywierd did that year. I can't understand how anyone, left or right, could pull against the country, no matter their political views.

And how could the gospels not be anti-semetic?? the jews killed JC if the Bible is to be believed, that would be like saying John Wilkes Botth wasn't a southern supporter.



At 5:59 PM, Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

And how could the gospels not be anti-semetic?? the jews killed JC if the Bible is to be believed, that would be like saying John Wilkes Botth wasn't a southern supporter.



Dear jsull,

The Romans killed the Jews. And there were no "Christians" at the time. There were Jews and there were followers of the Jew, Jesus.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I guess meathead should go after The President too. Does believing a jew is going to burn in hell make one an Anti-Semite? Do not all Christians beleive Jews are going to hell?

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

JS - Bad analogy, Booth was motivated less by his Southern Sympathies and more by his own sense of failure. Also, there is actual physical proof John Wilkes Booth actually existed and that he is resonsible for the action attirbuted to him. No such proof as to the existence of Jesus Christ can be found.

Not that he didn't exist...I'm just saying...He most likely did exist just not in the way he has been mythologized.

As to the premise that Meathead is tipping Hollywood's hand, your argument is based on the existence of some sort of an organized anti-christian plot or plan. Obviously one does not exist. I supose one could consider it another faith based belief in a "war on christians."

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous js said...

alot of folks have killed the jews and the christians and the pagans. and the blacks and whites and yellows too.

Its no leap to say the followers of the Jew, JC, were christians. If the Bible is to be believed then the Jews killed JC. I don't follow the disagreement.

It would be almost impossible to convince anyone the JC didn't exist (i realize your weren't trying to do this)and I didn't speak of Booths motivation, or Botth as I typed, all i stated was that he had southern leanings.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


There is a problem within Christian circles that is very difficult to solve...uh, Christians. I mean this sincerely, for those who feel they HAVE to announce to others that they are Christian is an immature means to "witness" to others about their faith. Being a Christian, I understand this, for it is a good-willed attempt to make inroads to people to explain "the greatest story ever told." People, such as yourself, who perhaps don't want to hear it, feel like it's wierd and self-promoting. I understand that, being human. I had times when Christians I knew personally who knew I was Christian, came to my front door to do some "door-to-door witnessing" and awkwardly took me through their little "survey." I grew angry because they were so interested in following their format, they insulted my intelligence. I angrily, with charity, told them to stop this at once and learn to RELATE to people on the human level. I asked them (to prick their conscience) why they, with full knowledge, why they were doing this to me? You know what their response was? "Well, you may act like a Christian, but are you really sure?" I think it was more that I didn't attend their denominational church. They walked away without, I'm sure, grasping what I told them. (sigh)

So the main problem with Christianity is CHRISTIANS! However, this is no reflection on Christ. The stupidity that Christians engage in have no bearing on my faith whatsoever. It just makes life a little more difficult with others who have had bad experiences with them.

I must also say, that there are Christians who are superb examples of what Christ taught. Unfortunately, those people don't hit the radar screen. People like your fundie neighbors do, which is also unfortunate.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

As to the conspiracy against Christians, I don't think one exists in Hollowwood either as an organized effort per se. However, I don't think I'm blowing things out of proportion to say that there is a mentality against Christianity. Some for good reasons, such as the often publicized poor examples that are on display for all to see. Hypocrisy is on parade; the very vice that Christ warned for us to avoid like the plague. So when Christians act hypocritically, they create a scandal that rightfully lands back in their lap.

On the other hand, these negative attitudes exist for the wrong reasons as well. Simply put, people in general don't like what Christ taught. Period. For example, people will quote Christ when it comes to love one another, or "judge not lest ye be judged" in response to bad behavior from Christians. But when Jesus teaches teaches the hard stuff like, Christ's divinity with, "I and the Father are One", "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by me." In addition, he requires us to repent of our sins, leave all to follow Him, love our enemies, etc. These are the words that irritate people too. People want the freedom to pick and choose the Jesus they want...including Christians.

Sadly, there is no cure for hypocrisy among Christians except a heart change; God doesn't force Himself on them either. They are free to botch-up the job. My hope is that in my little corner, to live so as to reflect Christ as best I can and try to unbotch the mess other Christians have made. My challenge is that in learning to do so, I often botch-up the job as well. I have my own messes to clean up.


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

UL - What do you think of Jim Wallis?

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


I don't have an informed opinion yet. I read just a few of his writings and found them to be even-handed. He takes on both the liberal left and the conservative right, which is the proper role of a prophet. Though I tend to see the issues of human life like a seamless garment, I also see that there are a hierarchy of values that we must adhere, and I'm not sure that Wallis does this. I do know that he and I see things similarly, but I must plead ignorance.

Perhaps in my free time, whenever that is, I'll glance at his God and Politics book, and look throught the Sojourner's site. Then I can be more informed to answer your question.

If you look at what the popes say about the War in Iraq, such as JP II or Benedict XVI, I'm with them. I believe the War in Iraq is an immoral war, but I'm unsure that dialogue with terrorist organizations will work. In that case, I don't think you'll ever see the Vatican give their thumbs up for any war.

Who knows, I may be surprised.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I like that he advocates a salvation through deeds based on the priorities set by christ's deeds, helping the poor, the sick, the children, etc and spending less tiem worrying about what other people are doing. It doesn't affect one's own salvation one way or the other if someone is behaving in a way you consider sinful, but it does affect your salvation if you can and don't help people in need.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

That is, of course if you believe in "Salvation." I prefer to call it gnosis or enlightenment.


At 6:21 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

The core of Christianity is found in the very word "Christian." A Christian is simply one who is like Christ; or, one who follows Christ in order to be like Him within one's own state of life.

I'm glad, Cranky, that you are disposed to works of mercy. That is MUCH needed in our world. Besides it speaks much louder than words any day, which is what some of my Christian family need to recognize, though sadly some don't.

However, might I add that the issue of sin, which Christ also proclaimed, and I'm assuming Rev. Wallis does as well, is an unwelcome message.

We, as flawed humans, don't want other flawed or even more flawed people saying that we're sinners; we have fallen short of the holiness of God. We think ourselves okay and find this message insulting, along with some insulting tactics employed.

On the same token, Jesus received the anger of his peers while standing up to the injustices of his day. As you know, the leaders angered and felt insulted to the point of eventually killing Christ. Some truths are too hard to hear.

Perhaps you are recognizing firsthand that Protestant Evangelicalism doesn't have a strong voice for social justice. Anyone who does as a Protestant is breaking new ground among protestants, which creates controversy. As Catholics, this has been in our tradition for ages, so we're used to it and see it as quite normal. To protestants, they see a focus on social action alone as selling out to the highest purpose we Christians have on this earth: "the preaching of the gospel." Their view of Christianity is often very narrow, which by default, makes them look like the Pharisees Jesus often rebuked. I do think they are good-willed though, though misguided.

I'm speaking of a small minority of Protestants, though. Cranky, I hope you run into a good group of Christians who are mature enough in their faith to show you what true Christianity is. Then you won't have to find T-shirts to show your frustration.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I really wish you didn't link to Anne Coulter.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

I want to add more to my chuckle. Part of (I think) maintaining the highest level of objectivity concerning news and world events is to view what people are saying on both sides. Even enemies, when trying to destroy someone, have some element of truth that is worthwhile. I look at the arguments to see what is valid...and what is not valid.

So, in the argument, say, against the War in Iraq, some have very good things to say. When they attack "pre-emptive war" or "regime change", I think they have a point. Just War Theory does NOT allow for regime change as a doctrine where the potentiality of a dictator having contact with terrorists gives cause for a war.

I'm sorry, my neo-conservative friends, but unless there is clear provocation, there is no justification for war. The Iraq War is an example of an unjust war, though it is not as cut and dried as many think. After-the-fact analysis puts Bush as a liar who hoodwinked our nation into war, which I see as a political ploy to garnish support. The Dems and the Repubs were all calling for Saddam's head prior to 2003. It was clearly stated by the Clinton administration and Dems in the congress prior to Bush.

With this in mind, I cannot except the wild claims of those against the war that Bush lied. If anything, someone got it wrong in the CIA or the State Department (which historically is a boil on the rear-end of any sitting president: nobody tells these folks what to do).

Be that as it may, now that we're in it, we have a moral responsibility to bring a just outcome to this conflict, which I think will take nothing short of a miracle. With the Sunni/Shia hatred and the artificiality of the borders of Iraq that were drawn up in the beginnning of the last century has created a caldron of conflict. I think the Bush Admin. was a bit short-sighted with the universal blessings of Democracy.

I think it takes a certain caliber of people to be governed according to a Democratic Republic with an understanding of moral and natural law to make it work. I don't say that because I'm elitist (though it painfully sounds that way!), but as the French historian DeToqueville discovered as he traveled the United States soon after the Revolution, Democracy works only with a people who have the moral and religious underpinnings to support it (my paraphrase, of course, which may have botched it up some).

I don't know if the Shia and Sunni can come together in a Democratic Republic, since their religious differences drive them to kill each other.

I'm also skeptical of the Bush Doctrine that Democracy is for all people, as if Democracy is a religion that transforms societies. It doesn't transform societies, it reflects them. This is why I'm concerned for our society; it may not soon have the moral grit to govern itself. Unless we see the need for personal transformation, political opportunism and greed will tear us apart.

So much for my diatribe.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

She betrays the more conciliatory tone you have recently undertaken.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Anne knows how to fire up the troops. I'm keeping her link.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

This would be the point where I would normal get angry and point out the obvious hypocrisy of a self confessed Christian doing something so un-Christlike as promoting the evil and hate that Ann Coulter spews, but I'm not into that today. I really don't care. My anger is giving way to sadness.


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