Passion in a Teacup

I have not paid an awful lot of attention to the brouhaha over The Passion over the past few months, but the hue and cry that has been unleashed since the film's release is such that I feel I would be remiss if I did not comment.  Since the points I am going to make have already been made in the various other essays on this web site, I will attempt to summarize them as briefly as possible.

1) I am profoundly disturbed by a double-standard that favors Judaism on purely secular grounds.  I hold no brief for Mel Gibson or for chr*stianity, but if arguments against films that offend one religion are going to be made on secular grounds, then the same arguments must be made against films that offend all others as well.  When we are under Noachide Law that recognizes HaShem as the True G-d and the Torah as His Ultimate Revelation to mankind (and the Seven Noachide Laws as the authentic code for non-Jews) then I will be in favor of a double standard that defends Judaism alone.  Favoring Judaism over chr*stianity in the name of secularism obscures the fact that Judaism is itself a religion--as a matter of fact, the religion from which chr*stianity derives many of its core ideas.  Furthermore, it creates the impression that Judaism is in league with secularism and anti-religion (a chillul HaShem if there ever was one) and reinforces the vain beliefs of the chr*stians, since they feel they are being persecuted for "the truth."  No Orthodox Jew or practicing Noachide should allow these perceptions to go unchallenged.

2) Similarly (though this does not touch on the subject of The Passion directly), I am opposed to rationalizing the banning of chr*stian religious displays and observances on public property while permitting Jewish religious displays and observances in the same places on purely secular grounds. Again, when Noachide Law is in force and chr*stian displays and holidays are banned because they are false and idolatrous I will be all for it.  However, our liberal culture has arbitrarily cast chr*stianity in the role of the representative of objective religious truth claims and Judaism as representing subjectivism and pluralism (ie, that all religions are equally false and should be limited to the private sphere).  All mankind should acknowledge Judaism precisely because it is True in a sense that no other religion is.  As it is, while chr*stian symbols are interpreted by secularists as representing the truth claims of chr*stianity (and therefore to be discouraged) Jewish symbols are encouraged by the same people as symbols not of Judaism but of liberalism and secularism.  Again, could a greater chillul HaShem be possible?

3) While liberal Jews (and many Orthodox Jews as well) are alienating sincere chr*stians by implying that secularism and "tolerance" themselves demand a sensitivity to Judaism and Jews that cannot be shown to chr*stianity on the same grounds, a pogrom is actually taking place in Israel.  Yasser Arafat (yimach shemo vezikhro), the man with the most Jewish blood on his hands since The Embodiment of All Evil himself (yimach shemo vezikhro), while being criticized, simply does not seem to elicit the emotional outbursts that the potential of chr*stian anti-Semitism does.  Moreover, if these Jews are truly so opposed to chr*stianity, why do they permit chr*stians to live and practice their anti-Semitic religion in 'Eretz Yisra'el?  The first sovereign Jewish state in almost two thousand years has the holiest places in chr*stendom in its hands and it feels compelled by "liberalism" and "tolerance" to treat them with the greatest respect.  Indeed, the "indigenous" chr*stians of Israel (perhaps the most anti-Semitic in the entire world) are not discouraged by a Jewish government from celebrating chr*stmas nor is Chanukkah "forced" on them.  Why can't Jews who find sincere (and often philo-Semitic) chr*stians in the West such an easy target to attack and alienate find the voice to attack and expose the vipers of the same religion who live in, and claim for themselves, the Jewish Homeland?  The fact is that if The Passion had been made by "palestinian" chr*stians in Israel or by the PA the reaction against it would have been much more restrained.  Some Jews seem to enjoy reinforcing the reputation of Judaism and `Am Yisra'el as being hostile to "religion."  I only hope that sincere chr*stians will note the great difference between the "Jewish" liberal media's treatment of chr*stians in Israel itself (where chr*stians represent the same liberalism and subjectivism that Jews allegedly do in the United States) and that of chr*stians in the West and ask themselves why this is.  Unfortunately, experience has shown that dark forces will attempt to use the pain of chr*stians outside Israel to encourage them to identify with the leftist chr*stians of the Holy Land and against the Torah Jews there who are working to bring about the universal recognition of the One True G-d.

Mel Gibson may or may not be an evil man.  HaShem will judge him.  I most certainly do not rule out the possibility of sinister intentions on his part.  But I plea with Orthodox Jews and practicing Noachides to make sure that chr*stians understand that the true Jewish case against chr*stianity is that of true devotion to G-d against falsehood.  G-d help us when every news item (other than those that deal with Israel itself) reinforce the blasphemous notion that `Am Yisra'el is the enemy of G-d (chas vechalilah!).