Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Undercover at the movies

I went to see Mel Gibson's Passion tonight. My ticket came from a friend, who bought it through her church, which bought out two screens tonight. So I was the undercover atheist.

There was certainly a degree of proselytizing there, from the pastor's wife, who prayed and promoted her church at both the beginning and the end, to the packets that were handed out to everyone at the entrance.

What I don't understand is how any church-goer could think that this movie would convert anyone to Christianity. Way beyond me.

It's gruesome, deliberately, slowly, cruelly so, to underscore Gibson's sense of the meaning of Jesus' death, that he "died for our sins". There are other interpretations of his death, very different, but I won't go into those here and now. The film is also very black and white, good and bad. Mary good, soldiers bad.

It was more similar to Jesus Christ Superstar than to The Last Temptation of Christ, but I doubt Mel would want to hear that.

In the end, I felt more anger than anything else, had some difficulty figuring it out. I love this story and am normally very moved by it. I was moved this time, too, but more by anger and frustration than love. I kept thinking of good Christians killing Iraqis, for example, and it just didn't come together. What has changed? What has Christianity done for us?? WHat???

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