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Jesus Christ

I have not yet seen The Passion of the Christ, but I've been avidly following the discussions it has engendered. I've found most of the criticism rather irksome, but I wasn't really able to put my finger on exactly why. Then I read this sentence in a post by Debra Galant (linked to from Jeff Jarvis) and it came to me:

But the deeper fear, of course, was that this movie audience - if they knew I was Jewish - might tear me from limb to limb.

What bothers me about such criticism is its casual anti-Christian condescension. Here's Maureen Dowd with another example:

In "Braveheart" and "The Patriot," his other emotionally manipulative historical epics, you came out wanting to swing an ax into the skull of the nearest Englishman. Here, you want to kick in some Jewish and Roman teeth. And since the Romans have melted into history...

The assertion that the Romans have melted into history will surprise the many people who claim Roman ancestry. But the assertion that this country is one movie away from forming anti-Jewish mobs is frankly insulting. And more to the point, just plain wrong.

UPDATE (March 15): I swear I wrote the above before I even knew about Mark Steyn's column on the same subject. He makes just about exactly the same point I do, only being Mark Steyn, he makes it much better.


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