Friday, April 30, 2004


I won't hold my breath, but it certainly would appear they owe him one. Rabbi Daniel Lapin writes in Toward Tradition about the lack of outbreaks of anti-semiticm stemming from TPOTC.

With perhaps one in five Americans already having seen it, "The Passion" continues to rack up attendance records. Would you like to hear an amazing statistic? In spite of dire warnings by some Jewish groups, no American Jews wending their way homewards from the synagogue have been set upon by crucifix-wielding Christians intent on wreaking revenge for the death of Jesus.

I am not being sarcastic. This truly is an amazing statistic. According to Boston police reports, the Oliver Stone-Quentin Tarantino 1994 "Natural Born Killers" inspired several imitation murders including a firefighter killed by a man who claimed to be fascinated by the film.

Nathaniel White claimed that "Robocop" showed him how to kill five women and one girl in a year-long murder spree. Four young gunmen embarked on a killing spree, murdering four after watching the TV movie "Helter Skelter", a film about the Manson murders. The annals of American crime are filled with instances of the unbalanced and the demented acting out silver screen slashing extravaganzas.

Back in February, when "The Passion" was released, would anyone have been willing to guarantee that out of millions of theater-goers, not one lunatic would emerge with mayhem on his mind? I would have offered no such guarantee. Yet, nothing of the sort happened. What did happen is that several criminals were inspired to confess their crimes and submit to trial and incarceration after experiencing "The Passion".

Even the most hostile critic must concede that just as depraved films stimulate degenerate imitation, so do uplifting films stimulate noble behavior. That is certainly what has been happening with "The Passion". Wouldn't it be uplifting and even noble were the Jewish groups who earlier had insulted "The Passion", its maker, the Gospels that inspired it, and indeed all Christians, now to issue an apology?


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