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Monday, September 22, 2003

"Do you ever blog about anything other than the Gibson film?"

--you may be developing good reason to ask.'s heating back up again. What can I say?

Yesterday, Barbara Nicolosi offered a providential example corroborating that whole lengthy "house dividing" essay below. She quit Ligourian magazine after they refused to print her review:

They refused to print my review of The Passion because they are afraid of siding with a film that some people are saying is anti-Semitic. They wanted to me rewrite my review to be less of a rave and "more balanced" - whatever that is in a movie review. My sense is the anti-Semitism thing is just a blind for the real issue - if Mel was a liberal, they would have no problem with the film. The magazine is setting itself on the wrong side of this whole question...and I do not choose to be on the wrong side with them.

"Man, I'm tired of being right!"

She also has an interesting account of her experience "debating" the film on NPR, along with Michael Medved and against Prof. Fredriksen and Peter Boyer of The New Yorker. Why the "scare" quotes? Because it's hard to debate when you're gagged by the moderator....Take and read.

Which brings me to the most recent issue of OSV, containing a useful examination of the controversy. It's not yet online, but it contained some interesting nuggets, such as the fact that the actress playing Mary, the Mother of God, is, er, um Jewish and a Yiddish recording star in her native Rumania. Then again, she's not a "mainstream" Catholic scholar wielding "modern biblical scholarship," so she likely was unable to notice the problems with the script.

OSV also published some new evidence, quoting from e-mail obtained from the script's translator, that the script was obtained under dubious circumstances.

Also, Michael Medved gave an interview, calling the anti-Semitic claims "insane" and offering an interesting analysis of the anti-Semitic nature of Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ. He even approached the ADL about the problems with that film in hopes of getting them to protest, but the League was uninterested. [Thanks to Patrick Sweeneyfor the tipoff about the OSV article.]

Finally, a writer at Enter Stage Right posts a worthwhile analysis of the controversy in three installments, using Kierkegaard's ruminations on Jesus' ministry and the Passion as the framework for his essay. [Link via Relapsed Catholic].

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