Debbie Daniel writes about The Passion of the Christ. Here's an excerpt:
"Not only will “The Passion of the Christ” be one of, if not THE most, outstanding movies of all time, but we’ve witnessed something in these past few days that is a phenomenon. We’ve had newscasters actually discussing “salvation” and “a belief in Jesus Christ” on the nightly news. Now that’s for the record books. I’m still in shock.
I sat watching the television as pundits bantered back and forth the “news” of Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” I never thought I’d live to see the day when a belief in Jesus Christ would be the topic of a major news network, but all of them were discussing it. Dateline NBC even had a one hour segment called the “Power of Faith” – introducing a theory that the presence of Jesus in our everyday lives and at the workplace could very well make a difference . . . it might be something we would want to consider."
I think that based on that alone, Mel Gibson's movie has been a success. Bravo Mel Gibson. I've seen shots from the movie and it is quite gory, altogether brutal. Some people will not understand this movie, I'm sure. Some critics have already had violent reactions, criticizing everything from the decision to have Aramaic language (just being true to the time) to the decision to concentrate on the suffering (hence the title, kids--it's about the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ). All of these are controversial, including the accusations that it is Anti-Semitic. Come to think of it, if you have a movie depicting the crimes of Hitler and Goebbels, does that make it Anti-German?
However I think the biggest thing here is that Mel Gibson, movie star, celebrity and staunch Catholic, has the world talking about Jesus Christ again, as Debbie Daniel chronicles. I know it will probably not bring religion back to schools in the US, but at least, I figure, more people will ponder upon the sacrifices and suffering that the Lord underwent in human form to guarantee our salvation. Will it convert people? I doubt that. However, it will strengthen faith and maybe even renew broken baptism vows.
I can't say that I'm a staunch Catholic. I am, at most, remiss; most probably I can be considered non-practicing. I know that I am on the verge of heresy with my intense studies into Goddess-worship. But I raise my glass to Mr. Gibson, who has invested a considerable amount in telling the world of his belief and his religion, in spreading the Word, no matter how stark and brutal his depiction of that Word may be. I'm looking forward to being able to watch the movie. Who knows? I might actually be moved to be a better Catholic.