AMERICAN CHRISTIANS DON’T THREATEN JEWS: In the Wall Street Journal, Rabbi Aryeh Spero writes:
And herein lies one of the most disheartening but salient observations one is forced to make, post-“Passion,” about many in the Jewish community: They still don’t get it. Even after more than two charmed centuries in America, they confuse contemporary America with medieval and postmedieval Europe, still not realizing how America and American Christians are a category wholly different from those of other nations, other religions and other strains of Christianity.
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To be sure, there were justifiable reasons for apprehension given some elements in and circumstances surrounding the film. Aside from the understandable worry that Jews were for the first time being depicted on widely distributed American celluloid as eager for Jesus’ death, there was the devilish ugliness in which they were physically portrayed, something not found in the New Testament. The graphic ugliness, blood and gore was thought to be potentially more scorching than the Gospel text.
What’s more, Mr. Gibson’s father is a notorious Holocaust denier. Surmising that perhaps branch follows root, some suspected that the producer-director’s intent was to portray Jews as the focal point of evil in the crucifixion episode, to return us to the pre-Vatican II days of Jews as official “Christ-killers.” Mr. Gibson declined to distance himself from his father’s remarks about Jews, whether because he agreed or simply out of filial loyalty. Added to this mix was the combustible ingredient of Mr. Gibson’s subscription to a fundamentalist brand of Catholicism critical of Vatican II.
Yet for all this, acts against Jews never materialized. The reason is that anti-Semitism flowers not so much in the seed as in the soil, and the American soil–the disposition of its people–has proved over two centuries to be remarkably resistant to strains of anti-Semitism.
Read the whole thing.
(Via the Brothers Judd.)