|Hopefully someday you will come to realize who God is and why he sent his son to show us not only his truths but the way we can someday be with him. Without God none of us would have the capacity to love anyone since God is love.|
I hope you went to see "The Passion of the Christ" as it really showed what happenened from historical accounts of those last 12 hours of his life.
Chad, old boy, bad news....God is a Woman.
And regarding your movie:
"See The Movie, Buy The Nail Jesus died for your sins -- and also to sell you a really bitchin' "Passion" coffee mug"
You, yes you, can right now purchase a truly stylin' sepia-toned "Passion of the Christ" cross-adorned coffee mug, an exact replica of the one Jesus Himself used every morning at the Jerusalem Starbucks.
You can buy "witnessing tools," including lapel pins labeled in indecipherable Aramaic (yay Aramaic! What a comeback! Who knew?) and lapel pins with crucifixes, and packs of "witnessing cards" to swap with your Jesus-happy friends, just like the Disciples did when they sat around the holy campfire, swapping tales of sad lost goddesses and making s'mores with communion wafers and pink Easter marshmallow peeps.
But nothing says "slightly masochistic Jesus fanatic" like adorning your fine self with a two-inch silver pewter crucifixion-nail pendant, hanging 'round your neck from a nice 24-inch leather cord. Oh my yes.
It's an actual product, available right now for about ten bucks from Mel Gibson's official "Passion of the Christ" movie Web site, while supplies last, which they will forever and ever because they're doubtlessly made in bulk by Malaysian sweatshop workers wearing faded "Lethal Weapon IV" T-shirts who all believe in a very unhappy Allah. Irony, it knoweth no boundaries.
The nail will be, I imagine, a hot-selling item indeed, given the desperate hoopla surrounding "Passion". Busloads of wide-eyed Christians trucked in by the tens of thousands, coupled with serious claims of anti-Semitism to ardent claims of lame historical revisionism and scary claims about Mel Gibson's ulterior agenda, given how he's, you know, a stringently conservative, ultradevout and allegedly antifeminist, homophobic member of a rather creepy orthodox Catholic sect called the Holy Family, a guy who is right now building his own, private, multimillion-dollar conservative-Catholic church somewhere outside Malibu where you will not want to ever visit.
And, as for the nail pendants, well, the late, great comedian Bill Hicks probably said it best when he commented, "A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a f--in' cross? It's kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on."
And why not? Why not hawk cheap-ass Jesus-branded "Passion" movie tie-in swill and call it a way to spread "a message of hope by creating jewelry and gifts of exceptional quality, which will inspire people to express and share their faith"? This is America, dammit. Nothing is sacred -- especially that which is supposedly most sacred of all.
After all, cheap movie swag is an American tradition. We expect and demand it and aren't we all just a little shocked this time out that we can't have, say, a cute Mary Magdalene mood ring for girls that changes color as your divine feminine power is shut down and demonized and made whorelike by the Catholic elders? Free for a limited time inside specially marked Happy Meals.
Word has it that "Passion" is a brutal, horrific, harrowing film, almost pornographic in Gibson's obsession with depicting every gruesome detail of the torture of Jesus. And, while Gibson can be an excellent director, his film has many detractors already, like The New Yorker's David Denby, who calls the film a "sickening death trip" and "one of the cruellest movies in the history of the cinema." There is no doubt the movie contains powerful images and thought-provoking subject matter and bone-crushing dismemberments the likes of which we haven't seen since "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Jaws IV: This Time It's Personal."
But, given the swag and the massive marketing push and the coffee mugs and the 20 bucks you gotta drop to go have yourself and a companion pummeled into guilty depressed submission, it is also, it must be repeated, yet another form of slick, brutally melodramatic propaganda, a harshly toned product disguised as an epic tale disguised as religious history wrapped in a heavy swooping organ-heavy soundtrack all designed to deliver one man's radicalized, masochistic, blood-soaked view of religious redemption.
And you know what? Hawking the sacred as cheap cheeseball tchotchke is nothing new. Every religion in the world does it, shamelessly, from Buddhism to Taoism to the psycho Scientology cult. Hell, the Vatican has been doing it for centuries, passing the plate and guilting the throngs into empowering the church to further guilt the throngs into empowering the church to buy massive amounts of property and political influence and some nice new robes and a huge team of pedophilia-defense lawyers.
No, the lesson here is not that it is unacceptable to try to do for Jesus what "Finding Nemo" did for clown fish. The lesson here is not merely that Mel Gibson is a religious bonkjob with a great eye for miserable, bloody battle scenes and giant nails being pounded through bloody hands by sadistic Roman thugs in hideous slo-mo.
The lesson here is simply a reminder, easily forgotten amongst the hype and the creepiness and the busloads of devout Christians who are finally getting their very own "Apocalypse Now," a film that has found a perfect mode by which to market a particularly harsh, ruthless religious view via well-worn channels of pop consumerism.
For the rest of us, it's worth remembering that the divine doesn't give a whit for salesmanship, or orthodoxy, or clever camera work, or violent swag. It has little patience for lopsided, agenda-ridden, sickeningly violent depictions of unspeakably cruel suffering. Epic biblical storytelling is well and fine and is always good for a protest and an outcry and a handsome, pained Jesus staring up at the sky, thinkin' 'bout love.
Hey, you want to engage Mel on his odd hyper-religious viewpoints and take his rampant historical inaccuracies to task and use his film as an awkward launching point to discuss Western religious doctrine, like so many religious leaders are promoting? Have at it.
As always, it is your choice. You can think you need to have your spiritual belief coated in gallons of blood and death and grisly sacrifice and really bitchin' cinematography, of cruel beatings and nightmarish tortures and gruesome crucifixions, and that's what you want to zero in on and make extra-super clear and "real" so as to have everyone be equally hammered into guilty pulpy submission.
Or, you know, you don't. Jesus, rumor has it, didn't die for sin. He died for enlightenment. He didn't die so people would walk around all day in ugly nail necklaces thinking about bloody violent death, swapping quote cards and thinking they know something of the divine. He died to indicate humanity's need to purge itself of hate, war, violence and ego -- you know, all those things now performed in his name. Right, Dubya?
It might be as simple as saying, you know, the last thing anyone really needs hammered into them right now is more brutal, fanatical sanctimony on a string.