Passion vs. Anti-Passion

Our Lord in the Passion
Feedback is pouring in concerning the first TFP Student Action discussion. Our readers were asked what they thought of the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” Most of the responses praised the movie. Only a couple believed that the movie was not worth seeing.

Please take a few moments to read through the excerpts below.

“I thought it was a fabulous movie. As a Catholic I am extremely proud that another Catholic made this movie, a movie widely accepted by Christians around the world. I did not think the movie was anti-semitic or overly violent in any way, shape, or form. I think the thought of Christianity being strong and alive still today scares many people and that is why the movie has received so much controversy and criticism. I strongly support Mel Gibson for showing his morals and values in such a positive way and more so in the face of criticism and in today’s sex and violence-loving society and media. In this time of Lent this movie was so appropriate and welcome in reminding people of the meaning of Lent and of our lives. We live to serve Christ, not ourselves. It seems many of us have forgotten that and now more than ever we needed a reminder.”
Maureen M., University of Texas – San Antonio”

The ‘Passion’ was absolutely superb! I believe that if enough people watched it… whether they were believers or not, they would become closer to God and Our Lady! As for the media… the only reason they have negative feelings about the movie is because it is basically a slap in the face to the world! I strongly believe with the sins of the world they do this to Jesus our Lord everyday… and I am only 18 yrs old! People should acknowledge this and “The Passion” basically forces them to do so!”
Maria D., Bakersfield Community College

“I would like to reply to your e-mail, and inform you of my impression of the movie, ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ First of all, I am an eighteen year old female, and I usually close my eyes during acts of extreme violence in movies. However, with this movie not only did I not close my the at all the entire time, but I went back and saw the movie again the following week, and plan on watching it again soon. This movie was so incredibly moving, and inspiring, from the Agony in the Garden to the Resurrection scene at the end. The whole movie took me on a whole different level, and showed me how easily I took Jesus’ death for granted. I cried throughout the movie, and for some reason I got really emotional at the scene where Mary runs to Jesus when he falls and says ‘here I am.’ Jesus says, ‘See Mother, I make all things new,’ and gets back up. The movie first of all not as violent as so many critics are making it out to be, and second of all, the violence was real and it is necessary to make people realize what Jesus actually went through for humanity. I believe that the critics are blasting this movie because they are infuriated that this movie is such a huge success. If the movie had done badly, I believe they would have just laughed it off and moved on to a different subject. This movie is definitely the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life, and you can believe me I will be buying it on dvd when it comes out. I recommend it without reservation.”
Jessica B., Mt. San Jacinto College

“I’ve watched the movie “The Passion” twice, and each time I watched it it gets better, and it hit me harder. The movie draws you into it, and leaves you with much to reflect about. It shows how Our Lord Jesus-Christ sacrificed His Life for our sins. The two times that I went, I didn’t see or hear anyone complain about the movie, most people were touched by it. There’s nothing anti-semitic in it. I’m a native Lebanese Aramaic speaker, so it was great to hear my language on the big screen!”
Samir G., University of Ottawa

“I saw the Passion on Ash Wednesday and I loved the movie. The scene of the scourging was horrific but I think it was intended to be that way. In all my years of praying the stations of the cross or meditating on the Via Dolorosa, I never could have imagined how brutal it really was. It touched me to my core and I have a deeper understanding of what Christ did for each of us. I also have a new understanding of “they mocked him.” The film portrayed this so vividly. I know I am a changed person.”
Julia M.

“I saw “The Passion of the Christ” with my wife on Ash Wednesday. The film was of course excellent and very moving. Mel masterfully blended in Marian and Eucharistic theology from a definite Catholic perspective, so we can only pray that the many protestants seeing this film will be drawn to the one true and Traditional Church. The fact that this movie will probably gross over 1 billion world-wide has the Hollywood and Jewish elites, as well as the anti-Christian liberals, in an an absolute tizzy.”

“The overwhelming positive response to this film is exposing the hypocrisy and despicable agenda of those who attack Mel and this film for what it is.”
Michael R.

“This is not a movie! This is a lifetime experience not comparable to anything else! I think that all technical progress in the film industry had to happen to create this Visual Pearl.”

“It is amazing how people react to the movie! They come with bags of popcorn and sodas and they start to eat as if it was a regular movie. Ten minutes later everybody goes silent and half an hour later you know that most people cry.”

“Why! Because we watch ourselves in the Mirror of Indefinite Love and Mercy who is in front of us, face to face, asking to love our enemies, etc. Every single person is forced to asked herself/himself a fundamental question: am I like Peter, am I like Veronica, am I like Pilate, am I like Roman soldiers, am I like Jewish leaders, etc.? The second question comes right after the first one: what has changed in the world two thousands years later? Why Jesus and his followers are being so often prosecuted for centuries? And the most critical one: hurry up and do something to help Him.”
Maria Z.

“I did see The Passion of the Christ. I thought it was very powerful. Sometimes we can start thinking negatively and when that happens we just need to think about how much Jesus loves us and about the great sacrifice he made for us. The movie should not be controversial at all as the movie is true to the Gospel accounts. When the media reacted as it did I wasn’t surprised. But I think all the controversy might actually be good if more people go to see this film even if they do so out of pure curiosity. A very close friend of mine who is Jewish said he wanted to see the Passion. I was glad to hear that he wants to see it.”
Joe G.

“What do I think of The Passion of the Christ? My first viewing of the first viewing of Mel Gibson’s Passion: Overwhelming! Powerful! Numbing! Awesome! Soul-penetrating! Magnificent! Awesome! Priceless!”

“My second viewing of The Passion of the Christ? God-inspired, masterpiece of cinematic art. The definitive portrayal of Jesus Christ’s redemptive passion and death which will become a classic lenten experience for countless generations of Christians throughout the world. Mel Gibson’s genius has created a film which touches the very core of one’s soul with the conviction of one’s responsibility for the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Christianity will be forever grateful for Gibson’s courage and commitment in the production of ‘The Passion of the Christ.'”
Joseph F.

“‘The Passion of the Christ’ movie is Catholic, it’s a gift from God, and it truly portrays a crucifixion as it should be – bloody! It shows the Blessed Mother close to her Son from birth to death and how she became our Mother as well at the cross. It is the movie I have been waiting for my whole life to see and never expected to see today. It is realistic and yet it was probably far worse then we can ever imagine and yet Mel Gibson has given us a brilliant, by God’s grace, glimpse into the truth of what really happened.”
Cindy P.

“I saw ‘the Passion’ on Ash Wednesday. My eyes have never been more opened before in my life to Jesus. The violence in the movie did help me understand that Jesus did suffer. Growing up religious education showed films and cartoons that seemed to fluff up what has been going on. The reason the people are against this film is because we are in a society where secularism, the Devil’s work, rules. Blasphmous movies like “The Last Temptation of Christ” are not seen as controversial. This movie gives all of us Christians hope that secularism has not defeated us. God is still for us and the Holy Spirit has guided Mel Gibson through this picture. I believe this is a push from God and was meant to be where our society currently is at.”
Conrad M.

“While it was a great movie and well-done, I personally thought it was “over the top” on violence. I am glad that I went but honestly I would not encourage or discourage my friends to see it. Let everyone decide for themselves. I hope it continues to be successful and that it will do a lot of good.”
Elizabeth F.

“Our family viewed The Passion last Saturday evening in a completely full theatre. I have never left a theatre after a movie in complete silence and with people walking in a very slow, meditative state. There are so many comments I could make on this film (our family talked about it for 2 days afterward).The greatest affect that this film had upon us was that our future devotions of the Passion (the rosary, stations, or just viewing a crucifix) will never be the same. ”

“Upon viewing the extreme suffering that Christ endured for our sins, it made us become acutely aware of the pain that Christ must feel when we sin against his commandments.”

“This was the most powerful movie I have ever seen. It will be one of, if not the greatest movies of all time.”
Patricia B.

“My love for Jesus and His mother is very real, but to actually see it on film was amazing. It was so hard to watch Jesus being scourged and crucified, but it only reminded me that it was my sins that made Him go through that. I thought Mel Gibson’s choice for Mary was beautiful. Even several of my protestant friends mentioned something about Mary. I guess people forget that she is “real” and not some statue that we worship. I hope to see it again soon and would recommend it to anyone, believer or nonbeliever.”
Jill C.

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