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Mel's movie... "the Passion"

Al Poole

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Al...that's because it doesn't come out til Ash Wednesday...

I will be the first in line to see it...I can't wait...I saw preview this morning...with all the "gore", and it looked true to what I learned in twi...(I hope that doesn't mean I'm hopelessly unrecovered still icon_frown.gif:(-->)

I think the hooplah...ahhhh...nice word...is more of the side of "politically incorrect"...or "hurting someone's feelings"...or...didn't the pope hail forgiveness once to the jews for what "they" did????

I think it's all hooplah...

Like I said...the masses may be getting smudged on Wednesday...I'll be in line... icon_biggrin.gif:D-->

Can't wait icon_smile.gif:)-->

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Hey Wackster!!!

You gonna be running aroung with dirt on your head too?? I tease my mom about that every year...she gets really ....ed! Hee hee!

I can't wait to see it either...personally I think Mel Gibson is a brilliant actor/director. I'm excited to see his take on the crucifiction. And I have to say it takes some rather large cajones to lay your career on the line like that. Kudos to him!

And yes, Al...alot of Jewish organizations are upset because they think it will portray the Jews as barbaric. I disagree, if it's factual, any person with a brain will realize that it has no reflection on today's Jewish religion.

Love y'all,



''...show a little faith, there's magic in the night, you ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright, oh, and that's alright with me...''

-Bruce Springsteen

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I think it is a great idea! Circumstances prevent me from making a promise to see it that particular evening, but I will if I can.

Do you think we should "Private Topic" it in order not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it at that time?

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I've been planning to see it - if only to support Mel-baby. I'm not a big fan of blood & gore (the teachings I've heard & read make me nauseous) but in spite of that, I feel it my duty to support someone who shows uncommon valor - it's such a rare thing, these days.

Wouldn't the discussion be complicated to do, via Priv. Topic? If there's more than two discussing the movie.....it would get confusing, trying to post the same comment to how-ever-many are in on the discussion.

Just label the Thread and make the first post a gentle disclaimer that warns not to read further, if ya want to keep the plot or ending a secret until you watch it.

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Oh, you can have multiple people on one private topic, no problem!

Everyone that you want to have in there has to be listed as one of your contacts, and then you go to "my space", "private topics", "new topic", and then you can invite anyone in your contact list to join.

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Author Topic: Mel Gibson's, The Passion-a letter


GS Regular

Registered: June 14, 2002

Posts: 210

Mel Gibson's, The Passion-a letter


Very interesting letter written by Dr. Dobson's daughter about the new movie of the last 12 hours

of Jesus Christs earthly life.

This letter was written by the daughter of James Dobson. It was written after a private screening she and her father had of "The Passion", Mel Gibson's movie about Christ's final hours.

Dear Friends:

A couple months ago, I had the unique privilege of accompanying my family to Mel Gibson's studio to see a private screening of his film, The Passion. Many of you have probably heard about this portrayal of the last 12 hours in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. I can say that The Passion is the most beautiful, profound, accurate, disturbing, realistic, and bloody depiction of this story that I have ever seen! It is truly amazing, and it left all of us speechless for a few minutes when it was over.

Mr.. Gibson entered the room during the last ten minutes of the screening, and stayed for an hour to discuss the content and to answer questions. He's hoping that my dad and Focus on the Family will help promote it, and my dad has (without question!) agreed to do so.

Mr.. Gibson expressed a concern about his position in the entertainment industry, and said that this film will affect his status from here on. When asked why he made the movie, he said that he had no choice in the matter--he felt called to the assignment, and he was determined to carry it out. Questions had been raised as to whether he can find a distributor. Asked about it at the screening, Mr.. Gibson said confidently, "Oh, I'll find a distributor!"

The Passion should not be labeled a religious film, or something to be shown only in churches. Compared with examples of recent Christian films, like Left Behind, The Passion is a work of high art and great storytelling. The rough cut I saw contained graphic scenes, including the seemingly endless scourging of Jesus. The crucifixion scene is long, bloody and painful to watch. It's very disturbing, but it's also moving at the same time. While I was taking all of this in, I was thinking, "Christ did this for ME, and he would have gone through it if I was the only one in all the world, and the same goes for each person who has ever lived!"

To those in the Jewish community who worry that the film, which is scheduled for release next Easter season ('04), might contain anti-Semitic elements, or encourage people to persecute Jews, fear not. The film does not indict Jews for the death of Jesus. It is faithful to the New testament account. Also, Mr.. Gibson, a devout Roman Catholic, does not elevate Mary beyond what Scripture says of her, which will broaden the film's appeal to Protestants.

The dialogue is in Aramaic and Latin. English subtitles are provided, and they are very helpful in following the story line. A decision about using them in the final version has not been made. My family and I tried to persuade Mr.. Gibson to leave the subtitles in, and my dad pointed out that those who are unbelievers (or those who are weak in their understanding) will have no idea of what's going on in the flashback scenes of Jesus' life without subtitles.

In The Passion, few liberties are taken with the Gospel account, and the extra dialogue added helps round out the characters without damaging historical or Biblical accuracy.

Satan is cleverly played as an asexual being who at first seems to be an observer in the Garden of Gethsemane (and other scenes), but then becomes a snake slithering between the character's feet and attempting to wrap itself around the arm of the prostrate and praying Jesus.

The film is an intense two hours. It uses unknown actors, which keeps the focus on the message. By the end of the film (a unique portrayal of the Resurrection), the viewer is exhausted!

Thirteen years ago, actor Mickey Rooney wrote an editorial for Variety in which he said, "The onscreen depiction of religion is less than flattering, and, as a Christian, I pray the era of denigrating religion on screen comes to a screeching halt. And soon."

His prayer has been answered in The Passion. It is a soul-stirring film that deserves wide distribution and viewing.

Its message is not just for Christians, but for everyone. I hope you all will support Mel Gibson's bold and courageous effort to portray the sacrifice that our Lord made for us. Pass this email on, if you feel led, and be sure to see The Passion when it comes out. Yes, it is a disturbing film, but every person should see this realistic depiction of what Christ did for them!

Blessings to you,

Danae Dobson

More about the movie from Paul Harvey

The majority of the media are complaining about this movie. Now Paul

Harvey tells "The Rest of the Story" and David Limbaugh praises


Most people would wait and see a movie before giving the reviews that

have been issued by the reporters trying to tell all of us what to believe.

Paul Harvey's words:

I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled to have been

invited to a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion," but

I had also read all the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a

Jewish town and owe much of my own faith journey to the influence. I

have a life long, deeply held aversion to anything that might even

indirectly encourage any form of anti-Semitic thought, language or


I arrived at the private viewing for "The Passion", held in

Washington DC and greeted some familiar faces. The environment was

typically Washingtonian, with people greeting you with a smile but

seeming to look beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The

film was very briefly introduced, without fanfare, and then the room


From the gripping opening scene in the Garden of

Gethsemane, to the very human and tender portrayal of the earthly

ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging,

the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the surrender

on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not

simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever


In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic

triumph, "The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and

emotional reaction within me than anything since my wedding, my

ordination or the birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the

same When the film concluded, this "invitation only" gathering of

"movers and shakers" in Washington, DC were shaking indeed, but

this time from sobbing. I am not sure there was a dry eye in the

place. The crowd that had been glad-handing before the film was now

eerily silent. No one could speak because words were woefully

inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in

life, the kind that makes heaven touch earth.

One scene in the film has now been forever etched in my mind. A

brutalized, wounded Jesus was soon to fall again under the weight of

the cross. His mother had made her way along the Via Della Rosa. As

she ran to him, she flashed back to a memory of Jesus as a child,

falling in the dirt road outside of their home. Just as she reached

to protect him from the fall, she was now reaching to touch his

wounded adult face. Jesus looked at her with intensely probing and

passionately loving eyes (and at all of us through the screen) and

said "Behold I make all things new." These are words taken from the

last Book of the New Testament, the Book of the Revelation. Suddenly,

the purpose of the pain was so clear and the wounds, that earlier in

the film had been so difficult to see in His face, His back, indeed

all over His body, became intensely beautiful. They had been borne

voluntarily for love.

At the end of the film, after we had all had a chance to recover, a

question and answer period ensued. The unanimous praise for the film,

from a rather diverse crowd, was as astounding as the compliments

were effusive. The questions included the one question that seems to

follow this film, even though it has not yet even been released. "Why

is this film considered by some to be "anti-Semitic?" Frankly, having

now experienced (you do not "view" this film) "the Passion" it is a

question that is impossible to answer. A law professor whom I admire

sat in front of me. He raised his hand and responded "After watching

this film, I do not understand how anyone can insinuate that it even

remotely presents that the Jews killed Jesus. It doesn't." He

continued "It made me realize that my sins killed Jesus". I agree.

There is not a scintilla of anti-Semitism to be found anywhere in

this powerful film. If there were, I would be among the first to

decry it. It faithfully tells the Gospel story in a dramatically

beautiful, sensitive and profoundly engaging way.

Those who are alleging otherwise have either not seen the film or

have another agenda behind their protestations. This is not a

"Christian" film, in the sense that it will appeal only to those who

identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. It is a deeply

human, beautiful story that will deeply touch all men and women. It

is a profound work of art. Yes, its producer is a Catholic Christian

and thankfully has remained faithful to the Gospel text; if that is

no longer acceptable behavior than we are all in trouble History

demands that we remain faithful to the story and Christians have a

right to tell it. After all, we believe that it is the greatest story

ever told and that its message is for all men and women. The greatest

right is the right to hear the truth.

We would all be well advised to remember that the Gospel narratives

to which "The Passion" is so faithful were written by Jewish men who

followed a Jewish Rabbi whose life and teaching have forever changed

the history of the world. The problem is not the message but those

who have distorted it and used it for hate rather than love. The

solution is not to censor the message, but rather to promote the kind

of gift of love that is Mel Gibson's filmmaking masterpiece, "The


It should be seen by as many people as possible. I intend to do

everything I can to make sure that is the case. I am passionate about

"The Passion." You will be as well. Don't miss it!

-- Paul Harvey

[This message was edited by Lightside on January 22, 2004 at 13:51.]

posted December 11, 2003 20:46

Watered Garden

Knows the menu too well

From: The Heart Of It All

Registered: June 13, 2002

Posts: 281


I'll go see it for sure. I think Mel Gibson has developed as a man and an actor a lot over the years. His faith has undoubtedly played a part in that.

With all of the ultra-liberaland ultra-vocal Hollywood elite, I think Gibson has a lot of guts to carry out his mission.


posted December 11, 2003 21:13


I'm fine, really

From: Radcliff, Ky USA

Registered: September 28, 2003

Posts: 717



God loves Lightside

Hi Lightside

I look forward to seeing it


with love


posted December 11, 2003 21:17


GS Regular

Registered: October 11, 2002

Posts: 93


I cannot wait to see it. Although I doubt it will show the four others crucified with him.

posted December 11, 2003 21:20


Chat Room Repair Guy

From: Texas

Registered: June 07, 2002

Posts: 1579


I don't really care about the four others or two others or however many there were.

It's the guy in the middle that I am interested in.


"Most of my fondest memories in TWI never really happened"

posted December 11, 2003 21:33

A la prochaine

I'm fine, really

From: The Northland!

Registered: September 07, 2002

Posts: 904



Thanks for posting that letter. I can't wait to see it.

I am an avid Mel fan and have always found him an incredible actor and director. Whenever Mel decides to do a film and wants to tell a story ... you better move over and take note. It will move you, it will overwhelm you.

ALA's top 5 picks of Mel movies...

#1 Braveheart

#2 The Year of Living Dangerously

#3 The Bounty

#4 The Man Without A Face

#5 Ransom & Lethal Weapon (the 1st one)

'til the next time...

posted December 11, 2003 21:37


Needs a hobby

From: Shepherdsville,Kentucky

Registered: June 13, 2002

Posts: 398

amen goey!

posted December 11, 2003 23:17

Ginger Tea


From: West Coast (so west, she gets her toes wet)

Registered: June 07, 2002

Posts: 2568

He looked just like my Ex


...I'll wait and you all can tell me about it.

Yeah, Goey, that's right ~ who really cares about the p.r. of twi.

posted December 12, 2003 00:07


GS Regular

Registered: June 14, 2002

Posts: 85


A side note -

I love it when the various groups start frothing at the mouth about a movie they didn't even bother to see. It just makes me want to see it all that much more.

Kevlar - Not thick, just impenetrable.

posted December 12

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Hi everyone,

I posted his web site a while ago. I am also looking forward to seeing the picture. From what I heard he couldn't get anyone to back him and spent 36 million of his own money. Boy will they be sorry they didn't when this goes over the top.

While it was being pre-shown before the cuts, they had a contact em. The only thing I was hoping was that they don't leave him in the grave and that the ressurection is part of the movie.

Can't wait, nothing good since some of the flicks Charlton Heston did. We grew up with "Moses".

The younger generation has not had the priviledge of having those wonderful movies. As inaccurate as they were, (he that's for me is not against me).

Lorna.......love my cookies!

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I really, REALLY look forward to this movie. I have high hopes that it will touch the heart of my sixten year old son, Trevor. He is wild and funny, and basically "drunk" on his own good looks and his humor. Girls fall for him head over heels. I pray that he will grasp that there is something bigger than "himself" when he sees this flick. He knows the scripture from his youth, and I feel as if I have failed him as his father, because he is as rebellious as can be. Pray for him please..

I do know that I was deeply touched by "Ben Hur" and "The Ten Commandments" with Charleton Heston, and I pray that this movie will touch his heart...

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I've already bought the box of kleenex, and a bottle of visine...know what you mean, darlin'.

If this movie is as true to truth as it is speculated to be, I suspect some saved souls in movie theaters across the country. Just my H.O.

Love y'all,



''...show a little faith, there's magic in the night, you ain't a beauty, but hey, you're alright, oh, and that's alright with me...''

-Bruce Springsteen

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A Special Edition of THE LEFT COAST REPORT

Mel Gibson & the 'Passion' Attacks

By James Hirsen

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004

A NewsMax Report

On Feb. 25, Mel Gibson's epic film "The Passion of the Christ" will

appear on thousands of movie screens across the nation. The

cinematic launch will occur despite unprecedented attempts to alter

its content and thwart its release. The Left Coast Report presents

some of the lowlights of the past year in hopes that the heroic

resolve and artistic vision of the film's creators can be fully


Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):

1. Genesis of a Smear Campaign

2. Unscholarly Conduct

3. Suppression of Expression

4. The Piracy

5. Virtual Hate

6. Poison Pens

7. 'The Passion' and the Pope


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1. Genesis of a Smear Campaign

It all started in January of last year.

Mel Gibson appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor."

The famed actor-producer-director let the world know that a print

reporter was nosing around his family and friends trying to dig up


The reporter was freelance journalist Christopher Noxon. He wrote a

hit piece that focused on Gibson's 85-year-old father. The article

mischaracterized Mel's beliefs and those of his dad. It also tried

to label the film as fringe propaganda.

Noxon's dirt-digging expedition might have been related to his

family's interest in the same Malibu site where Mel Gibson was

building a church.

The plot thickened as another group planned a full Gibson assault.

2. Unscholarly Conduct

With the help of an individual dubbed in an e-mail "our Deep

Throat," a group of academics, who are part of what is known as the

interfaith movement, got hold of a stolen early draft of a

confidential script.

Using ideas and notes from the pilfered preliminary screenplay, the

group generated a so-called confidential report that twisted the

film's message.

Somehow the report landed in the hands of the news media. A number

of its authors appeared delighted to have their criticisms aired in

public, despite the fact that the report was based on incomplete,

dated, confidential and pirated material.

In addition to theft, it seems that falsification was also part of

the unscholarly game. The group tried to pawn itself off as an

official body of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

(USCCB), but the USCCB subsequently issued a statement denying a

connection with the anti-Gibson group.

Boston University's Paula Fredriksen has been a particularly high-

profile player in the anti-"Passion" drama. She has referred to

Scripture as "a kind of religious advertisement." She has promoted

the idea that the Gospels "proclaim their individual author's

interpretation of the Christian message through the device of using

Jesus of Nazareth as a spokesperson for the evangelist's position."

On Dec. 22, 2001, the Washington Post delivered a sort of un-

Christmas present from Fredriksen in the form of a comment about the

trustworthiness of the New Testament. The Post quoted her as

saying, "I can't think of any New Testament scholar who takes [the

Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth] to be historically reliable,"

adding that most scholars believe that Christ was not born in


It appears as if Fredriksen and friends could be on a mission to

deconstruct the Gospels. They prattle on about "progressive

interpretation" and "historical context" when it seems that what

they really want is a rewrite of the Good Book. Could it be that

their real beef with Mel has to do with the fact that he based his

movie on the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

"The Passion" saga continued as film-snuffing sights were set on a

potential distributor.

3. Suppression of Expression

In an effort to persuade Rupert Murdoch's Twentieth Century Fox to

decline distribution of Gibson's film, New York Assemblyman Dov

Hikind scheduled a press conference and demonstration. The event was

supposed to take place in front of News Corp.'s Manhattan


Twentieth Century Fox usually distributes Gibson's movies, but gave

a thumbs-down on "The Passion."

As the New York Daily News reported, other Hollywood studios were

also less than enthusiastic about taking on the project produced by

Icon Productions.

Additionally, the New York Times rubbed salt into Icon's wounds by

describing the film as chronicling "in bloody detail" the last hours

of Jesus' life. It also called it "potentially inflammatory"

and "not commercial enough for a high-profile mainstream studio like


In typical Gibson fashion, Mel and the crew gripped the wheel, rode

out the bumps and were successful in finding a distributor.

Unfortunately, more trouble lay ahead.

4. The Piracy

In November of last year, the New York Post illegally obtained a

pirated videotape of the Gibson film. Although this revelation is

extraordinary in its own right, it's what a major newspaper did with

the tape that made ignoble cinematic history.

Months before the film's scheduled release, the Post displayed the

grainy second-generation videotape to its own assembled panel of

critics. Four of the five reviewers who were present slammed the

film in the pages of the paper.

Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack put feelings into words in

this way. He told E! Online News, "If I had made that picture, I

would have felt raped."

Evidently the shenanigans weren't just outrageous, they were also

illegal. The Los Angeles Times reported that federal authorities

launched a probe.

Gibson and the folks at Icon had more head and heartache to endure.

5. Virtual Hate

Also in November, Anti-Defamation League held its annual meeting in

New York.

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman let loose with one of the

ugliest assaults on Gibson that had occurred to date. He said, "I

think he's infected - seriously infected - with some very, very

serious anti-Semitic views."

These words spewed forth from the leader of an organization that

purportedly stands for tolerance.

Ironically, instead of modeling a virtue, Foxman ended up

demonstrating exactly what hate speech sounds like.

In January 2004, uninvited ADL officials registered for a Christian

pastors' conference where Gibson's film was set to be shown. They

used the fabricated name "The Church of Truth" to gain entrance to

the event.

After seeing the film, ADL denounced Gibson's picture as a "painful

portrayal" and a "commercial crusade to the church community."

Most recently, Foxman requested that Gibson attach a disclaimer

(drafted by Foxman) to the film denouncing any bigoted

interpretation of his narrative.

No similar disclaimer has yet been submitted by Foxman for the

spurious and insulting remarks he made about Gibson.

At the same time Mel and his mates were dealing with ADL matters,

they were also experiencing an insidious print blitz.

6. Poison Pens

It seems that New York Times arts columnist Frank Rich felt the need

to gear up the sleaze machine several times over to generate


In his Aug. 3 column, Rich got stuck in sludge-slinging overdrive.

He wrote that Gibson and his organization had been "baiting Jews,"

Matt Drudge was a "token Jew," traditionalist Catholics were

a "fringe church," Rupert Murdoch was a "conservative non-Jew,"

Peter J. Boyer's article "sanitizes" Mel's father, Bill O'Reilly

was "being paid" to defend Gibson, and Gibson spokesman Alan

Nierob "plays bizarre games with the Holocaust." (Rich evidently

missed the fact that Nierob is a second-generation Holocaust

survivor and a founding member of the U.S. Holocaust Museum.)

Rich even tried to take a swipe at me. He claimed to "decode" a

section of my book "Tales from the Left Coast," where I supposedly

have "a fetish of repeating Bob Dylan's original name."

In September, the Jayson Blair understudy heaved more rubbish in

Gibson's direction. After a Vatican official (who happens to be on

the short list of papal prospects) raved about the movie and

dismissed concerns over bigotry, Rich evidently decided to change

his focus. Instead of going after the Passion product, he'd try

attacking the Passion process.

He wrote, "Intentionally or not, the contentious rollout of 'The

Passion' has resembled a political campaign, from its start on 'The

O'Reilly Factor.'"

Getting little traction with that one, Rich tried to jump into a

story that involved a higher authority.

7. 'The Passion' and the Pope

On Dec. 17, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal reported that

Pope John Paul II had seen Gibson's movie and said, "It is as it


Noonan had been given a written confirmation for the quote from the

pope's official spokesman via e-mail.

The same day, National Catholic Reporter's main man at the Vatican,

John Allen, reported the identical quote and attributed it to the

pontiff. An unnamed senior Vatican official confirmed the quote.

The following day, Reuters joined in on reporting the pope's quote

and cited an unnamed Vatican source.

The Los Angeles Times received its own independent corroboration for

the story on Dec. 19.

On Dec. 24, Catholic News Service's Cindy Wooden claimed to have

talked to "a senior Vatican official close to the pope" who said

that the pontiff never said those words.

On Jan. 9, Allen reported that he had double-checked his original

source and that the pope did indeed say, "It is as it was."

Enter once again Frank Rich of the New York Times.

On Jan. 18, Rich tossed more journalistic mud pies. He accused

Gibson and Steve McEveety of using the pope to make money.

The next day Catholic News Service reported that the pope's

secretary said that "the Holy Father made no declaration" about the


Two days later, L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten apparently signed up

to be Rich's Left Coast colleague. He wrote a vile piece that

began, "A good Hollywood publicity campaign does not stumble over

technicalities - like the truth. Still, it takes a particular sort

of chutzpah to put a phony quote in the mouth of Pope John Paul II."

Actually it takes a particular sort of chutzpah for a columnist to

forget to check his own paper's records before he writes on a


On Jan. 23, in a news article, the Times admitted that "last month,

the ailing pontiff was quoted as having said after a private

screening of the film 'it is as it was.' Asked Dec. 19 whether the

quote was reliable, Vatican press secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls

told the Times 'I think you can consider that quote as accurate.'"

The truth is that, from the beginning, Icon has had written

authorization to go public with the pope's statement on "The Passion

of the Christ." My sources have enabled me to confirm the graphic

nod with my own eyes.

After stories began to emerge that questioned whether the quote was

for real, Icon's McEveety immediately e-mailed the official Vatican

press secretary and offered to discourage use of the quote. Navarro-

Valls responded with an e-mail, which not only reaffirmed that use

of the quote was fine but advised McEveety to use the phrase "again

and again and again."

Even the New York Times on Jan. 20 wrote, "One prominent Roman

Catholic official close to the Vatican said today, 'I have reason to

believe - and I think - that the pope probably said it.'"

So what we have here are four respected news organizations getting

independent verification, and Icon Productions getting confirmation,

authorization and encouragement, to use the pope's "it is as it was"


The way I see it, the Icon team has held fast to the truth and

suffered the stripes with amazing grace.

The Left Coast Report thinks that, because "The Passion of the

Christ" and its people have managed to survive insults, stolen

scripts, threats of demonstration, pirated prints and dire

predictions, the continuous triumphs are no mere coincidence. The

more appropriate term to use would be providential.

Editor's Note:

Don't forget to check out our sponsor. Click HERE for the full


Get your FREE copy of James Hirsen's New York Times best selling

book Tales from the Left Coast – Click Here Now. Even better, find

out about our FREE offer – Click Here Now!

The Left Coast Report is compiled by James L. Hirsen and the staff

of NewsMax. You can read past Left Coast Reports from the archives -

Click Here Now.

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How ironic that when a movie producer takes artistic license with historical events, he is lionized as artistic, creative and brilliant, but when another takes special care to be true to the real-life story, he is vilified. Actor-producer Mel Gibson is discovering these truths the hard way as he is having difficulty finding a United States studio or distributor for his upcoming film, "The Passion," which depicts the last

12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ.

Gibson co-wrote the script and financed, directed and produced the movie. For the script, he and his co-author relied on the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the diaries of St. Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) and Mary of Agreda's "The City of God."

Gibson doesn't want this to be like other sterilized religious epics. "I'm trying to access the story on a very personal level and trying to be very real about it." So committed to realistically portraying what many would consider the most important half-day in the history of the universe, Gibson even shot the film in the Aramaic language of the period. In response to objections that viewers will not be able to understand that language, Gibson said, "Hopefully, I'll be able to transcend the language barriers with my visual storytelling; if I fail, I fail, but at least it'll be a monumental failure."

To further insure the accuracy of the work, Gibson has enlisted the counsel of pastors and theologians, and has received rave reviews. Don Hodel, president of Focus on the Family, said, "I was very impressed. The movie is historically and theologically accurate." Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., and president of the National Evangelical Association, glowed: "It conveys, more accurately than any other film, who Jesus was."

During the filming, Gibson, a devout Catholic, attended Mass every morning because "we had to be squeaky clean just working on this." From Gibson's perspective, this movie is not about Mel Gibson. It's bigger than he is. "I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor," he said. "But I really feel my career was leading me to make this. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."

Even before the release of the movie, scheduled for March 2004, Gibson is getting his wish. "Everyone who worked on this movie was changed. There were agnostics and Muslims on set converting to Christianity...[and] people being healed of diseases." Gibson wants people to understand through the movie, if they don't already, the incalculable influence Christ has had on the world. And he grasps that Christ is controversial precisely because of WHO HE IS - GOD incarnate. "And that's the point of my film really, to show all that turmoil around him politically and with religious leaders and the people, all because He is Who He is."

Gibson is beginning to experience first hand just how controversial Christ is. Critics have not only speciously challenged the movie's authenticity, but have charged that it is disparaging to Jews, which Gibson vehemently denies. "This is not a Christian vs. Jewish thing. '[Jesus] came into the world, and it knew him not.' Looking at Christ's crucifixion, I look first at my own culpability in that." Jesuit Father William J. Fulco, who translated the script into Aramaic and Latin, said he saw no hint of anti-Semitism in the movie. Fulco added, "I would be aghast at any suggestion that Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic." Nevertheless, certain groups and some in the mainstream press have been very critical of Gibson's "Passion."

The New York Post's Andrea Peyser chided him: "There is still time, Mel, to tell the truth." Boston Globe columnist James Carroll denounced Gibson's literal reading of the biblical accounts. "Even a faithful repetition of the Gospel stories of the death of Jesus can do damage exactly because those sacred texts themselves carry the virus of Jew hatred," wrote Carroll. A group of Jewish and Christian academics has issued an 18-page report slamming all aspects of the film, including its undue emphasis on Christ's passion rather than "a broader vision." The report disapproves of the movie's treatment of Christ's passion as historical fact.

The moral is that if you want the popular culture to laud your work on Christ, make sure it either depicts Him as a homosexual or as an everyday sinner with no particular redeeming value (literally). In our anti-Christian culture, the blasphemous "The Last Temptation of Christ" is celebrated and "The Passion" is condemned. But if this movie continues to affect people the way it is now, no amount of cultural opposition will suppress its force and its positive impact on lives everywhere. Mel Gibson is a model of faith and courage.

Please copy this and send it on to all your friends to let them know about this film so that we'll all go see it when it comes out.


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I think one of the reasons this film is disturbing a lot of people is that it appears to point out quite clearly that human beings are sinners. Sinners who needed salvation that could come from no other.

When I was in TWI, sin was given a passing glance, a nod, really. At the moment one did Romans 10:9-10 one was freed from original sin, and perfect. After that it was just broken fellowship. "Gee, sorry Dad." and off I ran to play.

After a while I even forgot to say "sorry".

After a while, Jesus wasn't at the forefront of my mind, it was The Organization, and pleasing the leadership of the organization, thus becoming pleaser of man not pleaser of God.

I hope this wonderful film breaks the heart of everyone who sees it and needs to be saved. And I think if we take family and friends to see it who are not familiar with The Bible or are not Christians, we need to be ready with some answers. There are going to be questions.


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  • 4 weeks later...


Can't wait. We're going to the matinee this afternoon and taking a box of kleenex!

Here's a really good aricle about the movie from the Catholic website at:


(You have to scroll down a little ways to "Passionate About the Passion.")

If anyone else gave the same link, please forgive me. I haven't read all of the msgs.


Asked why he began studying Greek at age 94, Oliver Wendell Holmes replied,"Well, my good sir, it's now or never!"

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