Passion vs. passivity

Megan Gross
April 5, 2012
Filed under Archives

“The movie is 126 minutes long and I would guess that at least 100 of those minutes, maybe more, are concerned specifically and graphically with the details of the torture and death of Jesus. This is the most violent film I have ever seen,” said film critic Roger Ebert, who gave the movie four out of four stars in his review. He is speaking of The Passion of the Christ.

I understand this movie isn’t a new release, nor does is seem to be a box-office hit among our generation. However, I had the opportunity to watch this movie for the first time last weekend and it seriously had me in shock.

I’m not talking about the shock described by others for director Mel Gibson’s work in The Passion of the Christ. I’m referring to the shock of a 21-year-old Christian who for the first time witnessed a real and raw visual of what Jesus did to save us, according to Christian beliefs.

I disagreed when critics claimed the movie was too violent and wrathful. School children are taught the G-rated version of the story- the people hurt Jesus badly and he died in order to save us, end of story.

At some point, we needed to grow up and understand the blood, love and pain behind such sacrifice. Christianity teaches unconditional love and a strong sense of faith. I am now old enough to finally witness this, even though I will admit shielding my eyes several times throughout the movie.

I share this with you but not to preach or boast about the religion I grew up with. Rather, I share this with you because this Friday is Good Friday, the day this particular movie is based upon. The day when Christians remember how Jesus gave his life to save us all from death and evil and reassure us with eternal life.  Good Friday isn’t just a day some of us get the day off. It’s an important day for Christians everywhere and it should be respected in that way.

Another Passion of the Christ critic also wrote that this movie should be named The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre which thinks it’s an act of faith. This critic, David Edelstein, goes on to say Mel Gibson focused on the brutality of Jesus’ execution instead of his religious teachings and the movie “seems to arise less from love than from wrath and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it.”

Why should we sugar-coat everything about Jesus and the Christian faith? So it’s okay for other movies to show bloody murder, corpses and explicit visuals, but showing something like that when it has to do with the Christian faith is considered too violent?

So many people seem to think religion is all the same-strict and conservative. But it’s not, and this movie shows exactly that. Society seems to think all religions should be displayed in a non-disruptive way in order to not create chaos. Well what if it was Gibson’s plan to create chaos and disrupt the usual framework society has made for the Christian faith?

For those of you who don’t understand what I’m saying, I want you to go to YouTube and type in “Jesus vs. Religion.” It should be the first video you see. Watch it. It’s an extremely powerful video explaining the difference between what society claims the Christian “religion” is and what actually following Christ means.

I understand many of you reading this may not be Christian and I respect your decision. Just know you are living this life for a reason and regardless of your faith, this Easter Sunday is the day to celebrate just that-Life. The days of Easter egg hunts and sugar-coated Peeps are done. We need to wake up and realize there is a true reason for this weekend. I hope all of you have a great one!

- Megan Gross is an IC Columnist and a junior majoring in marketing.

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