Dear Editor:

Mar 242004

I’m writing in response to Brent Ables’ column concerning “The

Passion of the Christ” Although Mr. Ables makes some interesting

points concerning the delineation between media and real life, his

analysis concerning the redeeming value of the film (or absence of

said value) lacks perspective. He laments the fact that this movie

had the potential to carry a powerful message for its viewers, but

that message was lost in the wake of the extreme violence.

In his own words, “Gibson had the ability to bring those aspects

of Christ’s life to the screen that would have brightened the

spirits of believers … Instead, Gibson chooses to beat viewers

into submission with violence and dread.” What Mr. Ables fails to

consider, however, is that when telling the story of Jesus Christ’s

death, the violence involved is an absolutely critical component of

the overall message. Too often, Christians affirm their belief that

Christ suffered and died for them without really stopping to

consider what that would have entailed.

We consider the abstract implications of that idea, but not the

reality of it. Psychologically speaking, it’s natural to want to

gloss over the brutality of Jesus’ death, but in doing so we miss

out on the true nature of his sacrifice. In this sense, the

violence of “The Passion” represents a restoration of the meaning

to the story of Christ’s death, rather than detracting from that

meaning. The intent was not to “brighten the spirits of believers,”

but rather to humble them, and in my own experience, the movie

accomplishes exactly that.

Viewing this movie is by no means a pleasant experience, but it

has the potential to be a very valuable one. Mr. Ables’ conclusions

concerning the social and spiritual worth of “The Passion of the

Christ,” while noteworthy, are by no means universal.

Elizabeth Ewing

Freshman, music

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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