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Passionate Gibson analyses

TIM RUTTEN’S column [“Clues Dismissed in Time of ‘Passion,’ ” Aug. 5] hopefully will come as a “revelation” to admirers of Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ.” Audiences today who sit in a movie theater need to recognize caricature, distortion and propaganda. The Nazis of World War II also depicted Jews as grotesque and depraved human beings. Gibson’s film contains blatant cartoon-like images of Jews and reveals the director’s distorted beliefs. Perhaps future audiences will come to recognize obvious bigotry and have the courage to speak openly when they see the personal prejudice of the filmmaker.

ED BALKAN

Los Angeles

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SINCE the ‘60s revolution, it is now common for Hollywood to depict Christian and Catholic priests as thieves, rapists, pedophiles, murderers and lowlifes -- something that would never have happened previously. Before that, priests were treated with the same respect and reverence as a rabbi would be treated with today.

If Gibson is an anti-Semite, he pales in comparison to the Hollywood Jews who seem to revel in using Christians and Christianity as backdrops for evil.

JILL HENRY

Denver

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TIM RUTTEN should be thanked for saying out loud what my wife and I have been saying since this controversy erupted. We attended “The Passion of the Christ” with a good friend who is a devout Christian. He interpreted it as the story about the resurrection of Jesus and thought the role of the Jews was minor. We saw just the opposite and viewed it as highly anti-Semitic, and began our boycott of Mel Gibson. Recent events have shown that we were correct.

JOHN KANE

Northridge

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TIM RUTTEN’S characterization of pre-Second Vatican Council Catholicism as a “fetid theological swamp” and of latter-day attempts to maintain orthodox Catholicism as tantamount to systematic anti-Semitism demonstrates historical ignorance and theological naivete. Worse, it manifests a powerful anti-Catholicism. If such blatant calumnies had been written about Jews, African Americans, women, Latinos or Muslims, the public outrage would be enormous. But anti-Catholicism is the socially approved bigotry and so need never apologize or atone.

THOMAS R. MCCAMBRIDGE

Thousand Oaks

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