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Reaction to The Passion

by Izzy Kalman (May 2004)

I have not had as many lengthy, interesting, and erudite responses to any newsletter as to my last one dealing in depth with Mel Gibson’s Passion. Whether they hate The Passion or love it, I guess people just love reading about it. And the really wonderful thing was that none of the letters, whether or not they agreed with me, were angry.

I won’t belabor The Passion, but one thing I want to point out is that Jesus refused to feel and act like a victim. Even while undergoing humiliating public torture and a slow, painful death, he refused to be angry at either the Jews who clamored for his death or the Romans who executed him. I’m sure he wanted his death to serve as the ultimate example of what it means to love your enemy. If Jesus could handle extreme torture and death without succumbing to anger or vengefulness, shouldn’t the rest of us be able to tolerate insults without getting angry or vindictive? Shouldn’t we be able to tolerate others having different beliefs without hating them and wishing them dead? How unfortunate it is that so many of us, including those who claim to be his followers, have still not learned his lesson of tolerance, and zealously promote intolerance of “bullies.”

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