"Passion" Movie Sparks Debate

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Several people who caught a viewing of the ``Passion of the Christ'' on its opening day today (Wednesday) say there are portions of the movie that could be labeled as anti-Semitic.

Sidnie White Crawford says the movie as a whole is NOT anti-Semitic.

But the head of the classics and religious studies department at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln also says specific events in the movie and the portrayal of the Jewish people led her to see portions of it as anti-Semitic. Crawford -- who is Episcopalian -- says that is disturbing.

U-N-L professor John Turner says he might consider the movie
anti-Judaic, but NOT anti-Semitic.

Moviegoers streaming out of a midday showing of the Mel Gibson
project at an A-M-C theater in west Omaha were reverently quiet and
many wiped tears from their eyes.

Connie Emery of Omaha says it was a tremendous, moving, honest
portrayal.

Rolf Rasmussen also of Omaha said he cried through the whole
movie.

University of Nebraska at Omaha professor Bill Blizek says the film disappointed him. Blizek -- who is also the editor of the Journal of Religion and Film -- says the film stylized the violence, leaving him feeling separated from Jesus' suffering.


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