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Unearthing a Wrong Without New Evidence

June 24, 2003

Re "Mel's Passion," Opinion, June 22: As a Jew, I am especially concerned over views like Marvin Hier and Harold Brackman's. It bothers me that they wrote this piece without, as they acknowledge, having read Mel Gibson's screenplay. I would certainly be more cautious about raising issues of anti-Semitism without any evidence. It seems to me that Hier and Brackman are guilty of resurrecting old issues of anti-Semitism that have been pretty well laid to rest in this country. It is irresponsible of them -- without proof -- to associate this work with Cecil B. DeMille's "The King of Kings" or a letter that was passed between schoolgirls at least a half-century ago. Or the actions of Pope Innocent III in the early 13th century. Their article raises the dead. Leave them buried. Until and unless there is actual proof.

Bob Klein

Malibu

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I am amazed upon hearing that some still believe the Jews to be responsible for Jesus' death. I wonder if these people have ever read the Gospels for themselves. Clearly, Jesus' intention was to die on the cross, and he taught this as the message of the Jewish prophets. His disciples did not understand this at first, but they became convinced after his death and resurrection. They died as martyrs to share the message of the Messiah. They did this not out of hatred for the Jews, for they themselves were Jews who worshipped in the synagogues. Rather, they did this because the Messiah had achieved victory, and thereby offered a restored relationship with God. Laying blame on the Jews absurdly ignores Jesus' message of reconciliation.

Jedediah Ireland

Calabasas

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Hier and Beckman's suspicions surrounding Gibson's "The Passion" strikes me as a preemptive attack that will not further relationships between Christians and Jews.

Julia I. Petrauskas

Laguna Beach

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It is becoming quite annoying to be told by non-Christians with relentless zeal that Christians are a bunch of foolhardy and confused folks who do not know right from wrong about their own faith. Hollywood has made many movies that portray other religions in an offensive light to the followers of that faith. In such cases, Hollywood is quick to point out that movies are artistic expressions that are protected by the 1st Amendment and shrug off the criticism by suggesting that people who are offended should not pay to see the movie. People who are offended by Gibson's movie should follow that same advice.

Jack Yaghoubian

Toluca Lake

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