CRITICS SEE PORN AND S&M IN “THE PASSION”

Catalyst April Issue 2004

The following quotes are from the critics of “The Passion of the Christ”:

—Rev. Andrew Greeley calls it “sadomasochistic and pornographic.”

—Christopher Hitchens dubs it “an exercise in lurid sadomasochism.”

—Ex-priest John Dominic Crossan labels it “pornographic.”

—David Edelstein of Slate finds it an “exercise in sadomasochism.’

—Rabbi James Rudin brands it “a sadomasochistic film.”

—David Denby of The New Yorker opines “It’s extremely sadistic.”

—Jonathan Foreman of the New York Post says it’s “pornographic.”

—A.O. Scott of the New York Times sees it as “high-minded sadomasochism.”

—Andrew Sullivan was shocked to find it “pornographic.”

—Rev. Michael Coffey, a Lutheran minister, says it’s “pornographic.”

—David Ansen of Newsweek screams “It’s the sadism” that’s troubling.

—Jamie Bernard of the Daily News notes it “would horrify the regulars at an S&M club.”

—Ex-priest James Carroll sees the film as nothing but “pornographic.”

—Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic dubs it “a repulsive masochistic fantasy, a sacred snuff film.”

—Harvard professor Daniel Jonah Goldhagen was aghast at the “sadomasochistic, orgiastic display” and its “unremitting sadism.”

—Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post calls it “the most unremitting sadism in the history of film.”

—Bill Safire in the New York Times complains of its “sustained sadism.”

—Al Neuharth of USA TODAY calls it a “wasted exercise in sadomasochism.”

Catholic League president William Donohue responds as follows:

      “Christians need to take note of this mental goose-stepping, but they should also note that none of these savants found ‘Schindler’s List’ to be pornographic. What they find pornographic is the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. No doubt for some of them, the New Testament classifies as pornography as well. Indeed that is exactly what a Brooklyn rabbi told me to my face. At least now it’s out in the open.”

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Written by Bill