Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of the Christ”:
“Two months have elapsed since the film was released and no Jew has been killed. Not only have there been no pogroms, there have been no reported beatings, and no reported acts of vandalism associated with the film. This is true not only in the U.S.; it is true all over the world. By now the movie has played in literally scores of countries, all without violence.
“Those who predicted that the movie would generate violence need to explain themselves. And in some cases, they need to apologize to Christians. Recall that it was ADL director Abe Foxman who said last January that Mel Gibson is ‘hawking it [the film] on a commercial crusade to the churches of this country.’ He then concluded, ‘That’s what makes it so dangerous.’ In other words, it’s not lax Christians who are a danger to Jews, nor is it the anti-war protesters who carry banners bashing Israel, it’s those Catholics and Protestants who go to church on Sundays that Jews have to fear the most. Not only is this radically wrong—indeed it’s dangerously wrong—it’s also insulting to practicing Christians.
“Calls to censor the movie have been voiced in many countries, including the U.S. In France, three Jews who claim to be acting as spokesmen for the Jewish community, the Benlolo brothers, went into court to ban the film. Moreover, there is only one nation in the world where the movie has been banned—Israel; Shapira Films has the Israeli distribution rights and refuses to release the film. Just imagine the uproar if a Catholic country were to ban a film Catholics found offensive!
“Every time there is a Catholic-bashing movie, play or art exhibition, the critics lecture Catholics on their need for tolerance. For example, Catholics are told that artists like to ‘push the envelope’ and to ‘make people think.’ But somehow none of this elite spin seems to apply to Mel’s masterpiece. Which just goes to show that Catholics have been lied to all along.”