The trouble with Mel Gibson`s film "The Passion" that opens in more than 2000 movie theaters on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 25) is not the film itself, but the gospel story on which it's based. The gospel story, which has generated more anti-Semitism than the sum total of all the other anti-Semitic writings ever written, created the climate in Christian Europe that led to the Holocaust. Long before the rise of Adolf Hitler the gospel story about the life and death of Jesus had poisoned the bloodstream of European civilization.But read the whole thing. It makes a lot of sense to me. I've never (or at least, not since I grew up) believed that "Jesus" as talked about in the Protestant churches I knew, or the Catholic ones I knew of, had really existed. I supposed him to have been a folkloric composite of possibly several wandering magicians of Palestine in those days. Maybe, though, Patterson is right: It could have originally been one guy, but a very different guy and with a very different story from what is portrayed in the Gospels.
The Gospel of hatred
My union brother (National Writers Union) Charles Patterson has written a fascinating and, to my mind, persuasive article about how and why the stories we have received about Jesus were horribly distorted. In A Whiff Of Auschwitz: Mel Gibson and the Gospel of Anti-Semitism, Patterson writes,