So, I was looking up information about Mel Gibson's The Passion, because I'm interested in getting some different perspectives on it. And if you click the above link, well, uh, you'll see I did.
AngryWhiteFemale.net is an awesome domain name, if you ask me -- but if it were mine, "white" would be meant in an ironic sort of way. Not, you know, racist.
But this isn't Make Fun of the White Supremacist Day (that's Thursday) -- it's just kind of strange that this was one of the first links I pulled up on Google. Granted, I included the word "jew" in my search because I was interested in some of the controversy regarding the portrayal of the Jewish people within the film (shorter words, no modifiers, make for better search terms, y'know?). And I found some.
So, fresh after skimming through the Angry White Female's take on the issue, I managed to find the kind of article I was really looking for -- Salon's coverage of Jewish reaction to the movie (you'll have to click thorugh the ad). And after reading this:
But is "The Passion" an innocent Hollywood entertainment or a medieval passion play of the sort that in the Middle Ages stirred up the passions of the Christian mob and led to the butchering of the local Jewry?
I realized something -- I have no idea what the term "passion play" means. Granted, it doesn't make the top ten of things I don't really get about Christianity (ah, my secular childhood, how much I appreciated that freedom), but it ties into my general confusion about where the power of Jesus's martyrdom comes from. For me, the most powerful parts of Jesus's story are the psalms, where he wanders around, giving advice and (for the most part) being nice to people. Preaching about kindness and generosity. Condoning hypocrisy. I'm all about that.
I get why Jesus's life was profound. I just don't understand his death.
Maybe there's a book out there that makes it make sense. And not the one you find in motel rooms. Recommendations?