Passion of the Bush
By Kevin Dawson
Mel Gibson and his defenders have charged that anyone who
objects to his Jesus biopic is doing so out of a knee-jerk
political agenda and not giving the movie itself a fair chance
to be evaluated on its own merits and faults.
Wasn’t it three months or so ago when conservatives were
going bananas over the TV movie “The Reagans,” eventually
crowing with triumph when CBS caved in to their pressure and
refused to air it? At least Gibson has the advantage of not
having cast Barbra Streisand’s husband as Jesus. (Rumor has
it that former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was offered
the role of Judas Iscariot, but this couldn’t be confirmed.)
“The Passion of the Christ” opens strategically on Ash Wednesday,
and, as usual, conservatives have given up logic for Lent.
For instance, why is the 30-year-old doctored photo of John
Kerry with Jane Fonda supposed to be such a shockeroo and
the 20-year-old undoctored photo of Donald Rumsfeld
shaking hands with Saddam Hussein isn't?
One wonders whether our choir boy in chief will really care
much for this cinematic portrayal of his personal philosopher.
He’ll probably be confused by the Last Supper scene when Jesus
doesn’t show up with a plastic turkey. And when the Roman
soldiers come to arrest Jesus and the Disciples ask “Should
we strike with our swords, Lord?” won’t GWB wonder why Jesus
doesn’t say “Bring ‘em on!”?
Speaking of Judas, does he still identify Jesus to his captors
with a kiss? Or does the newly-proposed Constitutional amendment
extend to preserving the sanctity of taking prisoners by banning
single-sex intimate contact?
Hundreds of gay couples have tied the knot in San Francisco
so far. So why hasn’t the world come to an end? Mayor Gavin
Newsom has yet to turn into a pillar of salt. No one has reported
an imperiled heterosexual marriage as a result of these acts.
But of course a lot has been said about the questionable
legality of it. The same people who venerate Alabama’s Judge
Roy Moore as a hero and a martyr—a modern-day Rosa Parks--for
refusing to move his graven image of the Ten Commandments
is defiance of court order are now calling for Newsom’s head—after
all, the law’s the law!
The majority of Americans don’t want same-sex marriage. After
all, it would smash the very core of civilization and leave
us without boundaries! Why, if single-sex couples were allowed
to wed, women would have to be allowed to vote (the Founding
Fathers, remember, restricted suffrage to white males) and
colored families could live anywhere they wanted!
So where’s the Constitutional amendment banning divorce,
adultery, children born out of wedlock, and other heterosexual
assaults on the sanctity of marriage?
But don’t bother the president now. He’s busy calling up
old National Guard buddies. (“Oh, come on, you do too remember
me! I was the one with the crew cut!”) And his poor dog Spot
just died; he didn’t attend Spot’s funeral either, but there
were editorials in several newspapers saying it was tragic
but a small price to pay for Iraqi freedom.
Anyway, I can’t wait for “The Passion of the Christ” to come
out on DVD. All those cool extras: the trailer, the “making
of” documentary (although it might be demoralizing to learn
that Jesus’s miracles were nothing but special effects), the
bloopers (Jesus falls off the cross and everybody laughs),
not to mention the “alternate ending” where Jesus cries out
“Forgive Ralph Nader, he knows not what he does!”