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The Passion of the Bush
February 26, 2004
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!”

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