[Marxism] Passion: Regular or Decaf? By Slavoj Zizek

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Sat Feb 28 13:45:57 MST 2004

from in these times.

Passion: Regular or Decaf?

By Slavoj Zizek | 2.27.04 print | email | comment

Those who virulently criticized Mel Gibson’s The Passion even before its 
release seem unassailable: Are they not justified to worry that the film, 
made by a fanatic Catholic known for occasional anti-Semitic outbursts, may 
ignite anti-Semitic sentiments?

More generally, is The Passion not a manifesto of our own (Western, 
Christian) fundamentalists? Is it then not the duty of every Western 
secularist to reject it, to make it clear that we are not covert racists 
attacking only the fundamentalism of other (Muslim) cultures?

The Pope’s ambiguous reaction to the film is well known: Upon seeing it, 
deeply moved, he muttered “It is as it was”—a statement quickly withdrawn by 
the official Vatican speakers. The Pope’s spontaneous reaction was thus 
replaced by an “official” neutrality, corrected so as not to hurt anyone. 
This shift, with its politically correct fear that anyone’s specific 
religious sensibility may be hurt, exemplifies what is wrong with liberal 
tolerance: Even if the Bible says that the Jewish mob demanded the death of 
Christ, one should not stage this scene directly but play it down and 
contextualize it to make it clear that Jews are collectively not to be 
blamed for the Crucifixion. The problem of such a stance is that it merely 
represses aggressive religious passion, which remains smoldering beneath the 
surface and, finding no release, gets stronger and stronger.

...  http://www.inthesetimes.com/comments.php?id=632_0_4_0_C

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