Don’t let others shape personal views about Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’

Mai Hoang

So there’s this movie called “The Passion of the Christ” that came out Wednesday.

You might have heard of it. After all, it’s only been the topic of debate on television news networks, magazines and newspapers for the last few weeks.

“The Passion” is a movie written, directed and produced by Mel Gibson that depicts the events in the last 12 hours of Christ’s life.

It’s no surprise that there are mixed opinions about this movie. After all, it’s about a really controversial subject. Jesus is and always has been a controversial subject in society. The only difference is the medium of the controversy.

It’s received acclaim from Christian evangelicals because of its Christian message. It’s been criticized by Jewish groups because of the movie’s supposed anti-Semitism. Many more question the need to show that much blood and gore in one movie. No one is holding back from sharing their opinion.

With this bombardment of views and information, it’s easy for people to base their views on what other people say and stay home. Many people I know have decided not to see it because they heard it was too violent. Or that it is anti-Semitic. Some Christians have even argued that they “know the ending” and don’t need to spend $7 to see it being played out on the big screen.

Yes, this is a big deal. Yes, the press ought to report on this. But people shouldn’t be so lazy that their own personal views on “The Passion” is based on a talking head or a glossy. Every person has a mind of their own. Why should one person shape what a person believes or thinks?

Religion is a big issue in this movie, no doubt. I have my own personal religious beliefs. But I’m not writing to tell people what they should believe. Everyone from People magazine to Fox News Network is already doing that. Rather, I hope this movie will prompt people to get outside of their televisions and magazines and go out and decide what they believe is true.

The movie provides an opportunity to explore what one group of people believes is truth. The movie’s message may not align with your personal ideological or religious beliefs, but remember that it’s just a movie. It’s not going to tell you what you should believe. It’s not going to force you to believe anything. You get to just watch and listen.

If you have any interest to see this movie at all, see for yourself why people are making such a fuss about it. Don’t let any preconceived notions from the media or your friends influence you to see or not see this movie. See it for what it is: a movie. Take in the themes and messages of the movie.

Then, you can decide for yourself what you really think instead of letting others decide for you.

Mai Hoang is a senior print journalism and religious studies major from Louisville.

This commentary does not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.