Columnist Mark Steyn makes the same point I made in an article coming out in the April issue of Catholic World Report (now on newsstands!), that the real debate over The Passion of the Christ is not between Christians and Jews, but between the cultural elites, including academics, theologians, and most journalists, and the vast majority of Americans, the church-going members of flyover country of a simple and real faith.
That’s the real argument over The Passion Of The Christ. It’s not between Christians and Jews, but between believing Christians and the broader post-Christian culture, a term that covers a large swathe from the media to your average Anglican vicar. Some in this post-Christian culture don’t believe anything, some are riddled with doubts, but even the ones with only a vague residual memory of the fluffier Sunday School stories are agreed that there’s little harm in a Jesus figure who’s a “gentle teacher”. In this world, if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally-friendly car with an “Arms Are For Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams. If that’s your boy, Mel Gibson’s movie is not for you.
Of course, Steyn says it more colorfully than I do, but he’s a real wordsmith.