Thursday, July 15, 2010

Joy to the World, no joy to the viewer


Jewish date:  4 Tammuz 5770 (Parashath Devarim).

Today’s holidays:  The Nine Days (Judaism), Lailat al Miraj (Islam), Feast Day of Bonaventure (Roman Catholicism), Saint Swithin’s Day (Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism), Feast Day of St. Neil Gaiman (Church of the SubGenius), Confuflux (Discordianism).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Take Action: Genocide Arrest Warrant for Bashir | Save Darfur”, “BP Threatening Gulf Cleanup Workers | Progressive Change Campaign Committee”, and “Give Women Access to Credit - Take Action Today @ The Breast Cancer Site”.

Joy To The World
Topic 1:  Continuing the series on Gospel-based films, Joy to the World (2004).  I obtained my copy for free from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the mainstream Mormon Church).  This DVD is unique in my collection of Gospel-based films.  Most obviously it is a Mormon film and reflects specifically Mormon ideas about Jesus.  And while Jesus (1979) has been distributed for free by Baptists for evangelization, Joy to the World is pure evangelization and cannot be watched as a mere narrative.  There are reenactments of scenes from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Book of Mormon, but that material is interspersed with scenes of families studying religious texts together and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Christmas songs.  And over all this is a lot of voiceover laying out a lot of basic Mormon ideas about Jesus.  To some degree this understandable, given that most people are unfamiliar with Mormonism and this is an evangelization DVD, though it gets rather annoying.  There is a lot of harping on purported rejection of the prophets and Jesus, which fits into the Mormon message of there needing to be a Book of Mormon because the true message would be lost.  (Christians may find this as offensive as my finding the hatred for Jewish institutions and outright anti-Semitism in the Gospels offensive.)  People wanting to learn some basic Mormon ideas may find this DVD useful, but otherwise it is not worth watching.

Next up:  The Passion of the Christ (2004), AKA the Gospel According to Mel Gibson.

Topic 2:  More anti-Semitism:  “Israel Skewered by Medical Journal” deals with blatantly anti-Semitic articles showing up in medical journals, such as The Lancet in defiance of any attempt to be objective.  The Dry Bones cartoons “TWA (1985)” and “Exchange Rate” discuss freeing Islamic terrorists, which should strike anyone sane as a very bad idea; please note that murderers in general tend to get at best long prison sentences for a reason.  Daniel Pipes in “Farrakhan Demands Reparations from Jews” puts in his two cents on Louis Farrakhan recently shooting his mouth off trying paradoxically to accuse Jews of horrible crimes against blacks while trying to open dialog with them; Pipes argues that in Farrakhan uses “dialogue” to mean “reparations”, essentially that Farrakhan is trying to get money out of Jews for alleged (with emphasis on “alleged”) crimes against blacks.  “Wikipedia’s Jewish Problem” argues that the editing system in Wikipedia is being abused by anti-Semites working to suppress the views of their opponents.  And Rav Shmuely Boteach in “Libya’s ‘Aid’ Ship to Gaza and the Moral Obligation of Englewood’s Jews” rails against Jewish indifference to the Libyan mission in Englewood, New Jersey.  Keep in mind that Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi is no friend of the Jews and is a supporter of terrorism.  It is no wonder that Rav Boteach wants the Libyan mission out of Englewood and not treated as just another diplomatic mission.


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