Faith, Media & Culture

Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Rabbi David Wolpe takes on Mel Gibson’s Maccabbee movie.  Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, The respected Jewish scholar of Sinai Temple in West Los Angeles says:

Apparently it is not enough for Gibson to dislike Jews. He must also expropriate their heroes. Hence the absurdly ironic news that he is making a movie about Judah Maccabee. It is not earth-shattering. Society will not crumble because Gibson has devised a new way to infuriate those whom he hates. Still, this man who told The New Yorker that the Jews run Hollywood and a patrol officer that the Jews start all the wars has now deputized himself to make a Hollywood movie about the one character in the Jewish tradition known primarily for being a warrior. Next, no doubt, we will hear about David Duke’s plans for a biopic of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Comment: I understand the rabbi’s concerns. I share them. I can only hope (and pray) that Gibson, who is a talented filmmaker, has, in his dark hours, undergone a change of heart. Could it be that the movie is his way of expressing atonement in a way that he knows how?

2. Reminder: Beliefnet is hosting a special online tonight (Wednesday, 9/21) @ 7 PM ET focusing on efforts to pursue violent answers to the intractable tensions that between Israelis and Palestinians.

The event will begin with  the online premiere of the documentary film Little Town of Bethlehem which chronicles the efforts of three men of different faiths to overcome the culture of violence that surrounds them and engulfs the region. The movie will be followed by a live panel discussing the themes and issues raised by the film.You can view the trailer below.

For information on the event, click here. You can submit questions to the panel by using hashtag #GVoN on Twitter. Please note where you are from. If you happen to be in the Washington D.C. area, you may want to attend the event which is being held at the  Edward J. Pryzbyla Center @ The Catholic University of America.

Check out Writer-Director Jim Hanon’s commentary on the film below.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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