Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jezus van Nazaret - the Movie - Verhoeven

Here some meat and potatoes and looking for an interesting movie about the life of Jesus and his teachings. Dutch director and author Paul Verhoeven intends to make a movie out of his book Jezuz van Nazaret.

Basic Instinct director plans film about Jesus
In an interview with MTV, the Dutch film-maker reveals that his newly-translated book Jesus of Nazareth, is intended as a staging post on the path to a movie version. Verhoeven wants to tell a story free from suggestions of miracles, and bereft of the crucifixion and resurrection scenes often seen in previous films depicting Jesus's life. The director prefers a humanist, scholarly approach, and will focus on his subject's ethical teachings….

Verhoeven says Jesus was a man who was consistently persecuted throughout his life, surrounded by enemies and forced to flee at every turn. Brushing off concerns over the negative attention his proposed film might receive from religiously-minded critics, he said: "Is it controversial? It's the truth."

The Dutchman is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not a fan of the most famous recent retelling of Jesus's final days, Mel Gibson's blockbusting The Passion of the Christ. Furthermore, he suggests that the crucifixion probably wasn't nearly such an appalling experience for its victim as the movie suggests…

"[Gibson] reduced it to two hours of suffering," complained Verhoeven. "The suffering of Jesus is not the important thing. It's terrible, but many people have terrible endings. Even with sicknesses that are so horrifying that crucifixion that took six hours is perhaps not even that important in comparison to what people have to go through, especially if they are wounded, lose limbs, whatever. Terrible things happen in the world. I think that's not the essence. The world is full of violence and terrible things. The whole universe is filled with disaster."
A modern view of Jesus for a modern global reality. Not a blood filled Mel Gibson medievalist fantasy tale.

I was especially surprised to see that this Dutch man is also a member of the Jesus Seminar. He obviously has the passion for a secular Christianity of the 21st century of our common global era.
Paul Verhoeven is a member of the Jesus Seminar. He is the only member who does not have a degree in biblical studies, although he graduated in mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden. Since he is not a professional biblical exegete, his membership in the Jesus Seminar has occasionally been cited by opponents of the Seminar as a sign that this group is less scholarly than it claims. On the other hand, some Jesus Seminar members were unhappy with Verhoeven's portrayal of Jesus as an eschatological prophet.

In 2007 Verhoeven authored the book Jesus of Nazareth (Dutch: Jezus van Nazaret) about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The book reviews the ideas of Jesus of Nazareth and the alleged corruption of these same ideas over the last 2,000 years. The book may be a preparation for Jesus: The Man, a controversial film project about the life of Jesus. Verhoeven's book tells about the Jewish uprising against Roman rule and characterizes Jesus as terrorist. He rejects all supernatural happenings and miracles as unproved or unprovable. Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," has been released in September 2008 in Dutch and will be published in English in April 2010 by Seven Stories Press. Wikipedia
Good luck in his modern refreshing telling of the Jesus story.

Arrest and Trial of Benedict XVI

Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI
RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.
When I first saw this story a few days ago I was reluctant to comment. I think that a warrant or a bill of indictment should be prepared against the Holy See in some European or International Court. However, I would not think it prudent to pursue a trial for these recent felonies and cover-ups of felonies by the worldwide hierarchy of the RCC in general and the Vatican specifically, in the case of crimes against humanity – children.

I guess that being American I have come to accept the legal opinion of Obama that we cannot prosecute Dick Cheney and George Bush for war crimes and other crimes against humanity. Shame on us.

All crimes against humanity should be vigorously prosecuted no matter who commits them. It is the right and more importantly the moral thing to do. The secular global world has to take a stand on right and wrong as described in law and not be influenced by any mythical religious setting or context as in crimes committed in the Vatican

The fact that two well known atheists, Dawkins and Hitchens, are bellowing these charges against Benedict XVI and his thug bishops sounds a little too much like religious persecution. But then again over the centuries the RCC have burned enough atheists as heretics. Perhaps the Dawkins/Hitchens spiel is equal time and fair play.

Just imagine if only indictments were prepared in a legal court system in Europe. The pope would have to hide in his Vatican with protection of his armed guards in his palace in Rome like some Mafia Chieftain.

Dawkins/Hitchens claim that the Vatican is not a country. That Mussolini when he ceded political control to the Vatican in 1929 was merely respecting the turf of another warlord such as himself.

According to some opinion, the pope has no diplomatic immunity. The Vatican was denied official nation status at the U.N. in 1964 at the insistence of the U.S.. No doubt a crook like LBJ could smell another snake in the room with the Vatican trying to claim nationhood. As a permanent observer at the UN, the church has been able to wreck havoc on the planet with its medieval ideals of birth control forced onto a lot of UN programs.

But putting aside all the showmanship of Dawkins/Hitchens trying to sell more books etc, there is the base, the common little ordinary simple faithful that the RC hierarchy are totally unaware of and totally our of touch with. This base in the form of the Rev. James Scahill of St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts “called in a sermon last weekend for the pope to resign over the church's sexual abuse scandal.”

Priest calls for pope's resignation
Pope Benedict XVI has found himself tied to the crisis after news broke last month that 30 years ago, when he was an archbishop, he approved accommodations in his diocese for a priest accused of child sex abuse so the priest could undergo therapy.

The priest, who was not identified, was let go from church service in 2008, according to church officials in Germany.

"If he can't take the consequences of being truthful on this matter, his integrity should lead him, for the good of the church, to step down and to have the conclave of cardinals elect a pope with the understanding that the elected pope would be willing to take on this issue, not just in promise," Scahill said.
When you lose your base, you lose in politics. The papacy is – a political – and not a spiritual job position.

The scandal of failed CEO types running the Vatican continues.