Yahoo! News – Jewish Leader Wants Vatican Stand on Gibson Film

A prominent Jewish leader complains that this movie portrays the Jews as “vengeful and bloodthirsty”. Well, unless we re-write history the Jews were vengeful and bloodthirsty. So were the Romans and everybody else. I have been reading the Old Testament recently and I am reminded how brutal and cruel life was for them and their enemies. The Jews did not take any prisoners when they moved into the “promised land”. They killed them all. Things do not change when we get to the time of Jesus. John the Baptist is beheaded because he offends the king's wife. Stephen is stoned to death for blasphemy. Many years later Pliny, a Roman govenor in Turkey, asks the Emperor Trajan for guidance with dealing with Christians. He has found that the Christians have committed no crime other than their refusal to worship the government approved Gods. He obviously has misgivings about whether execution is the appropiate punishment for this crime. He is advised to continue the executions but to not accept anonymous denunciations. It would take many years before the Romans would stop executing Christians for refusing to pray to Roman gods. It took many years for society to learn to frown upon our vengeful and bloodthirsty past.  I am probably just one generation removed from the time when public hangings were considered a just punishment. Even today we are confronted with vengeful and bloodthirsty genocides. I think its great that we have changed the better but we are far from done. Trying to change history will not help the growth and healing process.