A Rare Insight into Gibson's `Passion'

Few people can provide better insight into Mel Gibson's controversial movie, ``The Passion of the Christ,'' than Coeur d'Alene native David Dolan. Dolan? He was reared Catholic, as Gibson was, and became an Evangelical after a period of wandering. But that's not all. After a stint with KMBI-FM (the Moody Bible affiliate in Spokane), he moved to Israel in 1980. Two years later, he began his broadcast career in the Middle East as the news director for the Voice of Hope in southern Lebanon. (He talked about that experience in his first book: ``Holy War for the Promised Land.'')

Whenever something's happening in the Middle East, I turn to Dave's commentary for insight. In his Feb. 16 column for WorldNetDaily, he discusses ``the passion of Christ'' from the city where it took place. "As an ex-Catholic evangelical living in the world's only Jewish state," he explains why his Jewish friends are nervous about the movie. And he agrees with some critics of the film that Gibson should ad a disclaimer at the end -- only his disclaimer differs a bit from the one suggested during Gibson's interview with Diane Sawyer for ABC's "Primetime" this week.

Here's Dave's take from his recent column: "It would be wonderful if the photogenic Australian actor/producer (Gibson) took up my friend Mike Evan’s suggestion to add a short “disclaimer” at the end of the movie, pointing out that ”During the Roman occupation, more than 250,000 Jews were crucified by the Romans, but only One rose from the dead.” Such a gesture would also help bolster the scant resurrection material in the film, which is after all the only thing that made Jesus’ odious death different from other crucifixions, and worth crowing about today.

(Speaking of disclaimers, Dave's column contains mild criticism of his Catholic past. So beware. Now, onward.)

Dave's many friends in the Inland Northwest should bookmark his Web site. His link is here.

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