By Editorial Staff
Published July 1, 1988
WASHINGTON, DC (FR) – An outspoken Jewish journalist, known for his conservative commentaries on political life in the U.S., has joined forces with Christians in America to protest the controversial new movie “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Don Feder, of the Heritage Features Syndicate, brought a forceful indictment against Universal Pictures in one of his recent editorials, which appeared in the conservative weekly newspaper Human Events as well as many local publications.
“As a Jew,” stated Feder, “I doubt I can be accused of sectarian bias in the controversy at hand. I do not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. I do believe in respecting the faith of those who regard him as their savior.”
In his editorial, entitled “Hollywood Sullies Christianity,” Feder criticizes Universal Pictures for its claim that Christian opposition to “The Last Temptation” is censorship: “Does freedom of expression require that every concept be explored; must every idea, no matter how bizarre and abhorrent, be articulated? Not merely expressed, but turned into a silver screen extravaganza? Is it essential to the furtherance of religious inquiry that Hollywood concoct a sex life for Jesus? Reasonable limits, self-imposed, are not the same as censorship. The boundaries should be set by decency and sensitivity to the deeply held sentiments of our neighbors.”
Feder points out that Hollywood executives have been hypocritical in their treatment of Christians in motion pictures. While the character of Jesus is slandered in “The Last Temptation,” the Islamic prophet Mohammed was treated with extra respect in “Mohammed, Messenger of God,” a film produced ten years ago. “In this dramatization,” stated Feder, “the Prophet isn’t shown on screen or his voice heard by the audience, for fear of affronting devout Moslems.”
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