I Need A Favor

Well, advice actually. Especially from the LC’s who have survived parenthood. As you know Good Friday is coming up. As a Catholic it is a central part of Holy Week, when we remember the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. This Good Friday is also the last Good Friday before my Princesses First Communion. You Catholic readers know the significance of that event, and I’m sure the rest of you can imagine.

So here’s my problem. A few years ago when Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ came out in the theater Bangie Thing and I saw it. When the lights dimmed the most amazing thing happened. People put their sodas and popcorn down, turned their phones off, and stopped talking. Except for quiet weeping, there wasn’t another sound until the movie was over. It was that powerful of an experience. What I saw on the screen was what has been sanitized from the modern representations of the suffering and Crucifixion of Jesus. Not to be too cliche about it, but it was in fact a religious experience. I was moved to a new understanding and appreciation of the Mystery of the Eucharist.

Now that my daughters are about to become full communicants in the Church, I want them to have the same understanding of exactly what Christ endured for us, and have a better understanding of just how crucial the Eucharist is. That was something that I was denied until that moment in the theater. Unfortunately in today’s world words such as “suffered, died and was buried”, “scourged” and “chastised” don’t carry the weight they did when they were written. The visual barbarity that was brought home in the movie showed the true extent of what Christ suffered that day 2000 years ago like no verbal description ever could.

Now, despite being my offspring, the Princesses are still girls, and they are only seven years old, so I’m concerned that the movie may be too much for them. Especially when I consider that Princess Walnut, my youngest by two minutes, cried during the Stations of the Cross. They do have a serious Tom Boy streak, it’s not like they’re squeamish, but those of you who have seen The Passion know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Of course I would be watching it with them and there would be a serious talk about what they had seen, but at the same time I don’t want them having nightmares about Jesus.

So my plan is to watch The Passion with the girls on Good Friday after the Stations of the Cross. I would really value y’alls input though before I make my final decision. I’ve already spoke to my parish priests and have received some very good guidance both pro and con. If there’s anyone who can debate an issue to death, it’s y’all and one thing I’ve learned is that the experience and opinions of the readers here are an invaluable resource.

So what say you?

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Sir Fresh Sign
Member
Sir Fresh Sign

Catholic? Check Father of an amazing daughter? Check Seen Passion? Most of it, but i was too squeamish. My advice is that while you may ponder the pros and cons of the decision NOW as it relates to them NOW in their pure uncorrupted state, you NEVER KNOW how such a screening will affect them viscerally and either pay them dividends beyond measure as their life progresses. My daughter was haunted by 2010 A SPace Odyssey when i screened it for her as a toddler… she had fears of the darkened door of her room taking the shape of the… Read more »

Cricket
Member
Cricket

I think you already have your answer. If you think they might be too young and tender-hearted to understand what scourging means, then follow your instincts. I have found over the years, that parental instincts are God-given for a reason. I think Our Lord knows your heart, and of your desire to have your daughters understand His sacrifice. Maybe, when they are older, say around 14-15, you might rent the film and have them see it. I am not a Catholic, so maybe I am stepping out of line here, but maybe read the passages in Isaiah where it talks… Read more »

USCitizen
Member

I’d advise you to take your Priest’s advice on this one.

At about that age, I took my children to the site of the former World Trade Towers and explained to them that there is indeed evil in this world.

LC HJ Caveman82952
Member

My dear friend Crunchie…… This one got to me big time, Crunch. I remember my first Holy Communion, like it was yesterday. I loved Communion, the First Confession was what I feared, my rap sheet with God. Crunchie…your daughters sound like beautiful sensitive souls…..my honest gut level feelings tell me they are too young for The Passion. Perhaps in time, after it was explained to them, and that He chose to endure this on their behalf. But Crunch….I’ve seen a lot of ugly shit in my life…. I silently wept like a baby watching that, my soul wrenched by thoughts… Read more »

LC Thresher
Member

The older I get, the more I think I am probably not going to have children, but if you’ll accept, I’ll offer my opinion…

I would say they’re too young at the moment. Wait until they’re in their early teens before exposing them to that sort of brutality. Honestly, the way the world is going, they’ll probably see enough of it in their own lives to fill a dozen lifetimes.

Jaybear, Colonel of Imperial Ancient Artillery
Member

Crunch, I saw The Passion with my son when he was about 16 (25 years old now). He’s a strong committed Christian, the kind I wish and aspire to be……anyways, what we did before we saw it was to read about the events in the Gospels. To read about the betrayal and Jesus prayer of forgiveness and strength, and about the tribulations he went through for our sins. Still, I thought the depiction of it to be a little over the top. I understand what Mel Gibson was trying to do, trying to portray what our Savior suffered for our… Read more »

LC Wil, S.C.E.
Member

Crunchie my old,

My family and I attend the Anglican Church down the street, so perhaps the translation of experience is somewhat faulty, but, for what it’s worth:
Both of my Precious Daughters are committed Christians. My youngest just turned 11. She is an acolyte at the church.

She is too young to attend The Passion of The Christ.

Again, for what it’s worth. These are, after all, your Princesses. If you do decide to take them, sit between them, so that you are able to hold them both. It will be necessary.

May God Bless.

Wil

Slightly to the right of Gingis Khan
Member
Slightly to the right of Gingis Khan

As a Christian and a parent, were it my child I would wait. Your concerns of the girls having nightmares about Jesus are valid I think. I remember going to see the Vietnam Veterans Wall with a good friend and his daughter who was about 8 at the time. The poor little girl didn’t grasp the sacrifice of the brave Americans who shed their blood there, but she did grasp the horror…….. and she had nightmares for a couple of weeks. I’ll toss up a prayer that you have the wisdom to find the correct choice for you and yours.

The Irish Dragon
Member
The Irish Dragon

Not a parent, yet, but I’m going to have to agree with most of the above, Crunch. As harsh a world as we live in, kids in the West are still sheltered enough that seven is too young for The Passion. You know I’m far from squeamish, but I still weep when I see that movie. I’d suggest one of the older movies, for the moment, say Ben Hur or The Robe. Part of what brought me when I was younger to more understanding was my father’s words about his reading of “A Doctor at Calvary.” He didn’t go into… Read more »

Emperor Misha I
Admin

I have full confidence in your judgment, brother, so it’s entirely up to you. However, that movie is, as you know, a hugely emotional experience and, whereas I’m certain it won’t do any damage, kids are more resilient than that and the message of the movie is too strong to be “wiped out” completely by an emotional reaction to it, it just might turn a day that should be joyous as well as momentous into a day of talking about the horrors of the move rather than the aforementioned message. I don’t know. I wouldn’t show it to The Heirs.… Read more »

LC Old Dog
Member

I guess I survived Parenthood, my youngest is 38!

I had this same discussion with my Daughter about her middle child, the Girl. I honestly advised her to hold off on taking the eight year old to see that movie. I identified it to her as the equivalent of her witnessing a fatal car crash at that same age. It caused her problems for several years.

The movie evokes that level of emotional response and could cause that same level of mental trauma. I say could because nothing is certain but, do you want to take that chance?

Patrick
Member

Some advice ftom a WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant)

Wait till they’re older.

Better yet, show them this movie instead:

http://www.chick.com/catalog/videos/lotw.asp

watch the video clips. This video is something to behold.

Patrick
Member
Tallulah
Member
Tallulah

Churchgoing Episcopalian here. To all my Christian confreres, have a blessed Holy Week. We confirm our kids at age 12 — seventh-graders. I would wait until they’re old enough to handle the violence depicted. I saw The Passion of the Christ and thought it was a masterpiece, but I did close my eyes for the whipping scene. The sound effects were tough enough to take, even for an adult. Have you considered renting Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth for them? That was a beautifully done, wonderfully acted, reverent depiction of Jesus’ life done in the 1970s as a miniseries, but with… Read more »

Tallulah
Member
Tallulah

This is the last scene from Jesus of Nazareth, as he tells the disciples he’s returning to our Father in Heaven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU6BerePfrA&feature=related

“. . . and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

LC Panzermann
Member

Crunch, mate.

Agree with Misha here. Definitely wouldn’t do any damage, but it probably wouldn’t really be the experience you are looking for as the intensity of the movie might occupy them a little bit too much.

It would be something to prepare them for confirmation, wouldn’t it ? At what age do you chaps do this, around twelvish ?

Anyway, you cannot really go wrong either way, as you will be there with them.

Shaitana
Member

As a mother of 4 young ones, two of them girls, I would wait. At least 12 or more till it really makes an impact, you know, during the start of those rebellious no one loves me years.

T
Member
T

Yo, Crunch – As a father of four girls, I kinda agree with the “hold off” pattern above. Seven is a bit young, and – yes, kids can handle a lot more than we as parents think they can – my own opinion is let them come to the realisation of what our Lord went through gently. Above all – be there with your hands in theirs. My own daughters still know and verbalize that each is “Daddys’ little girl” and tries always to be there when needed, and for this you WILL be needed. Oh, BTW – my youngest… Read more »

BigDogg - Imperial Thread Killer (ITK)
Member
BigDogg - Imperial Thread Killer (ITK)

Crunch, I have a 7 year old daughter, and 10 year old twin girls, and I’ve been praying about and debating the same thing. I do think that it’s important that they experience a glimpse into the magnitude of suffering that our Lord went through for us. However, I also realize that in today’s world, the innocence of childhood is eroded way too early. I personally have arrived at the conclusion that a full and complete screening of the movie isn’t appropriate for them. I’ve decided to go through the movie and see if there is some way that I… Read more »

LC Light29ID - The Imperial Asshole
Member

Crunchie, Being a Lutheran we have a different view on when things should happen. During the hard years a child wasn’t expected to survive (which as my Grandmother said “we didn’t have babies, we had litters”). Children grew up fast so they had to know things and one was the Bible…all of it. The good, the bad and the ugly. By the time a child on the Plains was confirmed they knew hardship, privation and death so they were aware of what happened to Our Savior. Brutal, yes…but it made them appreciate what they had to endure measured against what… Read more »

LC Light29ID - The Imperial Asshole
Member

For those of us that my have forgotten:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

marine43
Member
marine43

Crunch , thats a tough one. I have a hard time watchin that movie. Makes me angry…. obviously you have some doubts. But you should follow your heart and the priests advice. It does show what Christ gave for us, and even after a life as a Catholic, it really struck me. Probably not much help…. Happy Easter brother. God Bless

LC Sir M - Imperial Tobacconist™, K.o.E.
Admin

Looks like a pretty strong consensus forming here, Crunch, and I’d have to agree…hold off.

I had trouble sitting through The Passion as an adult, and I’m not particularly squeamish. It’s not a good choice for kids.

LC MuscleDaddy
Member

Hey Crunch, MuscleBaby-the-Elder is about to turn twelve, and she and her brother will continue going to private/catholic schools forever if I have to sell blood & organs to do it. (notice I didn’t necessarily say ‘my’ blood & organs…) I’m going to take this in two parts: 1) What kinds of movies do you ordinarily let them watch? I know a guy w/3 girls, who has let them watch whatever gory/alien-smorgasboard/slash-fest piece of dreck ever released to video – thinks it goes toward his goal of ‘making ’em tough’. Now IF those girls were particularly religious, I believe that… Read more »

LC MuscleDaddy
Member

Response to Jaybear, Colonel of Imperial Ancient Artillery @: “…but like a lot of Gibson’s films….I feel he gets obsessed with the violence and the point of the film gets obscured by it.” Jay, I’m going to have to disagree with you here. I think that what Mel has been deliberately doing (particularly in BraveHeart & The Patriot) is trying to make sure that the viewing audience (also known as We The People) don’t lose sight of the fact that grand ideas and ‘battles for freedom’ are more than just dry lists of dates in a textbook – otherwise good… Read more »

LC Guy S
Member

Lapast Catholic, but still a believer here. Only had boys, but at that young of an age, Gibson’s film (IMNO, your mileage may vary) although painting what appears to be as realistic a picture as possible of the events which took place, is far too graphic for any child. There is always going to be an exception proving the rule, but do you know for sure your children are “the exception”? For now, perhaps the Zeffirelli film, or even the old classic “King of Kings” would be a better choice, if nothing else they may allow for you to open… Read more »

Cricket
Member
Cricket

I believe that we will all have the opportunity to see and feel the scars in His hands and feet, and know then, what His suffering was like, along with His love for us. There is another aspect to this Great Story, and that is Jesus was a physically strong man, as well as being the Son of God. He bled from every pore during His Intercessory Prayer in Gethsemane. The pain from that alone would either make a very strong man pass out or kill him. If that wasn’t enough, He goes on to be dragged all over Galilee… Read more »

Lady H
Member

Speaking as a fellow Roman Catholic, Crunchie, I would have them watch “Jesus of Nazareth” first, and then “The Passion of the Christ” when they’re older. My opinion is that children that young would be scared by this and maybe even be scared of our Lord Jesus and associate Him with a monstrous image. (Just stating how the 7 year old mind may think of it.) I’m sure you’ll do the right thing, you know your kids better than I do. 🙂 But I sure would explain to them about the graphic depiction (and probably what really happened) of Christ… Read more »

Lady H
Member

And for me, Robert Powell represents “Jesus” to me as much as Charlton Heston represents Moses. 🙂 It’s how I imagine what He looks like.

Both actors were terrific in those films, btw.

LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech, Imperial Photographer, K.o.E.
Member

Maybe I was five or six when I saw my first ‘possum get blasted off a fence.
‘Ever after, I felt heat from any gun barrel that swung my way.
Whatever could be said about being too graphic or not, I can personally attest: it’s still imprinted, ‘done me good.

LC Jackboot IC/A
Admin

My Brother Crunchie, I spent all day pondering this one. I had two answers since my kids are 180 degrees apart in personalities. If it was Serena, whom you certainly know pretty well, I would take her. But considering Lowell at that age, I wouldn’t. I know those darlings of yours, and am certain beyond a doubt that you and Bangie will do the right thing. I know you’re looking for a definitive answer, so I’ll throw in with the Boss. He nailed what I would say perfectly. Emperor Misha I says: don’t know. I wouldn’t show it to The… Read more »

Draven32
Member
Draven32

I know some of the guys that worked on the VFX for Passion. They were quite shaken by working on it and a couple started back to going to church when they hadn’t gone in years. These are mature adults who have worked on everything from epic sci-fi pictures to horror movies and they were still moved by the work they did. Passion is a little much for seven-year-olds.

LC Anniee451
Member
LC Anniee451

Raised Catholic, two children grown up. Yes I remember my first communion and confirmation very well. I remember the first confession too – yikes! I’m just wondering, if she was sensitive enough to cry at the stations of the cross, then it seems she understands enough about the nature of the passion without seeing it. Enough for her age, maybe? I would go with too young for such a brutal film – I mistakenly thought my daughter at that age was old enough to see…yeah ok I can’t believe I’m saying this…Schindler’s List, so long as I was there and… Read more »

LC Xystus
Member

Jaybear: I understand what Mel Gibson was trying to do, trying to portray what our Savior suffered for our salvation, but like a lot of Gibson’s films….I feel he gets obsessed with the violence and the point of the film gets obscured by it. That meshes with one evaluation I’ve run across (can’t recall when/where) claiming that Gibson’s depiction would have killed JC too soon. The Emp: That movie, and the first time I ever performed The Messiah before an audience, are the two times that I truly, honestly, deep down in the very roots of my soul, felt G-d.… Read more »

ZeektheCruel
Member
ZeektheCruel

I went to see that when it came out and it is a very well done movie in my opinion. However, I would not let anyone under 16 or so see it. It is a brutal depiction of the suffering our Lord went through. I think little ones would be very shaken if not outright disturbed by it. Shit, most believing adults I’ve met have been a bit disturbed by it. So, while I don’t have children (Godfather to three but none of my own), I still wouldn’t do it until they are old enough to emotionally and mentally handle… Read more »

SoCalOilMan, K.o.E.
Member

Late to the party again being you seem to have made your decision, but I’ll give you my thought on it. I agree with most here. A PG version of this would do fine at this time. The LC’s have given some great options that will give the message without the graphic violence. I’m not squeamish about gore, to the point that sometimes I worry about myself. I care about living things, but I deal with trauma by handling the situation in front of me. I saw The Passion of the Christ on DVD and if I watched again, it… Read more »

Cricket
Member
Cricket

@ LC Xystus:

With regard to Ben-Hur, it is a tale of the Christ, and is historic fiction. IIRC, there is a disclaimer by Gen. Wallace to that effect.

Tallulah
Member
Tallulah

I’m so glad you’re going to watch Jesus of Nazareth with them! That aired on television in 1977, has terrific actors, and I agree with Lady H: Robert Powell, particularly with that luminous gaze, perfectly fits my idea of what the Master looked like. This thread got me to thinking about how Hollywood, when it was run by Jews who were mostly patriotic Republicans (yes, the studio heads were), turned out movies about the Bible that were moving, dramatic, and really made the Old and New Testaments live on the screen. And what glorious music. The Robe, The Ten Commandments,… Read more »

LC Anniee451
Member
LC Anniee451

Excellent choice; Jesus of Nazareth is terrific. Hope you and your girls enjoy it, Crunchie – might want to take breaks between tapes; that one’s long!

LC Anniee451
Member
LC Anniee451

Tallulah, Last Temptation was pretty much disgustingly blasphemous, but beyond that it was a horrible movie. Jesus was a flat-out bad guy in that hideous monstrosity. If you’ve never seen it, be glad.

FrJim, Imperial Chaplain
Member
FrJim, Imperial Chaplain

I know I’m late, but waiting a few years is the best option.

Got three girls.

Ordained Anglican priest.

Blessed Holy Week!

-Jim+
:em04:

LC Anniee451
Member
LC Anniee451

Hehe, FRJim knows. DO let us know how they like “Jesus of Nazareth” – I totally LOVE that movie!

As Jeniffer Saunders (or is it Jennifer French?) says…Now there’s a man who really LOOKS like our lord! (hehe)

Cantab
Member
Cantab

I would wait. Right now they take in the faith with the acceptance most children have with authority figures. At some point in their lives they will need spiritual strengthening, that will be a better time. If you feel confident enough I would wait until early college, when the world will be trying to batter down their faith.