Bob C. Homer Glen, Ill.: I thought you were on target with your perturbation on the so-called Oscar snub of "The Passion." If you believe Mel Gibson, then it's not important that the film receives any Oscars. Many people are glad he made the movie and that should be enough. I do, however, take exception to your single comment about the Passion being "an OK film that exploits His death." I think that was way out of line. You could certainly consider it OK or even bad. You're entitled to your opinion, but to call it an exploitation seems a tad strong unless I just missed it when you said "Schindler's List" exploited the Holocaust or "Angels in America" exploited AIDS.
Bob V. in Cyber-Space: Your angry reaction through your writing is reflective of a deeper need to believe in something other than Jesus. Time and time again, men like you lash out at Christ through their "editorials." But the truth remains, many, like you, do not truly understand Him or really want to know Him. All He wants to do is love you and offer you a way out of the prison you're in -- but instead, you end up rejecting Him much like the Jews did in the movie. So, in the end, it's not about the movie I'm reacting to you over, but instead, about your relationship -- or lack thereof -- with the person of Jesus Christ. I hope someday that you truly find him Mike and learn of the peace that He can give you when you open up and let Him enter your heart. If anger is welling up in up at the reading of this e-mail, it should be a clear indication to you that you don't have a relationship with Him -- or else, how do explain why you're so angry?? May God truly clear the path for you to finally understand Him.
Jacque Z. in Pella, Iowa: I believe that the film by Mel Gibson SHOULD be on the list for best picture at the Oscars. Why? Because it was, in my opinon, a very well thought-out film. It was an incredible story and an incredible movie. Am I a Christian? You bet! I am proud of it! I think you are extremely harsh on this subject. After reading your piece, I believe that you are against this film for more than just what you may consider a lack of quality. Search yourself and see if you are truly being unbiased. I think you may find that your personal feelings have entered into this judgment.
A. Johnson in Cyber-Space: Grrr!!! After seeing almost three hours of an interesting life turned boring in "The Aviator," I almost wished that it had been in Aramaic -- at least that would have been interesting. And as for the liberal slant of Hollywood, do you remember how hard it was for "The Passion" to even get distributed ... a movie that will be seen and appreciated by many more people than any of the current Oscar contenders. I hope "Million Dollar Baby" is a good film, it might just be, but GRRR!!! Just cuz Scorcese hasn't gotten the press he deserves is no reason to nominate a snoozer. And I do agree that it doesn't matter that "The Passion" isn't nominated, I don't think Mel Gibson even tried to get it nominated by playing the "Hollywood Game."
Will K. in Cyber-Space: Amen brother! It is just a movie, albeit a powerful movie. As a Christian, I admit that we are a confusing bunch, pretty much like any other group, actions/words don't always match the ideology all the time. Anyway, "Passion" a violent film and the content must recognized as violent, cruel and inhumane. I can easily see how bizarre it must appear when Christians decry "violence" in one breath, and then praise the "Passion." What troubles Christians, I think, is that violence, per se, has become "normal" in the media, and thus it desensitizes us and prevents us from understanding how wrong those actions are. And in the context of Christ, we Christians view that violence as a testimony of Christ's love ... that Jesus Christ would submit (he had the power to stop) to that violence (our sin) so we can be connected to God. If desensitized, then some of the magnitude is lost. "Passion" tries to do that ... show the magnitude of Jesus' sacrifice on behalf of you and I. It's not everyday that someone steps up and says "I'll pay the price for all of your mistakes," and then willingly be beaten, stabbed and nailed for you. When violence has come to the point of "normal" entertainment, then Christ's death looks boring ... no chase scenes or huge explosions. Granted, the message is the same, but the context is tainted. Just food for thought ... and only one person's perspective.
Sandy S. in Cyber-Space: If you REALLY knew, and even more, BELIEVED what Jesus Christ went through to save your soul, you'd be a whole lot more grateful for it! Wise up! You're a lot closer to the flames than you think!
Sandy S. in Cyber-Space: The previous email I sent you was very un-Christlike.
I apologize and ask you to forgive me.
-- No problem, Sandy.
Jessica D. in Cyber-Space: I just read your most recent Grrr! column. It was refreshing to see that you'd rather go home and see your wife and child than hang out with celebs. I also
really enjoyed your views on the "Passion" and the Oscar nominations. It's nice to see someone at the network level still proclaim their Christianity. Keep up the good work.
Greg B. in N.C.: You’re so right Mike! I am a Christian and I think Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the last 12 hours of life on this earth for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was and is the best portrayal of Christ’s death ever. The last thing on my mind as a Christian is, “Why is this movie not an Oscar pick?” If you ask me, I never thought it would be, or expected it to be. I don’t think Mel Gibson or John Caviezel expected it either. Jesus didn’t win an Oscar for dying on the cross. As a matter of fact He did it even though He knew many would still refuse to believe. Christians should not be surprised or concerned by this.
John C. in Cyber-Space: I appreciate your views on the "Passion" being snubbed by
Hollywood. I am a very conservative Christian and I couldn't care less how the movie is viewed by the Academy. The main reason I don't care is the reason you listed ... would Jesus care? I think His interests lie elsewhere. No wonder we (Christians) have a hard time reaching this society for Christ. We are too busy trying to be like everyone else. We should be about what Jesus was about and let everything else worry about itself.
Ann Carlson in Cyber-Space: Your "attack" of the movie "The Passion" as a non-Oscar-worthy movie was very poorly conceived ... and to mention the "violence" issue -- HOW VIOLENT IT WAS?!! -- was like a childish joke rehashed all over again ... AND DID YOU REALLY THINK -- WHEN CHRIST DIED -- WHAT HE WENT THROUGH WAS ALL TEA AND CRUMPETS? Do you ever complain about the violence in slasher movies ... serial killer movies ... or even today's standard "action" movies ... or TV shows -- how 'bout "CSI" -- and all the violence -- and all the money that franchise is raking in? Do you ever complain about the "violence" in the reporting of your own company, in NEWS STORIES???? GRRRRRRRRRRRR! And your dismissiveness of Jesus's sacrifice reveals a lot about the true nature of you ... you entirely missed the point ... and the movie "The Passion" was NOT at all exploitative for those who chose to receive the message of its intent ... which obviously did NOT include you.
A1C Barrow: FINALLY, as a fellow Christian, I thank you. I was never quite sure if I wanted "Passion" nominated for best picture, and after your well-articulated comments, I agree, it shouldn't be. The movie was amazing, but I do not think it was best picture. I am not sure I agree "Million Dollar Baby" was either, but oh well. Why cant we Christians just be happy we have a commercially successful movie about Jesus and leave it at that? I am sure the movie's subject himself doesn't care in the least. Oh and a quick plug for the amazing effort of Jamie Foxx.
The Big Mick says: Got to say you make some good points about "The Passion." Where I would spin it differently is that I am prepared to believe Gibson was not primarily interested in making millions, but in telling the story as accurately as he could from his Roman Catholic tradition. Yes it was brutal -- it was a brutal age. As I watched the two Romans step over to the pile of "sticks," I finally connected with "beaten with rods" -- I remembered the Roman army used it as a punishment for falling asleep on duty -- often to the death. What we saw is probably as close an approximation as anyone is going to get over 20 centuries of cultural drift. Is there value in a story told truly for its own sake?
Betty H. in Fort Worth, Texas: If I'm not mistaken, the film "The Aviator" tells the story of Howard Hughes ... what is wrong with telling the story of the last 12 hours of Jesus? Why is it a good film? Because it gives a true story about a man who is the Son of God. I do agree with you on one thing, the movie was not made so Mel could win an Oscar (although it would have been nice). I'm sure he is not losing any sleep over it. Mel will get his reward for obeying the Lord. But, however you try to make it look, films with this kind of story will continue to be shut out. I can remember the day when "The Ten Commandants"..."The Greatest Story Ever Told"..."The Robe" (and many others) were highly acclaimed. Times have changed and Hollywood has lost its glory. It's only a shadow of itself. All it can do is pat itself on the back and lift itself up.
John Z. in Conway, S.C.: I read what you had to say about people who think "The Passion of the Christ" was snubbed due to liberal bias in Hollywood, and I'd like to give you another point of view. Perhaps you're being as facile as you say the people whom you criticize are. From a spiritual standpoint, I agree, it does not matter if the film gets an Oscar. From a fairness standpoint, though, for a film the caliber of "The Passion" to not be nominated for best picture is somewhat suspicious to me. I don't pretend to know what goes on in the minds of the Academy members (or even what the process is), so maybe it wasn't anti-Christian bias. I'd been wanting to hear from folks such as yourself who know the process better. You enlightened me somewhat, but I thought you were being a little too hard on people who were questioning the snub.
Vicki Campbell in Capitola, Calif.: I totally agree with you here, but I will say that I think the mainstream Christian population is quite unconcerned about what happens at the Oscars. As you've aptly suggested, Jesus would not care about a stupid gold statute. He would only want to know that His sacrifice was not in vain, which is not measured by any earthly reward.
Eric A. in Easly, S.C.: I agree with what you say about Jesus not caring about getting an Oscar. You're right -- public recognition has never been His desire. However, you talked about how disturbing and violent the film is. This is my Grrr ... I just watched "Gangs of New York" over the weekend. While being a very good movie, it is definitely the most violent and bloody movie I have ever watched. But when it came out, all the critics were drooling over Martin Scorsese and what a fine, wonderful, amazing movie he had made. NOBODY talked about how gory it was. So, I think critics are being a little unfair to "Passion" for simply retelling what happened to Jesus. I mean, if Scorsese can do it, why can't Mel Gibson?
Pamela P. in Louisville, Ky.: To me, the fact that "The Passion" did so well at the box office, given all things considered, was a sign that God HAD blessed the movie because of Mr. Gibson's obedience and commitment to God -- all the vast resources he had at hand for this one main, simple purpose -- to remind the world once again of what God as Jesus Christ so lovingly suffered for us in order to reconcile us to Himself once and for all.
Jim K. in New Iberia, La.: Hollywood does not want to associate it self with Christianity.
Buddha, Mohammed, Cat Stevens and SpongeBob SquarePants are fine. It's secular socialists that run Hollywood, and only a super-rich guy with his own money can produce a movie like "The Passion." And boy, did he make money. And money is your god, so what’s the beef? Is it the violence (and violence is what you promote) or the prayer that frightens you? Forget the Man and Book for a moment. Just listen to the message. Even if you don't believe. Love, peace and hope ... isn't that what you guys are all about and it's the red-blooded class "Alphas" that are the hateful, war-mongering killers. And since all these red-bloods believe in conspiracy theories here's one ... the Academy and the Guild squeezed out [Michael Moore's] "9/11" in a deal to squish "The Passion".
Moving on now to non-"Passion" Grrrs:
Melissa in N.J.: I have to vent my GRRR about the networks and their bottom-line ticker ... during a television show. In inclement weather, a certain network actually rings three bells to let you know of a winter storm warning ... for TOMORROW! If I see another van drive by to promote "Super Bowl Frenzy" at 11 I'll scream. Or how about the headline, "Actress gunned down, police search for killers at 11".... why would they do that? Let the networks know that if we are interested in the news, we'll tune in to the nightly news all by ourselves!
Shane S. in Johnson City, Tenn.: My Grrr with this whole homicide/suicide bomber issue is that all of the English teacher wannabes are detracting from the base point of the newscast in the first place. I say we petition to have all of the networks simply refer to them as radical extremist bombliviots. At least then all the Grrrs could be directed toward another ‘iviot’ name, instead of trying to keep us from hating or fearing the moron that actually did the evil deed in the first place. News is news, no matter how the Oblivion you’re listening to blurts it out.
Peter in Colo.: In reply to Daphne who can’t figure out why people buy lunchmeats: I’d say that the reason people stock up on lunchmeats is that if the power goes out, you don’t have to cook them, just eat. Anything that needs cooking is useless in a power outage unless you have a grill outside, but then it’s really cold in a blizzard. In a snowstorm, if the power goes out, you merely throw some snow or ice into the refrig and bingo, it keeps everything cold.
Rebah in Va.: My loud and resounding GRRR! is for Ward Churchill and all the elitist Oblivions who oh so conveniently forget the reason they have the RIGHT to voice their opinion, no matter how vile, is because of the men and women they scorn and label baby killers. Despite what they would like to believe, these elitist Oblivions are blessed to be in America, to be American citizens.
John in Cyber-Space: Much noise has been made surrounding the safety of cell phones while driving. I just read an article on FOX News' Web site with the latest: Teens talking on hands-free cell phones drive like elderly people. The article appears to conclude the impairment is due to the multitasking required. I'm not arguing with the accuracy of that conclusion, but it seems to me that we are still dealing with a relative measurement, and laws are being made based on somewhat baseless comparisons. What I'd like to see is how a parent driving a car full of kids (plenty of multitasking there!) would do in comparison, or a teen with a car full of friends, or how about bus drivers or someone listening to talk radio? Until we have some meaningful comparisons, articles like this -- especially when dramatically headlined as "not safe" -- come across as biased against cell phones. Many things we do are "not safe." The question is, compared to other things people do while driving, how unsafe is it?
Marcia S. with an Open Letter to Unemployed Oblivions:
Dear potential employee,
If you come into my place of business and yell at me from halfway across the store (even when it's quiet), "HEY! I NEED AN APPLICATION!", I will try my best to avoid you in the future, and will be tempted to yell back, "HEY! YOU REALLY DON'T!"
If you are a nubile young woman, please do not wear your best tube top to my store when you come to seek employment. Yes, you're darn cute in that little outfit (and I'm sure you worked really hard to look like that), but if I hire you, none of my male employees will get any work done, and I don't care how qualified you might be if you cut the productivity of my workplace in half. Go be a bartender and earn good tips. If you want to work for me, be conservative and sensible. Some might even refer to it as being professional.
Furthermore, on the subject of attire, DRESS UP! YES, even when you're coming to get an application. Look like you put some thought into the job seeking process, and maybe I'll put some thought into the employee seeking process.
A final note. We have about 20 employees. We hand out five-10 applications per day. What makes you good enough for us? Think about that, and put those thoughts into a professional resume. If you don't know how to write a resume, check out a book from the public library, and you'll have all you need to know. No work experience? Start mowing lawns, cleaning houses or babysitting. Do volunteer work. Get a job at a fast food joint. Hard work won't kill you, it'll make you stronger.
Until next week ... Grrr!
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Mike also appeared in Analyze This. Read Mike's Bio.