Article Overview:   Who Really Killed Christ?   The argument rages.   Mel Gibson's new movie, "The Passion," is fueling old fires of anti-Semitism.   But what is the real message in the debates?   Shouldn't the real debate be "Who Killed The Victims Of Nine Eleven?"   Was it 18 Terrorists who crucified them, or perhaps a world that has yet to learn how to be Sentinels of Vigilance?    Find out how the "crucifixion" of the victims of Nine Eleven runs parallel to the crucifixion of Christ, and what we need to do to evolve about the Beast of Terror.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 882
Who Really Killed Jesus?  A Debate Over The Beast Of Anti-Semitism Terror

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 11, 2004 -- The London Times "Preacher Of The Year" and a Messianic Jew faced off last night at New York City's Hilton Hotel in a debate over "Who Really Killed Jesus."

A public debate was held last night at the NYC Hilton Hotel on 53rd Street in response to Mel Gibson's film "The Passion"

       It was billed as a public debate in response to the upcoming $25 million film financed and directed by Mel Gibson, "The Passion," in which critics of his film's interpretation of the death of Christ claim he is fueling the fires of anti-Semitism.
         My wife and I went an hour early to get good seats, anticipating a huge crowd for the free event.    We weren't disappointed.    Every seat was filled by 7:30 p.m., and people lined the walls and filled the floor space as nearly 1,000 people (my estimate) jammed the room.
        HBO was there filming a documentary on religious Terrorism, and the first two rows were crammed with media.   The Gibson film is slated for public release in a few weeks.
        It was an event not unlike David and Goliath.

Critics claim Mel Gibson's movie is fuelling the fires of  anti-Semitism

        The Jewish worldwide population is a mere 13 million, with about 5.7 million living in the United States and 4.6 million reside in Israel.  The balance is spread throughout the world, primarily in Europe where 1.5 million reside in 38 countries ranging from Austria to Russia.   The largest concentration in Europe of Jews is France, with 500,000, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom with 275,000 each.
        In comparison, the Christian community boasts nearly 2 billion members worldwide, half of whom belong to the Catholic religion.   Mel Gibson is a confirmed Catholic whom many brand as being a radical Catholic because he practices a strict form of Catholicism that flies in the face of a "softer, gentler, Church."
       His depiction of the last days of Christ are alleged to point the finger at the Jews as being directly responsible for the conviction and torment of Christ on the Cross.  Or, perhaps more fairly put, suggest "strongly" the blame for Christ's crucifixion rests heavily on Jewish shoulders.
       Throughout history, the battle between Christendom and the Jewish community over the crucifixion issue has endured great clashes.    On one side the Jewish community has been painted as the Beast of Terror who sought the brutal death of Christ.  On the other has been the claim that Christians made up that story to punish the Jews.    Those standing in the middle claim that the Romans executed Jesus because he claimed to be the "King of the Jews," and under Roman Law, anyone claiming to be a monarch was put to death.   Romans honored only one leader--their own.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach took on...

...Dr. Michael Brown, Messianic Jew

        Last night, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach took on Dr. Michael Brown, a Messianic Jew.   Rabbi Boteach, who in 2000 was named the "London Times Preacher Of The Year," and the author of numerous books, including "Kosher Sex," took the demeanor of Howard Dean.  The rabbi roared on the verge of rant through countless examples of how the Jews had been persecuted over history regarding the death of Christ.  

Rabbi Boteach waved handfuls of papers citing biblical interpretations

       He waved handfuls of papers citing Biblical interpretations that suggested or implied the New Testament skewed the story of Christ's death so that the Jews were painted as the jury condemning Christ.

Dr. Michael Brown stood on firm ground

       Dr. Michael Brown, in a calm but firm scholastic tone, stood on firm ground that the God, not the Jews, were responsible for Christ's death, and that Christ's death was ordained by destiny.   He came to "die for our sins."   Without the crucifixion, Christianity could not have come about, he argued.   Without the Resurrection, there would be no hope for "salvation."
          Thirty-two years ago, Dr. Brown converted from Judaism to Christianity.  As a Messianic Jew, he believes in Christ.   He repeatedly made the point that the Jews had rejected Christ as the Messiah over 2000 years ago, but it wasn't too late for them to change their minds.
     He paraded Scripture to illustrate that there was no "blame" on the Jews for the death of Christ.  His major point was that Christ died as part of God's plan, and that the attempt to feel "victimized" by society as the cause of Christ's death played into the hands of those with myopic views who missed the Big Picture.  The Big Picture, he claimed, was that Christ came to bring forgiveness to us all, and that he died so that the conflicts between ourselves could be salved by salvation.

Did the victims of Nine Eleven die  for a Bigger Picture - as Christ did?

       I thought about the debate in terms of the deaths of the nearly 3,000 "victims" of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, 2001.
       For whom did they die?
       Did they die as Christ did, for a Bigger Picture?
      Christ didn't die to wage war on others if you follow Dr. Brown's logic.  He died so we might learn to forgive one another.  He died so we might learn to heal rather exacerbate old wounds, that we might bury hatchets covered with the blood of prejudice and bigotry, that we might bridge the gulfs of hatred and selfishness.  
      If we look at the deaths of those who gave their lives on September 11, 2001, we can turn our vehemence and hatred toward one group--Terrorists.   We can seek revenge against them, hunt them down, kill or wound them, capture and prosecute them, then hang them or cut off their heads and try to wash our hands of their "evil."

The process of "blame-to-absolve-shame" only makes us Terrorists avenging Terrorism

       This process of "blame-to-absolve-shame" only makes us Terrorists avenging Terrorism.    We become blinded by blame, seeking to take the "eye-for-the-eye."
       The opposite view, or the Big Picture view, suggests that those who died on Nine Eleven didn't die.    Like Christ, they were Resurrected.  
       From my point of view, I see the deaths of the innocent--not unlike the death of Christ--as a symbol of our need to fight Terrorism not with blood and guts, or blame and shame, but with Vigilance.

I never buried the bodies of the Nine Eleven dead

       I have never buried the bodies of the dead from that day.  They hover above Ground Zero in a great Circle of Vigilance as Sentinels of Vigilance, reminding us all that the battle with Terrorism is not one that we must wage without, but rather from within.
       Terrorism, the presence of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, must be fought in our daily lives.   We can't kill it, we can only manage it, contain it, rob it of nutrition.
       Only Vigilance will contain Terrorism.
       Only when we take the Pledge of Vigilance and vow daily to ward off Fear with Courage, and battle Intimidation with Conviction, and shun Complacency for the Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children will we show the respect for the Sentinels of Vigilance who died and were reborn on September 11, 2001.
       It is easy to become angry and hateful toward those 18 Terrorists who flew planes into the heart of America's security, killing hundreds of mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces.
      When we do that, we engage the battle:  "Who Really Killed Jesus?" 

It's easy to be angry with the Terrorists who flew the planes into the heart of America's security

     We lower our sights to revenge, to seeking blame, to fueling hatred--all tools of the Beast of Terror who wants us to denigrate the deaths of others as "victims" rather than as "saviors."
      I see the deaths of the people of Nine Eleven not unlike the death of Christ.   If we elevate their deaths above our thirst for revenge and blame, and see them as a "sacrifice for all of us" to learn how to more Vigilant in our daily lives against the Beast of Terror who seeks to cripple our humanity with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, then the deaths of those people rise above our hate, our anger, our need for an "eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth."
       But it doesn't mean we simply turn the other cheek and do nothing.
       Christ only asked that those who sought redemption reach out for Him.    And, in the purest sense, He would reach for them even if they turned their backs on Him.

Jesus is the Protector of the children

       He also asked for protection of the lambs--the children.    He sought to protect them with His life, to love them and their innocence.
       The Sentinels of Vigilance ask that all those who suffer from the Beast of Terror's wrath embrace the goal of taking Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.     They offer the Sword and Shield of Vigilance to all willing to accept the belief that Terrorism of the self must be fought and won before it can be safe for the children to learn how to be Vigilant.
       A parent who inflicts Fear, Intimidation and Complacency upon a child, or others in his or her life, fertilizes Terrorism.   A parent who battles Fear with Courage, fights Intimidation with Conviction, and seeks Right Actions for future generations over Complacency (powerlessness), teaches the children that we can "resurrect" ourselves above the Beast.  That we can evolve our humanity beyond the dank, dark caverns that form the Beast's lair.

The real debate should be between Vigilance vs. Terrorism, not Who Really Killed Jesus

       Who Really Killed Christ?
       To me it is obvious.  The Beast of Terror.   He kills all things that are worthy, good, valuable to the evolution of human beings as spiritual beings who care more about others than they do themselves.
       Who really killed the hundreds of innocent people on Nine Eleven?   The Beast of Terror, the same one who lives in us all and tries to turn our lives into pits of despair, anger, hatred, bigotry, prejudice and selfishness.
       If we want to debate a real issue, we should debate Vigilance versus Terrorism, not Who Really Killed Christ.
       But, before we do, we need to all take the Pledge of Vigilance.  If we don't, we'll all be nailed to the Cross of Terrorism.

Feb. 10 --The Pain Game:  Memoirs Of A Terror Hunter

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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