Supporters unite to launch effort defending 'The Passion of the Christ'

WASHINGTON: A campaign is underway to save the Mel Gibson film from from criticism that it is an anti-Semitic portrayal of the crucifixion.

WASHINGTON: A campaign is underway to save the Mel Gibson film from from criticism that it is an anti-Semitic portrayal of the crucifixion.

The Passion of the Christ, a Mel Gibson movie about the day Jesus Christ died, has been accused by some Jewish groups of portraying Jews as responsible for Christ's death.

In defense, Gibson himself has been quietly showing rough cuts of the film to Washington and Hollywood insiders, as well as select reporters, for several months in an effort to gain early support.

But now a conservative women's group has entered the fray. Women Influencing the Nation (WIN) recently introduced a website, SeeThePassion.com, and hired boutique shop Creative Response Concepts (CRC) to insulate the movie against the criticism.

"We proudly embrace this movie which is committed to defending the accurate depiction of the Passion, and we are resolved to help with its distribution, unedited, in any way we can," reads a WIN statement on the website. An online petition supporting the film has already collected 10,000 signatures from more than 70 countries.

Meanwhile, CRC has brought together a contingent of Jewish leaders and rabbis who have seen the movie and support its unedited release. They will be writing editorials and letters to the editor stating their position.

"Our job is to go around the mainstream media and get the message out that there is a large contingent of the population that is interested in the historical and artistic aspects of this movie, and want to see it released," said Craig Mueller, president of CRC. "We are going to inoculate it against the far-left wing of the Jewish community."

Mueller added that he has had no contact with anyone directly associated with The Passions.

CRC has experience with these types of campaigns. In its 15-year history, it has helped launch such conservative media ventures as the PAX Network and the family-oriented TV drama 7th Heaven.

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