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Left Behind 2
Review by
Rev Antonio Hernandez

One cannot escape the feeling that some neo-Nazi or a White Power screwhead wrote this film. I was waiting for the rabbi in the film to throw away his yarmulke, throw out his right arm and cry, "Heil, Jesus!"

"Left Behind 2" is the most anti-Semitic film ever produced. Its bottom line is that even the most holy Jewish sage on earth... a man clearly intended to represent the Chief Rabbi of Israel... is easily swayed and conquered by evil. That in itself speaks volumes about what is happening, according to this film, with all the other Jews on earth. They are all swallowed in evil, going right along with it.
Why? Because the Jews are not Christian. Sound familiar?

Almost the entire movie is set in Jerusalem; the Jews that are portrayed in the film are demonstrably stupid, wandering around under the total spell of evil. The novel may have been richer in characters than the film, but it was certainly not any richer in its insulting theological hypotheses or muddiness of thought. It most certainly was just as anti-Semitic.

Actually, the novel in a sense pales compared to the film in its repulsive anti-Semitism. The film is a right-wing Christian Dispensational Fundamentalist’s wet dream spilled all over the audience: the entire Jewish world ultimately accepts Jesus as ha-Meshiach, the Messiah. Even the character Rabbi Zion ben Judah (listed in the credits simply as "Ben Judah"), who is the chief rabbi of Israel character, publicly converts to Christianity... on global television, no less.

That moment, when Rabbi ben Judah accepts Jesus and also announces the Jewish findings that Jesus is the real Messiah, and begs God’s forgiveness for having been a Jew, is cinema’s all-time low. But it is not that simple... this moment in the film is humanity at its most evil.

No doubt a suitably horrified and angry view of the film would be shared by the real Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Yisrael Lau. Rabbi Lau has been a great crusader against Christian abuses in the past. One feels he would shriek in horror at "Left Behind 2" as the phony-looking "Rabbi ben Judah" begs Jesus’ forgiveness for not having accepted him.

Of course, a Christian pal of mine justified this horrid way of thinking, by reminding me that the New Testament tells us that most of the world will be deceived in these times. He stated that it must have been a demonstration of this plague of deception that was the movie's goal.
The goals of this movie, however, are loftier than Hitler’s Final Solution. Why not just make a movie- one that has deeply touched thousands of American Christians- that "shows what the Jews really are"? "Left Behind 2" does just that, and does it better than Hitler’s "rat" documentary ever did.

Ignore the other ridiculous drivel found in the novels and the films of the "Left Behind" series. They range from the laughable to the nauseating. But the anti-Semitism cannot be ignored; it is deliberate, it is crassly to the point and it is unashamed. One cannot escape the feeling that some neo-Nazi or a White Power screwhead wrote this film. I was waiting for the rabbi in the film to throw away his yarmulke, throw out his right arm and cry, "Heil, Jesus!"

Even the Roman Catholic Church, which has banned its stores and schools from possessing any of the "Left Behind" series, has finally apologized for all its past wrongdoings against the Jewish people. The Church did not ban "Left Behind" for its anti-Semitism, but one wonders: Pope John Paul II had a Jewish mother, and was raised exclusively among Jews. He feels a strong bond with the Jewish people; under his guidance especially, the Mass and all catechesis materials have removed prayers for the conversion of the Jews.

After watching the first film, "Left Behind", I was amused at the way the "good guys" (read: born-again Christians) were becoming just as fascist and frightening as Carpathia, the humorously Bosnian-sounding antichrist character. In one scene, they chase down and corner a man unwilling to share in the faith; it's scarier than any scene with the antichrist guy.

After the first 20 minutes of watching "Left Behind 2", I was feeling more frightened at the anti-Semitic crap than anything else. Suddenly, my good humor had left me. When I returned the videos to Blockbuster, I attached a note to the tape of "Left Behind 2", suggesting that they warn viewers of the extreme anti-Semitic offensiveness of the film. I wonder if they will turn a blind eye too.

I cannot fathom which is worse:
1. That this horrible movie was ever made;
2. That even anti-Christian reviews have been fairly favorable;
3. That no Jewish group has uttered one single peep about it.

Well, folks, here’s ONE Jew who is royally pissed off about the whole thing.
We need to start worrying about anti-Semitism and stop worrying about antichrists. Because by virtue of Christian argument itself, many Christians are doing a good job of being antichrists already.
Like the people who made this film, for example.

© Rev Antonio Hernandez July 26th 2003

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