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From ""

Feb. 26, 2004

Eric has announced a three-day Crossroads Guitar Festival to take place Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 6 at Fair Park in Dallas. This one-time event, created for music enthusiasts around the globe, will raise money for Crossroads Centre Antigua, the treatment and education center founded in 1997 by Eric Clapton and now an independently run entity.

This unique event at Fair Park will kick off Friday, June 4 with the opening of the Guitar Center Village, coordinated by Guitar Center, the national retailer of musical instruments.

The festival will be the first of its kind to create a unique bridge between fans and musicians through leading guitar manufacturer exhibits and guitar clinics. Attendees will be offered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be in an intimate setting as artists give fans the ultimate look into their craft. The Guitar Center Village activities for Saturday, June 5 include live music performances on three stages. SIRIUS Satellite Radio, as a supporting sponsor will host one of these stages and will broadcast from the Festival.

The Crossroads Guitar Festival culminates on Sunday, June 6 with an All-Star special benefit concert at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. The concert, which will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue through Sunday evening will include performances by Eric Clapton and Doyle Bramhall II, J.J. Cale, Larry Carlton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, David Hidalgo, Eric Johnson, B.B. King, Sonny Landreth, Brian May, Pat Metheny, Robert Randolph, Otis Rush, Carlos Santana, Hubert Sumlin, Dan Tyminski, Steve Vai, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Walsh and ZZ Top. The extraordinary "house bands" will be none other than Booker T & The MG's, Jimmie Vaughan's band and Eric Clapton's band. Other artists will be announced as details are confirmed.

On June 24, 2004, Christie's, the New York based auction house will present "Crossroads Guitar Auction ~ Eric Clapton and Friends for the Crossroads Centre." This auction will feature more than fifty guitars personally owned by Eric Clapton, as well as a group of guitars donated by musician friends including Pete Townshend and Steve Vai. Pre-sale exhibitions will be organized in Dallas during the Festival (June 4-6), in Los Angeles (June 8-12) and New York (June 19-24). The proceeds of the sale will benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua.


Friday, June 4: 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Guitar Center Village open to the public

Saturday, June 5: 1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Guitar Center Village open to the public and live entertainment on three stages

Sunday, June 6: 11:00 a.m.
Guitar Center Village open all day to the public & doors open to stadium 1:00 p.m. - TBD Cotton Bowl Concert

Tickets to each day of the Crossroads Guitar Festival will be sold separately and will be available starting March 13 through Ticketmaster at Tickets are priced $15 for Friday, $30 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday.

About Crossroads:

Founded in 1997, Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons, those with other compulsive addictive behaviors, their families and significant others. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle. Crossroads Centre, Antigua also operates a 16 bed halfway-house called The Bevon House (exclusively for local Antiguan residents) and facilitates a school-based education series, Breaking the Cycle, in all local schools.

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February 13, 2004
Dear Concerned Citizen,

tothesource was invited to a preliminary screening of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ this last weekend in a private residence. As we settled into their home theatre, the hostess introduced the movie by saying, “I’m not going to say ‘enjoy the film’. This is not a film you enjoy. This is a film you experience.”

She was right. The movie confronts you with the harsh reality of what Jesus went through.

Gibson set out to make a film of the passion of Jesus “like traveling back in time and watching the events unfold exactly as they occurred…as the Bible tells it.” Along the way he has created a work of art. The Caravaggio lighting and earth tone coloration blends beautifully with the dialogue performed completely in Latin and Aramaic. Gibson’s decision to use the ancient languages was a stroke of genius. They not only add to the overall realism of the picture, but their poetic and guttural quality is deeply moving.

Another stroke of genius was casting James Caviezel as Jesus. Best known for playing the lead in the 2002 surprise hit, The Count of Monte Cristo, Caviezel brought a transcendent strength to every frame he was in, which is nearly the entire movie. Certain movies succeed or fail on one casting decision. This is one of them. Caviezel was so consumed by his part he dislocated his shoulder during the filming. Like Gibson, Caviezel comes from a devout Catholic family.

The movie opens in the Garden of Gethsemane and continues through the final hours of Jesus’ life. It is a gut-wrenching portrayal of love-filled forgiveness and hate-filled violence. The film grabs you and never lets you go.

At the end of the film we sat in complete silence for several minutes. No one moved.

The next morning in the Sunday New York Times there was an article by Frank Rich that ridiculed Gibson for making The Passion of the Christ. Rich contends that the controversy over the film may have a negative effect on the film’s impact and box-office success.

For months the film has been at the center of a firestorm of criticism. Critics have castigated Gibson for the hubris in making a movie about the life of Christ. In another article Frank Rich dismissed the film with, “To the extent that there can be any agreement about the facts of a story on which even the four Gospels don’t agree, his movie is destined to be inaccurate.” If we did accept this criteria then no one could speak of the life of Jesus with confidence.

The other main criticism associated with The Passion is the claim that Gibson is anti-Semitic. Christians should be more aware of the very real danger of continued anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League has “grave concerns” about the film according to Rabbi Eugene Korn, the director of the organization’s Office of Interfaith Affairs.

Before ADL Executive Director Abraham Foxman had seen the movie, he told CNN that they are troubled that the film has portrayed “the Jews, the Jewish community, in a manner that we have experienced historically. Seeing passion plays used to incite not only a passion of love in terms of Christianity, but at the same time, to instill and incite hatred of Jews because of deicide.”

On Wednesday night, the 21st of January, Foxman was one of three Jewish leaders who pretended to be pastors in order to see the film. Their verdict? “At every single opportunity, Gibson’s film reinforces the notion that the Jewish authorities and the Jewish mob are the ones ultimately responsible for the Crucifixion.” In response to such criticism, Gibson dropped the controversial scene where Pontius Pilate washes his hands to show he is innocent of Christ’s impending death, and the crowd cries out, “His blood be on us and on our children!” This passage has been interpreted to mean that Jews alone are collectively guilty of Jesus’ death.

Passion Plays, such as the one held in Oberammergau, Germany every decade, were once common throughout Europe. They have on occasion incited violence by Christians against those they call ‘Christ-killers.’ Any attempt to show Jews and Judaism as collectively responsible for the death of Jesus is cause for alarm to current Jewish leadership. It is understandable that the Jewish community would be concerned when the number one box-office star in the world would make a modern film adaptation of the Passion. They know history has an ominous habit of repeating itself when it comes to Jewish persecution.

The Anti-Defamation League position is best expressed by a statement taken from their web site. “Passion Plays are, in general, sources of theological anti-Judaism and do not help to improve the relationship of Christians and Jews.” Such a sweeping statement by the ADL is excessive. People of faith must be allowed to express their faith. There are aspects of all religions that someone else finds offensive. The danger is not the expression of faith but actual acts of discrimination. A reenactment of the passion of Jesus is not the moral equivalence of a cross-burning.

However, Christians must be careful here. There is reason for real concern by the ADL. The usual rebuttal to the charge of Christian anti-Semitism is that Jesus was Jewish and all of his initial followers were Jewish so how can rational Christians honestly believe Jews are inferior or evil? But for hundreds of years, in almost every Christian country, some did believe exactly that. These facts did not stop Christian persecution of Jews in the past. The question of anti-Semitism can not be dismissed with this over-used generalization. Gibson’s film itself must be considered on its own content.

Some key questions regarding the film’s possible anti-Semitism are, “Was Caiaphus’ decision to push Pontius Pilate into crucifying Jesus overemphasized and portrayed as irrational hatred?” “Was Pilate portrayed as a compassionate and reasonable person who was outmaneuvered by the cagey Jewish leadership?” “Did Gibson disproportionably select those gospel texts that most emphatically place the responsibility for the decision to kill Jesus on the Jews?” And finally, “Is the conflict portrayed as Jews vs. Christians or does the struggle take place within the Jewish community?”

Regarding all four of these questions perhaps even more care could have been taken. But is the film anti-Semitic in its emphasis? Certainly not. Caiaphus insists that those who wish to defend Jesus must have their say. He demands to hear with his own ears blasphemy from Jesus. Though tight lipped throughout his trial and crucifixion, here Jesus seems intent to set his own death into motion. He answers Caiaphus that he is the Christ. He knows he is boxing Caiaphus in with his words. Caiaphus rips his robes and proclaims Jesus guilty. The film, by using this event as the inciting incident, gives Jesus the rightful role of protagonist. Jesus knew that for Caiaphus, blasphemy was considered the greatest sin, one punishable by death.

And there is another point to remember. Gibson is not a theologian. He is a filmmaker. A very successful one. He knows, like all students of good film know, that the protagonist must make the key decisions that drive the plot line. From the vantage of film structure it was not Caiaphus or the Jewish leadership that killed Jesus. It was not even the bloodthirsty Roman soldiers who beat him to near death and then nailed him to the cross. It was Jesus himself who made the decision to lay down his life.

The vitriol surrounding this movie puts into question the larger culture issue of pluralism; namely can we live well with others while holding fast to our own core beliefs? This means allowing others to express beliefs that are troubling or at odds with our own. All of us are a bit too sensitive when it comes to our worldview. This is certainly true of many Christians. In this case it may be true for some in the Jewish community. Strong dialogue should be encouraged. But when it crosses over into condemnation that seeks to dismiss or silence those with whom we disagree then everyone suffers.

To facilitate much needed communication Icon Productions, Mel Gibson’s production company, plans to convene meetings with significant Jewish leaders over the next 30 days.

So how will the film do? Entertainment publicist Michael Levin told the Washington Times that, “This film has all the makings of a (box-office) bomb.” Mr. Levine will almost certainly be proven wrong. The distributors of The Passion of Christ, New Market Films, plan to open the film on 2,000 screens across the nation on Ash Wednesday, February 25th. If they secure additional financing the number will increase to 3,000 screens, which is considered broad distribution. They are hoping for strong box-office revenues in the first two weeks to propel the film into must-see status.

All of this controversy has not hurt preliminary ticket sales. Bob Berney, the president of New Market Films, said of the demand that he “knew it would start building and building, but now it’s like a tsunami.” Church groups have been ordering large blocks of tickets, and ticket chains have set up toll-free numbers to take advance orders.

Once you see the movie I believe you will agree with me it is not about who gets blamed for killing Jesus. Christian faith teaches that we all do. In the film there is a series of graphic close-ups of a Roman hand holding a hammer, driving the spikes into Christ's hands and feet. The Roman hand was Gibson's. It is his only acting role in the film.

At the end of the day the film is not about the passion of Mel Gibson or the New York Times or the Anti-Defamation League. The movie is about the passion of Christ.

We value our readers! Please notify us of any changes to your email address and forward this to your friends and family. tothesource provides this service free of advertisement and solicitation of any kind.
Gibson's film 'Passion' inflames tempers
Protesting Passion
Stealth’ Jewish Reviewers Say Gibson Film Anti-Semitic
The passion of Gibson
Mel Gibson previews new movie in Chicago
Gibson says faith led to film of Christ’s last hours
We live complex lives. We strive to sort out priorities that sometimes conflict or seem incompatible. A moral framework is needed to help us understand the reality around us. Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides a framework to help us comprehend the choices we make and the conflicts that arise over them. It is not only the main source of our spiritual values, but also many of the secular values we depend on.

tothesource is a forum for integrating thinking and action within a moral framework that takes into account our contemporary situation. We will report the insights of cultural experts to the specific issues we face believing these sources will embolden people to greater faith and action.
tothesource, P.O. Box 1292, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358
Phone: (805) 241-3138 | Fax: (805) 241-3158 |

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Feb. 25, 2004

passion.jpg - 8982 BytesMovie directed by Mel Gibson & produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, and Steve McEveety. From the website: "...Enzo Sisti is the executive producer. Among the talented crew joining the production are four-time Oscar® nominee Caleb Deschanel as director of photography, award-winning Italian production designer Francesco Frigeri, double Oscar® nominee Maurizio Millenotti as costume designer, the special effects makeup team of Keith VanderLaan and Greg Cannom (who has twice won an Academy Award®) and two-time Oscar® nominee John Wright as editor." James Caviezel portrays Jesus Christ.

From Icon Distribution, Inc. & NewMarket Films.

In theatres starting Feb. 25, 2004 (Playing in Anchorage, AK at Dimond Center 9 & Fireweed 7 Theatres & Totem Theatres)

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(Jody is a TV anchor person on Channel 11-CBS in Dallas/Fort Worth)

Feb 5, 2004

passion.jpg - 8982 Bytes There've been a ton of emails and forwards floating around recently from those who've had the privilege of seeing Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ" prior to its actual release. I thought I'd give you my reaction after seeing it last night.

The screening was on the first night of "Elevate!", a weekend-long seminar for young people at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. There were about 2,000 people there, and the movie was shown after several speakers had taken the podium. It started around 9 and finished around I reckon the film is about two hours in length. Frankly, I lost complete track of time - so I can't be sure.

I want you to know that I started in broadcasting when I was 13 years old. I've been in the business of writing, performing, production, and broadcasting for a long time. I've been a part of movies, radio, television, stage and other productions - so I know how things are done. I know about soundtracks and special effects and make-up and screenplays. I think I've seen just about every kind of movie or TV show ever made - from extremely inspirational to extremely gory. I read alot, too - and have covered stories and scenes that still make me wince. I also have a vivid imagination, and have the ability to picture things as they must have happened - or to anticipate things as they will be portrayed. I've also seen an enormous amounty of footage from Gibson's film, so I thought I knew what was coming.

But there is nothing in my existence - nothing I could have read, seen, heard, thought, or known - that could have prepared me for what I saw on screen last night. This is not a movie that anyone will "like". I don't think it's a movie anyone will "love". It certainly doesn't "entertain". There isn't even the sense that one has just watched a movie. What it is, is an experience - on a level of primary emotion that is scarcely comprehensible. Every shred of human preconception or predisposition is utterly stripped away. No one will eat popcorn during this film. Some may not eat for days after they've seen it. Quite honestly, I wanted to vomit. It hits that hard.

I can see why some people are worried about how the film portrays the Jews. They should be worried. No, it's not anti-Semitic. What it is, is entirely shattering. There are no "winners". No one comes off looking "good" - except Jesus. Even His own mother hesitates. As depicted, the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day merely do what any of us would have done - and still do.

They protected their percieved "place" - their sense of safety and security, and the satisfaction of their own "rightness". But everyone faulters. Caiphus judges. Peter denies. Judas betrays. Simon the Cyrene balks. Mark runs away. Pilate equivocates. The crowd mocks. The soldiers laugh. Longinus still stabs with his pilus. The centurion still carries out his orders. And as Jesus fixes them all with a glance, they still turn away. The Jews, the Romans, Jesus' friends - they all fall.

Everyone, except the Principal Figure. Heaven sheds a single, mighty tear -and as blood and water spew from His side, the complacency of all creation is eternally shattered. The film grabs you in the first five seconds, and never lets go. The brutality, humiliation, and gore is almost inconcievable - and still probably doesn't go far enough. The scourging alone seems to never end, and you cringe at the sound and splatter of every blow - no matter how steely your nerves. Even those who have known combat or prison will have trouble, no matter their experience - because this Man was not conscripted. He went willingly, laying down His entirety for all. It is one thing for a soldier to die for his countrymen. It's something else entirely to think of even a common man dying for those who hate and wish to kill him. But this is no common man. This is the King of the Universe. The idea that anyone could or would have gone through such punishment is unthinkable - but this Man was completely innocent, completely holy - and paying the price for others. He screams as He is laid upon the cross, "Father, they don't know. They don't know..."

What Gibson has done is to use all of his considerable skill to portray the most dramatic moment of the most dramatic events since the dawn of time. There is no escape. It's a punch to the gut that puts you on the canvas, and you don't get up. You are simply confronted by the horror of what was done - what had to be done - and why. Throughout the entire film, I found myself apologizing.

What you've heard about how audiences have reacted is true. There was no sound after the film's conclusion. No noise at all. No one got up. No one moved. The only sound one could hear was sobbing. In all my years of public life, I have never heard anything like that.

I told many of you that Gibson had reportedly re-shot the ending to include more "hope" through the Resurrection? That's not true. The Resurrection scene is perhaps the shortest in the entire movie - and yet it packs a punch that can't be quantified. It is perfect. There is no way to negotiate the meaning out of it. It simply asks, "Now, what will you do?"

I'll leave the details to you, in the hope that you will see the film - but one thing above all stands out, and I have to tell you about it. It comes from the end of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness - where the Bible says Satan left him "until a more opportune time". I imagine Satan never quit tempting Christ, but this film captures beyond words the most opportune time.

At every step of the way, Satan is there at Jesus' side - imploring Him to quit, reasoning with Him to give up, and seducing Him to surrender. For the first time, one gets an heart-stopping idea of the sense of madness that must have enveloped Jesus - a sense of the evil that was at His very elbow. The physical punishment is relentless - but it's the sense of psychological torture that is most overwhelming. He should have quit. He should have opened His mouth. He should have called 10,000 angels. No one would have blamed Him. What we deserve is obvious. But He couldn't do that. He wouldn't do that. He didn't do that. He doesn't do that. It was not and is not His character. He was obedient, all the way to the cross - and you feel the real meaning of that phrase in a place the human heart usually doesn't dare to go.

You understand that we are called to that same level of obedience. With Jesus' humanity so irresistably on display, you understand that we have no excuse. There is no place to hide. The truth is this: Is it just a "movie"? In a way, yes. But it goes far beyond that, in a fashion I've never felt - in any forum. We may think we "know". We know nothing. We've gone 2,000 years - used to the idea of a pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the ending, because we've heard it so many times. God forgive us. This film tears that all away. It's is as close as any of us will ever get to knowing, until we fully know. Paul understood. "Be urgent, in and out of season."

Luke wrote that Jesus reveals Himself in the breaking of the bread. Exactly. "The Passion Of The Christ" shows that Bread being broken.

Go see this movie.

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The father-and-son odyssey of Fender and his 55s
Tony Hopfinger
Anchorage Press
February 8 - 12, 2003 / Vol. 12, Ed. 6

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Hardcover book by Rich Lowry
From Regnery Publishing, 470 pages

October 2003

Available for $19.58, a 30% discount, thru this website from

Buy Now

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Hardcover Book by Laura Ingraham
From Regnery Publishing, 368 pages
September 15, 2003

Available from thru this website for $19.57, a 30% discount.

Buy Now

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Book By Bev Harris From Talion Publishing

BLACK BOX VOTING Book from Talion Publishing

So you think electronic voting is secure? Well here are the facts & they are not good.

BIO (from Coast to Coast AM website:

Bev Harris, author of "Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century," began writing on the subject of electronic voting machines in October 2002. Her investigative journalism has since been cited in The New York Times (three times), and on CBS, Fox News, and CNN. In writing Black Box Voting, Harris spent over two thousand hours researching voting machines, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses including many election officials and even voting machine programmers who work directly for the firms that build these machines.

During the course of writing Black Box Voting, Harris discovered that one of the largest voting machine companies, Diebold Election Systems, had committed a massive security breach, leaving thousands of sensitive voting system program files on an unprotected Web site. These files have now triggered a national investigation and activism movement to restore clean, trustworthy voting systems.

Bookstore & Library Edition:
ISBN 1-890916-90-0 $19.95
To order from Bev Harris:
Call 425-228-7131
Internet paperback edition: ISBN 1-929462-45-X)

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