Mel Gibson, the Jews, Haiti, and blaming it all on people who died 175 years ago

People are blaming all of the Jew-hatred in Mel Gibson’s new movie on the visions of a German nun, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824).  According to this article from Newsday:

The bedridden visionary, who is said to have borne the stigmata and the wounds of the crown of thorns, is a particular source of contention for Gibson because of her depictions of Jews as bloodthirsty and venal. In The Dolorous Passion, for instance, she “sees” Jewish priests passing out bribes to get people to offer false testimony against Jesus and even tipping the Roman executioners. She also describes seeing Jesus’ cross being built in the courtyard of the Temple in Jerusalem.

And Emmerich’s 19th-century biographer, the Rev. C.E. Schmoe’ger, wrote about how she had one vision of an “old Jewess Meyr,” who confessed to her “that Jews in our country and elsewhere strangled Christian children and used their blood for all sorts of suspicious and diabolical practices.”

Gibson, who carries a relic of Emmerich in the form of a faded piece of cloth from her habit, vehemently rejects characterizations of the nun as anti-Semitic.

In other news… I was listening to NPR news a couple of days ago.  All of Haiti’s current troubles were being blamed on things that the French did in 1825 and this proposition was discussed seriously for 15 minutes.  Haiti does seem to be in rather tough shape, at least going by the CIA Factbook page:

“About 80% of the population lives in abject poverty.  … The economy shrank an estimated 1.2% in 2001 and an estimated 0.9% in 2002.  Literacy rate is 53%.”

Despite an HIV infection rate of 6.1% and a lot of deaths from AIDS the population is still growing at an annual rate of 1.67%, i.e., there are an ever-increasing number of Haitians to share an ever-smaller pie.  (cf. Malthus)

Perhaps there are more problems in our world of 2004 that can be blamed on those French and Germans who died circa 1825…  Anyone care to suggest some dead Europeans to blame in the comments section?

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