The 2/26 edition of the Tennessean carries the responses of ten religious leaders from Nashville who were guests of the newspaper at a viewing of the new Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, and then were participants in a discussion of the movie. In that group was Dean Blevins, Trevecca's J. B. Elizer Associate Professor of Christian Ministy. On the panel were representatives from Vanderbilt Divinity School, church pastors or members (Baptist, Church of Christ, Unitarian Universailist, Roman Catholic, and a non-denominational congregation), a rabbi, and a Christian songwriter.
The newspaper's account of the panel discussion focused on two questions from the reporter to the panel. In response to the reporter's question about the way the movie depicted Jews, Blevins responded: "I think a lot of people will come out weeping because of the pain of Jesus and the sense of atonement, rather than having a deep-seated anger at the Jews."
The second question asked panel members to comment upon the violence in the movie. Blevins said, "I have a 9-year-old daughter, and would she see this movie? No way. But the times that were visceral to me were the moments when Jesus was with Mary, of poignant intimacy with her the moments of love in the midst of the violence. I was moved to tears. And that's the thing that's really going to rock people." (2/26/04)