DENVER — A billboard unveiled on Ash Wednesday, the same day that a controversial movie depicting the last hours of Jesus Christ premiered, is sparking criticism from people of all faiths.
The large-size outdoor marquee, which sits on the property of the Lovingway United Pentecostal Church at Colorado and Mississippi, says, “Jews Killed The Lord Jesus” and the word “Settled!”
“It’s settled,” said Maurice Gorden, Loveway pastor. “The word of God is the final word.”
The Anti-Defamation League asked for the marquee to be changed because it is anti-Semitic, but the church only amended the billboard slightly by removing the word “settled” and attributing the line to biblical Scriptures.
That, however, is still not appeasing critics.
“Immediately, I picked up the phone and called the pastor and had a spirited but good and respectful discussion with him in which I tried to explain to him that that kind of message is divisive and exactly the kind of message which has fueled anti-Semitism for thousands of years,” said Bruce DeBoskey, the Mountain States Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League.
“If I can get people to rediscover their bible…if I can get people to go back and look…what does it actually say?” asked Gordon.
Jewish leaders say that like Mel Gibson’s new movie “The Passion of The Christ” — which opened Wednesday morning — the passage will stir up anti-Semitic attitudes and will cause some people to lash out at Jews.
Be sure to stock up on lashes and stones now and avoid the rush.