Ok, just what the heck is Jim Caviezel doing speaking Aramaic at the beginning of this Missouri anti-stem cell amedment ad?
From the perspective of political subtext, the ad is actually brilliant, while at the same time being patently offensive. The ad begins and ends with Caviezel, Jesus from The Passion of the Christ. In between, we have a bunch of non-consequential talking-heads filling you in on the reasons why you should be opposed to the amendment. Frankly, these people could be anybody, because they really don't matter. What matters is that Jesus is sitting there telling you "You know now. Don't do it. Vote no on 2."
But what's he saying at the beginning? Google is the friend of the non-Aramaic speaker. Apparently he's saying "Le-bar nash be-neshak," or "You betray the Son of Man with a kiss." Again, outrageous! Not only is Jesus telling me not to vote for this amendment, but he's comparing me with Judas if I do!
One might respond that most folks aren't going to pick up on the statement since it goes by so quickly, but that's where the ad's evil genius comes in. Caviezel, the stand-in for Jesus, is not appealing to the general public. His message is going straight to all the people who made The Passion a big hit -- conservative Catholics and evangelicals. He's saying, "I, Jesus, am telling you not to vote for this amendment, and you know that I'm Jesus because I'm speaking Aramaic." Whether anybody goes to the trouble of translating or not is irrelevant. The Jesus identification has been made and the command from the mouth of God's son has been given -- "Now you know. Don't do it."
The other brilliant aspect of this ad is the way it one-ups the pro-stem cell Michael J. Fox ad. "Sure," it says, "they've got a celebrity with a debilitating disease, but we've got the Son of God himself! How's that for celebrity!"
I'd like to comment on the substance of the ad, but I really can't since in reality there isn't any. Every single thing they say in the ad is refuted by the actual text* of the amendment -- it doesn't allow cloning; in fact it specifically bans it. It doesn't allow the harvesting of eggs for stem cell research; in fact it specifically bans it. And that's the blasphemous part of this ad. Not only is Jesus telling you how to vote, but he's lying to you. They've enlisted Jesus in a lie, and a pretty blatent lie at that. The only thing that might excuse the perpetrators of this blasphemous act is if it turns out that they just can't read.
*This PDF, again strangely, comes from an anti-amendment site. How can they think it supports their cause to offer the text of the amendment when anyone who reads it can see that it doesn't do what they say it does? If anyone can point me to something I'm missing in this, I'd be grateful.