THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Mel Gibson has a problem. He's an alcoholic and a drunk driver. He also has a problem of losing control when he gets drunk. But these are problems he's admitted to. He's confessed that what he's done, and the things he's said, are inexcusable. He's begged forgiveness from everyone he's offended, and he's shown remorse by admitting himself into a rehab program. Clearly these are the actions of a man who is truly sorry, and truly appalled by his own behavior. Indeed, Christian charity demands forgiveness of this man.
Prior to the release of his blockbuster movie 'The Passion of the Christ," the ADL accused Mel Gibson of being anti-Semitic, and trashed his movie as an anti-Semitic smear flick. They predicted a sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes after the release of his movie, and called for "responsible Christians" to boycott it. In truth, however, there was nothing anti-Semitic about the movie at all. The main character and hero -- Jesus Christ -- was himself a Jew, along with all of his disciples. Gibson went out of his way to portray the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court that condemned Jesus) as divided, with some Jews protesting the treatment of Jesus. That is a historical point of likely probability, but it's not even mentioned in the New Testament. Gibson made sure the divided nature of the court came out in the movie. He also made sure that the real brutal villains in the movie were the Romans, along with just a select group of Jewish leaders who conspired against the will of the Jewish people. He made sure to portray many of the Jews in the crowds as shocked and appalled by what was going on. He even focused in on the heroic nature of a particular Jewish character named Simon, who helped Jesus carry his cross to Golgotha. The Simon portrayed in Gibson's movie is wearing the distinctive Jewish kippah (or yalmukah) to make sure the audience knows he's Jewish. Gibson takes an artistic license with this character, by filming a scene in which Simon stops and protests the Roman soldiers' brutal treatment of Jesus. He demands they cease from their brutality or he will no longer participate in carrying the cross. One Roman soldier responds by reluctantly agreeing to his terms, and then calls him what he is -- "Jew!" None of this is recorded in the New Testament account of the passion. Not only was Gibson's movie anything but anti-Semitic, but it actually portrayed Jews in a more positive light that the New Testament does! I dare say, in some cases, it portrays Jews in a more positive light than the Old Testament does!!! There was nothing anti-Semitic about Gibson's 'Passion of the Christ," and the whole world knows that now. The ADL was spinning Gibson's movie, and it is my belief it did this to frighten more ADL contributions out of this nation's Jewish population.
But during the whole controversy, one sad fact did come out. Gibson's father apparently has some mental problems, and would himself appear to be an anti-Semite. Mel has himself referred to his father as "ill," but refuses to discuss the matter any further. When Mel was asked point blank if he was an anti-Semite, he responded very plainly that he was not. He said you can't work in Hollywood if you are, and that such an accusation is both hurtful and ridiculous. I believe him. Gibson may have been raised by an anti-Semite, but that doesn't automatically make him an anti-Semite.
Knowledge of his background does help to explain Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic slurs during his arrest. Alcohol can have the effect on people of changing their personalities. Case in point; I personally haven't been drunk in 15 years. My last binge was in my early 20's. People who know me will tell you I'm a talkative fellow, but relatively courteous toward others, and fairly well mannered in my speech. But those who know me now have never seen me fully intoxicated, and if I can help it, they never will. But I do have some college friends who know exactly what I'm like when I'm drunk. They'll tell you that I'm rude, obnoxious, and swear like a drunken sailor. This doesn't fit my sober personality at all. It's a complete transformation from one type of person to another. There is, however, a good reason that might explain my vulgar speech while under the influence. The fact that I swear like a drunken sailor might have something to do with the fact that my father was a sailor, and he had the mouth of one. My father worked in profanity like an artist in paint. That man could draw a mental picture that was just as vivid as it was vulgar. He remained that way until a religious experience he had in his late 40's, when he finally got rid of that potty mouth. But for the young impressionable ears of his son (myself), the damage had already been done. I'm not one to talk that way at all, but once sufficient alcohol removes all of my inhibitions, I am suddenly able to recall many of the creative metaphors my father used, and have no problem using them myself.
My point in all of this is that I sort of understand what happened to Mel Gibson, and why he said what he said in that drunken fit. He was intoxicated, and his father was an anti-Semite. Without any inhibitions, the man was simply vocalizing a voice from his past -- perhaps his father's voice?
Regardless of the reason, Mel Gibson's behavior and speech was inexcusable. He has acknowledged that and apologized. But the ADL doesn't care. I believe the ADL still has an ax to grind against Mel Gibson, for making fools of them with his "Passion" movie. And this is their opportunity for revenge. I believe they truly hate Mel Gibson because of his movie, and no apology in the world (no matter how sincere) will ever satisfy them. Now it's "payback time," and they'll show no mercy in smearing him. This is just as much about Mel Gibson's movie as it is about him. It's their chance to attack the "Passion," as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and of course anyone who believes in the New Testament.