The Mel Tolls for Me
I always liked Mel Gibson from the first time I saw him on the Mad Max films. He projects a very warm persona. I have seen him serious and goofy and liked him either way. My question is, am I allowed to still like him?
His film, the Passion of Christ, has been badmouthed by a lot of nanny liberals and thin-skinned Jews. I certainly wouldn't go see it myself. For one thing, I don't think I could endure the suffering portrayed. I didn't like the aroma of bigotry either. Passion plays have often, throughout European history, been an excuse for violence against Jews. But I do think this one was an honest attempt to portray historical events as many people believe them to have occurred. I was impressed, in particular, by the decision to use Aramaic as a spoken language on the screen. Gibson believes in the Passion and all of the things that it implies, including the forgiveness of sins. He spent a lot of effort and money, and took a lot of risk to share it with us.
He has been lambasted in the press pretty severely for his recent adventure, even by Christopher Hitchens (who has given him previous lashes), based on the assumption that, in his drunken state, Gibson was expressing his true feelings. Clinton Taylor has a piece in the American Spectator questioning that assumption of vino veritas. I would go further than that and say, even if the man honestly believes, when sober, in the guilt of the collective Jew in murdering his Savior, then we must hold him to the injunctions of his own beliefs. As a Christian, he is required to forgive the Jews for seven times seventy repetitions of such a transgression. In fact, Gibson has begged forgiveness for himself from those very Jews whom he has offended and has asked for their help, as well. I think, from what I have read between the lines, that he is asking them to teach him, to help him understand and forgive. I think this is remarkable.
One of the problems with political correctness is that it requires us to think a certain specific way. Gibson has his own point of view. I am not empowered to say whether he is right or wrong, but I believe he is entitled to it, and I suspect I will continue to regard him with affection.
Words are not bullets. Thoughts are not guns. By his deeds he will be known. I am more inclined to fault him for driving drunk, but I accept his apologies as genuine. I hope others do, as well, and I predict that he will show his remorse in a dramatic and constructive way.
8/2/2006 6:57 PM