Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gibson and the Jews

“The Jews are the cause of war!” So ranted St. Mel of the Passion.

So it looks like Mel Gibson is a wee bit of an anti-Semite.

Two years ago, the venerable old Christianity Today canonized Gibson as the new face of Christianity, citing his Old Catholic beliefs which informed his Passion of the Christ. So I thought it would be interesting to see what they had to say about Mel’s alcohol inspired anti-Jewish outburst.

Nothing. It wasn’t even on their radar screen.

However, it looks like ABC has decided to NOT to air his - ahem - Holocaust miniseries.

I usually couldn’t give a rat's behind about celebrity lives. But I was amazed by how many Christians saw him as a saviour of the church through the Passion movie (a movie which, btw, I found deeply moving and profoundly devotional, so it’s not as if I’m a knee-jerk liberal bent on destroying anything conservative).

It’s like some Christians are always looking for the new hero, the next big thing. And many of those folks see the world in black and white, good and bad, evil and virtuous. They either praise or condemn. And when someone like Mel falls, they remain silent, not knowing how to respond.

I don’t relish seeing folks get humiliated. I’ve said some pretty dumb stuff after indulging a touch too much of that glorious hop and barley creation. If I were Mel, I wouldn’t just apologize, I’d publicly repent. How about donating $50 000 to the Simon Wiesenthal Center (my spell check corrected the word "Wiesenthal." How cool is that?)? Visiting a local synagogue? Meeting with Jewish community leaders?

We all do stupid things and we all hurt each other. We all have our prejudices. That’s why it’s important to pray for folk like Gibson as well as ourselves, that our hearts may be transformed to see the world as God sees it, a world both sinful and beautiful - a world worth dying for.

UPDATE: It took a while, but Christianity Today has a section on their weblog on the "Mel-tdown."

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