Mel Gibson and the Politics of Bigotry



Since he’s made no effort to deny them, one has to accept that the police report was accurate and that in a drunken stupor Gibson hurled those anti-Semitic insults. He has been humiliated and in his unequivocal apology, humbled. “There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I have said…”

Gibson’s remarks were disgraceful. But is Gibson now to be disgraced? And who is qualified to make that judgment?

The paparazzi news media can’t get enough of this story, and some, like ABC’s Diane Sawyer, can barely conceal their glee. The hard news covered, here comes the analysis, with this-man-will-never-get-another-job-in-this-town reports everywhere you turn, fueled by the likes of Arianna Huffington who has denounced Gibson’s “odious racism” and her colleague Ari Emanuel, who writes that “…the entertainment industry cannot idly stand by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements. Now we know the truth. And no amount of publicist-approved contrition can paper it over. People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him. There are times in history when standing up against bigotry and racism is more important than money.” Others like Christopher Hitchens, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, and Sony Pictures chairwoman Amy Pascal have piled on with their denouncements of this religious bigotry.

The first thing Mel Gibson and everyone else should do is ignore people like these. They are hypocrites.

They were nowhere to be found when Da Vinci Code actor Ian McKellen publicly accused the Catholic Church of “perhaps misleading us all this time,” and stated “the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction.” And what of the movie itself, a bigoted anti-Catholic screed if ever there was one? Any denouncements from them?

Where were they when Comedy Central’s Dennis Leary aired his Merry F*ing Christmas special, publicly called the Christmas story “bull[bleep]” and said of the baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary, “I also believe that about nine months before he was born, somebody sure as [bleep] banged the hell out of his mom”? Any religious bigotry there, folks?

Have any of these people ever said a word about the South Park DVD featuring an episode called “Red Hot Catholic Love,” in which almost every Catholic priest and cardinal in the world favors having sex with altar boys because supposedly it’s been enshrined in Vatican law? What about the South Park episode aired on television depicting a statue of the Virgin Mary with blood coming out her rectum?

There was that contestant “Tammy” who thought she was very funny on NBC’s Last Comic Standing when she joked that “It’s a good time to be Catholic ‘cause we’re grading on the curve. As long as you’re not touching pee-pees you got a get-out-of-hell-free card.” Did Gibson’s critics condemn her — or did they laugh? How about Penn and Teller’s skit on their HBO show about Mother Teresa, one of the world’s holiest women and presently on the fast-track toward sainthood? The title — “Mother F—ing Teresa” — tells you all you need to know. Barbara Walters and Co., where were you?

Arianna, where were you when one wag said of Pope John Paul the Great’s teachings on sexuality that “in his perversion pecking order, you had to be dead-set against ‘self-love’ but when it came to buggering little kids, there was some wiggle room”? Oh, wait a minute. Those were your words, weren’t they?

How about the TV show Committed that featured a scene in which the main characters accidentally flush what they believe to be the Sacred Host down a toilet? Or Judging Amy with its storyline about a transvestite priest? What about the show Rescue Me with its plots about pedophilic priests and the character who has visions of Christ and Mary Magdalene, including one in which “Tommy” is having sex with Mary Magdalene, Jesus catches them and in a jealous rage tries to blow Tommy away with a shotgun?

The examples of anti-Christian, anti-Catholic bigotry in Hollywood are seemingly endless. Each and every one is uglier, more mean-spirited than anything Mel Gibson said. While Gibson’s comments were those of a slobbering drunk, these anti-Catholic rants were not just deliberate, in most cases, they were scripted. And while Gibson has apologized profusely, none of the people cited above has any intention of showing contrition because they have none.

Gibson’s statements were awful, and deserved condemnation. But the anti-Catholic bigotry raging in Hollywood is far worse. Those who suddenly proclaim themselves to be shocked — shocked I tell you! — over Gibson’s religious bigotry, but have remained silent all these years as the Catholic Church is mercilessly pummeled, ridiculed and insulted, are frauds.

(This update courtesy of the Media Research Center.)

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