In the parlance of the Roman Catholic Church, I can easily confess to having avoided many a “near occurrence of sin” having never seen a Mel Gibson movie.
To the uninitiated, a “near occurrence of sin” might be classed as seeing a pretty woman on a street corner giving you a “come hither” look and momentarily considering walking over for a chat.
Or something more than a chat.
Detesting as I do the steady stream of movies pouring from Hollywood full of gratuitous violence, profanity and rampant sex, I was never interested in seeing Gibson’s appalling offerings such as Mad Max, Lethal Weapon or Road Warrior.
Actually, in the same vein, I have seen just two Sylvester Stallone movies. One Brad Pitt movie, awfully banal. And one Sean Penn offering, and that was before I found he was a member of the notorious Liberal-Left in Hollywood, which immediately put him on my no-see list along with the likes of Alec Baldwin, Jessica Lang, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon.
Characters to be avoided at all costs.
Anyway, at the Calgary theatres I visit—the Globe, Uptown or Plaza—they do not sink to showing the trash that generally pours out of tinsel town these days.
Also, I generally stay tuned to Turner Classic Movies (TCM)—along with Fox News, the best channel on the tube—and enjoy the likes of real actors such as Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Gary Cooper and gorgeous dames such as Hedy Lamarr, Marilyn Monroe, Maureen O’Sullivan, Virginia Mayor and Lana Turner.
But aside from the childish plots and offensive scenes and language in Gibson’s movies, I avoided them for another reason: His hypocrisy.
Here was an individual who professed to be a dedicated Roman Catholic, but tossed all his supposed Christian beliefs away when he made movies.
No peace and love for Gibson, just schlock and shock value.
Why did this openly-public Christian not make ‘family style’ movies? Maybe remake Bing Crosby’s The Bells of St. Mary’s or Going My Way? Or Jennifer Jones’ Song of Bernadette?
Good Roman Catholic movies? But, no, he chose violence as his credo.
Then, when he did make a religious movie, The Passion of the Christ, he followed his usual pattern of raw brutality.
Basically, an exploitation movie. With, some critics claimed, an underlying theme of anti-Semitism.
Now we know from his recent off-scene behaviour Gibson does indeed appear to have anti-semitic thoughts.
Or so it seems.
His father, a Holocaust denier, certainly has.
The truth is the Jews did not kill Jesus Christ and no Jew not on the scene when Christ was crucified can be accused of any responsibility for His death. Christ, whether you believe He is the Son of God or not, was a religious and a political reformer. He wanted to clean up what He thought was the corrupt religious—Jewish—establishment of the day.
And when he went against the religious and political establishment, they fought back, and Christ paid the penalty of the day, as gruesome as it was.
He knew the odds—knew what He was getting into—and went ahead just the same.
An individual of great courage.
A stream of anti-Semitism has existed in western society ever since.
At times, it has simply been putting quotas on Jewish men and women being admitted to universities—which was bad enough—and at others, as in Nazi Germany, a nightmare world of slaughter almost beyond comprehension.
What goes on in the minds of the likes of Gibson—especially such a deeply professed Catholic—- is incomprehensible. Yet now we know the real Mel Gibson. Not a nice man at all.
The best he can do—aside from pointless apologies—is disappear.
Leave public life.
Leave his own sleazy thoughts to himself.
The world will be better for it.
So will our movie houses.