L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 262, March 7, 2004
Remember: Free Hunter!
On Mel Gibson
Exclusive to TLE
Dear Kevin McCullough of Word Net Daily,
In your article on World Net Daily:
... I'm with you on how Hollywood tends towards rampant political correctness, and how Mel Gibson has often breached the so-called "common understanding" (the most important of which is clearly "thou shalt not have honor and virtue, certainly not using guns"). We all know how John Milius has suffered for "Red Dawn", for exampleand how "The Patriot" took a beating, as you correctly pointed out (in that case, it didn't seem to hurt sales, though).
However, you lost me when you tried to extrapolate this as the proximate cause of Hollywood's latest distaste for All Things Mel. Its not their traditional liberal hearts that are skipping beats, its the fact thatno matter WHAT Mel Gibson says to Diane Sawyer in his own spin-factory of an interviewhe blames Jews (and really only Jews) in his motion picture, "The Passion of the Christ." Oh sure, he spins it like a top in the post-filmmaking interviews, but only the motion picture will last the daynot his explanations.
As a bona fide member of the gun culture (NRA, JPFO, TSRA), a libertarian (anarcho-libertarian variety), and fierce defender of the Bill of Rights, I would certainly never say that Mel Gibson shouldn't make the kind of film he wants to make. But in a free society (and I gather you do support such a concept), he also is free to take his lumps, to feel the scorn and derision heaped upon him for SOME of his views. That too is part of liberty, Kevin, and no one has an obligation, right, or duty to hire Mel Gibson in the future, nor condone his misguided attempt to "feel the Passion" of the crucifix.
Its not a matter of being Catholic, and its not a matter of being Christian. Its a matter of playing The Blame Game, and you don't have to be a theologian to understand that if God sent his only Son to help humanity deal with its sins, then He surely planned the death of his Son. It was part of the Plan. The Jewsand the Romanswere simply playing their roles. I say, "If", of course, because even on this theologiansand everyday peopledisagree. Of course, if you're not Christian, this is all pretty much nonsense and myth, and througout the ages the power of such has been used to inflame and oppress people.
Mel Gibson has re-ignited the Blood Libel against Jews. But unlike past ages, Jews today are armed, trained, and prepared to deal with violations against their personhood or property. Sacrificial lambs belong in the Bible, not in modern day life. No one is suggesting that Mel deliberately tried to re-ignite thisbut being responsible for one's actions includes both the inadvertant, and advertant. Lets see if he's man enough to accept both the praise and the scorn. I for one have seen the film, and I found it to be so violent, so objectionable, so questionable, and so tedious as to make me wonder if Mel was just putting on the hairshirt for his own sins, whatever they may be.
Lets see if Mel Gibson makes a movie about the horrors of the gas chamber, or the horrors of Mao, Pol Pot, or other atrocities. Sure, he doesn't HAVE tobut for a man of such self-congratulatory courage, surely he's up to resurrecting all sorts of past evils.
Father Coughlin couldn't have done a better job. Here's hoping that Catholics and other Christians take from this movie something positive, and leave the Blame Game to the force that tends to use it for nefarious ends. Mel would probably call that the Devil.