Mel Gibson: Religion and the troubled artist

The week’s most lurid headlines hide an interesting question: Is a creator of religious art obligated to maintain the religion’s … Continued

The week’s most lurid headlines hide an interesting question: Is a creator of religious art obligated to maintain the religion’s standards by his own behavior? Or, put it another way–should creating religious art (including film) also convert the artist?

Mel Gibson, an Oscar-winning director and one of the most bankable stars of his time, stands enshrouded in publicity of a loathsome sort. Associated Press has reported a police investigation into whether Gibson was involved in a domestic violence incident against his former girlfriend, with whom he has an infant daughter. Audio tapes have also emerged that allegedly captured Gibson spewing violent, racist, anti-Semitic tirades. The actor is also undergoing a divorce from his wife. It marks the second time in four years he has found himself the lead in an unhappy, damaging story.

Who can forget that Gibson, product and practitioner of a very traditionalist Roman Catholicism, stands only six years removed from making the most lucrative “Jesus movie” of all time? His “The Passion of the Christ” brutally re-imagined Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. Many evangelical Protestants, among others, embraced the film, some seeing it as a proselytizing tool capable of winning new faithful. And Gibson, as marketer, surely benefited from a high-profile curiosity factor: Months before its opening, some American Catholics and Jewish organizations worried the film carried anti-Semitic overtones. (For the record, I disliked the film–strongly.) In the end, Gibson and his movie seemed to carry the day. Some critics wrote favorably; the American box office surpassed $300 million.

Sic transit gloria mundi. In 2006, a police officer pulled Gibson over on suspicion of drunken driving; the actor responded with what People magazine called “an anti-Semitic tirade.” (The cop happened to be Jewish.) Gibson shortly declared his words “despicable” and himself “deeply ashamed.”

Indiscretions and worse often color the lives of Hollywood celebrities. But how many become notorious after making a globally-distributed testimony to their religious faith? O.K., the latest material is mainly allegations. But as it’s presented in the news, the Gibson story eschews the typical conversion narrative, where the messy behavior comes first.

If you’re seeking more edifying fare, I’ve got a recommendation. It’s a book that tells a good story–actually, four of them, intertwining the biographies of 20th Century Catholic writers Thomas Merton, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy and Dorothy Day (who is, granted, better known as an activist). Day and Merton led erratic lives prior to their baptisms. Later, they, like O’Connor and Percy, went on to produce remarkable works of literature. They are still read, still influential. The book, by the way, is titled, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, by Paul Elie, published a few years back.

It’s a long way from Hollywood. And, at the moment, probably just as well for that.

Gustav Niebuhr
Written by

  • WmarkW

    What fraction of people who still use the N-word do you suppose DON’T consider themselves Christians?

  • villandra

    STOP with the sanctimony. You just got me to feel a snippet of sympathy for Mel Gibson that I had thought impossible. I would say that maybe half of history’s more talented religious artists have been pretty much like Mel Gibson – utterly spoiled and arrogant. There are no perfect people on the planet, and, while one is obligated to be moral and Mel Gibson is not, there is no obligation to uphold “standards”. Do you uphold standards? I don’t think so! You clearly forgot all about Our Lord’s constant attacks on hypocrisy.

  • villandra

    I’ve got to correct that. The term moral is too easily confused with setting standards, and what I think Mel Gibson is obligated to have, as a human being and not as a public figure or religious whatever, is humanity. My father, a minister, preached half his sermons on Pharisees, Scribes, and humility. “10. Two men went up into the Temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. You’d better review your Bible, before you start preaching about religion.

  • areyousaying

    Ol’ Mel’s a product of his generation and his religion. Anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist – a proud, card-carrying member of Bill Donohue’s Catholic League.

  • smith6

    Why does it always seem that the most orthodox (and public about that orthodoxy) tend to be the one’s who violate the basic tennets of that faith? (or just good old fashion decency?)

  • BigTrees

    What does god, any god, have to do with it?I get so tired of listening to disaster victims thanking a merciless, vindictive, violent god for something.”My mobile home has just been destroyed and all 83 members of my family were eviscerated by the marauding pit bulls that got out of Bubba’s kennel, but I thank god for saving my dead kid’s pre-school graduation diploma. I am so blessed!”What hypocrisy!

  • bobbo2

    Mel Gibson a troubled artist? From the recordings of Mel Gibson with his wife I would say that he is a deeply troubled person. I doubt that we will hear from him “artistically” for a long time, if ever again. The word artist is overused in the media, just like the word narrative. I would hope that because Mel Gibson is considered an “artist” he will not be treated any differently for the abuse of his wife.

  • kase

    Always aware that Gibson is a longtime right-wingnut, christian, this comes as no surprise whatsoever!

  • jperhonis

    Many people who display talent nationally, and often of the highest order, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, etc., also display questionable behavior in their personal life. We can criticize their personal behavior, and that is our right or preference, but that behavior doesn’t mean they are diminished in stature as artists. An artist’s life cannot be reduced to his personal behavior at any one time, or even more than one time. Who is Mel Gibson? His personal life would be meaningless to us and he wouldn’t get any attention from us if it were only for his display of domestic violence. We attack him because we want everything he has done in the public sphere to be reflected in his personal life. Oh, come on, what IS the message of the bible? God, forgive them for they know not what they do. Love your crooked neighbor with your own crooked heart.

  • BigR1

    The TEA Party should hire him for fundraising. He stands for everything it does! Tea Party, stand behind Mel! He’s a Christian and he can treat people however he wants because we are forgiven.

  • tess9

    Why would Mr Gibson have any trouble reconciling his racist and violent outburst with religion?Throughout history religion has been associated with violence (crusades, inquisitions, torture, burning of people alive, etc), and racism (colonialism, slavery, justification for slavery, etc). Oh, and did I mention complicity, or at the very least silence, during the holocaust? That should cover anti-semitism nicely.Simply stated, Mr. Gibson and religion go hand and hand.

  • bloommarko4

    IMHO, Mel Gibson is a handsome man and adequate artist, but he lives a catastrophic life. According to Gates of Repentance, a standard work of Jewish ethics written by Rabbenu Yonah of Gerona, if someone commits a sin, a forbidden act, he can be forgiven for that sin if he performs teshuva (penance), which includes: * Regretting/acknowledging the sin;Whether one is Jewish (as I obviously am), Roman Catholic, as Mr. Gibson is, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or any other religion, the way to wholeness varies very little. There’s little mystery about the Way to Peace, but Mr. Gibson hasn’t chosen it. I hope he will.

  • markiejoe

    All religious zealots are hypocrites. It’s one of the requirements when you sign up.

  • revbookburn

    It’s always strange to read the statements of the defenders of Christian-Supremacists. From pedophile priests to anti-choice terrorists to Mel Gibson, they suddenly become agents of tolerance (how ironic), then issue the old “nobody is perfect” line. Gibson will probably end up with a slot on Fox “News” along with many other mentally unbalanced losers.

  • Omyobama

    Why does everything have to become a soap box for right or left? Mel Gibson is a raging alcoholic on a years-long bender. His moral compass is about as out-of-whack as possible so it’s not surprising that the dark nether regions of his soul are bubbling up. Piety is sometime a mask for real darkness; Mel is not alone (see, e.g., Jim & Tammy Faye, Taggert, etc. etc.). I haven’t paid to see a Mel Gibson movie (and switch the channel when they show up on satellite)since the first round of tirades; I also don’t watch any Woody Allen or Roman Polanski films as I quaintly don’t believe in supporting pedophiles. It’s about as simple as that; people should vote with their pocketbooks. If the behavior is disgusting — don’t reward it. It may not change their behavior but it sure makes me sleep better.

  • dnealesq

    Whenever profess to be “a good Christian”, it’s time to hold on to your wallet, your wife, girlfriend or significant other. Mel Gibson, George Rekers, the Rev. Haggard, or the Rev. Falwell. Makes no difference.

  • joe100821

    This man, and it goes without saying, is deeply troubled! And all the money in the world, which he does have, is not enough to cure the malady.Tragic. Truly tragic.

  • jimarush

    I am an Afro-American who has enjoyed Mel Gibson for many years. I pray that some of the horrific beating Christ took for our sins was for Mel.Mel seems to hold no allegiance to anyone but himself. The verbal viciousness Mel spat towards his child’s mother is sad. Mel beating the mother of his child while she was holding it shows a lack of manhood.

  • jjedif

    The true genius of Christianity is that the Christian is always right, and on those rare occasions when the Christian *may* be wrong, he or she is forgiven. You can’t lose being a Christian.

  • Vox__Populi

    This is a no brainer. People who are deeply religious are deeply disturbed, it’s why they flock to it.

  • veerle1

    Gibson is an actor. His private life, no matter how awful, needn’t be hung out for the world to see and pass judgement upon. He may be a less than polished gem of human speciman, but most others are no better.Watch his films, or don’t.

  • allforher58

    Hi: Mel Gibson is a sinner. So are most individuals, but unfortunately, his is very public. Traditional Catholics are very unhappy with his conduct. He normally would be under interdict or excommunication for his conduct, but because he owns his own building, hired his own Chaplain, and is under no particular Bishop, it is an impossibility. Let’s pray for him, and hope we do better before our life ends.

  • numediaman

    I think we should leave the last word to God. God, what do you think? God? God? Hello. You there?

  • Listening2

    Mel Gibson is an alcoholic and as such is not thinking straight. When you take drugs, you lose your moral compass eventually, and it appears that he is spiraling. As for the conservative Catholic church, no way would he be excommunicated for this particular behavior or comments. Excommunication is entirely a different matter all toghether. Mr. Gibson has some very serious problems, it is too bad that they are out in public. Of course it does not help him that he allowed himself a relationship with a woman who obviously got pregnant on purpose and is a gold digger, thus the recordings. She knew exactly what she was doing and if she could not get money from him one way, she decided a little blackmail might do wonders.

  • newagent99

    let’s not forget the “sugar t!ts” comments to the female cop, and his other sexual slurs that I can’t post here.The man is a creep, he’s always been a creep, he’ll most likely always be a creep.It’s not because he’s a drunk, it just what he is .. a two-timing cheating, screwing arouond on his wife with women half his age while talking about being a devout will find out he backs hitler.

  • garrett66

    Yes Gibson is troubled, allright. He is, to put it bluntly, a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic prick.

  • iamerican

    America’s Founder and Prophet, Thomas Jefferson, called Gibson’s “church” “the real Anti-Christ” in a letter to Th. Kercheval.It appears Mel is serving it perfectly appropriately.

  • whocares666

    Oh wait, that’s right, he’s a member of some hate based christian sect.

  • muawiyah

    How does Mel do what?The man is supposedly diagnosed as having BIPOLAR disorder.That’s a genetically mediated problem ~ if you’re lucky you’re only crazy half the time. If you’re not lucky and you start self-medicating anything could happen.Amazingly he’s had a pretty decent film career, and that’s quite likely a consequence of the editors being able to cut the really bad stuff.Ted Turner is pretty open with his condition. He accepts the best treatment possible, and he still goes nuts and says and does all sorts of things. Amazingly he hasn’t done the “run naked down the street” thing, but I’ve known those who have.Again, self-medication only complicates the situation. And this silly woman who thought she could make some money on this? She’s just stupid.

  • muawiyah

    TESS9 ~ still for every million killed on account of religion, the Atheists around Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others killed ten million.Your side is looking none too good.

  • polcat

    Yes, Gibson is an aholio, no doubt about it. So what? How does this effect my life? Religion??????? Your kidding me right. Your religion says do not judge less you be judged.

  • muawiyah

    BLOOMMARKO4 ~ Mr. Gibson belongs to his father’s church. It’s a slightly different version of Catholicism than you are familiar with.The RCs don’t recognize it.Ergo, if Gibson is a Roman Catholic he’s kept that well disguised. I’m more prone to believe he’s just a lapsed Reformed Jew.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I would hardly call Mel Gibson an artist. He was a Hollywood pretty boy; he is now the Hollywood cliche fadedstar, loosing his looks, an alcoholic, a religious maniac, a homophobe, a racist, a womanizer, a woman-hater, yada, yada, yada …It is a little humorous to hear his Christian apologists say things like “no one is perfect … “There is a big, Big, BIG!!! difference from being perfect, and being Mel Gibson.

  • larmoecurl

    Writing about Gibson is a waste of time. Why bother?The man is scum personified.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Mel Gibson’s movie made 700,000,000 dollars for Mel Gibson, and that’s the important thing.

  • chatard

    Why not get just an absolutely brilliant professor from Syracuse whose career involves diluting religions and get him to harp on Mel Gibson for a while and return to the theme of ‘The Passion of the Christ” was a terrible movie and Christians are hypocrites and Imagine there’s No Nothing. What a load of garbage. Gustav, maybe you can get ya a talk show like Joy Behar.

  • Phil6

    move along folks, nothing to see here, if Mel is really a Christ follower, he is still growing and changing, and God is still drawing Mel toward Himself, let Mel learn and grow from his many mistakes, are you perfect?

  • farnaz_mansouri2


  • AJBF

    A consistent pattern of virulent homophobia, racism, intolerant religious fanaticism and violent domestic abuse are hardly “indiscretions”. Gibson is an actor, an entertainer, a movie maker – an artist is something totally different. The man is obviously sick and needs help, but his arrogant lack of remorse points towards incarceration rather than rehab.

  • Kingofkings1

    Does anyone need a reminder that Gibson is a human and not an angel?

  • huntyrella

    When Jesus was on earth he displayed understanding for the troubled ones, the greedy ones, the depraved ones….What he never condoned was the Judgmental ones.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    In between being perfect and being a sluht alcoholic racist opportunist hypocrite, there is plenty of room for imperfection. Maybe, one day, Mel will learn that. In the meantime, he can do us all a favor by sobering up and staying out of our face.

  • B2O2

    It kind of goes with the territory for fundamentalist religious types to be racist. Sad to say, but this isn’t surprising is it?

  • judyterry

    It is obvious Mel, rarther than condemning him needs some form of professional help to assist him in overcomming what appears to be some form of manic depressive condition before he mentally collapses in a big heap.I only hope his closer friends can guide him in the right direction, so he can once again find his dignety.Its help and compassion he needs not finger pointing

  • ottamwalker

    This issue is bigger than Mel Gibson. It’s not uncommon for a woman to have her life threatened by a man. It’s one of the most ignored problems in our society. Hopefully if something good comes of Mel’s exposure it will be a national conversation about the level of accepted violence against women in our country.

  • garoth

    There are, of course, a lot of jerks out there in Hollywoodland. Mel is just the latest in a long line. Some of them, I still watch a bit, but a couple, like Mel and Tom Cruise, really make me want to vomit. I can’t watch their work, whether good or bad, without thinking of the kind of people they are, and that I’m helping to support them.By the way, isn’t there some kind of filter for the nut jobs, like this “Faiit-on-space” guy? Isn’t there a law against blogging while doing crack?

  • vanitsky1

    I have some disagreements with my Russian Orthodox Church.

  • obx2004

    By the way, isn’t there some kind of filter for the nut jobs, like this “Faiit-on-space” guy? Isn’t there a law against blogging while doing crack?Now, now. He took time out of filing his “birther” lawsuit to talk about space ships and “Monarchy’s”.

  • pierrejc2

    Gibson hates Jews and women, and he thinks he’s the center of the universe.

  • outragex

    From what I have read, Mel Gibson has a long-term alcohol problem. For much of his life he was apparently a reasonable man devoted to career and family, and friendly to black and Jewish colleagues. I don’t think of him as good or evil, just addicted to alcohol. Let’s not judge his morals; let’s just recognize he needs help with an addiction illness. I am not a fan of his particularly,and I don’t agree with his politics. However, I pray he gets sober and begins to rebuild his life, and starts to make amends to the friends and family he has damaged.

  • heuristic77

    “In purely biblical terminology, the kind he claims to understand better than any of us, Mel Gibson is unclean. He is an outcast leper. He long ago crossed the line that separates the darkness from the light. He is a classic example of a man whose moral compass is cruel, rigid, and doctrinaire. I would love it if he made another jesus movie. Mel, now revealed as vindictive little con man, meets the impostor known as jesus christ of Nazareth. What a fascinating movie that would make…!

  • Not2Late2Change

    what’s the big deal? like other commenters have noted, all Mr. Gibson needs is a twelve-step program. many of us have experienced that we cannot enjoy an authentic spiritual life as long as we are active in our addiction. we all need healing. how many of us would like our ugly fights to be broadcast to the entire world?

  • mickster1

    Pandering to christians by making movies does not make gibson religious. Any more than jimmy swaggart and ted haggard making money by pitching religion on tv to the same audience in any way makes them religious. Hucksters trying (and succeeding) to make a ton of bucks off the rubes is a timeless calling indeed. The blinders that true believers willingly put on is truly unbelievable.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Mel Gibson is a spoiled Hollywood rich kid, just like Tiger Woods or Michael Jackson. NOBODY is going to help them; they are stuck with all their riches to figure things out and make their own way, without a single word of truthful discourse from a fellow human being. Everyone around them wants some of the money, and NOBODY will dare say a word to risk losing access to it. So on they go, maybe not really psychotic, but just as disconnected from the world, as if they were.

  • Yankeesfan1

    Well, think about Sally Quinn, whose picture is at the top of this column, which she moderates. She got her job by having an affair with her boss and breaking up his marriage, and then scheduled their son’s wedding — at the National Cathedral — for the same day that her husband’s granddaughter was getting married across the country. And then Sally celebrated the fact that this wasn’t a problem because no one had been invited to both weddings, not even family members including herself and her husband Ben Bradlee. Maybe Sally should remove the log from her own eye at the same time that her column is castigating Mel’s dreadful behavior.

  • pioneer1

    Mel’s fame and money are relevant in that those are the only reasons you are writing about him. Most mythology-based belief systems imbue their members with hatred of The Other and over the centuries this has resulted in endless mass murder and continued corrosive behavior. Writers on religion are always able to write about the ‘good” and never about the bad re. these belief systems. How many times have we read about “the religion of peace” since 9/11-oddly, always in the context of mass murder activity. Keep trying to explain it all away, the dead and maimed are still dead and maimed.

  • choppy1

    Do people still pay attention to religion? Wow.

  • asoders22

    Nobody is asking for Mel Gibson to be “perfect”, only to follow the law and to be a fairly decent man. He does neither. There is nothing Christian about him, if you compare hos doctrines and his behavior with what’s in the New Testament. Then, there is very little that’s Christian about ANY of the so called Christian churches. They are mostly openly or potentially violent, domineering, money-hungry, male hierarchy, self-serving institutions.

  • Habco07122010

    Mel is an imperfect being – just like the rest of us. He appears to be an alcoholic with an anger-management problem. He is not evil and I think I can separate the “art” from the “artist.”My expectations for his behavior were pretty low a decade ago (filthy rich actor). I give him a shrug. I pray that he finds peace and finds a way to stay connected to his child.I think we can give this story the tags “nasty divorce”, “leaked tapes”, “verbal abuse” and “alcoholic”. Sad.

  • multiplepov

    Ten Hail Mary’s and he’s good as new.

  • m1kem1lls

    Stupid god people. Wake up!

  • asoders22

    Roman Polanski being Jewish has nothing to do with him being a rapist, or with him getting this for me totally unexpected support from Hollywood (who’s supposed to be liberal – and excusing rape is the opposite of what liberal means). I believe the support comes from a/the misconception that the raped girl was consenting b/that it happened long ago, and c/ that people are in awe of Polanski’s alleged artistic talents, he is a European auteur. Michael Jackson in my eyes was much more talented, although being eccentric and not intellectual. He was innocent to the molestation charges, but was brought down anyway, for what I believe was pure racist reasons. Polanski – like another child offender, Woody Allen – is white.As for Mel Gibson, he is probably dangerous to his ex girlfriend and daugther. That’s the main issue here.

  • jeromejmarkiewicz

    How could he? Is that a serious question? Why no problem,just follow the examples,repeated over and over through out history of Popes,current and past, Holy Kings,”Rent Boy.Com Preachers,many Congressmen,Presidents, Govenors,Movie Stars,etc,etc,etc.

  • ChooseBestCandidate

    i get distinct feeling he tested her by asking her to sign what amounted to no-huge payout for her. she rised to the challenge but gave the wrong answer: she quickly became distant as soon as she learned $$ was not in the pic. i think he was shocked and reacted to the reality that he was indeed USED.i’ll just bet had she maintained her demeanor he just might have been quite generous with her but her true self, intentions surfaced and what he suspected for whatever reason was confirmed. she tried to pull a reille hunter/john edwards anchorBaby thing. it went south.

  • jrzwrld

    First off, Gibson is an addict. Addicts frequently immerse themselves in religion to an extreme degree even when they are not in recovery because it is just another facet of their addiction. It soothes the same demons that the alcohol/drugs soothe. That’s also why some people in recovery turn to religion – it’s drugs lite. Many addicts are addicts because they are essentially self-treating a mental illness – I believe Gibson is one of those people.Moreover, many extremely “religious” people are filled with hate for other groups. Religion is used to justify that (God says I should hate homosexuals) or to reassure them (I’m a sinner, but I love God, so I’m saved and it’s ok that I’m a racist).I’m not saying all religious people are mentally ill or addicts or secret racists, but there are a lot of people who are drawn to religion for those reasons.I’ve listened to portions of that tape. If it really is Gibson (and I believe it is), the level of venom is breathtaking. I seriously doubt his sanity and have been speculating which mental illnesses are at the forefront. I suspect that he has always been this way and has been self-medicating with religion – using it to give his life rules and structure so that he can present an acceptable face to the world. But it’s all falling apart now as the veneer drops away. I suspect that his wife and kids went through living hell.He was Hollywood’s golden boy for a long time. I enjoyed many of his movies as a child. But I think he should back away from the spotlight now and work on himself, since he appears to have put that by the wayside for far too long. In those tapes, he basically shows himself to be a physically and verbally abusive racist and sexist. I refuse to boycott artists I enjoy who have differing viewpoints from me for the most part. I also don’t boycott artists who live depraved lives – I don’t care if they cheat on their spouses or use drugs or whatever. But when an artist steps forward with a “message” and then lives in direct contrast to that message, they lose credibility in my eyes, as does their work. When they show themselves to hold such fundamentally objectionable views and behave with depraved cruelty towards another person to that degree, I can’t separate that from their work. Setting aside the racism and the sexism, just the fact that he hit her was really bad, but the fact that he hit her hard enough to break her teeth and told her she deserved it after the fact is pretty much beyond redemption in my view. You’re damn right I’m boycotting his work.

  • linda26

    WHY DO WE CARE? People give him too much credit and press time. He is just a simple minded human being.

  • themoderate

    Mel Gibson has alcohol problems so sever his that alcohol poisoning causes psychotic episodes. The poor wreck of a man needs detox, rehab, and a lot of psychotherapy. With them he might be able to pull himself together and someday look back at his craziness with embarrassment. Without them he will probably die from this disease, which has killed many before him.Enough said.

  • rd3

    Republican fundamentalists do it all the time. And the Press just eats it up. If only they knew that the vast majority of us who don’t subscribe to idol worshipping could care less…

  • Georgetowner1

    In his sober moments I know that Gibson is as appalled as anyone at what comes out of him in drunken rages. He is a walking tragedy play. It is a grim joke that the woman he left his ever-forgiving wife for should turn out to be just another hag in it for the money. Speaking of the “n” word, I was deeply offended while riding a DC public bus with about 10 teenagers of color who kept using the word over and over while addressing each other. And they were not, to my knowledge, drunk.

  • wireman65

    Me Gibson is a despicable human being. He also seems to suffer from the god delusion. As far as I can see these two facts are not related.

  • robertajkaufman3

    I have watched the passion of the christ I wept and was moved as were many believers I even wonder were souls saved by this movie I believe melgibsons father has alot of influence over the things he believes if these reports of his behavior are true which you never know well then I would say he is not born again for he would know this christ in spirit that he so beautifully depicted in his movie and I pray for his soul for he will never be happy until he finds it in the arms of his lordthere is a reason why this movie was made it moved a tremendous amount of people and god works mysteriously sometime so disapointed in a mere mans bizarre behavior and wretched belief system let god get the awards this time and leave mel gibsons soul up to him for it belongs to him and as lost as he seems god would be the only one capable of finding it. Pray for him and everyone whose never experienced the love of jesus christ out of the book out of the movies simply in the endless beating heart

  • WmarkW

    I wonder if Danny Glover is rolling over in the back seat of his taxicab?

  • jimarush

    People tend to associate money and power as gift from God and the people that receives these gift as being blessed by God. Mel Gibson once again proves that nothing could be farther from the truth.

  • Afraid4USA

    Yankeefan1I too did a double take to see the homewrecker adultress Sally Quinn somehow elevated to an authority on religion/morals. I guess people have short memories and/or WAPO doesn’t give a rodent’s ass about their readers’ intelligence. She should be removed. As for Mel, he is a sick man. Most of his older movies I liked but starting with Braveheart I saw a love for gratuitous blood and gore which was disturbing. His Jesus movie was disgusting. I don’t doubt that he is bi-polar and an alcoholic. Now he is being preyed upon by a Russian gold digger who’s wired for sound. His life is out of control. His father was a holocaust denier, so why is everyone surprised that he’s an anti-semite? Also, don’t use this wreck of a man as a justification for hating the Roman Catholic church. It has enough problems, including the former Bishop of Bruges who molested his nephew for many years, and whose resignation resulted in 500 people coming forward and claiming they were abused by Belgian priests.

  • sunnie2

    Mel, is mentally struggling with good and evil. He has emotional ups and downs because he is at a crossroad in his life. I believe God’s Holy Spirit is dealing with him and he just needs to turn back to God to find peace and contentment in his life.

  • 5amefa91

    I”n between being perfect and being a sluht alcoholic racist opportunist hypocrite, there is plenty of room for imperfection.”Let me get this straight Farnaz, you hate Mel Gibson because he is a religious bigot, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • limpscomb

    I don’t think that Mel Gibson’s problems are religious. I strongly suspect that Mr. Gibson is having mental problems due to excessive drinking over many, many years. Alcohol kills brain cells. And, eventually, alcoholism takes a toll on the mental ability as well as physical ability.I lived with a raging alcoholic as a child, and I see that person again in the things that I have read about Mr. Gibson’s behaviors. Mr. Gibson doesn’t need religious redemption or anything else right now. He needs to be in a detox center for the minimum of at least 6 months, preferably a year.

  • dayandnight365

    Mel Gibson whipped Jesus Chris a second time to make millions.

  • lepidopteryx

    There are plenty of entertainers whose work I enjoy whose religious, political, and social beliefs clash with my own. I don’t buy a movie ticket in order to form a spiritual relationship with the actor on the screen. I buy a movie ticket in order to see actors portray a story.

  • gonville1

    My ex wife had a mouth like gibson,in a custody war I was told taping someone without their consent was illegal,how times have changed

  • nolib1

    “very traditionalist Roman Catholicism?”Vatican II almost destroyed the faith with the help of liberal anti-Catholic rags like the Post.Some Catholics are returning to the true faith and liberals are afraid, as they should be. The traditional Latin Mass is the only true Catholic Mass. Protestants tried to destroy the Catholic Mass in the 1960s via Vatican II. Look it up Catholics. Return to the true faith.

  • MarkDavidovich

    Should the religious artist’s art convert its creator? I hope not.Within religion lies necessary hypocrisy. One of religion’s noblest tasks is to reach beyond its adherents’ moral grasps. No one’s religion ought describe the quagmire of one’s own life and morals. In part one’s religion should describe one’s aspirations. So it must be with religious artists. If one’s actual virtue were reflected in his art, then one has not aimed high enough in one’s art.

  • faith-on-space-ship-earth

    correction (3):1) 2) 3)

  • missioneagles

    Prayer: Father GOD please send some of your true worshippers to love on Mel Gibson and his family. Yes, he is wrong and he uttered terrible vile expressions but you are a forgiving GOD, and with willing and obedient hearts, you can change anyone. Mel’s mistress is a victim of his abusiveness but she is not sinless as she became involved with a married man. They are both wrong and need help.Mel’s outbursts indicate that there is deep rage within him. Lord, only You know what has overtaken him. JESUS, the Holy Bible is full of accounts of your healing, forgiving, and making people whole. You love Mel in spite of what has possessed him but You will NOT acquit the guilty nor justify the wicked. His only hope is to seek forgiveness, and to seek You for lasting change in his heart. He needs to do

  • jackson641

    This is none of your business. You’ve got priests molesting children and you are worried about Mel screaming at his girlfriend. How about some concern for the propensity of people to post what should be private conversations on the Internet?

  • kerryberger

    Mel Gibson should be expelled from the United States and sent back to Australia. We don’t need another loud-mouthed celebrity racist in our midst. I don’t care for his anti-Semitism either. There are enough problems in the US. We can do without his kind of people in this nation. If he has naturalized, he should have his citizenship revoked. Shameful and disgusting.

  • hairguy01

    Can’t Sally Quinn be shuffled off to wherever the Post sent Bill Kristol? Another failed Post venture.

  • FoolontheHill1

    Has William A. Donohue of the Catholic League abandoned Mel in his hour of need? Et tu Brutus?

  • haveaheart

    Gibson lost my respect years ago, when he refused to repudiate the claims his father has spent a lifetime disseminating: that the Holocaust was a hoax; that it never happened.

  • elizestrada

    He’s a religious nut and a lunatic, so what else is new?The fruit didn’t fall far from the tree.This is the guy who had to start his own Catholic church because he was more Catholic than Pope John Paul II. Whatever. Mr. Holier than Thou dumped his wife for a hot girlfriend young enough to be his daughter and has a potty mouth. All controversy about him can just fuel his paranoia.

  • tomd3

    First, Gibson’s recent words and actions are indefensible, no question about it. And whether you like him or not, it seems unlikely that his making a public apology – which he did after making anti-Semitic remarks about the cop who arrested him – will suffice for most people. Like all of us who are imperfect, he needs to mend his ways with the individuals whom he has offended, never an easy task.As to the question of ‘art’, I’m struck by how many people have assumed that to be an artist – in this case, of the conematic sort – that one must also live a moral life (however you define ‘moral’). Don’t get me wrong – I would love it if every actor, singer, and so on, acted in a reasonable, courteous, thoughtful, and respectful way, but the behavior of these people is not the same thing as their films, music, paintings, or whatever else. Is Chinatown a great film? Most critics think so, but that doesn’t mean that I in any way approve of Roman Pulanski’s behavior back in the late 1970’s.So maybe we can try to separate the questions, though I can certainly see why people are inclined to take notice qith a figure like Gibson, who has made his faith public in various ways and even a part of his art in one of his films.

  • jimsteinberg1

    Vicious punks are a dime a dozen, anti-semitic, anti-Black and otherwise. This applies equally to obscenely wealthy and hypocritcal punks such as the ostentatiously “Christian” Mel Gibson.

  • jimsteinberg1

    Vicious punks are a dime a dozen, anti-semitic, anti-Black and otherwise. This applies equally to obscenely wealthy and hypocritcal punks such as the ostentatiously “Christian” Mel Gibson.

  • youngj1

    He a feakin actor for gosh sake!

  • obx2004

    Let’s see, Gibson has looked to present himself as this old-school, conservative Catholic.He leaves his wife of, what, 30 years, takes up with a mistress, gets her pregnant out of wedlock, espouses anti-Semitic views, uses the N-word, and now allegedly under investigation for allegedly punching his girlfriend during an argument.Yep, seems to make sense.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    He a feakin actor for gosh sake!Posted by: youngj1 Lately, just a freak.

  • frozengrrl

    Wait, are you actually asking how a religious person can be a hypocrite? Tee hee.

  • obx2004

    Some Catholics are returning to the true faith and liberals are afraid, as they should be. Um, afraid of what? And some catholics returning to the faith in comparison to how many who have left? Especially after the whole child molestation thing.If you want to give your hard-earned money to fund a palatial estate in Rome (as opposed to actually helping the poor), that’s your privilege.

  • 5amefa91

    Two figures both alike in indignityThe greater one dying by alcohol poisoning And the lesser dissipated by stimulants

  • Jihadist

    There was on Jon Voight before in On Faith. Now on Mad Max the Lethal Weapon in words and behavior in his private and public life. We will see more discussions in On Faith on movie stars re what they say and do?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Pardon this digression from the matter of the all-important Mel.Last week, I posted a quasi digression arising from news that a gay black student has been the victim of anti-gay violence. Yesterday, I went to see him.This former student of mine suffered several bone fractures and will need weeks to recover. Two of the thugs who brutalized him involved have been arrested.I have asked several times, as have others, why the opposition to gay rights in African American churches is not addressed.Some large well-to-do African American Churches, anti gay rights, actually post outside their buildings hateful “pictures” of the “real men don’t” type, depicting what the artists’ apparently think of as gay white men. And these churches do worse.Having seen the effects of this Church sponsored hatred, which include almost unspeakable violence against gay black men and women, I cannot fathom why OnFaith refuses to take up the issue.It is all the more alarming that OnFaith does take up the issue of white church discrimination against gays, suggesting that gay black people either do not exist or do not count.Word to OnFaith: GAy black people exist, ARE human beings with the same rights as gay whites, straight people, and everyone else.When does OnFaith plan to address this issue, David Waters?

  • ottamwalker

    There are many religions, many races, but only two genders. Mel and his hate bring everyone down, but in reality it’s women who usually deal with the physical outbursts.

  • areyousaying

    Some Catholics are returning to the true faith and liberals are afraid, as they should be.As a liberal, I am afraid of those returning to Bill Donohue’s “true faith” of racism and homophobia Gibson demonstrates. I’m especially afraid for the child victims of this “true faith” that has a time honored tradition of its clergy helping themselves to the bodies of little boys while other supposed “Men of God” including Ratzinger lie to deny it, cover it up and blame others.

  • areyousaying

    As much as it pains me to say it, I’m with Farnaz.When is the oppression of gays by Black churches going to be exposed? To be gay and black in America is a double whammy. Black clergymen are notorious gay bashers. Simply look at the rhetoric from DC’s black clergy for proof.