Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A few words about Mel

Most everyone has heard by now of the unfortunate incident with Mel Gibson being arrested for DUI during which he made some very stupid anti-Jewish remarks.

Let's get my view of Mel out front. I really like most of his movies. (The only ones I don't care for are the so called romantic comedies: they are real snoozers.) And while his historical movies aren't all that historical, they are great to watch. A lot of his personal life is very edifying. His involvement in possibly schismatic traditonalism isn't my cup of tea. (If I lived where he does, I would likely go Eastern Rite rather than step out of communion with Rome.)

Evidently he has struggled with addiction several times during his life. This is a horrible thing to have to deal with. It can warp one's entire life. I admire greatly those who day by day struggle in recovery. We learn from them that it isn't easy and often times it requires several attempts. Addiction isn't an excuse for poor behavior, but we can certainly have compassion for those who are afflicted.

He was also, evidently, raised with bigoted opinions regarding the Jews. His father seems to be a real piece of work; a sedevacantist who blames the Jews and the Masons for a conspiracy to undermine the Church. Mel must have been affected by this stupidity. Being raised around bigotry affects one deeply. Even when these opinions are rejected later in life they can resurface. Especially when a person is not in control of his faculties, such as when one is drunk. Mel's anti-Jewish remarks seem to fall into this category. Stupid yes, hurtful certainly, but not opinions held of deep conviction.

So now Mel has issued an apology. I hope it will be accepted, though I doubt the ADL and friends will. They can make too much political capital by making him an example. He is also in treatment. I pray that this will help him in his struggle for sobriety.
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