Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Mel Gibson Goes to Hell
There has to be some sort of statistic that can predict the time from when some public figure "gets religion", decides to pontificate to the rest of us and the moment of impact in which his career completely implodes. When "The Passion of the Christ" was released back in 2004, Mel Gibson became the darling of many a right-wing Christian. As a student of history, I had a pretty good idea of what was involved in a Roman crucifixion, and did not feel inclined to go to see "The Passion of the Christ". Yet, my email was flooded with requests from well-meaning friends and family imploring me to see this movie. It is now 2010 and I have still managed to refrain from viewing this film. Back in 2004, Mel Gibson was still way up on his high horse. He invested millions of dollars into what appears to be his own special version of Catholicism. It takes a spectacular brand of ego to invent your own religion, but blessed with career, looks and family, Mel Gibson was willing to fund the task.
Cynical me, I had seen this sort of self-righteous behavior before and quietly thought to myself: "This too shall pass." I checked the time and waited patiently for the moment when it would all fall apart for Mel. It did. I am not sure how it all went down, but my guess is that it went down a lot like this: Mel, a recovering alcoholic, started drinking again. This is not altogether unusual for an addict, but when coupled with a the sort of self-righteousness that would inspire one to found one's own religion, as Mel did, it can lead to some serious insanity. I think Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) needs to add a thirteenth step to their twelve-step recovery program which reads something like: "Upon recovery and finding one's higher power, thou shalt not pontificate to others about said higher power." Why is it that people who find themselves doing things like buying Oxycontin in a McDonald's (Rush Limbaugh) are so willing to tell the rest of us how to live and what to believe? I have never gone to McDonald's looking for much more than a burger and fries. If my life were to derail to the point of finding myself in a McDonald's looking for Oxycontin, I would hope it would occur to me that I might just have problem.
Religion has long been used to bully people into submission. Mel Gibson's nasty tirades show him for who he is, and apparently, he is not a very nice person. Just how many times does someone have to express their bigotry before we believe it?