By now Teh Internets are abuzz with tales of Mel Gibson’s drunken, abusive anti-Semitic rant during a COPS-worthy interaction with a sheriff’s deputy. Greg Tinti at Outside the Beltway is first out of the gate (that I’ve seen) suggesting that any gloating aimed at Gibson’s fundie fanbase is unjustified:
Don’t get me wrong, if this report is true (and I have no reason to doubt that it isn’t), then Mel Gibson is a total scumbag. But the implication that Christians that liked The Passion are now somehow guilty by association is just as ludicrous as making the same argument about people whom liked Braveheart and Lethal Weapon.
I’m actually sort of sympathetic here: I’m sure plenty of artworks I like, maybe even for partly political or ideological reasons, were made by terrible scumbags, and I don’t think that’s especially relevant. But I think it’s also silly to pretend that it’s no more pertinent in the case of Passion than Braveheart. Remember, back when the film was released, there was all that bruhaha over whether the film was anti-Semitic, or whether, as some of those who liked it fumed, such claims were just proof of the thinly-veiled hatred of the poor oppressed American Christian prevalent in the media. And in that context, it does seem to be an interesting data point that the guy who made the film starts ranting about how The J00z are responsible for all the world’s ills with what appears to be no more provocation than a couple drinks.
Addendum: Mad Mel has apparently issued an apology which reads in part:
I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry. I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse.
In a separate statement, he added that he “said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable.” See, it’s not that he got drunk and aired execrable views he normally has the minimal good sense to keep quasi-muzzled in polite company. Rather, he’s afflicted by this terribly illness that made him say all these terrible things. Though since this is a rather unorthodox symptom of ordinary alcoholism, he may want to hunt for some more novel condition to blame. Perhaps Jewrette’s Syndrome?