Monday, August 07, 2006

Mel Gibson...Why forgive him?

I personally was appalled by Abe Foxman's recent acceptance of Mel Gibson's appology ( even if it's a somewhat superficial apology). I came across this article that really hits the nail on the head. It quotes Mel gibson saying "Please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot." Here lies the problem the statement he made ceratinly show he is clearly a bigot and as the article points out he needs to come to terms with his bigotry. Perhaps a bigotry annonymous is in order. He needs to declare as the author says:My name is Mel and I am a bigot.


Don Anderson said...

“On The Road” to Yom Kippur
It is better to have no Torah at all and maybe learn than know then dismiss Yom Kippur. Should it be for me to forgive Mr. Gibson when it is clear that when all is said and done, he is the injured party? While I am sure anti-semitism sloshes around, not so near the bottom of Mr. Gibson's heart, I count myself fortunate that my stupidity is not on display for the rest of the world to feast on. He doesn’t need alcohol rehabilitation so much as deprogramming. When I was growing up I wondered why others regarded Jews primarily as victims of rampant ignorance until it occurred to me that they didn’t understand Yiddish.

To understand the history of Jew hatred, it is best to begin with failure of some Christians and Muslims to understand their own religion. It is sad that misunderstood religion often provides a disturbing dynamic binding a congregation into a powerful if temporary singularity. The Yellow Pages tells it all. Modern Christianity leaves a trail of splintering congregations in frustration, keeping constuction crews busy in all economies. It is ironic that both Christianity and Islam are dependant on Torah and without a closer look might leave an observer perplexed; wondering what the source of hatred could possibly be. One might suspect the problem is that their scripture is too poetic; leaving important issues poorly explained.

Part 1. of the problem -
Much of our public school education was in the hallways as well as the classroom. Some of us remember what other students felt about "the rich kid". The feeling was that he/she was impervious to the terrors and subtlties of the teen society. His future seemed more or less secured and what’s more, his report card had little to do with future employment. There was peer resentment not very difficult to understand. It has to do with fate. What we do in our: families, jobs and social circle from moment to moment has a very tangible effect on what is likely to follow. It is what has our feet on the floor every morning at 7:00 a.m. But not so much for the rich kid. Every hatred has its own odour and anti-semitism always seemed to smell like "the rich kid” syndrome. Misundersood Christianity and Islam leaves its believers in a constant state of everlasting jeopardy. This fear is subsumed into the family dynamic sometimes to the point where an everlasating burning hell can be the backdrop of child development and behaviour control. Folks conditioned in this way often feel ill at ease around those walking the earth unphased by seething calls to repentance, as if their fate seems stable. Jews don’t talk about heaven and hell very much. We do believe there is a fate beyond this one but seem to others relatively unconcerned and even comfortable with it. It is as if their religion is a belief in a new and improved Judaism that has only managed to keep them in everlasting jeopardy. Our tribe with its beliefs and practices is the origin of their belief yet there is something very convincing and perhaps disturbing about our sense of comfort. A Chinese Buddhist or Indian Hindu is unlikely to look at Jews the way Muslims and Christians do. This is part of the problem.

Part 2. of the problem -
The other part is something we are responsible for. Over the lasat 55 years: network television, Hollywood, school cirriculums and Jewish as well as Christian pulpits rightly made the fact of the European Holocaust common knowledge. It is a matter of record that Jewish and Christian pulpits spent a good deal of time on the subject. The Holocaust is the history of 6 million victims of genocide. All the while our newspapers also mentioned: Mao’s China, Stalin’s reign of terror, those lost to genocide in Bosnia as well as several African countries while synogogues continued to rage on about our unique and seemingly more important tragedy. Six million were lost in Europe. Do you know how many were lost to other genocides. Did your pulpit rage. We expected others to buy into our pain and they did. We live in a representative democracy of which we represent 2% of the population. It hasn’t been our political clout but American Christian voters that kept American Aircraft carriers vigilantly watching over Israel’s fate. We are a tribe with a tick. We appear obsessed with: ourselves and only ourselves, our fate and our tragedies. How can we blame othes for preceiving that Jews regard the loss of Jewish life a greater concern to G-d than the lives of others. It may explain why Mel’s dad is a little resentful. As most sins are, his are inexcusable but possibly explainable.

Mel Gibson is not a problem. Mel Gibson made himself into a joke. He doesn’t need our forgiveness. He is just another poor slob like many of us in need of compassion. When considering upcoming Yom Kippur, consider how your spiritual development may have been stunted by a parent insisting you say you are sorry about anything before the age three. No matter the state of Mel Gibson’s contrition let us remember that while we are beating our chest in shule, most of us don’t have a billion dollar career or the jobs of many others tied to our sorrows.

Mel! You’re forgiven! Drink at home!

Stacey said...

I agree w/you, Jewish Blogmeister. It is all spin -- only because he was caught. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I will never spend another cent on Mel Gibson or his movies.