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Two years on.

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September 7, 2003

Mel Gibson, Christian. “I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick…I want to kill his dog.”

(New York Times columnist Frank Rich, the target of Gibson’s wrath, told the Daily News through a spokesman that he doesn’t actually have a dog.)

According to the News, Gibson “reluctantly” removed, from his weirdo ultramontaine Jesus movie, a particularly lurid scene involving Jewish high priest Caiaphas. “I wanted it in,” he said. “But, man, if I included that in there, they’d be coming after me at my house, they’d come kill me.”

Yeah, “they.” With their hooked noses, their interest payments, and their take-out Chinese food. Will their wickedness ever end? Quite the paragon, Mel Gibson.

A lot of phospors have been spent arguing over the extent to which Mel can be held to account for the views of his notoriously anti-Semitic parents, Hutton and Joye Gibson. As the New York Times reported, in a piece no longer available on line, Hutton and Joye…

—told the Times that the Holocaust was a fabrication manufactured to hide an arrangement between Adolf Hitler and “financiers” to move Jews out of Germany to the Middle East to fight Arabs.

“Go and ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body,” Hutton Gibson told the Times. “It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now six million?”

Said Joye Gibson: “That weren’t even that many Jews in all of Europe.”

But can Mel really be held responsible for this? Who cares? Here’s lovable Mel himself, in his own words, interviewed by Playboy in 1995:
IBSON: Women are just different. Their sensibilities are different.

PLAYBOY: Any examples?

GIBSON: I had a female business partner once. Didn’t work.

PLAYBOY: Why not?

GIBSON: She was a cunt.

There’s the voice of Christian compassion. Who could doubt him? [10:09 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Mel Gibson, Christian.:

jane ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 02:57 AM:

Unfortunately--as demonstrated in Braveheart--even drawing and quartering him won't shut him up.


Anna FDD ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 03:16 AM:

Well, yes, I have always been impressed with his tolerance and open-mindedness, as demonstrated by the hilarious defenestration of the prince's gay partner in _Braveheart_. No wonder he's ended up as the icon of xenophones and neo-barbarians here at home.

Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 04:47 AM:

Not to mention the casting of a short wimpy guy to play the future Edward II, and instructions to play him effeminate, because obviously England's only out gay monarch had to be like that.

Though Braveheart had so many glaring historical inaccuracies (no bridge at the Battle of Stirling Bridge: Edward III was born 12 years after William Wallace was executed) it still seems worth pointing out that one of them was that Edward II was a big, tall muscular guy who liked digging ditches. No contemporary account suggests that he was either wimpy or effeminate. He just had male "favourites", and his court doesn't seem to have been in the least bothered by their maleness, but by the fact that Edward II handed over altogether too much to his favourites, in power and land.

julia ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 08:08 AM:

I've been particularly fascinated by watching his evangelist comperes (as it were) come to his defense by suggesting that a new pogrom is going to result if those pesky, you know, people who live in Israel don't keep quiet and leave Mel's movie alone. He's even said that the Holy Spirit has chosen him to evangelize through this movie.

Which is kind of funny, because one of Anne Catherine Emmerich's signs that the end times were near was the appearance in the church of people who thought it was OK to (gasp) evangelize.

On the other hand, she was kind of an antisemitic loon, and she didn't write her own books, so what did she know.

Pope Clement the something in the teenth personally blocked her canonization around a hundred years before WW2 because someone who wrote those books wasn't to be considered for sainthood. Now, she's being considered again as a favor to, well, people like Gibson, but she's specifically being considered for general holiness and not for the book Gibson used, which is acknowledged not to be her work.

Oh, and Joye's not his mom. She's about 2/3 his age. His dad was a proto-shock jock in Australia, but they're really from just south of Peekskill.

Andrew Brown ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 08:40 AM:

I'm tryig to popularise the idea that the new filsm should be called Sacredheart. Please help.

Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 11:14 AM:

Yonmei --

You're forgetting Red William.

Simon ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 01:09 PM:

Yonmei wrote, "He just had male 'favourites'."

Good historical context, Yonmei, and it's worth adding that lots of kings had favorites: it was one effective way to govern in a suspicious age. What got Edward II in trouble was, as you said, the excessive power and privileges he gave to favorites who were manifestly unqualified both in talent and social background, for the job. (In a small, socially homogenous and tightly linked, ruling class, that too makes a difference.)

In fact, that's pretty much all the contemporary evidence we have for putting Edward in the "homosexual" category and not in the "how the heck should we know?" category. It's merely a presumption, and probably a good presumption, and but it's no more than that. "Out gay monarch" is a serious stretch of the historical evidence, and even of the Edward in Marlowe's play; and it's something of an anachronistic concept.

And the same applies to William II.

Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2003, 08:48 PM:

The "out gay monarch" comment was intended to be ironic, but I'm sorry: irony never comes across well online. Edward II is one of several British monarchs of whom we can make a fairly good guess were probably primarily sexually attracted to their own gender: he rather qualifies as "outed" after Marlowe's play.

Isabeau ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2003, 09:49 PM:

All I ask is that people stop saying he's a Roman Catholic. That's all I ask - and it's the truth, too.

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2003, 05:08 PM:

What Isabeau said. Gibson identifies basically with the pre-Vatican II Lefebre freaks. He's gone so far as to say he doesn't think there's been a real pope since Pius XII.

The New Yorker article this week is fascinating. (The Jesus War, which of course in not online.)

I would like to see the movie. And I liked Braveheart--suspecting even as I watched it that it was playing fast and loose with historical accuracy.

As far as his personal life--Gibson was basically a pretty boy who cracked under his super-star fame and embraced the Rad Trad faith of his dad--who is seriously whacked by comparison. Gibson's not far behind. Can you imagine being married to a spouse who thinks you're not going to make it to heaven??

Niall ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2003, 07:40 PM:

In addition to the outright misogyny and veiled antisemitism, I note from the linked material that Gibson is a creationist who doesn't believe in evolution. This puts him strictly at the lunatic fringe of Roman Catholicism.

Mind you, I have a neighbour who's in the same camp, she never misses a chance to lecture anyone she can buttonhole about the Latin liturgy and the false pope and all that.

My dog hates that woman. Barks like a loon every time she comes in view.

That'll do, Liath, that'll do.

Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2003, 12:59 PM:

That is the voice of hatred, as you know.

I've heard the voice of Christian compassion--here and in Making Light.

kennard ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2003, 06:00 PM:

"I want to kill him," he said. "I want his intestines on a stick"

That's William Wallace talking. You need a sense or irony.

Time has demonstrated that these comments have no traction.

adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2003, 11:13 PM:

Apparently, the 'kill the dog' meme is spreading:


Peoplesoft CEO's dog appointed VP of inflammatory rhetoric: Peoplesoft CEO Craig Conway's dog is fast becoming a key player in the battle for control of the company. Abbey, a black Labrador, has figured prominently in the ongoing war of words between Conway and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. In June, Conway described Oracle's unsolicited offer and plans to shutdown PeopleSoft's products as akin to offering to buy a dog and then shooting it. Ellison replied by saying Oracle had no intentions of discontinuing PeopleSoft's products, adding "if [Conway and Abbey] were standing next to each other and I had one bullet, trust me, it wouldn't be for the dog." (See "Conway's dog breathing easier after Ellison speech"). On Monday, Abbey made yet another appearance, accompanying Conway on stage for the keynote address at PeopleSoft's Connect user conference. They wore matching bulletproof vests. "Have you noticed how often Larry Ellison changes his mind?" Conway asked. "First, they're going to cancel all our products, then they're not. Then they're going to fire all our employees, then they're not. He's going to shoot the dog, then he's going to shoot me. So, Abbey and I have decided not to take any chances."

wombat ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2003, 11:19 AM:

"Sacredheart" is a nice nickname for his movie, but a bit unwieldy. How about "Bravecross"?

Random Surfer ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2003, 05:20 AM:

Just a note to the originator of this thread. Someone or something who is "ultramontaine" supports the supremacy of the Pope. Mr. Gibson's film can in no way be ultramontaine since its content and story concern a time and a place long before the establishment of that Papacy, thereby rendering it unable to make any comments regarding the Pope whatsoever. Additionally, Mel Gibson rejects the authority of the Vatican as an institution, and thereby, the Pope. As he stated in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, "My love for religion was transmitted to me by my father, but I do not believe in the Church as an institution." Hence, there is nothing ultramontaine about him either. Also, you failed to mention that the "lurid scene" involving Ciaphas was a passage from the Gospel of Matthew, not some heinous invention on Gibson's part (as one might assume from your apparent opinions about the film). In your mention of this scene, I find your use of the word "lurid" misleading. "Lurid" is a word that means "gruesome" and "causing horror." Usually it refers to something that is violent or sexually explicit - especially when describing a scene in a film, play or book. There is no such content in the aforementioned scene. In the scene, the High Priest Ciaphas speaks for the people in response to Pilate's denial of responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus. Ciaphas says that the people are willing to take the blame - indicating their opinion that it was the right thing to do. The scene also had nothing to do with Gibson's "intestines on a stick" quote. He said that of a journalist who was accusing him of anti-Semitism, a belief which he has openly and frequently said he despises. "I want to kill him," et cetera, was not the right thing for him to say, to be sure. But Christians aren't perfect people. Not even necessarily good people. Just sinners who realize they're sinners and try to follow the way of salvation - not always succeeding. Your title, "Mel Gibson - Christian," along with the tone of this series of posts seems to suggest that somehow you believe that Mr. Gibson is not any kind of Christian at all or that in being Christian, he is staunchly anti-Semitic and that this quote somehow proves that - which it in fact does not. Mel Gibson has been a man under assault spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and even physically (illness was rampant during filming) through the making of this film and the resultant backlash. He is highly passionate about this film and is deeply hurt and angered by assaults on his character resulting from it. I if I found myself in a similarly taxing situation, some very unfortunate words might escape my lips as well. Also, your assumption that the word "they" in his other comment is directed to Jews as a people is irresponsible and unfounded. Mr. Gibson is speaking here in obvious hyperbole about the ardor with which those who are offended by the scene are opposed to its inclusion in this or any film. This is not limited to Jewish people, nor is it extended to the whole of the Jewish race or religion by anything other than your flagrantly assailant attitude toward Mr. Gibson's character. He never set himself up to be any sort of "paragon" and has said things he most certainly shouldn't have, but that is no cause to discount the man's faith and sincerity wholesale. The Holy Spirit has indeed inspired many broken, frail and sinful people to do many great things and Mel Gibson is certainly no exception. In short then, I find your cursory and markedly hostile words about Mr. Gibson to be ill-informed and unfairly judgmental and I highly recommend that you find some compassion of your own before being so quick to point out its faltering in others. But that's just my opinion.

Freijakat ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2003, 01:36 AM:

Kudos to Randon Surfer. The movie is about our great Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The great thing is-we are all guilty of sinning-why do you think God had to send his Son to die for us? I think it is awesome that Mel Gibson is doing this movie. I am so excited to see something in the media that doesn't depict some immoral act etc. I think it's sad that some people feel they need to drudge up some of Mel's dirty laundry from his past to somehow put him down for playing Jesus in this movie. He's human, and a sinner like we all are, and has said things in the past that I'm sure he wishes he could take away-haven't we all? Also, I think we all need to stop speculating about Mel's religious beliefs. I think it's pretty obvious. And, if he wasn't a Christian in the past, it seems as though he has been born again, and that is all that matters now.

Spharion ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2003, 01:41 PM:

Escuse-me, Freijakat, the movie "doesn't depict some immoral act etc"? It's all about a man being tortured and then stuck to a stick and maimed by a lance and then dying! And about portraying some people calling the blame for that unto themselves and *all their descendants*.
Religion, sick men's dreams...

Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2003, 09:23 PM:

So where are you people coming from? Who linked this story? As a Jew I find the outrage over Gibson's film laughable--I just watched the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar a few weeks ago (on videotape) and it's quite clear in that movie that the Jews killed Jesus. I don't remember huge outcries of Jew-hatred when it came out, maybe I wasn't paying attention.

jon ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2003, 10:13 AM:

Spharion - maybe you're the one who needs to work on historical accuracy. First of all, the "all their descendants" quote is taken directly our of the Bible, as is virtually all of Gibson's movie. Of course, you could say that the Bible is anti-semetic, which would make tons of sense, considering that it was written almost entirely by Jews and since Christians have done more in history to help Jews (can anyone say Israel) than anyone else in history. But to consider the quote at all is an inaccuracy in itself, because Gibson kept it out of his movie to avoid controversy! Get your facts right before posting.

Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2003, 12:05 PM:


You seem to be ignoring almost two millenia of facts in your statement that "Christians have done more in history to help Jews". For hundreds of years Christianity persecuted the Jewish people, and after the rise of Islam, it was the Muslims who allowed the Jewish people religious libery and freedom, while it was Christians who segregated and even slaughtered the Jewish people.

The history of Jerusalem going all the way back to the fall of the Temple in 70 CE shows this quite clearly. It was Muslims who allowed the Jews back into Jerusalem, and during the Crusades the Jews frequently fought alongside and died with the Muslims. It was the Ottoman empire that served as a refuge for Jews following the expulsions from Christian Europe in the 15th century.

Christian toleration of the Jewish people is a recent developement starting only in the 19th century. So to be accurate, you statement is true only since the 19th century.

If you are going to look at the entire span of history, then it would be more correct to say that Islam has done more in history to help Jews than anyone else in history.

Does that mean that Christianity should act badly towards Judaism now? Certainly not. Should this past history be allowed to hide the fact of current Jewish/Christian/Muslim relations? Certainly not. But history is history.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 30, 2003, 01:39 PM:

Personally, I think that the number of times someone on the set of Gibson's movie has been struck by lightning is kinda funny.

It's traditional, y'know.

B.A ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2003, 11:07 PM:

En grand admirateur de l'homme qu'il est je me dois de vous rappellez qu'aucun messager de dieu n'a eu la te2che facile e0 re9pendre sa parole.
Mr Gibson est un homme entier par sa force de caracte8re et par sa foi!
Mais qui eates vous pour vous permettre de juger?
n'est-ce pas la te2che de Dieu le "jugement"?
Alors ouvrez plutf4t les yeux sur ce qu'est le monde aujourd'hui demandez pardon pour vos erreurs
mettez aussi votre pierre e0 la gloire de Dieu.

sh ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2003, 03:50 PM:

I've never been a mel Gibson fan-I mean he's ok. I was just fishing around on the computer and saw that he's become a christian. I'm reading what people are saying to him-if he's done or said some wrong things. Well...don't we all. Not like we want to, but humans have a sin nature. Fellowship with Jesus can change any heart so why not give him a chance to let Jesus work in his life and yours? I've said and done a lot of horrible things. There is'nt just a type of person that should be a Christian-we are all meant to fellowship with him. So way to go.

Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 01, 2003, 06:44 PM:

"Become" a Christian? He was raised one, raised in the Catholic church. He doesn't get cut any slack for being a recent convert.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 12:02 AM:

I love being argued with as if I had an animus toward Christians. There's an interesting (and awkward) alternate world.

People make the most amazing assumptions, based largely on their prejudices.

Then again, "people who parachute in from Google" don't tend to be the most perceptive subset...

Imelda ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 12:16 AM:

You can't just be raised a Christian. Sure you can be raised in a Christian home, be taught to do good Christian deeds, go to church all your life, and have a certificate of baptism at your birth saying you are a Christian, but not one of these things makes you a Christian. Being a Christian is where at the point of your life you realise you are a sinner, you repent, (that means be sorry but actually TURN from your sin) and follow Christ. Now a baby can't make this decision. So at one point in Mel's life he has had to or will have to make this decision. And that is when one becomes a Christian.

Can someone tell me...is Mel a Catholic or born-again Christian?

And to those who are bringing up what Mel has said..he shouldn't have and sometimes it may cast a shadow of the salvation of one. However which of you has ever said something (if u claim to be a christian) that has made other people think..now that's not very christian i wonder if they really are a christian? I know I have, I wish I didn't but unfortunately I did and praise God that Jesus did die on the cross and can forgive that one among countless other sins I've committed!

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 12:39 AM:

Oh, put a sock in it.

Yes, Mel Gibson the human being, flawed and fallen like all the rest of us, deserves Christian forgiveness and compassion for his transgressions and sins. God knows the rest of us do. If Mel Gibson showed up at my door, I'd break bread.

Meanwhile, Mel Gibson the public figure, who is by no means shy about using his fame as a battering ram, deserves to be held to at least the same standard of morality as that to which he holds all the people he forcefully and publicly declares to be less than fit Christians. If public Mel Gibson, superhero of piety, goes around calling people "a cunt," or declares his desire to kill their dog, he deserves to be compared unfavorably to the standards of compassionate behavior he claims to extoll.

Meanwhile, if very many more self-declared Christians are going to parachute into this thread in order to make arrogant and ignorant imputations without bothering to read a word of the rest of this weblog, I'm going to start deleting them wholesale. And you know something, I'm not going to feel even an ounce of guilt. Christian or otherwise.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 12:50 AM:

You're not even going to feel a teensy bit guilty about NOT LETTING YOUR VERY OWN ENFORCER DO IT FOR YOU?

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 02, 2003, 12:51 AM:

Okay, one tiny shot-glass of guilt about that.

adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2003, 01:53 AM:

Ain't love grand!

Imelda ::: (view all by) ::: December 03, 2003, 01:57 AM:

Hey Hey,
I read the whole thing before I posted. I saw that Mel called someonea c*** and I disagree and that made me very :S ! I was just asking some questions ok.