Personal responsibility? No thanks, I’m a conservative.

Poor Mel Gibson. First he makes a sadomasochistically-tinged movie about the death of Jesus, true to the conservative pro-Roman line if not to actual history, that fleeces the evangelicals and reaps a boatload of not so ill-deserved controversy. Then he goes on a drunken tirade in which he makes inexcusable antisemitic remarks. Guess what he blames?

That’s right…everything but what he SHOULD blame, which is his own decidedly antisemitic upbringing. That part is sacrosanct, because it’s his Faith.

Mel Gibson has said his anti-Semitic outburst in July may have stemmed from resentment over the criticism levelled at The Passion of the Christ.

Gibson’s 2004 depiction of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion had been attacked by Jewish leaders, who said it could incite hatred towards Jews.

He told US TV’s Good Morning America he was “ashamed” of what he said.

“I was subjected to a pretty brutal public beating. I thought I’d dealt with that stuff,” he said.

“But the human heart can bear the scars of resentment, and it will come out when you are overwrought and you take a few drinks,” he told ABC interviewer Diane Sawyer.

In the interview, screened over two days, the actor and director also said his statement to police that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” grew out of concerns about violence between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Asked by Sawyer, “what are the Jews responsible for?”, Gibson replied: “They’re not blameless in the [Middle East] conflict.”


Gibson himself is a conservative Catholic and has been vocal about his opposition to abortion, birth control and divorce.

He also denied being influenced by his father, Hutton Gibson, who has publicly said he doubts six million Jews were killed by the Nazis.

Some would give him kudos for trying to come clean, but I say this attempt won’t wash. I find the “not blameless” part about the Lebanon invasion very telling. Blaming the government of Israel (which is predominantly, but not entirely, Jewish) for it is one thing, blaming “the Jews” (a far broader group of people) is quite another! And while responsible commentators say the invasion was the doing of Israel and take pains to make that distinction, Gibson just lumps all the Jews of the world together, in effect. That’s very sloppy thinking, and must not go unchallenged.

In fact, sloppy thinking is a conservative hallmark unto itself. It’s the same mental indigestion that holds, for example, that the Jews will all burn in hell because they haven’t accepted Christ as their savior.

If Mel Gibson is really serious about “trying to heal” himself, as he claims, he’ll have to deal with his mucky upbringing and its mental legacy sooner or later, and work to educate himself to the contrary. Otherwise, he’ll end up as nothing more than a dry drunk.

Just like a certain other unaccountable, deeply-in-denial prominent conservative I could name here, but won’t.

UPDATE: Mel’s been analyzed–and found wanting. What a surprise.

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