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« Sharpen Your Skills | Main | Thinking Responsibly »

August 01, 2006

Comments

I agree with your opinion of Mel Gibson's insincerity about his antisemitic remarks. My understanding of his apology is that he said today that "I'm not even capable of anitsemitic remarks". One thing I know from my own life is that, given the right circumstances, I am capable of any sin! I believe that is the proper judgment about whether we are "capable" of committing sin. His struggle with the abuse of alcohol is a pathetic excuse for what is really in his heart. "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"! Matt. 12:34

I think you missed Melinda's point.

Yes, I certainly did miss Melinda's point! (I guess you can tell I am not used to writing my opinions for all the world to see :) Anyway, I DO NOT AGREE with Melinda, after rereading what she said about Mr. Gibson. I do hope that she can objectively consider my viewpoint, inspite of my seeming lack of understanding at first reading.

"His struggle with the abuse of alcohol is a pathetic excuse for what is really in his heart."

Ouch - kinda harsh don't you think?

"His struggle with the abuse of alcohol is a pathetic excuse for what is really in his heart."

I'm always suspicious when someone claims to know what is really going on inside another person. God knows what's going on, but so far I haven't found a human capable of knowing what is on my mind or in my heart.

Melinda, I hope you're wrong, because I know I've said "if I've offended anybody" lots of times, and I didn't think I was being insincere. I say that sometimes because I don't necessarily understand how or why my words are offensive, but I still acknowledge that somehow or other they offended the other person, and I am sorry that I offended them.

I was impressed with his apology. He takes it head on, no obfuscation or deflection. He takes full responsibility. And he lays out a plan to make amends for what he did. It seems to me he is following Biblical model for repentance.
But... for now its just words on paper. Time will tell if he puts it in action.

I found this letter interesting:

"A military reader writes:

Like all G.I.'s in the theater, my soldiers in Iraq were keen consumers of pirated DVDs, which are, almost literally, a dime a dozen. When "Passion" was released, I was besieged with requests from Christian soldiers for copies - because I flew to Kuwait monthly to get various materials on the local economy, I had good contacts for pirated DVDs, video games, etc. (sorry Hollywood), and it was usually a few weeks before that stuff could make it into Iraq.

On my first approach to the best source I had in Kuwait City's Hawali district just after the film was released in the US, I was told that the Kuwaiti thought police had embargoed the film as Christian proselytizing, which is against the law (Kuwait's Ministries of Information and Communication have offices to "promote" public virtue), though Kuwait does officially have freedom of religion and there is a Catholic church near the old American Mission Hospital.

Less than a week later, my source contacted me with the good news - I could have as many copies of "Passion of the Christ" as I wanted. When I asked why the change, I was told that the Kuwaitis had viewed the film and saw, much to their delight, that it "correctly" blamed the Jews for the killing of "our" most important prophet! What better message for American G.I.'s than that? "

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/07/email_from_an_o.html

Sullivan has quite a bit more on this.

I quote the above letter because we need to remember that his films play world wide.

The deputy doesn't have a name that one would associate with being Jewish and Jews being responsible for all the wars goes beyond being drunk and angry. His remarks reflect a deep and pathological anti-Semitism and his statements so far reflect only the desire to remain a force in the industry.

As for apparent "sincerity" I would urge all to remember the tearful "I have sinned" carrying on by Jimmy Swaggart when he was caught in a career ending situation.

Comparison:
Clinton - Big Mistake, No Apology, No Corrective Action
Gibson - Big Mistake, Apology, Corrective Action that misses the mark.
In my past experience, when a person gets drunk, their inhibitions tend to fall away opening the window into the depths of their hearts (I’ve seen that in others as well as my shameful self). The therapy that Mr. Gibson is undertaking is aimed at closing the window and nailing it shut as to prevent others from peering inside again. If it was me in that circumstance and I was to do it "right", (and I know it's easy to say this from my chair right now), I'd have to do some deep inward searching of myself if I was truly remorseful and come to grips with the real source of the offence. It's do that now or do it before Christ in the resurrection when all that is hidden within us is revealed.
And Melinda, since this is the treatment that he's choosing, I'm doubtful that Mr. Gibson is truly sorry to the Jews more than concerned future publicity in the box office will be damaged

It seems that Gibson has a serious problem with alcohol abuse. From what little I have read he has been at times out of control.

It also seems likely that Gibson has anti-semitic tendencies.

I guess the question for me is does he recognise that both of these issues are problems that he needs to be healed of because they are wrong and hurtful for him and others or is he just worried about his investments and image to the world.

I don't have the answer to this question. Ultimately this is between Gibson & Christ. I think he deserves Christian prayer for genuine healing.

I am willing to wait for signs of repentance before judging his character.

I agree with Alan. The Bible is an anti-Semitic book. Pure and simple.

Alan, how is the Bible anti-Semitic? And please don't say it was the Jews who killed Christ.

I am very disappointed with Mr. Gibson's highly visible sin. Unfortunately, our entertainers have become our defacto spokespersons. However, as we sit back in our comfy chairs and say how aweful he is for his racist views, I wonder how our perspectives have been influenced by political correctness. Is racism worse than other sin like adultery (something which isn't viewed as taboo in our society)? I am also somewhat unfomfortable with the conversation saying that alchohol gives us an clear window into our souls. I am not certain that is the case. Isn't one of the great things about people is their ability to not say all that goes through their heads? It seems to me that by saying a person is truest when their controls are removed is selling him/her very short. I know the wretchedness of my own heart, and am glad it isn't visible for all to see. Or perhaps that appears hypocritical...

Hi Kevin, I'll assume you read a little too fast and point out that I didn't say the Bible was anti-Semitic, Jim said I said that which, if you read my post, you will see that I didn't say at all.

Jim, what's your problem?

Willian, this isn't just a personal issue as Gibson makes films that have wide distribution.

Jim, you were being sarcastic, right?

Alan, you are right. My bad.

Alan writes:
"As for apparent "sincerity" I would urge all to remember the tearful "I have sinned" carrying on by Jimmy Swaggart when he was caught in a career ending situation."

Hi Alan,
perhaps I am not following your logic here. Because one man offered tearful repentance whom many hold suspect, then no one can be sincere?

It is also possible that Mel is sincere. He surely is biggoted too though. Look at his father's comments over the years. Those things stay with kids and need to be worked through. Perhaps it is only in his drunkeness that the anti semitism comes out, in which case he needs to repent, confess that as sin, grow in grace. Like all off us!

Alan, sorry that I mis-interpreted your comments. I thought that since you quoted a letter which claims that Kuwaiti officials allowed The Passion (based on the Gospels) to be displayed because it was anti-semetic - that you must agree with that position.

Jim, thanks, I hope you realize that the POC is not the Bible. POC is arguably anti-Semetic and the Kuwati knew what they saw. Christians tend to focus on the sufferings of Christ and most of us haven't been raised with the anti-sematic coding that allows those who have to use the film to their advantage. After the arrest we need to view the film in that context.

Patrick, When mel acknowledges and repents of his anti-semetism and re-edits the film, we can begin to take him seriously. Until then I will assume, like Jimmy, he wants to preserve his situation.

"I hope you realize that the POC is not the Bible."

Yes, that is why I made this statement in my previous post - "The Passion (based on the Gospels)" - was that not clear enough?

"POC is arguably anti-Semetic"

Which parts and who decides?

"After the arrest we need to view the film in that context."

Do you mean by this that the meaning of the film changes because Gibson was arrested for drunk driving and made some anti-Semetic remarks? Is that because we know more about him now? How many other opinions does he hold that we don't know about? Seems unfair to me to color everything he has done by one drunken rant.

"When mel acknowledges and repents of his anti-semetism and re-edits the film, we can begin to take him seriously. Until then I will assume, like Jimmy, he wants to preserve his situation."

Seems like an incredibly high standard considering the lifestyle of most actors.

Jim - how is the Bible anti-semitic if it was written entirely by Jews and well over half of it is considered by Jews to be their scripture? Or are you saying the New Testament is anti-semitic?

Karen & Steve - while I share some of Steve's reluctance to postulate on the condition of someone's heart, my greater concern is with the claim implicit in Karen's comment, "His struggle with the abuse of alcohol is a pathetic excuse for what is really in his heart." Who said anyone, let alone Gibson, was using the abuse of alcohol as an excuse for the comments he made? It seems to me that Mel even addressed this in his statement when he said, "I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery." Seems to me he is acknowledging that there is something else going on in his heart that he needs to deal with, and it's not "just the booze talking."

Jim, all I meant was that there was extra-Biblical stuff in POC; some of the talk around the pic at the time of release made it clear that not everyone realized that, however in the context of your reply that is not what based means to you. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

Krauthammer and Larry O'Donnell, one a Jew and the other a Catholic, as well as others saw the classic anti-Semetic coding while Medved, Hewitt and others disagree. I am at a disadvantage as I haven't seen the film and that is why I used my "arguably" because I have read enough to see that there is at least smoke.

As I pointed out above, not all anti- Jewish remarks rise to the same level. Had Mel been arrested by Deputy Goldstein, a personal remark to the Deputy would have been one thing; however, at only a 0.12, to start ranting about Jews causing all the wars, is entirely another matter, especially when the Deputy's not obviously Jewish. One has to ask just where did this come from?

Art is personal and when a man makes a movie that has the Jews with sterotype hooked noses and takes out the English subtitle about generational guilt but leaves in the Aramaic so it can be subtitled in other languages and that man turns out to be an anti-Semite, then that has to tip the scale. There were people arguing that Mel wasn't an anti-Semite and neither was his film. Now we know that at least half the statement was false.

As for the remark about others in the industry. This is not just about personal failings - films can have a power; see the Nazi and Soviet uses of that medium. If it was there wouldn't be a story.

"All I meant was that there was extra-Biblical stuff in POC"

So which extra-Biblical parts of the movie were anti-Semetic?

"I am at a disadvantage as I haven't seen the film and that is why I used my "arguably" because I have read enough to see that there is at least smoke."

I saw the movie and didn't see any smoke (except that coming from the Roman's torches). On a tangent, since the Romans actually scourged, mocked, tortured,and crucified Jesus - why isn't the film anti-Roman?

"At only a 0.12, to start ranting about Jews causing all the wars, is entirely another matter"

What is the legal limit .08? So you are not saying he wasn't drunk - right? And how do we know that .12 affects a life-long alcoholic (as he refers to himself) differently from the occasional drinker? It seems like a lot of assumptions are being made considering you don't know the man and haven't seen the movie. Not knowing Gibson personally - I can't make that judgment.

"Especially when the Deputy's not obviously Jewish."

How exactly would one be obviously Jewish? Careful.

"One has to ask just where did this come from?"

And the answer is?

"Art is personal and when a man makes a movie that has the Jews with sterotype hooked noses and takes out the English subtitle about generational guilt but leaves in the Aramaic so it can be subtitled in other languages and that man turns out to be an anti-Semite, then that has to tip the scale."

I don't recall seeing any hooked noses in the movie. But I guess I wasn't turning over stones trying to find someting to be offended about. Gibson took out the sub-title from the gospel of Matthew as a concession to the American media. So are you saying that Matthew 27: 25 is an anti-Semetic remark? Should it be removed from the text? Or is Gibson's film being held to a higher standard than the Bible itself? How do you know that Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite? Because he made some remarks in a drunken rage? Have you ever said anything in anger that you regretted later? Let him who is without guilt cast the first stone.

"There were people arguing that Mel wasn't an anti-Semite and neither was his film. Now we know that at least half the statement was false."

No we don't. Only God does.

"Patrick, When mel acknowledges and repents of his anti-semetism"

He just did that in his written apology and has offered an olive branch to Jewish leaders. Its a start.

"and re-edits the film"
Ok, what parts of the Passion are anti-Semitic and should be edited out?
The parts where the jewish leaders in Jerusalem conspire against Jesus? Should we edit those parts out of the Bible too?

And time will tell if he is sincere.

Now I may have to rent this film. I have read the reviews and there are serious folks on both sides of this one. I don't know how familiar with the coding you all are so your opinion may or may not be relevant.

L. A. Deputy sheriffs wear name tags and names are often a clue. Deputy Murphy probably isn't Jewish while Deputy Feinstein probably is. No big deal here.

Rather than go back and forth i would urege interested folks to google the reviews and read pro and con.

California used to have a 0.10 level, now its 0.08. One is clearly and seriously impaired at that level and certainly at 0.12 however 0.12 isn't blackout level.

.10 — 0.125 BAC: Significant impairment of motor coordination and loss of good judgment. Speech may be slurred; balance, vision, reaction time and hearing will be impaired. Euphoria. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle at this level of intoxication in all states.


0.13 — 0.15 BAC: Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reduced and dysphoria* is beginning to appear. Judgment and perception are severely impaired.
( * —Dysphoria: An emotional state of anxiety, depression, or unease.)


0.16 — 0.19 BAC: Dysphoria predominates, nausea may appear. The drinker has the appearance of a "sloppy drunk."


0.20 BAC: Feeling dazed/confused or otherwise disoriented. May need help to stand/walk. If you injure yourself you may not feel the pain. Some people have nausea and vomiting at this level. The gag reflex is impaired and you can choke if you do vomit. Blackouts are likely at this level so you may not remember what has happened.


0.25 BAC: All mental, physical and sensory functions are severely impaired. Increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on vomit and of seriously injuring yourself by falls or other accidents.


0.30 BAC: STUPOR. You have little comprehension of where you are. You may pass out suddenly and be difficult to awaken.


0.35 BAC: Coma is possible. This is the level of surgical anesthesia.


0.40 BAC and up: Onset of coma, and possible death due to respiratory arrest.

First of all I would like to say (as an individual that is about to become a licensed physician) that BAC level stuff above is bunk, and is about propoganda as much as information.

It takes alot more alcohol then our states allow to be deadly on the road. In the ER, every serious alcohol related crash, invariably involves someone with a .25 BAC or higher. (I have seen it lower, more rarely, but I do take into account that you dont have to be drunk to get in a car crash). Its the .25 and above people that we fear on the road at night.

I feel bad for this Duke basketball kid that went top in the draft that got arrested for .10. I will take him out on the road at .1 over anybody driving thats older than 70. (gulp, including my grandmother).

I will acknowledge that people that never drink and hard core alcoholics get more intoxicated with lower BAC's. But the focus of my point still stands.

As for Mel, its imortant to realize at low to moderate ntoxication al alcohol does is lower our inhibitions. That means what we do is what we are ALWAYS inclined to do (and say) but its things we normally have the good sense NOT TOO. Examples are wife beaters, child molestors, anti-semetic comments, etc etc. Alcohol has a way of revealing what is in your heart.

Xselder, I've seen a lot of articles that seem to demonstrate problems ay lower than 0.25. Mel was reported to be swerving. I will agree that 0.12 will lower inhibitions but won't that level also effect motor control?

Yes, in the stringest of tests it will lower motor control.
SO does talking on a cell phone, to about the same degree, if not more.
You can goto jail for one, and not be fined for the other.

I also used the comparison to older people on purpose, yes there might be some loss of control at .10, but not nearly as much as the normal aging process has done at 75.

I did not hear Mel was swerving,
I heard he was speeding.

I had read that he was doing both. Given that you see really bad things happening at 0.25, would it not be advisable to have some whole number divisor as the limit? When I figure safety factors for ropes and fittings I look for a comfortable whole number multiple. If my life depends on things working, and it often does, I use at least 5 - 1. What is the problem with dividing by three - ~0.08 for something with the variables involved in driving a motor vehicle? BTW, I know a guy who got arrested for riding his horse drunk.

IMHO the DUI laws have gotten out of control. I think this is due in part because it son e of the rare political/legal issues that nobody is lobbying for on the other side of the fence. That is to say, unlike abortion and other hot bed issues, nobody ias argueing FOR drunk driving. Neither am I, I am only pointing out that the punishment no longer fits the crime in these cases of .10 BAC levels.

Hello, Alan. You said you hadn't seen the film so how can you claim the movie "has the Jews with sterotype hooked noses"? Some of the Jews in film may have had hooked noses. I didn't notice any such thing, but it seems that you have chosen to make judgments about something you know incredibly little about. This is interesting though, because it means you believe any Jew with a crooked nose is a sterotype.

You mentioned Dennis Prager's view of the film. You apparently didn't notice he says Christians see a film where the Savior gives up his life for us. However Jews see a film where they are depicted as killing the Messiah.

The film is no more anti-semitic than the New Testament. Only one's own misperceptions (or bias in you case) make it so.

If you believe the extrabiblical elements are anti-semitic (which would be difficult since you apparently don't know what those elements are), then either you believe Catherine Emmerich was an anti-semite or you know nothing about her.

I believe I used the term arguably as there are prominant voices on each side of this issue. The reality is this: When I find Larry O'Donnell and Charles Krauthammer agreeing that the movie is anti Semetic and that it is is full of classic anti-semetic coding, I'm going to allow that that is probable. When the guy who made the movie turns out to be an anti-Semite then I'm going to give their opinions greater weight.

Interestingly I found the following comment in a description of St. Catherine:

"they attribute supernatural motivation for Jewish antagonism toward Christ during the crucifixion"

One of the objections of those who found the movie full of anti-Semetic coding was that Satan was depicted as moving among the Jews.

I don't know why you mentioned her but perhaps it helps to make the case for the movie being anti-Semetic.

I'll try to rent the movie; I went out of my way to mention I hadn't seen the film just to keep things honest. I saw the trailers and some of them struck me as somewhat pornographic.

An addenum to the above: As in many things the definitive statement on POC will probably be the relevant South Park episode:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passion_of_the_Jew

Don't you love being lectured to by a guy who hasn't seen the film? Your pornographic comment shows just how ignorant you are of the facts.

Dictionary.com defines Pornographic as - obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.

Which part of the trailer was that in?

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