Christopher Hitchens addresses the latest media meltdown by Mel Gibson. It’s great stuff; people are making all these excuses for him, that he’s not really a racist, he’s not really violent, he’s not really a misogynist, he’s not really a loathsome wackjob…but Hitchens cuts through it all.
This is extraordinary. We live in a culture where the terms fascist and racist are thrown about, if anything, too easily and too frequently. Yet here is a man whose every word and deed is easily explicable once you know the single essential thing about him: He is a member of a fascist splinter group that believes it is the salvation of the Catholic Church.
And then he follows up with damning examples from Gibson’s father and Gibson’s own actions.
It adds a fresh new perspective to all those fans of Gibson’s labor of love, The Passion, a sadistic piece of bloody anti-semitism. What Gibson rages about in (imagined) private and what he put on the screen in that movie are awfully hard to separate. One of Gibson’s most ardent defenders is right-wing Catholic kook Bill Donohue:
Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, OK? And I’m not afraid to say it. That’s why they hate this movie. It’s about Jesus Christ, and it’s about truth. It’s about the messiah.
And Donohue is still flogging this line against anyone who criticizes Gibson:
[Frank] Rich is particularly angry at anyone who dares to mention the role played by secular Jews in fomenting anti-Catholicism. I am one Catholic who will not run from this charge. It is painfully obvious, that most of the anti-Catholicism that exists today comes from two major sources: ex-Catholics (and those with one foot out the door) and secular Jews.
It’s a disorder that isn’t restricted to Catholicism, though; the other recent expression of these anti-semitic views is none other than Glenn Beck.
Jesus conquered death. He wasn’t victimized. He chose to give his life. He did have a choice. If he was a victim, and this theology was true, then Jesus would have come back from the dead and made the the Jews pay for what they did.
Any day now they’ll be talking about blood libel. Isn’t it time now to stop pussy-footing around? These people are anti-semitic proto-fascists, their prejudices propped up by truly weird religious beliefs.