Don’t Hate Mel Gibson & … Part 1

Context – I don’t watch TMZ or E!. I don’t actively follow celebrity culture. I make it a point to not read the tabloids in the grocery store line because one of the best parts of my day is when we someone asks, “Can you believe that Angelina and Brad have broken up???” and I say, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” I read Rolling Stone and Paste magazine, click through Huffington Post, Christianity Today, a host of blogs and most of my news comes from Google.  Oh and I listen to the Relevant Magazine podcast (that’s how I heard that Ice-T got arrested and has a frog that’s getting knee surgery. Yep you read that right. We’ve come a long way since Cop-Killer. And frankly, that’s good for society.)

The thing is, I am aware that “Brangelina” are still together. It’s actually difficult to remain oblivious to a lot of celebrity culture – it finds you. For instance, on our mission trip we listened to a bit of the radio on our 20 hour van ride (thanks in part to our failing Belkin iPod FM Transmitter – lame!). In between the constant rotation between Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Train, there was a DJ talking about Mel Gibson’s latest recorded rant. We opted not to listen which got me thinking – Why are FM radio stations playing Mel Gibson’s temper tantrums to begin with?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am losing touch with certain aspects of culture. For some of it, it’s a shame, but for another aspect of it, it’s a welcomed relief. But back to the point, Why is Mel Gibson’s latest angry recording being played over public airwaves? The most common answer is the vague, “It’s entertainment.”  But why is that it?  I submit that it’s because every so often, “society” gives us license to hate someone.  The last few months it was Tiger Woods and now it’s Mel Gibson.

Believe me when I tell you that I am not interested in defending Mel Gibson. Of course I loved Braveheart, enjoyed Lethal Weapon movies and even thought Payback was pretty entertaining.   And though the Passion of the Christ was a pretty important moment in the last decade, there were a couple of things that bothered me (like a barely there, pretty anti-climatic resurrection scene. Seemed more like Caviezel rolled out of bed after a night partying with the Romans or something. I mean if you are going through the trouble of conquering death and coming back to life, let’s make it more convincing but that’s just me … and I Corinthians 15).

Regardless of who you are, you don’t have the right to hate Mel Gibson the person. Like all people (myself very much included), he has issues.  Thus, Christians should be praying for him. And not just for him, but for his girlfriend (Oksana), his children, and his family.

These scenes should remind us of the many homes throughout our world that are filled with verbal, emotional and even physical abuse. Recordings of Gibson ranting for the radio listener’s enjoyment is a mockery of their pain and also the countless homes that I have just described as abusive. So I urge, every time someone in media or in person brings up Gibson’s rage, resist the urge to pour on the disdain but instead pray for him and for the many who are controlled by the hurt and anger that is ruining lives.


  1. Mr. Hoff says:

    Nice to see you finally get this blog posted. I was eager to see the finished product after you talked about it.

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