I’m heartbroken about Mel Gibson. I defended him for a long time against accusations of anti-Semitism, and it was a defensible position.
But after what he said, it isn’t defensible anymore. I was wrong; he WAS an anti-Semite all that time. He DID agree with his dad. He was just more clever about hiding it than his old man was.
About the only valid defense left for Mel is that, perhaps, he’s conflicted in his beliefs. Maybe he only partly believes the things he said – maybe that’s why when he’s sober and collected he says one thing, but when he’s drunk and angry he says something different. Maybe. In any event, that’s between him and God to work out.
I suspect that people defending him right now are similarly heartbroken. After you invest a lot of emotional energy in defending something against what you perceive to be a wrongful attack, it’s very difficult to move that energy from the “noble crusade” column to the “stupid mistake” column. Not everyone can do it quickly, and so I hope we can have a charitable attitude towards those who may be struggling to justify their own past actions now.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for Jewish-Christian friendship and reconciliation, and it kills me that Gibson’s idiocy is going to damage the prospects for that in the short and medium terms. I’m sorry I ever defended him, and I wish that he had done a much poorer job of concealing his views, so that he would have been “outed” a long time ago.