Christopher Hitchens on Mel Gibson’s “Jew hatred”

When Hitch is good (and he’s not good very often nowadays), he’s outstanding. Like today:

There’s a lot to dislike about Gibson. He is given to furious tirades against homosexuals of the sort that make one wonder if he has some kind of subliminal or “unaddressed” problem. His vulgar and nasty movies, which also feature this prejudice, are additionally replete with the cheapest caricatures of the English. Braveheart and The Patriot are two of the most laughable historical films ever made. (Englishmen don’t form picket lines outside movie theaters when “stereotyped,” but still.) He has told interviewers that his wife, the mother of his children, is going to hell because she subscribes to the wrong Christian sect (a view that he justifies as “a pronouncement from the chair”). And it has been obvious for some time to the most meager intelligence that he is sick to his empty core with Jew-hatred.

This is not just proved by his twistedly homoerotic spank-movie The Passion of the Christ, even though that ghastly production did focus obsessively on the one passage in the one of the four Gospels that tries to convict the Jewish people en masse of the hysterical charge of Christ-killing or “deicide.” It is validated by his fealty to his earthly father, a crackpot who belongs to a Catholic splinter group of which our Mel is a member. This group more or less lives off the stench of medieval anti-Semitism. Allow me (as one who has Mel’s father’s books to hand) to give you an example. In an attempt a few years ago to heal the breach between the Vatican and the Jews, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger did his best to make nice. Jews did not accept Jesus as savior and redeemer, said the man who is now the pope, but they did originate monotheism. Therefore, Judaism could perhaps be regarded in some ways as an “elder brother” of Christianity. The response of Gibson senior was to say that Abel also had an elder brother. … You know what? I think that this qualifies as anti-Semitism, too.

Read it all -it’s a treat.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Oh, admit it, Richard. Hitchens is still a damn good polemicist. He’s just not always on your side (or mine either, for that matter).

August 1, 2006 @ 2:31 am | Comment

I find Mr. Hitchen’s credibility (and, to a
somewhat lesser degree, you’re own)
distinctly wanting on the subject of
religious bigotry; as Mr. Hitchens sees
absolutely no problem with describing
The Passion of the Christ as a ” twistedly
homoerotic spank-movie.”

When bigots like Mr. Hitchens are able to
present arguments without also resorting
to bigotry, he will have a much easier time
in convincing anyone that he has anything
important to say. Mr. Gibson can claim to
be drunk when he shot-off his mouth to
the arresting officer in Malibu. Mr. Hitchens,
I’m afraid, has no such excuse.

Lest you also be seen as a miserable
anti-Christian bigot, I suggest that you
choose articles a bit more carefully before
you post them to your blog.

-tim

August 1, 2006 @ 2:38 am | Comment

Tim, Hitchens hasn’t been sober in years. Seen him on TV lately?

As for the Mel Gibson thing: The guy’s an anti-Semite, which is as contemptible as it is obvious, but he’s also an alcoholic, which is a pitiable and degrading thing. I’m sorry for him more than anything else.

August 1, 2006 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Nice to meet you, Tim.

Sam, Hitchens is always a superior writer, but watching him this year try to justify his enthusiasm for the invasion of Iraq has been downright embarrassing.

And Brendan’s right about Hitch being on the bottle.

It’s always sad to see people fall into addiction, but I have to admit, when these people are Rush Limbaugh and Mel Gibson, it’s difficult to keep those thoughts of schadenfreude submerged.

August 1, 2006 @ 3:21 am | Comment

@tim souder: Most people here know that I’m zero-percent “anti-Christian”, and I agree with Hitchens that Gibson’s celluloid excrement was a “twistedly homoerotic spank movie” which was not the least bit representative of the teachings of Jesus.

August 1, 2006 @ 3:23 am | Comment

Dear TPD,

I was on holiday when Mr Hitchens wrote that article. But I’ll be back soon.

Sincerely yours,
Christopher Hitchens’ Pet Pink Elephant

August 1, 2006 @ 3:38 am | Comment

I second Hitchens’ desription of the movie, Gibson’s obsession with whips realy is pathological.

August 1, 2006 @ 7:57 am | Comment

Wow Tim!!

I don’t believe I have ever seen such a wondrous display of fearful defensive exposition so artfully intertwined with evidence to discredit the author. You certainly lost me when you used the quote about The Passion being a “homoerotic spank movie” to show a lack of credibility on the subject of religious bigotry.

I also have to say that it seems you have blatantly overlooked the lack of credibility of Mr. Gibson after he was so cavalier in his representation of history. I am not Jewish, but I don’t believe that being so would qualify me as Anti-Christian.

Lest you be seen as an uneducated, small-minded man, I suggest you check your spelling and grammar before you post your seething epistles in the future.

Richard: good article, I think the homoeroticism may have been one of the few redeeming qualities of that movie, don’t you?

August 2, 2006 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

Here is a site where you can post support, or whatever for Mel Gibson…

http:/www.supportmel.com

August 4, 2006 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

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