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2004 Flashback: Mel Gibson's Brother Thanks Rabbi

By Matt Abbott
Op/Ed

Mel Gibson and his hugely successful 2004 masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ, have been bypassed by every Hollywood award-giving group thus far. And it's likely to get snubbed by the Oscars, too.

This, of course, isn't surprising, given Hollywood's hatred of authentic Christianity.

I doubt Mel cares a whole lot about what the Hollywood libertines think. I know I don't. But this does remind me of a news story I wrote in early 2004, prior to the release of The Passion of the Christ. I titled the story 'Mel Gibson's Brother Thanks Rabbi, Defends Father,' and, for the sake of nostalgia, here's the crux of it:

"Chris Gibson, a resident of Australia and brother of Mel Gibson, recently wrote to thank Rabbi Daniel Lapin, one of the few voices in Judaism who has spoken out in defense of Mel Gibson and his film, The Passion of the Christ.

"In an e-mail to Rabbi Lapin, president of Toward Tradition (www.towardtradition.org), Chris Gibson stated:

"'Dear Rabbi Lapin,

"'We have a well known saying in the great sport of Rugby down in Australia. 'Go you good thing!' is what we say when an Aussie is about to score the equivalent of a 'touch down.'

"'As some background, I am Mel's brother. And I guess that is all the background required, other than to say, that like many, I am a son, a brother, a friend and thanks to God, I am a father to a beautiful child and a husband to a beautiful wife. I live in Sydney, Australia as well, so I hope you and yours will forgive me if I say that God has blessed us doubly.

"'Rabbi, you might imagine that for many reasons I have followed this film and read much of the criticisms, both good and bad. About a week ago, I gave up looking at the press. I was a 'blubbering mess,' talking to my sister on the telephone; such were my feelings of the attacks on Mel and my father by some portions of the press.

"'Today, I decided I could cope again and now I know why. God has given me the opportunity to see what you have written [Why Mel Owes One to the Jews], and I am smiling, Rabbi!

"'Thank you so much for having respect for the beliefs of so many.

"'May God bless and keep you. And Rabbi -- Go you good thing!'

"Chris Gibson also told this reporter, via e-mail, that he is very proud of his brother for making 'The Passion of the Christ,' and that, 'I will always honor my father unconditionally. I know no man that has a stronger love of God or a stronger love of family. Without my father's vision, without his faith and without his teachings, no matter what people might do to deride him, The Passion of the Christ would not have been made. And that is not for any other reason than his inspiration. Maybe that is the reason he is under so much attack. For all the faults someone might find in an 85-year-old man...Well, let [his detractors] find them.'"

Also of note is Mel's charity -- in October, he "donated $10 million to two Los Angeles hospitals to help care for children from foreign countries."

God bless him. And Merry CHRISTmas to all!

_______________________

Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is a Catholic journalist and commentator.

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