Mel Gibson's Brother Thanks Rabbi, Defends Father
By Matt Abbott
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 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 [Chris Gibson] will always honor my father [Hutton Gibson], 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."
Meanwhile, William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (www.catholicleague.org), has issued the following press release, dated Feb. 19, 2004, regarding the controversy over the film and Hutton Gibson's views:
"The attack on 'The Passion of the Christ' is unprecedented in its ruthlessness. The script was stolen and given to those who could be counted on to slam it; tapes of the film were stolen and distributed to those who also could be relied upon to bash it; Mel's faith has been impugned charges that violence against Jews will occur after the movie has been shown are commonplace; attempts to bully Gibson into changing the film have been ongoing; demands for a postscript have been made by those who seek to put Gibson on the defensive; bishops have been badgered to get Mel's friends in line; the Vatican has been lobbied to criticize the movie; accusations that the movie is being kept away from Jewish neighborhoods have been made; fears that the movie will damage youngsters who see it have been expressed; demands that Gibson vet his script for approval to officials of the Catholic Church have frequently been made; critics have deceitfully gained admission into screenings of the film; highly personal questions about Gibson's life have been raised; sneering comments that the film may make a profit have been voiced; the way the movie has been marketed has been raised in a derisive way; demands that the film be censored have been made at public rallies; Catholics who defend the movie have been insulted by foes of the film; disrespect for Gibson's artistic rights has been voiced many times; and so on.
"Now they're going after Mel's 85-year-old father. As I have already told reporters, I will have none of it. The search-and-destroy operation being conducted by the movie's critics knows no boundaries. Make no mistake about it, those obsessed with killing this movie will not manipulate Bill Donohue into berating Hutton Gibson. Nor will they push me to ask for nformation on how I can contact their fathers, though the thought is tempting."
http://www.catholic.org IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author, 773 769-6416
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