Gibson and the Right

Props to Power Line's Scott Hinderaker Johnson for breaking with the Popular Front two years ago and finding "The Passion of the Christ" an anti-Semitic movie when he first saw it. Gibson is a virulent anti-Semite, attracted to insane and gratuitous violence. He is Father Coughlin remade for the 21st Century. But Hinderaker's best point is one reason this story is still important today - and more important than the MSM has understood. Money quote:

I found myself wondering how this movie would be seen by Arabs and Muslims - the kind of Arabs and Muslims that surround Israel. I think Gibson's film is crude in ways that would make it popular viewing on Arab television outlets that otherwise specialize in 45-part serializations of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Where am I wrong?

He was not wrong, and that, in part, was the obvious effect of the movie: to revive ancient anti-Semitism, to foment it in the Middle East and to endanger Israel even more. For one of the most repulsive defenses of the movie - that its critics were fomenting anti-Semitism more than Gibson - read this National Review essay by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. This movie was an enormous cultural event and it came from the mind and soul of a vicious anti-Semite, at a time when Israel's existence is on the line. And yet many Jewish neocons went out of their way to defend it, for the purposes of their alliance of convenience with the Christianist right. Here's another priceless quote from Lapin:

Surely it is now time to analyze the vitriolic loathing demonstrated by various Jewish groups and their leaders toward Mel Gibson over the past six months. This analysis might help forestall some similar ill-conceived and ill-fated future misadventure on the part of self-anointed Jewish leadership. At the very least it might advance human understanding of destructive group pathologies.

As the whole world knows by now, Mel Gibson, his movie, his father, his church and anything else even remotely associated with Mr. Gibson have been smeared as anti-Semitic. From the immoderate assaults, you might have thought that the target was a thug with a lengthy rap sheet for murdering Jews while yelling "Heil Hitler." From the intensity of the rhetoric you would have thought that from his youth, Gibson had been hurling bricks through synagogue windows. Yet until "The Passion," he was a highly regarded and successful entertainer who went about his business largely ignored by the Jewish community, so why now do they hate him so?

Once Mel Gibson revealed himself to be, like the President, a person of serious religious faith the gloves came off. Mel Gibson has done a major favor for serious faith, both Jewish and Christian, in America. He has made it 'cool' to be religious, but in so doing he has unleashed the hatred of secular America against himself personally, against his work, and against his family. God bless him.