Is Mel Gibson a Hypocrite?

Posted: April 21, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Okay, I never thought I would ever write about something that happened on “The View” but as they say, “never say never”. The subject of Mel’s divorce came up and he was called a hypocrite because of it. The reason is that he has a very public and very conservative Roman Catholic faith. Clearly divorce is not something that the Roman Catholic church condones. It is assumed that Mel Gibson must then also have a position, at least before his own divorce was filled, that said divorce is a sin or at least wrong. So out comes the hypocrite charge.

Now I must confess that I only saw a two minute clip of the debate but it was pretty clear that the reasoning behind the hypocrite charge was that if you do something that you have said is wrong to do, then you are a hypocrite. That certainly seems to be the popular usage of the word. If I agree with that usage then I must conclude that everyone, everywhere is a hypocrite. After all, who among us has never, ever, done something that you knew was wrong and had previously said was wrong? We all have done things that we knew were wrong and said were wrong. Have you said that lying is wrong and then when you got a phone call you did not want to take said, “Tell them I am not in”. Have you said that stealing is wrong and then not returned the extra change that the cashier mistakenly gave you, money that is not yours and will need to come out of her pocket at the end of the night? You get my point. None of that is hypocrisy. It is plane old everyday sin. We all sin. We all do things that we know we should not and we don’t do things that we know we should. Read the seventh chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans and you will see that even the Apostle struggled with this.

To call someone a hypocrite is far more serious than being your garden variety sinner. Hypocrisy comes from the Greek word hypokrisis. It meant the act of playing a part on stage. It meant to pretend to be something or someone you are not. In order to be a hypocrite you have to know that you are not what you claim and you are intentionally deceiving people into thinking you are that. Jesus called people hypocrites on a number of occasions.

Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Jesus was speaking out against people who were pretending to be spiritual. They prayed so people would see them pray, not so they could get closer to God. They practiced fasting, not so they could grow in holiness but so people would think that they were holy. They even gave money to the poor, not so the poor would be blessed or God would be honored, but so people would honor them for being generous. They pretended to pray to get close to God, and fast to get more holy, and give in order to serve others. But all the while it was so people would praise them. That is hypocrisy.

Is Mel Gibson a hypocrite? Nope, I don’t think so. Is he a man who has deep convictions about some things? Absolutely! Does he always have the strength to live up to those convictions. Absolutely not!

Can you take out Mel’s name from the previous paragraph and insert your own? I know I can. I am not the man Christ wants me to be. I am not even the man that I want me to be. I suspect that you are not the person that Christ wants you to be or that you want to be. That is called being human, being a sinner in need of God’s forgiving grace. Since we are all in the same boat, maybe we ought to all be giving each other a little bit of that grace. That doesn’t mean we never say that something is right or wrong. We must do that. But we must do it with grace and mercy. Why? because Jesus said to love others the way you would want to be loved.

Comments
  1. Rich says:

    Would I rather have a conversation with Joy Behar (divorced in 1981), Barbara (twice-divorced, affair with a married Senator), or Whoopi (remember the Ted Danson affair that broke up is otherwise happy marriage?), or Mel?

    Interesting who is casting the “first stone.”
    Who is more authentic and less hypocritical? Who would I rather have a conversation with?
    I’d choose Mel any day.

  2. Mel should NOT be concerned with what Joy Behar, Barbara Walters or Whoopi Goldberg thinks.

    He only needs to be concerned about what God thinks!

    God Hates Divorce!

    “A husband must not divorce his wife.”
    1 Corinthians 7:11

    “Let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth”
    Malachi 2:15

    “The Lord was witness to the covenant made at your marriage.”
    Malachi 2:14

    “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman, commits adultery.”
    Luke 16:18

    http://www.cadz.net/

    http://www.marriagedivorce.com/mdreform2.htm

  3. Roger Butner says:

    Very well said, Dan!

    Know the Truth – Certainly can’t argue with your point. But just for the sake of discomfort:

    “This is what the LORD says: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.”
    Isaiah 50:1-3

    “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.”
    Jeremiah 3:8

    God is divorced?!? What was that all about? Could this explain part of why God so clearly says he hates divorce? Just something to think about.

  4. Jeff Crandall says:

    Lets us not forget that Christ gave us grounds for divorce. Matthew 5:32 (NIV) ‘But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.’ We don’t know what happened inside of their marriage and it would be purely speculative to postulate a cause. The male of the species is not always the unfaithful (Janus Report on Sexual Behavior (1993) found: 25% Women Cheat, compaired to 33% of Men). I am by this statement in no means speculating that any unfaithfulness took place, simply that Christ gives us an EXCEPT statement in his teaching. Christ also said, that we are to render unto Caesar, indicating that we are under the law of the land. It is important to note that Mel didn’t file for divorce and the current law of the land will not permit a man to refuse divorce. He did not initiate the divorce, nor could he stop it if he wanted to. To be a hypocritical implies action. If Mel as not taken any action, how could he be a hypocrite? Something to think about. Perhaps he is or perhaps he isn’t? What I do know is that this plank in my eye hurts sometimes.

  5. Roger said:

    “God is divorced?!? What was that all about? Could this explain part of why God so clearly says He hates divorce?”

    “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.” Jeremiah 3:8

    God did divorce Israel BUT then He made this statement…

    “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I AM MARRIED TO YOU.” Jeremiah 3:14

    Wow, after a divorce He goes on to say…for I am married to you.

    People like to say, “Yes, God hates divorce, but God is divorced.”

    Most people do not study what comes after the divorce, where God says He is still married, the divorce did not dissolve the marriage.

    The Lord says, He is still married AFTER He has given her a ‘certificate of divorce,’ a certificate that many people say DISSOLVES a marriage. Divorce does not dissolve anything. God was still married after a divorce.

    The Lord is not confused about what effect a ‘certificate of divorce,’ has on a marriage, but we are. A civil divorce has no power to dissolve a marriage. The laws of this land and God’s laws are not the same. We are to follow His doctrine on marriage, not the worlds. What this world is doing with marriage, divorce and remarriage is evil in the sight of God, for marriage represents Christ and His Church.

    Another verse showing that divorce does not dissolve the marriage is Luke 16:18.

    “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

    ONLY divorced people commit adultery when they marry. Why is that?

    Divorced people are not single. People who are truly single do not commit adultery when they marry.

    Divorced people are still bound in their original marriage, the divorce did not free them or the charge of adultery would never be put to them. Adultery is something that can only be committed by a person who still has a living spouse.

    Real single people are never charged with adultery when they marry because they have no spouse to commit adultery against. Divorced people still have a spouse to commit adultery against.

    Divorced people are charged with adultery, just like everyone else who has a living spouse and are in sexual immorality.

    The definition of adultery is someone having a sexual relationship outside of a marriage. So, according to Luke these remarried people are having a sexual relationship outside of a marriage. How is that possible? The divorce did not dissolve the marriage covenant they are in, just like God’s divorce did not dissolve the marriage covenant in Jeremiah 3:14.

    Divorce does not free you from a spouse. Yes, the government can say they dissolved the marriage, but shouldn’t we look into what God says about this matter?

    “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.”
    1 Corinthians 7:39

    “The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul.”
    Proverbs 6:32

    “Adulterers…will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9

    An excellent online book to read about the permanence of marriage is below:

    Have You Not Read? by Pastor Casey Whitaker

    http://www.marriagedivorce.com/HaveYouNotRead.pdf

    For more resources about the permanence of marriage check out these sites:

    http://www.cadz.net/

    http://www.marriagedivorce.com/mdreform2.htm

  6. Evan says:

    The Catholic Church does not recognize divorce. Annulments are possible with very clear guidelines. They are based on the idea that the marriage was not valid in the first place (for example, one partner refuses to have children, one is homosexual or lesbian etc). If annulment is not possible, Gibson will remain married as far as the Church is concerned. That will require him to remain celibate for the rest of his life. If he remarries he will be guilty of adultery. That would put him in a grave situation, particularly ironic for a super traditionalist Catholic. It is sad that Gibson’s marriage has failed however since Gibson’s wife is applying for a civil divorce, the charge of hypocrisy would really only apply if Gibson remarried or engaged in sexual activity with someone other than his current wife.

  7. chris says:

    Hypocrite – a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
    2. A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

    How does that not perfectly describe Gibson, his years long hidden-from-public separation, and his pending divorce?

    “After all, who among us has never, ever, done something that you knew was wrong and had previously said was wrong? ”
    Your argument is bunk; comparing venial to mortal sins, apples to oranges. Divorce is a serious business. Considering how gibson comes across as an conservative who states his religious beliefs as a crux for directing ultra violent movies, he is the very epitome of a hypocrite. Anyway, the truth will come out. The divorce settlement is set to be a record breaker.

  8. Karl says:

    Annulments are a sad reality and a sad joke in the Catholic Church. They are a dime a dozen and the members of tribunals are lusting to give them away to “justify” adultery and all the crimes which that entails. Stop in at Bai McFarlane’s yahoo group to hear some stories.

  9. Dan Lacich says:

    Chris,
    You are correct that the truth will come out. Until I learn something more I am willing to give Gibson the grace I would hope others would give me and not call him a hypocrite unless it is abundantly clear that he is.
    As to the apples and oranges of mortal and venial sins, I don’t find those categories in Scripture even though as one who as a degree in Roman Catholic Theology from a R.C. University, I am well aware what is taught concerning them.
    Dan

  10. chris says:

    Mel Gibson has the difficult position as one of the few ultra conservative celebrities in a sea of liberals and scientologist peers. He has an image and reputation to maintain. If he is willing to direct a movie (and make money) on such a extremely sensitive subject matter as the crucifixion of Jesus, surely we can uphold him to the highest tenets of christianity.

    “Have you said that stealing is wrong and then not returned the extra change that the cashier mistakenly gave you…None of that is hypocrisy. It is plane old everyday sin. We all sin.”

    Stealing pocket change is incomparable to what gibson has possible done and irrefutably did – infidelity,pending divorce, etc. With your credentials, how can you possibly compare what gibson is/has done with “plane [sic] old every day sin”? You are comparing petty larceny and such with a betrayal of trust in a 20 year marriage. And if you need more evidence, googling “mel gibson cheating on his wife” yields plenty of links to damning pictures.

    This is a moot point,anyway. Even if he is / isn’t a hypocrite, gibson has already proven himself to be a antiquated drunken racist with a penchant for tasteless violence (see police transcript,apocalypto). I garner that his longtime separation aka cheap technicality from his wife only ended because his affair came to public scrutiny and he was forced to play the divorce card.
    – just the opinion of a college grad, albeit only a degree in engineering.

  11. Evan says:

    Chris, we don’t really know the facts. Gibson may be guilty of adultery but I don’t know that for a fact. He may have been a terrible husband. Again, I don’t know that. All that I know is that his wife is suing him for divorce. At the very least he has to remain celibate unless he can get an annulment allowing him to remarry. I don’t doubt that the annulment process can be abused however I am looking at Gibson from his own extreme traditionalist point of view. In the eyes SSPX (I believe he is a follower) he will have to refrain from sex if he wants to maintain any credibility as a
    traditional Catholic. It may indeed come out that he is not a very nice person. We’ll see.

  12. Joey J. says:

    Well Gibson is considered a hypocrite in the public view – he holds/held staunchly conservative christian views and publicly stated as such numerous times yet. At the heart of these views includes things such as the sanctity of marriage. At the same time he was womanising and cheating on the mother of his children. So sure let he who is without sin cast the first stone etc. etc. Not claiming I am perfect, in fact far from it.

    BUT if you are a public figure, on record, and you have gone against what you have stated then yes you are hypocrite according to Joe on the street. It’s the old do as I say not as I do.

    By the way if you are looking for a definition of hypocrite, look up Pastor Ted “I’m a heterosexual with issues” Haggard, what a hoot that story is.

  13. Dan Lacich says:

    Joey,
    I guess where I land with the idea of a hypocrite goes back to the definition of the Greek word as I mentioned in the original post. It was the word for actors in a play who were intentionally being something that they knew they were not. The Pharisees that Jesus called hypocrites fit into that category. They had no intention of being authentic in their relationship with God. It was all a show to them, like actors on a stage. I think that is different from a person who really wants to be what they proclaim is the right kind of person but has their own personal demons that they struggle with.

    I Gibson’s case I have read quotes of his that years ago acknowledged his awareness of his sinfulness and need for grace and forgiveness. It was one of the things that motivated making The Passion of the Christ. Maybe I am splitting hairs but that does not strike me as hypocrisy so much as it is human weakness. You are probably correct that in much of the public perception he is a hypocrite. I just wonder where the line is drawn between hypocrites and sinners like the rest of us? Is anyone who tries to proclaim what is good and honorable to do, yet unable to keep that standard, to be seen as a hypocrite? If so then I really think we are in the position of all being hypocrites on some level.

    As far as Ted Haggard is concerned, man I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around that one. I will leave that for someone else to figure out

    Thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to hearing from you again
    Dan

  14. Dan Lacich says:

    Chris,

    Your degree in engineering certainly helps you to think clearly and in detail. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I think we both agree that bottom line, Gibson’s life is a mess and he has made some questionable choices over the years. “There but for the grace of God, go I”.
    I look forward to hearing from you more in the future. It is good to get push back on things. I think it sharpens our thinking and benefits everyone
    Dan

  15. Evan says:

    If Gibson has been womanizing while proclaiming extreme orthodoxy, he is a hypocrite by the standards of the Catholic Church and not just the man in the street. I haven’t been following his life closely, so I don’t know if he is guilty of that or not. That his marriage is a failure, however, does not necessarily mean that Gibson is not sincere in his faith. I’m inclined to think that he is weak. We all have some weakness. For some it is sex. Sex gets most of the attention. For others it may be selfishness, pride/arrogance, greed etc. These are all sins and they may be far worse than an occasional sexual sin yet they don’t seem to have the same impact on the public. As for Ted Haggard, I think he too is very weak. He would be a complete hypocrite if he didn’t believe in his brand of Christianity but preached it. I suspect he really does believe it and is deeply ashamed of his behavior, a pathology really. Who knows how he rationalized his sexual relations? He may have been psychologically tortured but just unable to control himself. Extreme religious beliefs whether they be ultra orthodox Catholic traditionalism, Protestant fundamentalism, Jewish Orthodoxy or Islamic fundamentalism seem to lend themselves to inconsistent behavior because they are just so hard to adhere to.

  16. Francoise says:

    Let’s not forget that Mel Gibson is on record for announcing that his wife will burn in Hell for eternity, not for marital infidelity, but for the crime of not being a pre-Vatican 2 Catholic like himself. Great thing to tell your kids, isn’t it, that their mother will scorch for ever whilst Daddy enjoys the bliss of Heaven? But Mel can commit adultery will a clear conscience and happy heart- all he has to do is toddle off to Confession, and bingo! He’s as pure as the driven slush once more.

    Religion? Bah! Humbug!

  17. Dan Lacich says:

    Francoise,

    Clearly Gibson has major issues and I am certainly not an apologist for cheap grace that allows people to use forgiveness as an excuse to act horrendously. I have been fascinated by some of the responses to my post about him being a hypocrite. It is amazing how many people are angry with him and furious over what he has done. My whole point is that yes he is screwed up in a major way but that we throw the word hypocrite around way too loosely. To be a hypocrite would mean that he intentionally is trying to deceive, live a lie, and project himself as something he is not when he knows he is not that. Everything I have read and heard from Gibson is that he is well aware of the fact that he is a sinner and in need of forgiveness. The hypocrite would be one who knows that and yet denies it in order to look good in the eyes of others. It was that kind of person that Jesus called hypocrites. Notice that he did not call people hypocrites who knew they were messed up and needed help.

    As to you statement, “Religion? Bah! Humbug!” I couldn’t agree more. Religion is all about man’s attempt to fashion a way to God. It is usually about externals and rituals and very little about the heart. Give me a relationship with a God who loves me and I can love. That’s what I find in Jesus.

    Look forward to hearing from you again.
    Dan

  18. Bea says:

    There is a reason that religion is a relationship with God. If one takes a step to make it public, that’s a risk that you’re taking.

    I think “hypocrite” is an appropriate charge, as the only apology* he has given is that his marriage broke down years ago. He sought comfort outside his marriage, while publicly maintaining the picturesque family. He attempted to deceive. It is what it is.

  19. Bea says:

    *apology in the Greek sense

  20. Kevin says:

    If he was repentent he would not be causing scandal by continuing his relationship with the woman who he chose to break his marriage vows with. He is definitely acting in an unrepentent hypocritcal manner, sadly this dilutes his effectiveness as a witness for his Catholic faith. Unfortunately because his faith divorced itself from the sign of unity of the Church, the papacy and Sacred Tradition of the Church, he is lost the in sea without the barque of Peter to guide him. Let’s pray he becomes repentent and returns to the bosom of the Church so his light of faith can shine where it is so desperately needed. Perhaps, the success of the Passion and the financial rewards led to a life of virtue.

  21. Kevin says:

    Vice rather.

  22. Spencer says:

    Quit simply put, Mel Gibson very publically stated that divorce was a sin and then the following:
    ‘Mel’s 39 year old Russian “Singer” girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva is pregnant, in her second trimester, with his child. Meaning that Mel “Devout Catholic” Gibson was guilty of adultery, divorce, lying, cheating, saying really creepy stuff and being a general douchebag.’

    Additionally, he paid his wife 39 million a year in order to protect his career (the gravy train) due to his very public viewpoints…

    I think that says it all!

  23. Mary says:

    Mel Gibson = hypocrite. He fits the definition without a doubt. The damage he has done to the church as a whole is only overshadowed by the damage he must be doing to the faith of his own children It will be a miracle if they can keep their faith after witnessing the hypocrisy of their father.

  24. G says:

    Um… Not only did he cheat on his wife, he has a PREGNANT girlfriend in her early 20’s. He laughed about having tons of kids on David Letterman and acted happy that he is an immoral creep like so many others.

    Hypocrite? Heck YES. No way is he going to heaven, try the other place.

    Spencer & Mary you said it best!

  25. Paul (NZ) says:

    Mel Gibson is an ADULTERER. Plain and simple. If you are married and you have sex with another person, you commit adultery. Now with a bastard (child born out of wedlock) due to THE OTHER woman, it just shows what a man this alcoholic, violent, antisemetic, apostate idolater really is.

  26. Dan Lacich says:

    Paul, never said he wasn’t any of those things. The point of the post is that we throw the word hypocrite around way to easily and use it for anyone who does something that violates their own morals. A hypocrite is someone who denies they are at fault and that what they do is acceptable. At the time I wrote that piece Gibson was still acknowledging that he was a sinful man in need of the forgiveness of Jesus. In that regard Gibson is just like the rest of us. The particular sins may differ but the fact is, we are all sinners in need of the grace of God.
    Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and respond
    Dan

  27. Tim Wright says:

    I agree with you that Gibson is not a hypocrite — though I may not agree with you when you venture to say that he happens not to live up to his beliefs. Rather, I would say that he is living up to his beliefs , mis-guided beliefs however. And in the end he is very dangerous — to his children, and to any Catholic that would esteem him as a role model in any way.

  28. holy says:

    http://www.stoptheragenow.com
    one inspirational person who speaks about
    make the world a better place. say no to rage—

  29. brian says:

    he is a MONSTER. how is it that no one ever sees his REAL family?

  30. Kristan says:

    Mel Gibson is a human being. For all of you posting about what a hypocrite and what a monster he is… why? I don’t agree with what he has done nor do I agree with what he is currently doing. Yes, it is sin. However, he doesn’t answer to me or to any of you. God’s Word says “He that passes by, and interferes with strife not belonging to him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.” (Prov. 26:17) You get the implication, right? And to those of you so quick to judge where Mel will spend his eternity… We ARE told in our Bibles not to judge anything before the time (1 Cor. 4:5). Why? Because we don’t hold anyone else’s eternity in OUR hands. God alone is the Judge and He will share His position with NO ONE. And please don’t forget that the measuring stick you are holding up to Mel WILL be applied to you… You should remember that in the Old Testament, you actually had to COMMIT a sin (such as murder or adultery) to be guilty of that sin. In the New Testament, Jesus kind of raised the bar on that… He said if you are angry with your brother without a cause, you are a MURDERER. He also said that if you look at a woman (and this would apply to either sex) and you lust after her that you have committed adultery with her in your heart. The emphasis here is that God looks at your HEART. I’m sure those of you throwing stones at Mel aren’t hating him and guilty of murder… are you? I’m sure none of you are murdering him with your tongues… right? I’m sure none of you have ever lusted after someone who wasn’t your spouse… EVER?

    I think the Message Bible covers this topic the best… and I will place a quote from it here to save you the trouble of looking it up…

    Romans 1:28-32 & 2:1-8 says, “Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best! Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all YOUR misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
    You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!”

    The point is that those of you who are so TERRIBLY upset at what Mel has done, you’ve done something similar — because that’s what God’s Word says. People do terrible, grievous things… that’s why Jesus came and died. He didn’t come to condemn the world — so stop trying to do something Jesus didn’t even want to do… and leave the pronouncing of final judgment where people will spend their eternities to God… it will keep YOU out of the hot seat.

  31. Purple Koolaid says:

    Yes, I am a sinner and I sin every day. But I am REPENTANT. I repent in public every week.
    So yes Mel Gibson is a hypocrite. He went on national tv and bragged about his “baby momma”. This is wrong.

  32. Dan Lacich says:

    rachel,
    It has been months of not more since that blog was first written. Based on what had happened up to that time, I still stand by what I wrote. Based on what Mel has done since then, I would probably write something far different.
    Dan

  33. james says:

    Gibson has started his own church building and appears to be in a schismatic nutter break-away group that is not in union with Rome. And B. appears to be a sort of oily media / political savy con-man of sorts.

    It strikes me as comparing Lubavichers or Dutch Schulz with Orthodox Jews.

    Second, yes the church frowns on civil divorce, unless very necessary, but the more serious issue is that it does not permit divorce (from a licet marriage) and then remarriage.

    Perhaps these seem trivial points, I apologize. Just get a little weary when the subtleties of Catholicism are exchanged for things people I sometimes suspect hear in media sound-bites.

    Pax

  34. Dan Lacich says:

    James
    Thanks for your comments. Since I first wrote that blog over a year ago Mel has gone further and further off the deep end. Based on what had happened back in April of 2009 I don’t think he fit the real definition of a hypocrite. I would have hoped that he would have turned his life around since then but that is not the case.

    I would love to hear more of the subtleties of Catholicism that you are speaking of. Look forward to hearing from you
    Dan

  35. Mary says:

    Dan, I am sorry to see you being swayed from your original statement. It seems that the recent “news” about Mel’s life has influenced this possible shift in thinking. This is the second time I have ever shared my thoughts on this type of forum, and I have only taken the time to do it, because it is so disturbing that so many people are so unwilling to help capture souls for Christ, and rather feel more competent condemning them. Kristan did a great job detailing how so many of the comments show a deep and unfortunate misunderstanding of our purpose here on earth, especially a Catholic’s purpose. We are given this time on earth to follow the call from Christ to become saints. It is often very hard to believe that many of us will achieve this station, especially with all the temptations we face in this society. However, I remember the very first time I was flicking the stations and stopped when I heard Mother Angelica speak these words, “We are all call to be saints, don’t miss the opportunity.” At the time, I had fallen into mortal sin. As a child, my family had attended a traditional Catholic church, but as we grew into young adulthood we did not continue to nurture our faith. Although, I strayed from practicing my faith, I never stopped believing in it. If anything the more I strayed the more I understood the purpose of God’s law. I lived the very pain that I would have avoided had I followed His law. Ultimately, I had to sink so low that I would rather not be here, before I started the long journey back to union with Christ. I thank God everyday for my Catholic formation as a child. Without it, I might not be here to write this story today. The point is the journey to union with Christ is often paved by grave transgression. I do not mean that sin can be good, but rather that by faith in God and the understanding that we must desire to please Him by following His law, God brings all things back to Himself. It has been seven years since I heard those beautiful words from Mother Angelica, and I feel in many ways that I am just now getting ready to take up that challenge. My greatest fear is that I will not make it, and yet I find it odd that I should even try…being as human as I am. What I learned is that I won’t make it on my own. I need Christ and His sacraments and many, many prayers from family and friends and people I never even met. So, why now because Mr. Gibson has gone further off the reservation are people even more convinced that we should give up on him. Isn’t it time, now more than ever, for each and every one of the people who took the time to read, think and write about this topic to pick up your rosaries and pray for our brother, Mr. Gibson. Is it not possible to see the genius of his work, The Passion of the Christ, as an expression not only of the depth of his faith, but also of his attempt at redemption, using his talent to give glory to God. In fact, I see the genius of his work as his undoing. Mel Gibson’s success at reaching so many people with Christ’s message in such a profound and meaningful way made him a target for temptation. However, the most critical piece here is that this story, Mel Gibson’s story, is not over yet. This is the beauty of the Catholic faith. We have time to pray for our brother and our brother has time to reconcile with God, and for all we know that might take until the last days of Mr. Gibson’s life, but just because it may take that long doesn’t mean he would have been living a double life, rather it is more probable the he would have been experiencing a tortured living hell on earth. So, certainly we would all have to agree that Christ would probably prefer for us to be praying for Mel Gibson than pointing our finger at him. Didn’t Christ say something like….What reward is there in loving your friend, even the pagan’s love their friends…Loving your enemy, this is what our Father in Heaven asks of us. If this is too hard to contemplate, imagine that Mel Gibson is a sibling. While we would likely be honest with him that he needs to rethink his current direction, wouldn’t we also console him in his pain and pray that he find peace and reconcile himself with God and do penance.

  36. Dan Lacich says:

    Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I still stand by my original post that based on an accurate definition of hypocrite that Mel Gibson did not and does not qualify. He is a sinner who often acknowledges his sin and wrestles with it deeply. In my reply to James I reaffirmed that. What concerns me is that instead of progressing he seems to be regressing. You on the other hand are clearly moving closer to the person God would have you be. Keep pressing ahead and I hope you will post more of your thoughts here and on other sites.
    Dan

  37. Mary says:

    Dan,
    Thank you for inviting me to comment again, although after reading this you might abstain the next time. I am going to risk belaboring my previous comments, but I feel inclined to want to clarify more directly my intent for writing. I didn’t share my story to draw attention to my progress in regards to unity with God, but rather to illustrate and attest to the fact that one can have an intensely passionate belief system (which I had and still do) while simultaneously not living up to it. We do this, even to the extent that we deceive ourselves with rationalizations, while committing a grave moral transgression. You might argue that we are leading a double life, but not for the motive of convincing others how good we are, rather our motive is to hide from our rational mind the link between our immoral actions and our moral beliefs. We attempt to convince our conscience that it should not be gnawing at us.

    In addition, while sharing my story, I was hoping to illustrate that the length of time between recognition of ones own self deceptions and sustained action to amend ones life is more likely to be counted in years and is often interrupted by relapse. Both of which have been part of Mel Gibson’s struggle too.

    However unlike Mel Gibson, most of us who struggle with the demons of temptation of the will experience a less public struggle. It is likely that the public nature of his struggle contributes to further increasing the distance between recognizing the need to change and living the daily struggle of an amended life. I certainly can imagine being defensive, especially if I had to endure the scrutiny Mel Gibson has had to endure. It is almost as if the public is goading him into bad behavior and missing the road back to redemption by making his private business (his struggle) everyone else’s entertainment. I believe this has much to do with why gossip is sinful. It tends to encourage movement of our brothers and sisters away from Christ instead of toward Him.

    Anyone who has connections to AA programs and the struggle with addiction understands that living an amended life takes great diligence, tremendous support, and tons of prayer. I am not bringing up AA, because Mel Gibson has shared that he has battles with alcohol abuse. I am bringing up addiction, because it has so many connections to the effects of sin. The most glaring one is that of slavery. We enslave ourselves to sin in the same way an alcoholic enslaves himself to alcohol. The alcohol (the cigarette, the cocaine, the sex, etc.) runs his life. If the alcoholic is fortunate enough to become part of AA, he learns that he has to drastically change his life to secure and maintain his freedom.

    This dramatic life change is a lot harder for people who have more. There is more to give up. Unfortunately, there are some people who will have to lose it all, because they can’t give up their lifestyle willingly. Instead, they set themselves up so they don’t have any choice. I shared that I had to sink very low before I could see clearly enough to make changes. Mel Gibson has the unfortunate curse of being very blessed. His talent, his fame, his money, his success (against ALL of Hollywood’s effort to crush the Passion of the Christ) keep him further and further from losing it all, which in turn will likely keep Mel Gibson further from hitting rock bottom and therefore further from that place where he has nowhere else to go but up.

    If his blessings are his curse, it seems likely that what you refer to as regressing may actually be progressing. Mel Gibson does seem to be progressively losing everything that he was given, that he worked for, and that he loved. If he is the type of person who has to lose everything before he can save himself, then, as heartbreaking as that journey will be, paradoxically, it is progress. However, this is the kind of progress we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy, let alone our friend. If anyone who is in the lime light of this society is our friend, certainly Mel Gibson should be the first on our list, assuming the audience of this forum is Christian.

    As a nation of believers, who were so grateful to Mel Gibson for his courage to stand up to the anti-Christian establishment of Hollywood and endure to complete one of the most splendid tributes to God’s sacrifice in the history film media, we owe him our support and prayers. He is lost and suffering. It is clear this will continue. Just as we suffer when we watch someone we love destroy themselves, should we not join our prayer to his suffering that we may not have to witness and he many not have to experience this bitter journey until there is nothing left? If, however, that should be the case, should we not prayer that in that bitter journey he will seek the grace he needs to achieve union with Christ, so that his bitter journey may have meaning? The greatest loss, our greatest loss, especially if we chose not to pray for him, is if we lost him to an eternal death.

    The charge of hypocrisy for one who is not living up to his own beliefs is really a diversion from the reality that living what we believe is so challenging that it takes most of us a lifetime to achieve and many of us fail. The journey to that achievement for simple people, like me, is far easier than for those who have been blessed with numerous gifts, as greater temptation tends to lurk around the gifted making vice so very accessible and virtue so elusive. In living that difficult journey however, people like Mel Gibson enrich our lives and for that we should be grateful. Certainly, we should be grateful enough to pray for him. Right now, Mel Gibson could afford to collect on a pray or two or even fifty. Go get your rosary!

  38. Lila says:

    Dan God Bless you, you pretty much said it all. Jesus himself said forgive them for they know not what they do. I pray that God opens more hearts and eyes to feel Mel Gibsons pain. The higher the calling, the harder the fall. We should all be praying on Mels behalf, long before we choose to condem him. Anyone who does not beleive that Mel Gibson is not one of Gods elect is fooling themself. God is in total control. And all things are done for the good of God. Just a thought for us all. Mels downfall could be our TEST. The more prayers Mel Gibson gets right now on his behalf the better.

  39. Dan Lacich says:

    Lila,
    Very wise words on your part. Far to often we use the fall of others to justify ourselves instead of as a warning to check our own hearts
    Dan

  40. John says:

    Remember the poor homeless man Zack Sinclair who wanted a chance to share Mass and discuss the Catholic faith with Gibson, who directedThe Passion of the Christ? What happened to him? (See Matthew 25:40)

  41. linda says:

    let God be the judge Amen

  42. Yankee says:

    He has kissed and made out with many women even before. He never was a Christian

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