Mel Gibson's real problem

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Aug 02, 2006

In a lead editorial today the Boston Globe fastens one particular phrase in Mel Gibson's apology for his anti-Semitic tirade. The actor says: "I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display..." And the Globe is ready with an answer. Bigotry, the paper tells us, is a product of old-fashioned Catholicism.

"Anti-Semitism comes easily to those who believe that their faith or political system is the final answer," the Globe informs us. "The very existence of Jews serves as an affront to claims of absoluteness." Huh? That facile statement might apply to totalitarian ideologies. It obviously doesn't apply to religious Jews who see their own faith as the final answer. Nor does it apply to Christians who recognize Jews as our spiritual elder brothers.

The Globe editorial explains how to understand its curious claim:

Gibson now asks for guidance from the Jewish community. One of its leaders, Rabbi Irving Greenberg, offers some in the The Jewish Way, his 1988 book on Jewish holidays and history. "Those Christians who believe there is salvation outside the church and that there is room for many mansions in God's house have no problems with Jews," he writes.

Perhaps. But those "Christians who believe there is salvation outside the church" do have a problem with Catholicism, since they reject a defined doctrine of the Church.

To review: If you're a Catholic you're under suspicion of being an anti-Semite. But you still might be OK if you declare independence of Church teaching. The Globe has found a new way to make its favorite argument: that the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic.

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