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Virtual Hate Crime Against Mel Gibson -
November 10, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

National director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Abraham Foxman is apparently so obsessed with stopping Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, "The Passion of Christ," he's inadvertently exposed the reason why he's been so vocal in his opposition.

Recently, the ADL held its annual meeting in New York, and Foxman was in hyper-hit mode. In a panel discussion titled "Mel Gibson's The Passion: A Conversation on Its Implications for Jews and Christians," Foxman warned the world of a dangerous practice that could cause "hate crimes against Jews."

What "dangerous practice" was he speaking of? What was the treacherous practice that was causing trepidation and creating concern that "hate crimes against Jews" might occur?

Well, the threat he was speaking of happens to be the cornerstone doctrine of the Christian faith ­ the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ ­ best known to believers as Easter.

Foxman declared that "hate crimes [against Jews] go up Easter week worldwide." He then surmised that the reason this occurs is because in Christian churches around the world a "sermon is given about the passion [of Christ]."

So, evidently Foxman's solution for eliminating anti-Semitism is not just to snuff out Mel Gibson's film but also to extinguish Easter as Christians know it.

Foxman wasn't finished with his yak blitz yet. He proceeded to launch his most underhanded attack on Gibson to date, saying, "I think he's [Gibson's] infected ­ seriously infected ­ with some very, very serious anti-Semitic views."

These words puked out of the leader of an organization that purports to stand for tolerance. Like an angry villager in a Boris Karloff movie, Foxman looks as if he has become the kind of monster his organization has been pursuing for 90 years. He's spewing deceitful accusations and showing everyone exactly what hate speech sounds like.

At the ADL gathering, two other panelists got into the Gibson attack groove. But their angle was that of harassment.

Paula Fredriksen, professor of theology at Boston University (and one of the original so-called scholars who condemned the film based on an out-of-date misappropriated script), claimed that she had received "drive-by e-mail."

And professor of Judeo-Christian Studies at New York's Union Theological Seminary Sister Mary C. Boys said that she had received harassing phone calls, hate mail and e-mails from Gibson supporters.

Guess spam is more than some libs are capable of bearing. Or maybe Foxman, Fredriksen and Boys just have a really, really stubborn case of chronic secularism.

I have a suggestion for Foxman and chums: Accept the inevitable because despite your theatrics, "The Passion of Christ" is set to open at the start of the Easter season. And all signs lead to cinematic triumph and box office glory.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2003
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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