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Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Shakes Up Hollywood

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

image courtesy of ICON productions - Mel Gibson's "The Passion"

In "Tales From the Left Coast," I reveal how the same Hollywood that holds itself up as a place of tolerance and inclusion is hostile to folks who are conservative, Republican or Christian.

Case in point is Mel Gibson, a devout Catholic who is being skewered on the "liberal" barbecue pit of Tinseltown.

Mel made a mistake because he openly professed his faith in - dare I say it? - Jesus Christ.

As Jennifer O'Neill says in "Tales," "There are a lot of 'closet Christians' in Hollywood because they innately know there exists black-balling and prejudice against professed believers in the entertainment business."

Some folks in Hollywood, the media and certain special-interest groups are extremely uncomfortable with Gibson's latest project, "The Passion." The film is a lifelike depiction of the last hours of Jesus Christ.

Recently, I was invited to see the film. I can't discuss its specific contents. But I can reveal that this film is not going to demean Christianity, as other flicks such as "The Last Temptation of Christ" have done.

Instead, Mel is actually using Scripture as his source. And he's telling the literal truth.

Tolerant "liberals" apparently can't stand for this type of material being disseminated. Unprecedented leaks to the press by people using false affiliations and stolen scripts have occurred almost a year before the scheduled release date.

But the most nefarious attempt to undermine Gibson's project has involved his family. To get attention, gain leverage or create trouble for the project, some in the press have been scrutinizing Gibson's 85-year old father. That's off-limits in anybody's book. (When was the last time you heard a member of the press bash Barbra Streisand's mother?)

At the time of my screening of the film, I had the privilege of meeting Mel.

The film is simply a cinematic prayer. It is a faith-deepening experience. In fact, a well-known pastor in Southern California, Greg Laurie of Harvest Crusade, indicated that he had seen every film about Jesus ever made but that he had never seen anything with the authenticity and power of this work.

With the anti-Christian resistance Mel Gibson faces, to continue steadfastly with this project takes the courage of a "Braveheart" and the fervor of a "Patriot." "The Passion" is in good hands.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

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

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