Idol Chatter

A lot has been made of Mel Gibson’s recent indiscretions and its bearing on the national cultural character assessment. Whether it is media hype, national fascination, authentic character examination, or passing conversation, it has become the job of many to offer their opinions regarding Mel’s recent trifecta of DUI arrest, drunken tirade, and rehab clinic check-in. Including me.

First, Jesus said “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the log in your own eye?” I have yet to see a single web report, newsmagazine expose, or media outlet position encouraging all of us to consider the log in our own eye as the result of this. It’s all about Mel, his character, his religious faithfulness, his possible bigotry, his hypocrisy, and the effect on his brand and value within the industry. What would happen if one–just one–reporter or talking head talked about how this event has caused him or her to reflect on their own character, habits, and shortcomings?

And what about us? Have we stopped to consider if there be any arrogant, prejudiced, biased, deceitful, hypocritical way in us? I hope so. Then we could say that perhaps our fascination with movie stars serves a strong purpose, as the way we look at them helps us take a more mature and reflective look at ourselves.

Additionally, the very Pentateuch upon which the Jewish faith is built contains the stories of Adam’s disobedience, Abraham’s lie, Moses’ murder, and the iniquities of the nation of Israel. The Old Testament goes on to discuss the sins of many of its heroes, including David, the “man after God’s own heart,” whose story of prestige, power, access, adultery, conniving, murder, and cover-up would make today’s primetime dramas seem, well, biblical.

I hope there’s room for every one of us to at least withhold judgment, if not offer grace and forgiveness, for one who sinned. Like Mel, we are, all of us, part of the less-than-perfect human race. And the last time I checked, the statistics for human imperfection were running about 100%, so we’re all in it together.

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