In the event you missed it, on the evening of February 16, 2004, Diane Sawyer interviewed Gibson on the ABC television network for the basic purpose (but not the only purpose) of learning what motivated him to produce "The Passion of the Christ." [Note: "Christ," which should never be capitalized, is a translation into English from transliterations of Hebrew and Greek words meaning "messiah", or more technically "anointed one."] Gibson explained that 13 years before the interview he experienced a life crisis. Suddenly he realized that all the money, fame, and material gratifications in his life were eventually to go for naught if the end of life is eternal obliteration of self. In an effort to escape from the terrible depression that then enveloped him, he turned for succor to the New Testament scriptures and accepted all of the stories in them as established fact.
When Sawyer pointed out that scriptures are not historical fact (they are nothing more than the propaganda of a given religion sect), Gibson shrugged off that consideration and replied that he "had to believe" because "I want to live" and the scriptures provided "hope," otherwise not available, that his mortal death would not be the end of life. Consequently, Gibson continued, he treats the stories in the New Testament as documented facts, he considers the story of God's creation of everything in six days as true, he views Jesus and Mary Magdalene as "real persons," he has no doubt that there really is a Holy Ghost, God and the Holy Ghost guided him to produce "The Passion of the Christ," and the Holy Ghost "is looking favorably on this film." [All of this is from notes that I took while watching the interview.]
Gibson's Teacher: A Jew-Hating Nun
Now the issues are more than the question of whether or not Gibson's tirade was the release of his innermost beliefs under the influence of alcohol that uncorks true attitudes otherwise inhibited by social pressures. There is the issue of Gibson's presenting "The Passion of the Christ" as a realistic reenactment of the crucifixion story in a deliberate effort to engender hatred of or at least prejudice against Jews; and there is the issue of the presentation as based on Gibson's abysmal ignorance.
The Crucifixion Story as Christian Hogwash
The story of Jews and others nailed to crosses is fiction of the kind presented in the Spartacus film starring Kirk Douglas. The cross was a religious symbol long before Christians adopted it. To crucify means to martyr, not to nail somebody to a cross. The image of Jesus nailed to a cross stems from prior legends such as that of the martyrdom of Prometheus, the savior of humanity in classic Greco-Roman mythology: he is nailed by the hands and feet, with arms extended, to the rock of Mount Caucasus. Ancient tales of the Phrygian god Attis and the Syrian deity Tammuz, both viewed by their worshippers as saviors of humanity, have them martyred, after which they arise from their tombs. Long before the era ascribed to Jesus and the Apostles, worshipers of the god Osiris celebrated him on days called "Resurrection of Osiris" or "Passion of Osiris." He was one of numerous deities who, long before Jesus, arrived on earth through virgin birth.
After studying ancient crucifixion stories paralleling the tale of Jesus's crucifixion, Professor James H. Charlesworth wrote, in his book Jesus Within Judaism: "According to a popular celebration of his [Jesus's] life, he was...trapped in the Jews' Sanhedrin, and murdered following diabolical outcries for his blood from the Jewish leaders and their followers in the Holy Land...he was exalted above the earth on a cross...this account does not derive from ancient history; it is medieval - even modern - fiction."
Mel Gibson generated such belief in Christian hogwash through the combination of his celebrity status, ignorance, and hatred of Jews. For that reason, no matter what he says now about his drunken tirade against Jews, he comes across as an evil human being.