Pharisaism: A Textbook Case

Mel Gibson is a talented man with serious mental-health problems, which manifest themselves, among other ways, in anti-Semitic tirades. Unfortunately, he has also been keeping company with some people who will do him no spiritual good. Gibson founded a schismatic conservative-Catholic church, at which congregants are apparently unhappy with him because of an extramarital affair that has resulted in the collapse of his marriage. One of the devout believers at this church has helpfully said the following, on a conservative website:

None of us at the church think that Mel ever had any interest in marrying his mistress, Oksana Grigorieva, whose illegitimate child was born on October 30, 2009. Legally, Mel and Robyn’s “divorce” could have been finalized a month ago, but there has been no news on that front. He has never brought Grigorieva to the church. I don’t think many of us in the congregation would stay around if that happened.

Heaven forbid that we should go to a church where there are actually sinners — and even ones who have engaged in something as heinous as . . . sex!  Don’t give up hope, Mel, Oksana, and little Lucia, whom I am delighted to welcome to the human family. It is not the Pharisees who will have the final word, but rather one “whose yoke is easy and burden light.”

Michael Potemra — Michael Potemra was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1964, and spent his childhood years in Montreal, Canada. He received a B.A. in philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He ...

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