From: Gary Strauss, "Stars unleash their passion", published in USA Today, 4 July 2005 (http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-07-04-celebs-religion_x.htm; viewed 21 November 2005):
What happens when a Hollywood star spouts off about religion? ..."Usually people don't proselytize," says director Peter Bogdanovich, who helmed The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon. "It's rare that entertainers stick their neck out, because politics and religion are things people get touchy about. And besides, it's a pretty personal thing, religion, so people stay out of it."
No longer, thanks to the box-office clout of stars such as Mel Gibson. After mainstream Hollywood studios and distributors spurned The Passion of the Christ because some thought it was too violent and included anti-Semitic themes, Gibson, who was forced to finance the film on his own, began discoursing his fundamentalist views on Catholicism. The movie wound up raking in more than $370 million in the USA alone, the most successful R-rated film ever.
"Things have changed a lot in the past year," says Ray Comfort, author of What Hollywood Believes: An Intimate Look at the Faith of the Famous. "Before Passion, any talk of religion might have killed a career. But the cat's out of the bag now."
From: "Religious Affiliations of Celebrities" page in "Celebrity Religion" section of "Religion Facts" website (http://www.religionfacts.com/celebrities/religions_of_celebrities.htm; viewed 20 April 2007):
Below is an index of the religious affiliations or belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Celebrity: Mel Gibson
Religion/Belief: Traditionalist Catholicism
Quotes, More Information, Sources:
Mel Gibson belongs to a Catholic sect that does not accept the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. "Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." - Time, January 27, 2003