The Corner

Garry Wills: Sloppy At Best

Here’s what the man writes in the New York Review of Books: “Perhaps it is easier for Gibson than for some others to feel associated with his film victim, since his own movie characters have often been pulverized, brutalized, mangled by evil men and sinister organizations. If, in this case, he is the man being persecuted, who are his persecutors? The movie’s critics are. They are the real Christ-killers. Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor of National Review, said of the film that those ‘who choose to mock it’ are ‘Christophobes.’”

If Wills had read one paragraph further into my article, he would have come across this passage: “[Christians] should be careful to avoid the temptation to make of this movie more than it is. . . . Mel Gibson’s Passion is not Christ’s Passion. You can mock the first without mocking the second, although you can also of course mock both.” My point was that some but not all critics of the movie would be people who hate, fear, or otherwise dislike Christianity. That hardly seems controvertible. Even if I’m wrong, the point I was making was not the one Wills attributes to me.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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