The Corner

The Passion

I’m always interested in what Ed Kilgore has to say. I think the criticism of conservative pro-Gibsonism is partly off base. To take his three points in reverse order: 3) It is entirely possible that Gibson believes things, including things about Jesus Christ, that are not in accord with orthodox Catholic teaching. As far as I could tell from watching the movie, however, any such things are not present in it. (Nor is anything flatly contradicting most versions of Protestantism.) Let us by all means not assume as conservatives that we are obligated to defend everything Gibson says or thinks. I don’t know if I’ve noticed such a tendency. 2) I think this comment is a bit of a cheap shot. Evangelicals may think that St. Paul’s comments about gender relations, etc., are especially relevant to current controversies; I doubt they think they matter more than Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. 1) If all people took from the movie is, boy, scourging and crucifixion are awfully gory, the movie may not have achieved much. But I don’t think that’s what the gore is there for. It is there, not least, to heighten the audience’s sense of what its sin has wrought. I could say more, but I already wrote an article about the movie for the next NR, which will come out this weekend.

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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