No, Mel. It isn’t as it was.

I don’t know whether Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite or not, but it seems pretty clear that he, or someone working for him, is a liar. At least, the Vatican is strongly denying that the Pope endorsed the film, as Gibson has been claiming.

Not that Gibson and his crew are dumb; the manufatured quotation — “It is as it was” — is simply brilliant.

Wouldn’t you expect, though, that someone as passionately Catholic as Gibson claims to be would have a little more respect for the Papacy?

Update Two readers inform me that Gibson is only dubiously Catholic, being part of the fringe that rejects the authority of the Second Vatican Council and the legitimacy of the line of popes starting with John XXIII. Apparently he’s started his own non-parish church, which is definitely a no-no. That’s asserted in this article, whose accuracy I can’t vouch for. (Note the hilarious assertion that Catholic teaching never changes.)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com