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Ecrasez L’infame: The Persistence of Christophobia

Imagine a magazine that argued that the central symbol of Judaism was inextricably bound up with monstrous evil, claimed Judaism’s holy writings were lies, criticized what Jews believe and demanded they change their beliefs, attacked Judaism’s most important holidays, asserted that Judaism was directly responsible for one of the most horrific slaughters in history—and declared that anyone who questioned Judaism’s responsibility for that great crime was a liar or a bigot.  An impartial observer would be forced to conclude that such a magazine harbored an animus against Judaism.

It is difficult to imagine such a magazine even existing in the United States, much less garnering any respect or prominence.  If one substitutes Christianity for Judaism in the preceding paragraph, however, he will have to admit that there are magazines that publish all those arguments.  Indeed, they are among our most prominent and respected journals of opinion: the New Republic (the fountainhead of neoliberalism) and Commentary (the fountainhead of neoconservatism).

Examples of Christophobia may be found in many other precincts of opinion journalism.  Just before Christmas, in a column criticizing Episcopalians intent on maintaining orthodox Christian teaching on homosexuality, the Washington Post’s Harold Meyersohn attacked “the Catholic Church’s...

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