On August 14, 2022, The Atlantic published an attack on the rosary. The Atlantic attacked on a Sunday, and on the day before the Feast of the Assumption, a holy day dedicated to Mary. The Atlantic is rated as “leaning left” by the AllSides media rating site.
The author of The Atlantic piece is Daniel Panneton of Toronto, Canada. Panneton is “the Manager of the Online Hate Research & Education Project” for the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Center in Toronto. I contacted the Center and they graciously provided the following comments. Panneton’s contract is expiring and he is leaving the Center in September, they wrote. Further, “We were not aware of his Atlantic article until after it was published, which he did under his own name as a private individual rather than in his capacity with our organization. The views conveyed in the article absolutely do not reflect our organization’s views.”
In any case, Panneton’s attack is just one example of increasing Christophobia from a demographically diverse variety of sources in American mainstream and social media, academia and entertainment. The one feature that unites these Christophobes is their leftism.
The initial title of The Atlantic piece was “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol: The AR15 is a Sacred Object among Christian Nationalists. Now ‘Radical Traditional’ Catholics are Bringing a Sacrament of Their Own to the Movement.” The article was accompanied by an animation that depicted bullet holes progressively forming an obscene (and numerically inaccurate) parody of a rosary. The Atlantic’s initial message is clear: the rosary is an extremist symbol, analogous to an AR15 rifle, and those who pray the rosary are rightly assumed to be “Christian nationalists.”
Since initial publication, The Atlantic has scaled back its assault. As of this writing on August 17, the article is newly titled “How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary: Why Are Sacramental Beads Suddenly Showing Up Next to AR-15s Online?”
This essay offers two responses to The Atlantic. First, I speak as a Catholic who prays the rosary. After that, I will point out some peculiarities in Daniel Panneton’s piece.
I am a lifelong Catholic and I have vowed to pray the rosary daily for the past quarter century. I pray the rosary alone, as I walk. My prayer is a private and intimate experience. I am making my private prayer public because The Atlantic is working to smear people like me. The Atlantic has power that I do not have. The Atlantic is telling its readers that Catholics are dangerous, and that the rosary is dirty. The Atlantic is not breaking new ground, here. Rather, The Atlantic is attempting to, through hate-mongering propaganda, reinforce and justify pre-existing anti-Catholic prejudice. This is part of a larger project on the left at this time. More on that, below.
I was baptized as an infant and I have been a Catholic ever since. I have not remained Catholic because it is the only option on the menu. I was born and grew up in New Jersey, one of the most diverse locations on earth. I was exposed to Jews, Hindus, Confucians, Atheists, and Muslims in my childhood. These weren’t casual encounters. My mother had Jewish friends who came to the house and sat around the kitchen table for hours telling tales of their shared Old Country. I got my first job at 14; my boss was a Hindu woman from India, who fed me cardamom-infused sweets and regaled me with the riches of her tradition. A school chum, a Circassian Muslim, astounded me with her talk of jihad; she assured me I’d have to convert or die, when the time came. I traveled and lived in a village in Africa that was populated by Catholics, Animists, and Muslims. In Nepal I celebrated numerous holidays with Hindus and Buddhists. I’ve been to Bagan, Lumbini, Sarnath, Muktinath, Varanasi, the Kotel, Masada, and the Dome of the Rock. I celebrated Rosh Hashanah with Tashlich, or the traditional throwing of bread, into the River Wisla, and, later, services at Krakow’s sixteenth-century Remah synagogue. And I lived under Atheist, Marxist regimes.
If there is such a thing as a “God gene,” my natal family certainly has it. One brother leaned Rastafari; another was studying, in Texas, no less, to be a Baptist minister at the time of his death. When I was attending to the possessions of yet another deceased brother who seemed utterly non-religious, I was astounded to find many well-thumbed translations of the Bible on his bedside table.
In this intoxicating swirl of scriptures, wisdom, costumes, incense, fragrances, and the fabulous foods accompanying each holiday – in Nepal, for example, we “worshipped” Shiva by chewing on sweet sugar cane on Shiva Ratri; in Paterson, NJ, I gobbled down fast-breaking Ramadan feasts – in all of that depth, color, insight, why be Catholic?
In Berkeley I met a wealthy, unchurched heiress who became a hippie. In her world travels, she ended up at Midnight Mass in Bethlehem. To her own surprise, she found herself in line to receive communion. After she did so, she reports, she suddenly realized, “This is the truth.” She entered that church a bemused tourist; she left a Catholic.
That’s my reason for being Catholic, too. Except for me “the truth” wasn’t a lightning bolt in a world-famous pilgrimage spot. For me “the truth” is something I have wrestled with almost every day. I read, I study, I talk to people, I go for long walks, I despair, I cry, I feel inspired. And, over and over, through internal debates and debates with others, including a year-long email exchange with a professional atheist celebrity that I chronicled in my book Save Send Delete, I arrive, again, at the same conviction. “This is the truth.”
Inevitably, Catholics are asked, “But what about the Crusades! What about the corrupt popes? What about clerical sex abuse? What about what about what about what about?”
Hey, wanna know a little secret? I’m one of those “what abouts.” My immigrant parents, manual laborers, poured what little money they had into Catholic school tuition for six kids. I am dyslexic and I have other cognitive handicaps. The nuns told me I was possessed. Nuns beat me. Pulled my hair. Called me a “big ox.” Made me stand in the hallway, after school, till I peed myself. Then they sent me home in a wet uniform slapping against the backs of my legs: the walk of shame on my hometown streets.
Why don’t I hate this church?
I lived in Poland, 1988-89. Of course I had no idea that communism would end during my stay, but it did, and I was on the streets, protesting, being hit with tear gas and water cannons, and running from ZOMO, paramilitary police. It was dusk in Krakow. The ZOMO were menacing protesters. We assumed we’d be beaten with the ZOMO’s truncheons. Protesters had been hospitalized. It was a stand off. We didn’t move. The ZOMO didn’t move. Night was falling.
A priest exited from one of Krakow’s many ancient churches – I think it was St. Francis. He was in his cassock. He walked between the protestors and the ZOMO. Then another priest. Then another. Soon a line of unarmed priests was standing directly in front of the ZOMO, armed with helmets, shields, and truncheons. We protestors were able to make our getaway.
In my teens, I visited Auschwitz, and was told of Maximilian Kolbe, who died a martyr’s death there. I met a priest who had been tortured past the breaking point and sent back to his tiny village as a warning to the villagers. He was so ruined, so unable to think or speak, he required a companion, a little girl, to guide him around by the hand. In Warsaw, I visited an improvised shrine to Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest tortured to death by communists. My dad told me that my grandmother never learned to read. She learned about Polish history, secretly, in the basement of a Catholic Church. These outlawed, “flying universities,” operational under czars, communists, and Nazis, also educated Karol Wojtyla.
I have read the 1997 Robert Ellsberg book All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time cover-to-cover, multiple times. Every time I read it, I am astounded and inspired. A saint in the hold of slave ships, ministering to the wretched. Saints who were persecuted by communists, saints who were persecuted by their own fellow monks. Saints who had visions; saints who served hot soup to hungry people. Women saints who mouthed off to popes. An seventeenth-century Mexican nun who was forced to sell her library and then forthwith died of the plague. I want to be like these people. I want, at minimum, to be reminded of these people, in a world full of inescapable images of near naked women and men with guns, I want to think about people who don’t advertise themselves, but who do good, in imitation of Christ.
When I have big questions, I bring them to the Vatican website. The answers I find there astound me. Intelligence, irenicism, and equanimity abound. These answers, even when I disagree with them, come from two millennia of study, reflection, and prayer, and also real-world efforts to put the teachings of Christ into practice in a very imperfect world.
These are just snapshots of what rushes into my head when I consider why I am Catholic, in spite of the corrupt popes and the nuns who pulled my hair.
Being a lifelong Catholic, I am familiar with anti-Catholic prejudice. Some Protestants call us “The Whore of Babylon,” which, you must admit, is a cool name. Catholics were outlawed in a couple of the American colonies. John Higham called anti-Catholic prejudice “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” When I was 8 or so, I attended Vacation Bible School in my hometown’s Dutch Reformed Church. I loved the songs and games. The kids told me I was going to Hell because I am Catholic. This hurt me and I did not return. Decades later, at the funeral of that brother studying, in Texas, to be a Baptist minister, Baptist men spoke from the pulpit. They said to my mother, who was sitting right there, that, as a Catholic, she would go to Hell, and never reunite with her Protestant son in Heaven.
Joe Biden appointed Sam Brinton as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and [Nuclear] Waste Disposition. Brinton has sex with men pretending to be dogs. Brinton is a member of a group that degrades Catholic nuns. See photos here.
Pagan emperors, African jihadis, Japanese shoguns, Indians in the subcontinent, Nazis and Soviet communists: all have tortured and murdered Catholics. See here, here, here, here, here, here, and too many other sites to mention. Given these rivers of blood, in comparison, The Atlantic is a penny-ante player.
I began praying a daily rosary a quarter of a century ago. I don’t remember when, exactly, or why. I just remember walking to campus, when I was in grad school, along an Indiana railroad track, and praying the rosary on my fingers. Eventually, I made use of “free rosary” websites that distribute plastic rosaries. In exchange, I would send a couple of dollars as a donation.
Anyone can make a rosary and rosaries can be made of just about anything. Auschwitz prisoner Franciszka Studzińska made a rosary from her meager bread ration. You can see it here. Some, as a memento mori or simply a taste for kitsch, choose rosary beads made in skull shapes. Walmart sells a Halloween rosary. One has to assume that those purchasing a wearable “Hip Hop rosary” are probably more into Hip Hop and edgy personal adornment than in prayer. There is no central authority policing rosary design or use.
Most rosaries I’ve seen have been the affordable plastic kind, or the pretty ones made with colored glass beads. A good percentage of rosaries are basic black. Wooden rosaries stand up to lots of use and last a long time. My most recent rosaries are from a website that promises that its rosaries can endure extensive wear and tear. Leonard, a devoutly Jewish Facebook friend, purchased them for me. Here’s a picture.
A rosary is a string of beads. The other definition of “rosary” is the prayers we say while running those beads through our fingers. There are four different sets of rosary prayers. The Joyful Mysteries, which we pray on Mondays and Saturdays, address Jesus’ conception, birth, and early childhood. The Luminous Mysteries, prayed on Thursdays, address Jesus’ adult ministry. The Sorrowful Mysteries, prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays, address Jesus praying before his crucifixion, his scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying the cross, and death. The Glorious Mysteries, prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays, address Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and the early church.
When I was still teaching, I prayed for my students. I would call each face to mind and say each name. Lately, I have been praying for a just peace in Ukraine, and soon. I pray daily for a friend who has had a rough life, and is currently carrying many burdens.
I pray for Facebook friends: an older gentleman who lives alone on a limited income; a bitter, angry woman who never posts, in words, anything positive, but who does post lovely photographs of flowers; a physicist who lives his life firmly in Satan’s grip and isn’t even trying for release; a parent whose child has been sucked in by trans extremism; a man who needs a heart transplant.
I prayed for a woman not to die of cancer; after she died of cancer, I prayed for her mother. I pray for departed loved ones, including those I never met, like Mary, my aunt who died in the influenza pandemic of 1918, and Uncle Mieczyslaw, who died in uniform in World War II. I pray for departed critters: Tramp and Artie, Pumpkin, Benjie, and Mercury, Hillary and Hannibal.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, when I pray the sorrowful mysteries, I pray for victims of torture. I’ve had to read about so many atrocities, and I remember to God the nameless victims, those who scratched their fingernail prints into the walls of cells and gas chambers, those who lie unnamed in mass graves, those driven past the ability to pray for themselves, those driven past the ability to believe, those driven to hate God. These are not easy prayers to say and when I say them I hold the hand of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who was starved to death in Auschwitz. In my mind’s eye, as we pray together for the victims of torture, as we pray to the savior who endured torture and death for us, I see Saint Maximilian smiling the radiant smile of one who has made it through to the other side, and has put all suffering behind him.
I pray for my city, Paterson. I pray for its residents I pass on the street and sit next to on buses. I pray for a girl who looks sad and neglected as her mother pays excessive attention to her cell phone. I pray for a boy who is way too young to be alone on the street at night. I pray for my country. I pray for my planet. I pray for myself.
Some of the things I value most about praying the rosary daily are the very things people criticize the rosary for. For example, even if I am happy on a Tuesday, I must pray the Sorrowful Mysteries. Even if I am in the depths of despair on a Saturday, I must pray the Joyful Mysteries. An ego-based lens would assess these requirements as inauthentic. In ego terms, they are inauthentic. Praying through an innocent man’s torture-murder at the hands of a totalitarian state even when I am having a good day teaches me that there is more to life than my ego, and the passing parade of personal ups and downs.
The truth is I must nudge myself to take my rosary out of my pocket or my fanny pack, and I extract it in spite of excuses. “My mind is tired. I’ll skip today.” “This newscast I’m listening to is very important. I must continue listening.” Given that I vow to pray the rosary daily, doing so is a chore, not a spontaneous expression of my – there’s that word again – ego. I take the rosary out, anyway. I suddenly realize that I can hear that same news later. I suddenly realize that there are more important things than this or that item of Breaking News.
The repetition. Doesn’t it bore you? Doesn’t your mind wander? I am not bored – I’m exiting quotidian reality. I’m withdrawing my focus from the garbage on Paterson’s streets, from noise, politics, and daily worries. I’m entering the eternal; I’m contemplating vast imponderables like resurrection from the dead. I’m communicating directly with the creator of the universe who, I believe, hears and responds to my every utterance. None of that is boring.
My mind does wander, though. But with my cognitive glitches, my mind wanders – wait, what was I saying? You get the idea. Focus on prayers I have said literally hundreds of thousands of times requires discipline. I have developed rituals I use to retain focus. I am patient with myself when I lose focus. I do not “start over,” rather I move forward, with a gentle resolve to turn my attention, again, away from what I’ll be having for dinner, to miracles and hope. This turn of my attention from the quotidian, from rent, from job, from spats, from daily news, toward the eternal, toward the transcendent, toward the sublime, toward an ultimate source of love and light, feels good.
One of the very best aspects of my vow is that I promised to keep it even when I lose faith. I lose faith all the time. I lose faith for the same reasons everyone loses faith. I lose faith because of the problem of suffering. I lose faith because my prayers don’t seem to have the impact I wanted them to. I think I have spent almost as many hours being an atheist as many a capital-A Atheist has spent. I’ve learned that not a few of them secretly believe more than they profess to believe.
Even on my most committed atheist days, I pray the rosary. Praying the rosary when I am angry at God, when I don’t believe that God exists, when I am convinced that my prayers do no good whatsoever, when Satan seems correct and anything good or true or hopeful seems a mockery, is a spiritual experience I can’t quite put into words here. It’s like insisting on darkness and being overpowered by light. It’s facing a wall and seeing an open door. I can only recommend that you try it and see how it feels.
Why do I pray when in fact I have never won the lottery, when God did not rescue me from child abuse, when the victims of torture for whom I pray have already been through Hell on earth and are in their graves?
After my sister was diagnosed with glioblastoma, I prayed the rosary every day for the next twenty-three months for her to be healed. Every day, as I asked for that, I heard, in response, spoken very gently, and very quietly, the word “No.” I kept praying for a miracle anyway. I don’t know what happened to those prayers, but I believe that they were at least heard – someone kept telling me, with the gentleness of a parent speaking to a loved child, that I could not get what I wanted. Why did I not get it? I believe I’ll find out, someday. I prayed, when I was a child, to be delivered from child abuse. I never was. The wound of child abuse is still there, and as big as it ever was, but I have lived a life that makes me magnitudes larger than that wound.
In recent days, the leftist use of Christians and Christianity as an object of hatred has increased. I’m not talking, here, about rational criticisms. The Catholic Church clerical sex abuse crisis really happened, it was horrific, and the press did the right thing by exposing it. There are other good reasons to criticize Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general. But that’s not what’s been going on.
Rather, this is what has been going on. Political movements, for the sake of group cohesion, and also to deflect criticism, choose hated others to scapegoat. Psychological studies and history show that humans find it easier to bond over shared hatreds than shared love. “We are better than they are” is one of the most powerful of human statements. Want to start a cult? There’s the first line of your manifesto. “We are better than they are.”
All human movements, literal and metaphorical, produce garbage, waste, a dark side, and failure. What to do when your movement fails? Blame the hated other. “It’s all their fault. Once we get rid of them, we will reach our Utopia.”
Leftists are now exploiting Christians and Christianity as their “they” that leftists can be better than, and as their scapegoat who is the cause of all problems. A while back, the word “white,” as used in mainstream media and in academia, stopped being a neutral term and became derogatory. The same thing is happening now, and has been happening for some time, to the word “Christian.”
My first deep dive into American leftist Christophobia was the 2007 book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg. I reviewed it on Amazon here. Goldberg compared American Christians to Nazis. Goldberg has since become a columnist for the New York Times. The Times has become a reliable purveyor of leftist Christophobia. Christian nationalists are a threat to America, the Times reported on August 3, 2022. The American God is about cultural division and bickering, The Times stated on August 14, 2022. “The shape of the Christian nationalist movement in the post-Roe future is coming into view, and it should terrify anyone concerned for the future of constitutional democracy,” The Times opined on July 5, 2022.
Leftist social media sites send the same message. Occupy Democrats pump out Christophobic memes regularly. Leftist media figures, like Bill Maher, keep the Christophobic hate fires burning.
On Friday, August 12, 2022, a Muslim attempted to assassinate Salman Rushdie. The same media who identify Christianity as the enemy identified Rushdie’s Muslim would-be assassin as a “New Jersey man” who had “no known motive” for the attack. In fact Rushdie has been under death threats from Muslims for decades because he merely mentioned the Satanic verses, that is, verses that Mohammed, Islam’s legendary founder, included in the Koran under demonic influence. The Christophobic left demonizes mere mention of these facts as “Islamophobia.”
Of course Christians and Christianity are not the only targets. White men, Midwesterners, Southerners, heterosexuals, all are exploited in hate-mongering. The left has long been comfortable with anti-Semitism weaponized for political ends. See for example here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Both Judaism and Christianity provide profound morality, teleology, and identity to their adherents. As such, totalitarian Marxism can only ever see Judaism and Christianity as competitors that must be vanquished.
Many commentators before me have attempted to address the falsehoods and the hate-mongering in The Atlantic piece. Doing so is Sisyphean. More hit pieces roll down the leftist chute every day. The message will always be the same. “We are better than they are. It’s all their fault. Once we get rid of them, we will reach our Utopia.”
Even so, let’s have a quick look at The Atlantic article. Panneton works to convince his reader that there is a new species of Catholic man out there. This new Catholic man is “dangerous.” He is dangerous because he is invested in traditional masculinity, a traditional masculinity he will exercise to protect his home and family. He may own a gun for self-protection, but that horror is not the only “dangerous” thing he is doing. He is homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic. He’s going to bring back the Crusades, and, in this understanding, the Crusades are of course a genocidal Catholic campaign to force conversion on peaceful Muslims minding their own business. Pope Francis is one of these dangerous Catholic men. For readers not familiar with Catholicism, I will add that Pope Francis is widely assessed as a pope who leans left; in fact he has been accused of being a communist. The idea of him as one of Panneton’s scary Catholic men is risible.
Panneton uses links to support his shrill, hysteria-mongering statements. Anyone who follows those links seeking objective facts presented in a logical way will be quickly disappointed. Some of Panneton’s links don’t mention Catholics or Christians at all, for example this one, this one, this one, and this one. In fact Panneton merely links to other Christophobes writing similarly shrill, hate-mongering pieces for other left-wing publications.
The Atlantic article begins, “The AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists.” The reader pauses. Huh? AR-15s are sacred to Christians? Panneton includes a link. The link takes the reader to a site run by Evan Derkacz, who used to work at Alternet, a left-wing site. The linked piece is an editorial written by Thomas Lecaque, a university professor. Lecaque includes a “land acknowledgment” in his bio. Lacaque wants the reader to know that he works on land that belongs to the “Baxoje, Meskwaki and Sauk” Indian tribes. The professor rants against Islamophobia, insisting that critics of Islam believe that Muslims are “vampires.” Lecaque’s piece, like Panneton’s piece, is a mishmash of links to other links to other links.
Perhaps Lecaque hoped the reader would not follow his links, because he lies. He claims he has found an “entire page of bullet rosaries.” The link takes the reader to Etsy, alas, not to, say, the Vatican, which is, of course, Scary Catholic Central. There are some bullet rosaries at the top of that page, with dozens, not thousands, of reviews. There are also more typical rosaries made with beads; these do have thousands of reviews. Lecaque’s link doesn’t prove the point he wants it to prove.
I don’t understand the appeal of bullet rosaries, but then I don’t understand the appeal of skull rosaries or Hip Hop rosaries. I read some reviews on one site and I am not frightened of the purchasers. For them, clearly, “spiritual warfare” is a metaphor. They quote Padre Pio, who was no warrior. Anyone wanting to understand the makers and purchasers of bullet rosaries would have to perform an ethnographic study. Simply ask these makers and purchasers what bullet rosaries mean to them. Neither Panneton nor Lacaque engaged in such study. They condemn from ignorance and hate, rather than increasing understanding through respectful research.
Panneton’s other links are similarly misleading. Quickly, one discovers that “transphobia” means that scary Catholic men speak out against the castration of children. Scary Catholic men speak out against parents bringing their children to drag shows in gay bars. Scary Catholic men speak up for the unborn. Scary Catholic men use the word “groomer.” Panneton links to an argument for the banning of the word “groomer” on social media platforms. By the way, bestselling author James Lindsay uses the word “groomer.” I’d love to induct Lindsay into the scary Catholic men club, but he doesn’t believe in God.
According to one of Panneton’s links, “Islamophobes” are people who “imagine the West as the defender of democratic Christian values” or who believe in such a thing as jihad, which is merely “a racist fantasy of Islam and Muslims.” “Notions of manliness and male strength” and of “the traditional patriarchal family” are inherently dangerous. The idea of a Catholic man “defending one’s family and church” is an “extremist fantasy.” Panneton sneers at respect for Western Civilization as a “fetish.” Because these bad Catholic men worship with the rosary, Panneton sermonizes, “The rosary – in these hands – is anything but holy.”
What many will take away from the article is that Catholics are scary gun nuts, and Catholicism itself is polluted with gun-nuttery; when Catholics pretend to pray, they are, in fact, worshipping, not Christ, but guns. In fact Catholic bishops have long been vocal advocates of gun control. See here. Catholicism advances a “seamless garment” or “consistent life ethic” that argues that both abortion and the death penalty are morally wrong. Many Catholics argue that gun control is part of the consistent life ethic; see here. In 2018, U.S. Catholic reported that “Eighty-three percent of U.S. Catholic readers surveyed think gun control legislation should be stricter.”
In an article specifically attacking Catholicism, Panneton supports one of his points with a link to an article about Evangelicals. Evangelicals do not pray the rosary, and they are very much not Catholic.
I am not unfamiliar with being written of with contempt by The Atlantic, or what used to be The Atlantic Monthly. The Atlantic wasn’t always Woke. In March, 1923, The Atlantic Monthly published a eugenics article meant to prove that people like me, Poles, were racially inferior. Author Robert M. Yerkes, professor at both Yale and Harvard, and founder of the famed Yerkes National Primate Research Center, wrote that “Of natives of England serving in the United States Army only 8.7 percent graded D or lower in intelligence; of natives of Poland, 69.9 percent. In the English group, 19.7 percent graded A or B, and in the Polish group, one half of one percent.” Accompanying Yerkes’ article were three charts; on all three, Poles scored the lowest of over a dozen ethnic groups. Eugenicist Yerkes’ racism is still visible on The Atlantic website.
The Atlantic Monthly also ran an article arguing against allowing “Hungarians, Bohemians, Poles, south Italians, and Russian Jews,” that is people “degraded below our utmost conceptions,” who live in “garbage dumps, the miserable beings who try to burrow in those depths of unutterable filth and slime” to immigrate into the United States. This vile bigotry is also still available on The Atlantic website.
The Southern and Eastern European peasants The Atlantic wanted kept out of America on the basis of their racial inferiority were majority Catholic. This then popular trend, called, variously, scientific racism, eugenics, or social Darwinism, as he himself admitted, inspired Hitler.
I don’t know if The Atlantic has ever denounced the eugenics articles it published against allowing people like my parents into the United States. Perhaps someday it will answer for the mishmash of misleading links, hatemongering and hysteria it published in its attack on the rosary. I’m not holding my breath.
Danusha Goska is the author of God through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery.