One does tire of the seemingly endless tirades against orthodox Christianity undertaken by the so-called Mainstream Media – specifically major newspapers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, magazines such as Time and Newsweek, major news networks and, of course, National Public Radio.
The latest anti-religion screed comes courtesy of Newsweek, in a piece by noted atheist Christopher Hitchens titled “The Pope’s Denial Problem.”
Hitchens argues that by Pope Benedict’s recent decision to reconcile with the followers of the late traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected many of the changes advanced by Vatican II, he is in fact embracing the far-right fringe.
In Hitchens’ eyes, this is just further evidence that the Holocaust wasn’t a product of Adolf Hitler and German anti-semitism combined with Teutonic scientific and intellectual prowess, but rather the culmination of many centuries of anti-Jewish dogma by Christians, and his piece serves as an indictment of western religion in general.
Religion, in Hitchens’ views, appears to be no more than a scam to enrich and empower a handful of elites while subjugating the masses, a modern update on Marx’s “opiate of the masses” characterization.
Certainly, Hitchens is entitled to his opinion and few would argue that he is a talented and, at times, insightful writer. But Newsweek seems to treats his views on religion, rather ironically, almost as gospel.
Hitchens is not alone in his attack on the Christian faith. Much like the ongoing assault on Pope Pius XII, who critics claim turned a blind eye to the fate of Europe’s Jews during World War II despite significant evidence to the contrary, there is a small but determined group of intellectuals who have made it their life’s work to malign the Catholic Church specifically and orthodox Christianity in general.
And no matter what course of action the Church takes, it’s too backward, too sexist, too reactionary, too slow, etc.; ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what description is used, as long it’s critical.
The unfortunate aspect of the ongoing attacks on individuals such as Pius and Benedict, and the Catholic Church as a whole, is not only that they obscure the good works that good men and women, and their religious organizations do, but also that those leveling the charges have so little trouble finding willing lackeys like Newsweek to do their bidding for them.