Author Says a New Religion Persecutes Christians

Author Says a New Religion Persecutes Christians


Mary Eberstadt is a master of analogy.

In her masterful work Adam and Eve After the Pill, she compared the Sexual Revolution to communism, an ideology that hasn’t so much as failed, don’t you know, as one that simply needs one more good try. Neither empirical evidence, nor high body count, will convince true believers that the experiment has failed.

She is also brave. Though she takes no joy in touching various third rails, she grabs them nonetheless. Adam and Eve gutted contraception, something Americans love more than the Super Bowl.

More than a decade ago, two explosive articles in the Weekly Standard exposed what she called “Pedophilia Chic”—she can also turn a phrase—on how mainstream advertising and gay literature celebrate sex with minors.

In Home Alone America she took on working motherhood. Mary’s husband, Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, met her when she was writing speeches for then Secretary of State George Shultz. She put that burgeoning career on hold to raise several remarkable children and only then did she begin to crank out her remarkable oeuvre. Home Alone explains how right that decision would be for other women, too.

She is also counterintuitive.

In How the West Really Lost God, she proposed that religion declines as a result of family decline and not the other way around. She argued convincingly that faith is found in healthy families and lost in deracinated ones. Parents’ thoughts turn to God the more those little souls begin to bear in on them. Indeed, it is from largish families that priestly vocations are born.

Its Dangerous coverEberstadt is all these things and more in her new book It’s Dangerous to Believe out June 21 from Harper Collins. Subtitled “Religious Freedom and Its Enemies,” the book shows how Christians believe we are this close to priest holes and persecution and how gleefully our persecutors are flicking the whip hand.

She opens with a question believers increasingly ask each other: “Where shall we go?” You’ve heard this; perhaps you’ve asked it.

You may have cut the cable, stopped the daily paper, taken down any religious symbols from your office, accepted the rainbow decal on your office door, stopped talking politics with anyone—certainly at the office—yet they keep on coming. And they are coming for our kids. “Where shall we go?”

They have chased us out of the public square and now they are coming into our homes and businesses and putting some of us in jail for disagreeing with their project. One wonders if our persecutors know if we talk like this. No doubt they will mock the question as whining. Without a doubt, they believe we deserve it after all the long decades we supposedly persecuted them.

Eberstadt is certainly right; not long ago conservative believers had a place at the table in Washington, DC. There was a time in the 1980s and ’90s when “Protestant evangelical media expanded via Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and other shows on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN); Catholics founded their own Eternal World Television Network (EWTN); Republican administrations made room for and encouraged the rise of influential groups like the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family and others. For a while there in the 1950s, and again in the 1980s and beyond, traditionalist Christians had momentum on their side.”

She says that world is no more and it became so lickety-split. She says, “…the idea that Christian traditionalism menaces and encircles secular minorities is preposterous—as antiquated as decrying fluoride in the water supply, or motorized travel. Exactly a decade after the new atheists declared the Bible Belt to be the epicenter of American power, cultural political reality is 180 degrees reversed.”

The fight that started long ago with at least some Enlightenment thinkers and has continued almost unabated since then has been to supplant orthodox religion, especially Catholicism, in the service of sexual freedom. The family is the prison where sexual pleasure goes to die and religion is one of the jailers.

She argues we are not up against secularism but rather an alternative orthodoxy, a new religion competing directly with Christianity, one with its own body of beliefs, revealed and developed truths, a hagiography of secular saints like Margaret Sanger, Helen Gurley Brown, and Gloria Steinem, crypto-scholastics like Alfred Kinsey and Margaret Mead, quasi-monastic ascetics like the “grim public priestesses” of NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, and even martyrs like Harvey Milk and Matthew Shepherd. They even have foreign missionaries, the international bureaucrats peddling what Pope Francis calls “ideological colonialism.”

She says this new faith seeks to silence or destroy anyone who may oppose the new orthodoxy and that is what we are seeing today: Brendan Eich chased out of Mozilla, the baker, the photographer, the wedding planner all harassed and prosecuted for refusing gay weddings. Kim Davis in jail.

She points out the special place that homosexual sex has in this new pantheon. Those who oppose contraception are not called “contracepto-phobes.” Those who oppose abortion are not called “aborto-phobes.” We are not “divorce-phobes” or “bestiality-phobes” or anything else except “homophobes” and “transphobes.”

In the most interesting part of the book, Eberstadt compares what is happening today to other periods of public panic: the panic over sexual child abuse in day care centers a few decades ago, and the Salem witch trials. Otherwise normal folks and elites quite lost their minds over perceived evil happening in their midst. In the Salem witch trials, people were executed. In the day care cases, people went to jail for crimes that were no more than fanciful imaginings of children, coaxed out of them by parents and “mental health professionals.”

In what I first thought was the weakest part of the book, Eberstadt argues for a way out of this current crisis. I thought it the weakest part because it is an argument that relies on the tormentors to simply stop, to come to their senses.

It was a few brave souls who spoke up and eventually ended the madness of the witch burnings. It was a brave journalist, Dorothy Rabinowitz along with one mental health professional, Paul McHugh, who stood up and managed to stop the persecution of day care workers. She is counting on the same thing happening in the current crisis.

Eberstadt says, “Momentum for change has to come from the other side.” She says they should stop using conversation stoppers like “homophobe” and “hater.” She says, “People outside the ranks of believers might also lean toward civility by trying to understand where their religious neighbors are coming from.” She says, “The intimidation of traditionalists…needs to stop…”

Eberstadt hopes that the growing social science disputing the sunny uplands of the Sexual Revolution should begin to convince the Torquemada’s of the other side. Further, she thinks, the victims—the ever mounting victims and those living counter-culturally—can convince them, too.

I first thought this final call was the weakest part of the book because it is a call for such passivity on our part. We are supposed to sit and wait for them to come to their senses. While we pack our bags for God-knows-where, all we can hope is for them to change their minds?

Eberstadt does not tell us what to do except to wait. However, after a second reading, I came to realize that Mary is not talking to us. She is talking to them, and she makes a case that true liberals should know that what is happening now is profoundly illiberal. She hopes that a few of them will wake up and stop the madness.

Here is the problem. Eberstadt describes the new religious orthodoxy we are up against. I have argued the same and gone further for I say there is a New God, one who is both jealous and angry, but he is also a New State God, backed by the power and might of our federal government and all the power centers of our day. On the other hand, the Salem witch trials were not about a new competing religious system. It was an argument among those who basically believed the same things.

It is an exponentially different and more dangerous thing to compete against an entirely new state religion. The body count has to grow ever higher before it is even remotely possible for liberals to begin to question the New State God and become liberal again.

It is important that her book is being published by Harper Collins. It means at least some liberals will read it. I hope they will listen.

While I am not yet packing my bags, neither am I holding my breath.

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5 comments on “Author Says a New Religion Persecutes Christians

  1. Austin Ruse says:

    Eberstadt says, “Momentum for change has to come from the other side.” She says they should stop using conversation stoppers like “homophobe” and “hater.” She says, “People outside the ranks of believers might also lean toward civility by trying to understand where their religious neighbors are coming from.” She says, “The intimidation of traditionalists…needs to stop…”

    Eberstadt hopes that the growing social science disputing the sunny uplands of the Sexual Revolution should begin to convince the Torquemada’s of the other side.

    [Neither such social science nor the revolutionaries trying to be more civil or waking up to the reality of the situation will stop or slow the revolution, because the former goes against the dogmata of the latter, who cannot be civil or face the facts of reality. For example:]

    Journal Refuses to Retract Study Wrongly Claiming Unborn Feel No Pain

    Allegations of research bias surround the 2005 study

    by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant • June 16, 2016

    CHICAGO – A prominent medical journal is refusing to retract a 2005 article suggesting babies can’t feel pain in the womb before the third trimester.

    James Agresti, president of the research organization, requested earlier this year that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) retract the article “Fetal Pain: A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence.”

    It came to light just days after the study was published that two of the five researchers involved may have been biased because they work in the abortion industry.

    Dr. Eleanor Drey was performing abortions while participating in the study and was an outspoken advocate of abortion. She has admitted she incorporates activism in her medical training. “I am very lucky because I get to train residents and medical students,” she said, “and I really do feel that it’s a type of activism. I’m training them to treat women well.”

    Susan J. Lee was a medical assistant at the time of her contribution, but before that she was a lawyer for NARAL Pro-Choice America from 1999 to 2000.

    The editor at the time admitted she didn’t know of the association, but it wouldn’t have prevented the study from being published because it was peer-reviewed.

    National Right to Life responded to the article saying, “The authors’ conclusion (which was predetermined by their political agenda …) is disputed by experts with far more extensive credentials in pain research than any of the authors.”

    The JAMA article continues to be cited by abortion advocates to prove to critics that unborn babies can’t feel pain until the 29th week of gestation.

    Agresti has published multiple studies on the website disputing the study and introducing new studies that have shed light on the subject. He also sent letters with new studies to JAMA on May 29 and June 1 requesting that the 2005 article be retracted.

    On Tuesday, Dr. Howard Bauchner, JAMA editor-in-chief, responded to Agresti’s request, saying “[T]here is no evidence that the article on fetal pain by Lee et al. published in JAMA 2005 should be retracted.”

    He says the authors were “quite careful in their conclusion,” stressing that they “included modifiers that reflect their review of the evidence available at that time, including uncertainty.”

    He claimed that “there is no evidence supporting other issues that would necessitate retraction, such as fabrication or falsification.”

    Addressing the issue of the alleged conflict of interest, Bauchner commented,

    With respect to the issue you raise regarding potential conflict of interest, the information we have indicates that the authors complied with the journal conflict of interest requirements of 2005. Moreover, in other published articles in which questions have been raised about whether authors have fully disclosed their affiliations and interests those types of question have not necessitated retraction.

    Fourteen states have enacted legislation — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — to limit abortion to no later than 20 weeks, where new research shows children in the womb can feel the excruciating pain of being ripped apart, scalded, or poisoned to death in abortions.

    The liberal Huffington Post insists claims of fetal pain are “junk science” and that the 2005 JAMA study is “unassailable.”

  2. Quote: “In How the West Really Lost God, she proposed that religion declines as a result of family decline and not the other way around.”

    Actually, it goes both ways. Protestant and secular indifferentism provided the apostasy for the modern Birth Control movement. Do you think maybe some people are rethinking the Lambeth Conference in Londonistan now?

    But atheism and secular liberalism really got a boost from the anti-Christian Illuminati secret societies gaining control over the statist educational system monopoly. Do you think those people are Christians at the College Board gerrymandering and engineering A.P. European History to fit the secular progressive agenda? Why are so MANY Americans sheep when it comes to the anti-Christian destruction of education in the U.S.? Why don’t they all say “No!”? Why are ANY Protestants or Catholics tolerating what happens in American schools and colleges? Let’s face it, card-carrying mainstream Protestants and lukewarm liberal modernist Catholics go along with this agenda and the Protestants tolerate the anti-Christian secret societies in their midst, at their country clubs, and in the White House. Esoteric, occult, secret society-based anti-Christianity is the official government-sponsored religion in this country and in corporate board rooms. Every literate, informed adult male knows this. Now it’s a public suicide pact to destroy civilization and America along with it. And the establishment RINOs are too timid to confront this (or they’re part of it by sworn allegiance behind the black curtains). Pathetic. Some Manifest Destiny.

  3. Ruse is right, I wish we would stop talking about how bad it is, and start talking about solutions. I wish we would stop heaping up shrill exclamations and start talking turkey. Hungary amended its constitution to forbid homosexual marriage and adoption, to forbid abortion, and to regulate banking independently. That is a start. They did it by building a third party and by building coalitions. Their ‘politics’ includes the rosary, evangelization to the Faith. Poland is following suit. We Americans have men of similar calibre, but they are busy making a living on the conference circuits. We have economists who could help us develop a platform that aims long-term toward the redistribution of ownership, not income, not socialism but the old economy of small producers. We have Catholic politicians (although some still don’t get it that “free market” means the same thing as “free love”). We could do it if our men in tradition would put aside their personal detente with the Americanist heresy and call each other with a plan. An outfront campaign would be safer than sitting passively waiting for the jack boots to kick in the door. Any ‘Benedict option’ that thinks it is sufficient to build communities of believers, in Oregon or elsewhere, is about a hundred years behind developments. The attack on us is national, we will have to fight there. Doesn’t Trump, that faux conservative, prove the people will listen to alternatives? We have nowhere to run. Although don’t forget, I have an admirable science fiction work, called Run, where Catholics flee to an asteroid and set up a Catholic state, but I was just trying to show us the goal,

  4. People have to understand the problem before they are willing to seek the solution. Not enough are there yet. There is discontent and Trump is tapping into that. Will it be enough? Or is it already too late? We will find out soon enough.

    Trump would be a PAUSE button. Most Americans are not ready to address the problems of moral relativism, secular humanism, and modernity which go much deeper than the political struggles between Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans in electoral politics.
    Are there enough orthodox Catholic institutions in working order to evangelize and educate Americans? Maybe the USCCB should look into that.

    But it’s bad. Not talking about that won’t aid the educational process which is absolutely necessary if civilization is to have any chance to survive what is on the horizon. Real bad will shift to much worse if Hillary can’t be stopped. That’s certain. 100%. They can talk about the Benedict Option all they want, but there will be serious problems. Big Time.

    • Real bad will shift to much worse if Hillary can’t be stopped. That’s certain. 100%.


      Most of the good Catholics have been disarmed by the modernist bishops. I have relatives who are good Catholics, but they help the diocese and the Novus Ordo occupation without realizing they’re supporting the status quo. This is also the work of Opus Dopus and Maciel cults, namely, to attract highly motivated Catholics and put reins and blinders on them to keep them out of the real fight.

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