The Atlantic Changes Headlines After Backlash over Comparing Catholic Rosary to Assault Weapons

Catholic rosary beads in hand
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Atlantic changed headlines multiple times in response to massive backlash over an op-ed that compared the Catholic rosary to an “assault weapon.”

Authored by Daniel Panneton, the article, originally titled, “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol,” featured a rosary that had bullet holes in place of beads and argued that the Catholic sacramental had become a tool of violent militants.

“Militia culture, a fetishism of Western civilization, and masculinist anxieties have become mainstays of the far right in the U.S.—and rad-trad Catholics have now taken up residence in this company,” he wrote.

“The phenomenon might be tempting to dismiss as mere trolling or merchandising, and ironical provocations based on traditionalist Catholic symbols do exist, but the far right’s constellations of violent, racist, and homophobic online milieus are well documented for providing a pathway to radicalization and real-world terrorist attacks,” he continued.

The article instantly went viral, prompting outrage from Catholics who have historically been portrayed in America as an invading force to be feared. In response, the Atlantic published two headlines linking the rosary to gun extremism before finally settling on an actual photo of the rosary instead of the bullet hole rosary graphic.

“How Extremist Gun Culture is Trying to Co-Opt the Rosary,” the headline now reads.

As noted by Catholic News Agency, the sale of rosaries shot up shortly after the Atlantic smear piece went viral on social media:

Shannon Doty, CEO of Rugged Rosaries, told CNA Monday that she saw “a pretty good boost in sales” on both of her websites, and amid the reaction to the article.

Rugged Rosaries sells durable rosaries, inspired by rosaries that used to be used in the military during World War I.

Doty said that both websites have a loyal customer base and added that “we are not discouraged, and are in fact strengthened in our determination to make strong rugged rosaries for everyone.”

Catholics and conservatives, in general, mocked the Atlantic in the wake of the article.

Paul Bois joined Breitbart News in the summer of 2021 after previously working as a writer for TruthRevolt and The Daily Wire. He has written thousands of news articles on a variety of topics, from current events to pop-cultural trends. Follow him on Twitter @Paulbois39


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