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.
The Atlantic is having convulsions over here with how fast they keep changing the headline of their bigoted Rosary attack article. The latest edition also dropped the disgraceful 'bullethole rosary' graphic pic.twitter.com/rpCFFAUFmF
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 15, 2022
As noted by Catholic News Agency, the sale of rosaries shot up shortly after the Atlantic smear piece went viral on social media:
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.
🙏😇💯 The Rosary extremists. pic.twitter.com/NT6gWnqUQG
— Elisa Martinez (@elisa1121) August 15, 2022
A holy rosary is NOT an extremist symbol
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) August 16, 2022
What a week for @TheAtlantic.
They wrote a puff piece about a terrorist organization that has firebombed pro-life pregnancy centers and another claiming the Rosary has become an extremist symbol. pic.twitter.com/w1CNIuGLGT
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 15, 2022
.@JackPosobiec on the Atlantic smearing Catholics and declaring the rosary as a hate symbol: "I pray to rosary everyday … this is who we are, this is who we've always been and we're not changing that." pic.twitter.com/gaJSFHNifk
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) August 16, 2022
The Atlantic Contributor Espousing Anti-Catholic Hatred Is an 'Anti-Hate Expert'
Toronto-based writer Daniel Panneton, who claims the rosary is an "extremist symbol," happens to be an "anti-hate researcher" studying "hateful" meme culture.https://t.co/6L2qYMfBwP
— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) August 16, 2022
Kudos to @MiaCathell for her piece on the "online hate researcher," who wrote up anti-Catholic bigotry for @TheAtlantic claiming the rosary is an extremist symbol. Mia's piece is trending for @townhallcom, so come check out why everyone loves it! https://t.co/DcRsSeX4sR
— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) August 16, 2022
We fight totalitarianism like St. John Paul II.
We fight child-castration like St. Charles Lwanga.
We fight infant-dismemberment like St. Teresa of Calcutta.
We pray the Rosary like St. Dominic.
We set the world on fire.
— CatholicVote.org (@CatholicVote) August 15, 2022
The Atlantic describing a group that has taken credit for acts of political violence
The rosary pic.twitter.com/6a0dv4hewj
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) August 15, 2022
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