Back a few days ago, we cried "J'accuse" (I accuse). Now everyone's doing it. Could this be because so many people are logging onto the Scarlet Pimpernel of blogs, "oh brother" you say? Or could it be the obvious resemblance of this current cause célèbres, to another famous and pivotal cultural event that shook the foundations of French society in the years before the First World War known as the Dreyfus Affair? The associations of the affair with a Jewish officer guilty of treason and its subsequent attack on traditional society is what is so important to the expression and the event.
It's probably true that most of the sympathetic readers of this ephemeral publication are anti-Dreyfusards, even if they don't know who Dreyfus was. The Dreyfus case, like many before and since, became a means of social change and a bludgeon to attack the traditions of society. And because we don't like the way the press has been deliberately misrepresenting the Church and the calls to bulldoze it under the ground, we can look back in history at how these movements have panned out and perhaps understand how it is that modern liberals are moved by the same sentiments that motivated anarchists, socialists and other social reformers in the day, and how these stories became for them, mythos.
It's astoniishing that Commonweal is producing this article, it's nice that they picked up on the J'accuse reference, we're glad they did, even if they don't spend any time over here. We're also glad they picked up on what an opportunist Jeffrey Anderson of the ACLU (I SUE YOU!) happens to be. It's to be expected that way, but what's amazing is that even more than mentioning the ACLU, Commonweal actually embarked on what will only be identified as a foray into anti-Semitism by suggesting that the NYTs activities amount to the appearances of The Protocals of Zion.
The essay probably slips up a bit in that it identifies the New York Times, a Jewish paper, as a kind of religion. Indeed, it's the moutpiece of the religion of secular humanism with which the Catholic Church has been at war for hundreds of years; Commweal writes:
And even today, of course, there is much criticism of the Times that smacks of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, especially when it comes to the newspaper’s coverage of the Middle East. Still, the paper’s institutional suspicion of traditional religions, especially when they assert themselves in public affairs, makes Orthodox Jews as well as conservative Evangelicals and Catholics feel like barbarians at the gates. The most telling comment Tifft and Jones elicited in this regard was from the current publisher, Arthur Ochs “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. He described his personal faith this way: “I have the Times. That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in, and it’s a hell of a thing to hold on to.”