Author Christopher Bedford profileCable news angerCatholic umbrageinternet mockery, and even a host of memes — these are just some of the reactions to The Atlantic’s article calling Catholic rosary beads “an extremist symbol” now being used as “a weapon” by “radical-traditional Catholics.”

The backlash was so widespread, Atlantic editors moved to change the headline, alter the subheadline, and even delete the bullet-hole image they’d commissioned for the piece, replacing it with a simple Getty picture of the Catholic prayer beads. (Though none of these updates were noted by any editor’s note; a practice that’s in line with their editorial standards these days.)

Here’s the strange thing, however: The Atlantic’s boy-author is right. …

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