Atlantic op-ed claims Catholic rosary has become ‘an extremist symbol’

Atlantic contributor Daniel Panneton declared that the Catholic rosary has become a "symbol" of religious radicalism.

The rosary is a string of beads or knots used by Catholics as they pray a sequence of prayers, but one writer warned they have taken on a far darker meaning in modern times. "Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics," Panneton claimed in the Sunday piece titled, "How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol."

He added, "On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal."

Panneton slammed an entire online ecosystem for disseminating imagery featuring Christian warriors both historical and modern, suggesting that "social-media pages are saturated with images of rosaries draped over firearms, warriors in prayer, Deus Vult (‘God wills it’) crusader memes, and exhortations for men to rise up and become Church Militants."

He observed that rosary beads "provide an aide-mémoire for a sequence of devotional prayers, are a widely recognized symbol of Catholicism and a source of strength. And many take genuine sustenance from Catholic theology’s concept of the Church Militant and the tradition of regarding the rosary as a weapon against Satan."

The Atlantic contributor gave a wide variety of examples of how the modern association between rosaries and fighting men has become marketable to a niche audience, noting that "radical-traditional Catholics sustain their own cottage industry of goods and services," such as one store that "sells replicas of the rosaries issued to American soldiers during the First World War as 'combat rosaries.'"

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The Most Powerful Weapon: The Holy Rosary
In October 2009, a battalion of soldiers from Britain’s Coldstream Guards was deployed to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan to launch an offensive with U.S. and NATO forces against the Taliban. Among them was Private Glenn Hockton, an 18-year-old from the Essex region northeast of London. He was responsible for loading shells into mortars.

Afghanistan was, of course, a war zone, which meant that its soil was peppered with land mines. At the time that Hockton was on his tour of duty, the British military could have used any number of techniques to sniff out and destroy mines before its soldiers came across them. Some armies used heavy-duty remote-controlled bulldozers, others used helicopters with high-tech rakes, while still others experimented with spraying a special bacteria on the ground that lights up when it comes in contact with TNT.

Any of these techniques might have prevented Hockton from trudging across a mine-infested Afghan field one day with five fellow soldiers. But he had no such luck. As he walked through this field that day, Hockton had a sensation on his back and instantly felt something that had been around his neck fall to the ground. When he stopped to pick it up, he realized he’d just stepped on an improvised explosive device; if he stepped off it, he’d be blown to bits. He called to his comrades, who rushed back and—over the course of the next 45 minutes—worked to disarm the mine as Hockton just stood there.

It worked. To the battalion’s relief, Hockton was freed without losing so much as a fingernail. When he returned from Afghanistan months later to be reunited with his family in England, Hockton told the story of how his life had been spared not by infrared technology or metal detectors or de-mining radars, but by that thing that fell from his neck at the right time. That thing was a Rosary.
St. Padre Pio declared, “The Rosary is the weapon for these times.” Especially now the world is in great need of this weapon to combat hatred, anxiety, illness, and hardship. Much of the might of the Rosary comes from the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Willy ~ Most soldiers hang something of their faith over their armour or around their necks, Crucifix, or medal or Rosary. The Muslim faith have a rosary of sorts to pray with as have other cultures and religious belief.

As for the Rosary becoming an ;extremist Symbol ' I think those who disagree with the Rosary and who are not tolerant of others religions and beliefs are the ones who may call it that.

The Rosary became a life saver in Ireland when our country was taken over and when things were bad and the Roman catholics could not say mass so had to go to hedges and say them in secret, when they had to denounce their language, their wonderful crafts and other customs.

At the time, most people could not read and write, The Rosary was a way of learning about scripture for those who otherwise wouldnot have known. I disagree with praying direct to Mary mother of Jesus and God made it very clear that you pray to nobody but him. Apart from that, these people have and still do gain great soccour and relief from saying the Rosary and invoking Jesus , Blessed is the womb of thy womb jesus.
Roman catholics believe Mary brings catholics to God.

What worries me is those who think it is an extremist symbol. It does not incite people to violence, far from it, it is a mantra, there are the various different rosaries , the sorrowful mysteries, etc, which means the people had the knowledge of much of the Bible. God bless
seems like The Atlantic has become just another Mudhole!uh oh
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