Witch hunt versus inquisition

“A witch-hunt is a search for malefactors who pretend to be good people but really are intent on doing evil. There is a witch-hunt going on today, namely the search for secret racists at American universities. The witch-hunters pillory teachers and administrators who claim to hold politically correct views but allegedly betray their secret racism through wicked actions, for instance by correcting bad grammar in minority students’ term papers. Loyal liberals who commit no aggressions are said to be guilty of micro-aggressions.

By contrast, the purge of traditional Christians and Jews is a heretic hunt, an Inquisition, whose objective is to isolate and punish individuals who actually profess opinions contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy. There can be some overlap between an Inquisition and a witch-hunt, to be sure. But today’s liberal Inquisitors are not searching for individuals secretly in communion with God — yet.” — David P. Goldman, reviewing It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, by Mary Eberstadt

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