The original question was:
In the June 8, 2011 Evidence News, you used the word “Christophobic”. I have never heard that word it before, so what does it mean?
Answer by John Mackay
The word Christophobic (pronounced cris-toe-foe-bic) is almost unheard of in Australia, but we are not the first to use it or its derivatives. We used the word Christophobic to describe the increasing tendency in the western world to reject any authoritative reference to, or use of, the name of Christ in public arenas such as education, politics etc. It is derived from two root words: ‘Christo’ – pertaining to the name of Christ, the Messiah, Jesus; and ‘phobia’ – a fear. A person who is Christophobic is therefore one to whom even the mention or use of Christ’s name as an authority, is regarded as unallowable in public life. A Christophobic person is a Christophobe.
One group of Christophobes, who have been around for quite a while, is the Masonic Lodge with their (often unstated) rule that you can mention the creator, the “Great Architect,” or even God, but not Jesus or Christ.
The opposite of Christophobic would be Christophilic – a person who is a lover of the name of Christ, but we don’t think that will catch on.
The earliest articles we could find are in 2005 in a review of a book The Cube and the Cathedral by a Catholic theologian George Weigel. According to this article the term “Christophobia” is “a term coined by international legal scholar J.H.H. Weiler (himself an observant Jew) to describe a phenomenon clearly prevalent in many parts of Europe, where even a mention of Christ or the Church in private conversation, much less in a public forum, is enough to cut short public dialogue or private conversation.” Reference: catholicity
The EU gets a Christophobic label from the Washington Post in an article about the EU’s determination to remove all references to anything Christian in spite of the intense interest in the Catholic papacy following the death of John Paul II and the accession of the current Pope Benedict. Reference: Washington Post
There are a few references where Christophobia is used in the same way as Islamophobia. The term is usually used in terms of persecution or ostracism of Christians, rather than the root cause, i.e. rejection of Christ. Here is an example from a website named “Frontline Fellowship” which deals with mission work in Africa.
So there you are. We may not be the first to use it, but it is a descriptive and useful Created word about reactions to the Creator Christ, who is not going to go away even if people do not want to mention His name, so share it around.
This question was in response to an item in our free e-mail newsletter. To receive this newsletter (it is free) click here
Were you helped by this answer? If so, consider making a donation so we can keep adding more answers. Donate here.