How Gullible Is Christopher Hitchens?

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He’s gullible enough to believe that Orthodox Jews have sex only through a hole in the sheet, and gullible enough to repeat that myth in his latest book. Ok, ok, a lot of people fell for this one, including Hitchens’ editors, reviewers, Larry David, and me. But we’re not Christopher Hitchens, and we didn’t write The Missionary Position: Mother Theresa in Theory and Practice. Mark Oppenheimer blogs:

As a lie, it’s not as bad as the blood libel, but it’s not so far from the old tales of sexual perversion in Catholic monasteries and convents — it’s a lie meant to discredit a whole people by making them seem sexually bizarre and far outside decent society.

One possible derivation of the urban legend:

Seeing Jews in religious neighborhoods hanging their “talitot katan” out to dry. This poncho-like garment is about two feet by four feet, has a fringe on each corner, and a hole in the center for the wearer’s head, and it looks somewhat like a small sheet with a hole, and many people have vivid and warped imaginations.

Hey Hitch! Did you know “gullible” isn’t in Wikipedia?

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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