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More Fashionable Nonsense

Academic hoaxes are nothing new. In 1768, the Baron d’Holbach published the Portable Theology, or Brief Dictionary of the Christian Religion—slyly attributing authorship to the Abbé Bernier—in which he stoutly defended the prevailing Christian dogmas with entries like

Doctrine: What every good Christian must believe or else be burned, be it in this world or the next. The dogmas of the Christian religion are immutable decrees of God, who cannot change His mind except when the Church does.1

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