Christian Century, the house organ for mainline Protestantism in the United States, has done the right thing. It removed James M. Wall from the masthead of the print version of its publication.
His name (which oddly enough, is still listed on the publication’s website) last appeared in the July 5, 2017 issue of the magazine. Wall’s name did not appear in the July 19, 2017 issue of the publication and has not appeared since.
The magazine did not make any announcement about its decision to remove Wall’s name from the masthead of the print version of the magazine, but it is an important moment in the publication’s history.
Between 1972 and 1999, Wall served as Christian Century‘s editor. After he stepped down as editor, Wall served as a regular columnist for the magazine until 2008. As editor and columnist, Wall demonstrated an inveterate hostility toward Israel and a troubling tendency to get things wrong when writing about the Jewish state. His name regularly appeared in CAMERA articles.
In 2012, Wall was appointed to the editorial board of Veterans News Now, an antisemitic website that, among other things, promoted the writings of David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The magazine’s hostility was so evident that at one point, Yahoo blocked it from its news feed.
The presence of Wall’s name onChristian Century‘s masthead is a disgrace that can no longer be countenanced by the magazine’s editors.It is a disgrace that can no longer be tolerated by the board of directors that governs the magazine’s charitable foundation.Wall’s name must be removed from the masthead of Christian Century for one simple reason: He has fallen in with people who have taken up the banner of anti-Jewish hostility that, in a previous era, was waved by the likes of Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and Father Coughlin. He not only associates with this crowd; he gives it ideological ammunition. And he gives this crowd unwarranted credibility by virtue of his presence on Christian Century‘s masthead.
Four years later, Wall’s name was finally removed from the masthead of Christian Century.
Christian Century staffers have not announced why it removed Wall’s name from masthead, but one factor might be the increasingly hostile rhetoric that can been seen on his personal blog where he has described Jews who support Israel as a “fifth column” in the United States.
In any event, it is good that The Christian Century did the right thing by distancing itself from its former editor.
It is lamentable that it took so long.