The phrase, as you probably know, is the sentence Voltaire passed on the Catholic Church: crush the infamous thing.
The Atlantic has been redesigned again, made thinner and flashier, with shorter pieces reduced even further. At the top of one of the pages devoted to these, there's a box labelled "A Very Short Book Excerpt." The excerpt consists of five sentences from Garry Wills's latest attack on the Church of which he still, oddly, remains a member: Why Priests? A Failed Tradition.
Based on the excerpt, it's the typical odd skeptical-fundamentalist approach--it's not in the New Testament, therefore it's bogus. I know, who cares what Wills thinks? Not me. But it's interesting that The Atlantic chose to print it. What do they care whether the Catholic Church calls its clergy "priests" or not? What do they care whether it has priests or ministers or rabbis or gurus?
Neither religion in general nor Christianity in particular gets much attention at all in this magazine, and when they do it's usually of an anthropological sort, with a bit of mild alarm or disgust thrown in when the latter appears. I have to suppose that it still vexes them that the Church continues to exist, or that it refuses to conform itself to the secular consensus. So now and then they're willing to give a platform to someone who claims to have evidence that it's a fraud. I guess this is of a piece with the typical hyped-up stories that appear around Christmas and Easter attacking some core Christian belief.
Still, it's odd--why pick on this particular belief, which is mostly of consequence within the Church? I suppose it could be taken as a back-handed compliment, an indication that they do think the priesthood a different thing from, say, the Protestant clergy.