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Subtracting Christianity:
Essays on American Culture and Society

– a 456-page collection of 117 articles by Joseph Sobran

Sobran, one of the most articulate spokesmen on the war against Christian society and the culture of death, unravels the perils of government intervention in our lives, the decline of the culture, and the abandonment of the U.S. Constitution in this outstanding collection of his writings.


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Book Reviews of Subtracting Christianity

Yvonne Lorenzo

Yvonne Lorenzo, Sober Wisdom in Sobran's Subtracting Christianity at LewRockwell.com

Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, The Wit and Wisdon of a “most gloriously judgmental” man at The Catholic World Report

Msgr. Charles Pope, Whence Comes the Special Resistance to Christ? A Meditation on a Teaching from Joseph Sobran; and Enough ‘comfort Catholicism.’ The Church must prepare for persecution.

Fr. C.J. McCloskey III, The Importance of Sobran at LewRockwell.com

Robert Royal, The Times Are Out of Joint at The Catholic Thing

Chilton Williamson, Sui Generis in Chronicles magazine

Fran Griffin, Subtracting Christianity: Sobran's Invaluable Work on Religion in America from Latin Mass magazine

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More Praise for Subtracting Christianity

For 20 years, I witnessed the incredible genius, talent, and insights of Joe Sobran while we were publishing his weekly column, “Washington Watch.” I highly recommend this new volume, focusing on his writings on religion and the rejection of Christianity in our culture. It should be on everyone’s book shelf.

— Al Matt, Editor, The Wanderer


Christianity and the moral code it bequeathed mankind did not have a more eloquent defender in our lifetimes than Joe Sobran. His wit, his insight, his capacity to clarify, simplify, and beautify the revealed truths were unrivaled. He was a champion of the unborn who relished intellectual combat, and bore his wounds of battle bravely. This splendid collection of his essays, some of them timeless, brings his unique voice back to life for many of us. May it introduce this gifted man of words, my old friend, to a new generation. 

—Patrick J. Buchanan


Joe Sobran, perhaps the greatest American pro-life champion of the past 50 years, had a capacious, Renaissance mind, as anyone who delves into this brilliant collection of essays will see. There is ample balm for the soul here from his keen moral sense, and wit and entertainment of a high order for the mind, all delivered with impeccable style. One need not agree with all of it – Joe would probably be disappointed if you did – but who would not be better for having read it?

— Robert R. Reilly



For fans of G.K. Chesterton, to whom Sobran is often compared, this book’s emphasis on our Christian roots will be of particular interest. Sobran writes eloquently on the beauty of Christ’s teachings, and the resistance to them in society today. A must read for those concerned with the direction of our culture.

— Fr. C. John McCloskey
Church historian and research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.


The essays in this collection of Joseph Sobran's work are as fresh and exhilarating as the day he wrote them. In the five years since his passing, his thoughts on the main cultural, political and religious issues of the day are as lively, relevant, brilliant and compelling — perhaps even more so — than when he penned them. It was one of the great tragedies of our times that his audience was largely confined to the small readerships of The Wanderer and his own newsletter. It is to be hoped that this volume will bring his incredibly penetrating mind to the attention of a new generation, who will find his wit and charm as attractive as his contemporaries did, and his insights a needed balm for the many errors from which so much contemporary commentary suffers.

— Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer


“Joe Sobran was the premier prose stylist of his generation.”

— E. Michael Jones
Editor, Culture Wars


It is astonishing to think that Joe Sobran penned most of the essays and commentaries in this anthology during the last twenty to thirty years. Whether he was engaging religion, morals, politics or history, everything herein collected is not only beautifully phrased but consistently defiant of Political Correctness. Small wonder that Joe was excommunicated by the arbiters of “conservative” good taste! He was too iconoclastic and free-thinking in his conservatism to fit the current commercial mold. I am waiting in vain for an authorized “conservative” columnist to follow Joe’s gutsy example by titling his syndicated opinions “Scouting and Sodomy” and “Gaily Ever After” or daring to notice the “conflation of Christianity with anti-Semitism.” Needless to say, today’s mercenary windbags have nothing in common with the uncommonly brave and eloquent author of these posthumously republished commentaries.

— Paul Gottfried


This generation of writers would serve itself well to study the writings of Joe Sobran. Truly a writer's writer — he was second to none among his peers. No one could match his genius and wit when championing a conservative or Catholic cause. Much of Joe's insight into the future is unfolding before our eyes today.

— Joseph Matt, President, The Wanderer


There has never in my long life of reading been any author who was as able to blend such effortless style with such incomparable insights — about life and love, war and peace, history and the future — as Joseph Sobran. Page after page of every Sobran book, paragraph after paragraph of every Sobran column, left me in wonder, asking myself countless times: “Why did I never think of it that way?” His easy elegance made the truth of his ideas all the more certain; he was the Occam’s razor of contemporary essayists. The essays reprinted in Subtracting Christianity will be the proof of that pudding.  

--Rev. Anthony J. Brankin
Pastor of Saint Odilo Parish, Berwyn, Illinois


Before Roe v. Wade, and many years before the Supreme Court redefined marriage, Joe Sobran was a lone voice, warning us that society was slowly advancing toward savagery. Not only was he among the first to sound the alarm, he was, without question, the most persuasive and articulate defender of life and morality of the past 50 years. Heed the words of this modern-day prophet in many brilliant essays of this outstanding collection of his work.

— Joe Scheidler, chief defendant in Now v. Scheidler


During the final collapse of the Roman Empire, Livy wrote of “the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.” In this astonishingly relevant book — astonishing, because some of its essays were written many decades ago — Joe Sobran, as one would expect, exposes with searingly ironic wit the many vices and follies of our modern-day Western culture.

But the book does something more. It also describes, with clarity, power, and great beauty, the remedies — really, the remedy, The Thing — needed to cure us. In this way, Subtracting Christianity can be thought of as Joe’s parting gift — maybe his greatest gift — to the civilization he loved so much. Profound gratitude is the only proper response.

— Fr. Ronald K. Tacelli, S.J., Boston College

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