Diana Manister wrote:
> "Atheist" and "Jew" are not necessarily distinctions,
Not now, perhaps, but in Eliot's time and to Eliot they were
radically distinct, so much so that putting "free thinking" and "Jews"
together in the same phrase was for him the yoking of two mutually
exclusive things into one.
> My point was that Eliot's phrase "free-thinking Jews" implies a
> dynamic: too many Jews for Eliot's comfort tend to free-thinking (or
> atheism, if you prefer.)
Again, today it might be made to mean what you say, but to Eliot the
free thinking Jews he eschews would be you and me, i.e. Americans who
follow alien (unnatural) gods.