In poker, a “tell” is something that a player does that gives away what he has in his hand. Experienced players learn to read the body language of their opponents, looking for a tell — a twitchy brow, a quick downturn of the mouth, that sort of thing. It’s a tiny clue that lets you know what’s on the player’s mind. Well, the uniform Twitter use by three prominent Democratic politicians of the phrase “Easter worshippers” for dead Sri Lankan Christians was a tell. It’s likely that none of those politicians — H. Clinton, Obama, and Julian Castro — wrote those condolence tweets; prominent politicians usually have someone else managing their Twitter accounts (Trump is a notable exception). What probably happened is that someone at Democratic messaging central sent out an advisory that the unusual phrase “Easter worshippers” was the preferred word for “Christian” — this, perhaps on the grounds that it would be less likely to feed “Islamophobia.” The now-notorious Washington Post story about how all those dead Sri Lankan Christians so inconsiderately gave the European far-right something to gripe about is a related tell.
Rod Dreher, Saying The C-Word