In some secular progressive circles, a certain myth persists. If you defeat the forces of traditional Christianity — you know, the rubes and fools who believe the Bible is the Word of God — then you’ll make way for a more enlightened, rational, and humane nation and world. In other words, the alternative to religion is reason, and reason is mankind’s great liberating force.
Although I’ve heard some variation on this argument countless times, as I grew older I noticed something odd. Many of the best-educated and least-religious people I knew weren’t all that reasonable. They held to downright irrational views about reality. I remember an elite-educated secular friend in Philadelphia who scoffed at my wife’s Christian faith; this friend was also convinced that her child had an “indigo aura” that imbued him with special gifts. I recall conversations with Harvard Law School classmates who laughed at the New Testament but thought reincarnation was “cool.” And how can I forget the strange sight of Harvard students walking in and out of the neighborhood witchcraft store?
Just today, I saw the news that much-beloved singer Lana Del Rey has admitted to asking her fans to join a “mass occult ritual against President Donald Trump.”