The decade's most triggering comedy
G.K. Chesterton is known for once saying: “When men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.” We’re seeing that today in America, where the less we identify with formal religion, the more we give ourselves to new superstitions, alternate forms of spirituality and radical ideologies.
Accordingly, recent polling indicates that Gen Z is by far the most atheistic generation in our recorded history, with 13% professing atheism compared to 6% of the rest of the population. Additionally, one study found that Gen Z is three times more interested in witchcraft than millennials.
Belief in God is waning while belief in witches is rising.
In his book “The Triumph of Faith,” sociologist Rodney Stark points out that in European countries where church attendance is especially low, Christian faith has not been replaced by secularism. It has been replaced by superstition.
For example, in Sweden, which Stark notes “is almost always presented as exhibit A in the case for the triumph of secularization … more than 20 percent of Swedes say they believe in reincarnation; half believe in mental telepathy; and nearly one in five believes in the power of lucky charms. A third believe in New Age medicine such as ‘healing Crystals’; 20 percent would consider purchasing their personal horoscope; 10 percent would consult a medium; and nearly two out of five believe in ghosts.”
In Iceland, it is reported that, “Less than half of Icelanders claim they are religious and more than 40% of young Icelanders identify as atheist.”
At the same time, as Stark goes on to share, “34 percent of Icelanders believe in reincarnation and another 16 percent aren’t sure about it. Moreover, a national survey found that 55 percent of Icelanders believe in the existence of huldufolk, or hidden people, such as elves, trolls, gnomes, and fairies. Consequently, planned highways are sometimes rerouted so as not to disturb various hills and large rocks wherein huldufolk may dwell, and Icelanders planning to build a new house often hire “elf spotters” to ensure that their site does not encroach on huldufolk settlements.”
So, it’s goodbye to God and hello to the elves and trolls!
Stark even mentions how “a rapidly growing group of Icelandic neopagans broke ground for a temple dedicated to worship of the old Norse gods.”
Bring back the ancient idols.
But there is something else that happens when belief in God is cast out, and it’s just what we see happening in America today — one’s radical ideology becomes one’s religion.
Put another way, there really is a religion of the left.
It has its dogmatic beliefs, such as man-made climate change and the importance of environmentalism.
It has its sacred rites, such as abortion.
It has its methods of dealing with defectors, canceling them rather than excommunicating them.
It has its standards of (self) righteousness, established by the ruling elite.
It has its charitable causes, most specifically, the Marxist call for the rich to be stripped of wealth in order to provide equal outcomes for the poor.
It even has the equivalent of personal spiritual awakening, in this case, becoming woke.
That’s why the adherents of the religion of leftism are just as fervent, just as fundamentalist and just as passionate as many followers of traditional religion.
And who or what is the god worshiped by the left? It is the god of self, a god by which all others are judged.
But these observations are nothing new.
Joel Garreau, writing for The New Atlantis in 2010, noted that, “For some individuals and societies, the role of religion seems increasingly to be filled by environmentalism. It has become ‘the religion of choice for urban atheists,’ according to Michael Crichton, the late science fiction writer (and climate change skeptic). In a widely quoted 2003 speech, Crichton outlined the ways that environmentalism ‘remaps’ Judeo-Christian beliefs:
‘There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.’”
Similarly, writing for Crisis Magazine in 2019, Sean Fitzpatrick stated that, “In the culture of death, abortion is a sacrament.”
As he explained, “The feminist writer Florynce Kennedy once said, ‘If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.’ She didn’t give the left enough credit. Abortion has become a kind of ‘sacrament’ because women can get pregnant. Abortion has morphed from a taboo tragedy to a constitutional right: a sine qua non of the Democratic Party, who fight for it religiously. Abortion is a deathly lifeline for progressives, a central column supporting the political platform of narcissistic relativism. It is the unholy sacrament.”
He continued, “Liberals assign a pseudo-sacramental significance inherent in the ‘right’ to kill an unwanted child which causes, like a sacrament, an existential attitude through its symbolic reality. A sacrament is not just a religious idea or holy practice; it is something far more than its external nature suggests. The Sacraments of the Church are institutions of Jesus Christ to give mystical gifts to those of proper disposition. They are efficacious signs of grace, which contain, cause, and confer the thing signified. The word ‘sacrament’ might be applied analogously to those things that both characterize and cause a human condition, and abortion is a dark participant in that analogy.”
Carl R. Trueman, writing for First Things in February 2021, opined that, “All-embracing and transformative views often have a religious quality. Critical race theory is no exception. It has a creedal language and liturgy, with orthodox words (‘white privilege,’ ‘systemic racism’) and prescribed actions (raising the fist, taking the knee). To deviate from the forms is to deviate from the faith. Certain words are heretical (‘non-racist,’ ‘all lives matter’). The slogan ‘silence is violence’ is a potent rhetorical weapon. To fail to participate in the liturgy is to reject the antiracism the liturgy purports to represent — something only a racist would do.” (For a response to Trueman’s article, see “Is Critical Race Theory a Religion? Responding to Carl Trueman” by Valerie Hobbs in Christianity Today.)
But the religion of the left goes even further than this.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors has described how she and her colleagues called on the spirits of the dead at their BLM rallies and how these events had religious connotations for them, based on ancient African practices. She shared this openly in an interview with Professor Melina Abdullah, former chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of BLM
Professor Abdullah met with a BLM group in front of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house in June 2020. As described by Hebah Farrag, “She led the group in a ritual: the reciting of names of those taken by state violence before their time — ancestors now being called back to animate their own justice: ‘George Floyd. Asé. Philandro Castille. Asé. Andrew Joseph. Asé. Michael Brown. Asé. Erika Garner. Asé. Harriet Tubman. Asé. Malcom X. Asé. Martin Luther King. Asé.’”
So, say goodbye to God and welcome to the spirits of the dead.
You better believe there is a religion of the left. And it will actively persecute those who stand in its way.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries and is the author of 40 books. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.