Back in October, we looked at the story of a group of witches in New York City who placed a hex on Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. At the time I had assumed that this was just a few of the random crackpots who turn up for any left-wing spectacle, but it appears that was incorrect. According to a couple of new studies, the practice of witchcraft is on the rise in America in a big way. Particularly among younger people, belief in both witchcraft and paganism are soaring, with the total number of practicing witches in the United States having risen into the millions. (Newsweek)
Witchcraft and other pagan religious practices increased in the U.S. over the past few decades, with millennials turning to astrology and tarot cards as they turn away from Christianity and other traditional religions.
The number of witches and Americans practicing Wicca religious rituals increased dramatically since the 1990s, with several recent studies indicating there may be at least 1.5 million witches across the country. A Trinity College study conducted in 1990 estimated only about 8,000 Wiccans in the U.S., but the increase has been led by a rejection of mainstream Christianity among young Americans as well as a rise in occultism…
Data collected by the Pew Research Center and Trinity College in Connecticut show witchcraft and pre-Christian traditions have been “effectively repackaged” for young adults, the Christian Post first noted. Millennials are seeking more freedom in their spirituality and interest in astrology and tarot card readings have spiked in recent years.
With 1.5 million witches on the loose, that means that they literally outnumber the members of the Presbyterian church. (1.4 million at last count.)
I’ve listened to a couple of interviews with witches on some podcasts I follow and never thought too much about it. They all claim to be able to perform spells through various rituals, but that doesn’t mean that they can actually help you hit the lottery, strike down your enemies or have a movie star fall in love with you. For the most part, it seems to involve convincing you to buy a collection of expensive crystals from a magic shop and charge them up under the light of the full moon or something. After that, you’re on your own. If anything you desired actually happens to take place, the witches will be ready to take credit for it.
So what are we to make of this? It’s one thing for young people to abandon Christian faith in favor of declaring themselves to be “spiritual” rather than religious or even embracing atheism. But this represents a regression to something much darker. How do you separate witchcraft from devil worship? I’m not particularly worried that they’re going to open up a cosmic rift and release a demon or anything, but unstable minds coming into contact with these sorts of influences could wind up doing some serious harm.
By the way, is witchcraft counted as a “religion” for First Amendment purposes? If it is and there are more than a million of them out there, we could be in some actual trouble.