…you don’t believe nothing. You’ll believe anything.
I’ll leave the Chesterton fans to quote the exact quote.
Someone else has observed that the rise of rationalism in a society will always bring about more superstition. Another observation was that when sacraments are denied witchcraft starts to be on the rise.
Here’s a cautionary tale about a bunch of educated, middle class English people who were conned out of $2m by a woman posing as a shaman. She took their money and sent it to Surinam where it would be hung on a magic tree and other shamans would do rituals so their wishes would come true. Instead she spent the loot on the high life. Here’s the story:
The total amount she defrauded in relation to the charges on the indictment was £908,400, but on the evidence given by victims the final sum was closer to £1 million.
Mr Karsten [the judge] added: “You were telling people that you were a shaman, that is to say a spiritual healer in touch with the spiritual world.
“You told your victims that you had contacts with other shamans… and persuaded them that these were powerful figures who could exercise their power to solve the problems which they were concerned about.
“In each case you promised them that you would be able to resolve the problems by using your powers of communication with two shamans in Suriname, provided they paid a sacrifice.”
The reason superstition rises up as a response to rationalism and witchcraft in response to Protestantism’s denial of the sacraments is because people need to have some way of experiencing commerce with the other side. They need to be in touch with the supernatural powers, and that either happens through the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith, or they go looking for it elsewhere.
This is not the fault only of the poor souls who were taken in by the fake shaman, but also by the modernists and do gooders who turn the Catholic faith into no more than a set of rules and regulations or a social code for becoming nice people. The priest as social worker is just as much to blame for he has abandoned his post and not opened the door to the supernatural graces as he should. Therefore people go wandering about as sheep without a shepherd falling prey to every shaman wolf who comes along.