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Wicca Teens
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I heard the fourth part of this series on NPR yesterday, examining unconventional religious trends in America. It was about Teens and Wicca.

The piece started out talking about how much Wicca was growing, especially among teens. They interviewed some Wiccan teens in a coffee shop, then listened in on a ceremony which apparently uses a lot of basil. Then there were interviews with evangelical Christians, including a minister and a couple of teens, talking about how satan had gotten ahold of these Wiccan kids.

The tone throughout was positive, even flattering, toward Wicca. The point was repeatedly made that this spiritual system focused on positive energy rather than casting hurtful spells, that its inclusion of goddesses makes it appeal more to teenage girls, and that it often helps boost the self-esteem of teens.


One thing they didn't touch on, that I would imagine is also one of the main appeals of Wicca to teens is the fact that it is a fringe religion, probably frowned upon by most parents, which gives it a strong element of rebellion.

But the piece also rubbed me the wrong way in the sense that I've often noticed the trend in liberalism toward knocking the establishment faith, Christianity, while celebrating and honoring minority superstitions. I've seen it put forth by more than one liberal commentator that liberalism is the more intellectual of the political strains in America. If that's the case, then why do so many liberals embrace such unintellectual drivel?

The fact that more and more teens are sacrificing bowls of basil to the hearth goddess in their basement is news...but it's not good news. It means that more and more young people are trading in established hooey for fringe hooey. And that's a sad reflection of our educational framework and general level of skepticism and critical thinking in this country.

That's where the story is, not the treacly pandering of the NPR story, which damn near works as a recruiting poster for Wicca.

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