Toil & Trouble

A Brief Account of the Occult at the End of Western Civilization

Newsweek magazine reports that the number of self-identified witches in the United States now exceeds 1.5 million, up from a mere 8,000 in 1990. At that high and growing number, the magazine continues, the devotees of witchcraft far exceed the shriveling membership of the “mainline” Presbyterian Church USA and just about equal the count of Episcopalians.

I am unsure what to make of such comparisons between the witches and the “mainline” Protestants. A cynic of the “Old Believer” sort might see here merely a distinction without a difference, or a welcome clarification of identities.

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Allan C. Carlson is the John Howard Distinguished Senior Fellow at the International Organization for the Family. His most recent book is Family Cycles: Strength, Decline & Renewal in American Domestic Life, 1630-2000 (Transaction, 2016). He and his wife have four grown children and nine grandchildren. A "cradle Lutheran," he worships in a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He is a senior editor for Touchstone.

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more on history from the online archives

31.1—January/February 2018

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29.3—May/June 2016

The Master's Voice

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