Is it Time for Intellectuals to Talk about God?

Another progressive leftist finds religion in the face of the pandemic measures

Naomi Wolf is a well-known left-wing, secular, progressive, human-rights (in particular women’s rights) activist. Or rather, was.

She wrote recently, in an article whose title I have copied for this entry:

I confessed at that gathering in the woods with the health freedom community, that I had started to pray again. This was after many years of thinking that my spiritual life was not that important, and certainly very personal, almost embarrassingly so, and thus it was not something I should mention in public.

I told the group that I was now willing to speak about God publicly, because I had looked at what had descended on us from every angle, using my normal critical training and faculties; and that it was so elaborate in its construction, so comprehensive, and so cruel, with an almost superhuman, flamboyant, baroque imagination made out of the essence of cruelty itself — that I could not see that it had been accomplished by mere humans working on the bumbling human level in the dumb political space.

I felt around us, in the majestic nature of the awfulness of the evil around us, the presence of “principalities and powers” — almost awe-inspiring levels of darkness and of inhuman, anti-human forces. In the policies unfolding around us I saw again and again anti-human outcomes being generated: policies aimed at killing children’s joy; at literally suffocating children, restricting their breath, speech and laughter; at killing school; at killing ties between families and extended families; at killing churches and synagogues and mosques; and, from the highest levels, from the President’s own bully pulpit, demands for people to collude in excluding, rejecting, dismissing, shunning, hating their neighbors and loved ones and friends. [My emphases.]

Wolf, who is of Jewish heritage, concludes:

So I told the group in the woods, that the very impressiveness of evil all around us in all of its new majesty, was leading me to believe in a newly literal and immediate way in the presence, the possibility, the necessity of a countervailing force — that of a God. It was almost a negative proof: an evil this large must mean that there is a God at which it is aiming its malevolence. [My emphasis.]

This is amazing. After journalist James Delingpole, who was a more or less secular conservative, and Professor Mark Crispin Miller, a (former) leftist secular academic, we have a third more or less well-known public personas who profess that the pandemic, or rather the public reaction to the pandemic, have led, or should one say, driven them to God. Of those three, Naomi Wolf is by far the most famous.

Admittedly, she’s not Christian. She writes in the same article: “As I often say, I’ll take any faith tradition. I’ll talk to God in any language — I don’t think forms really matter. I think intention is everything.”

Still, I see a trend, a pattern. Let’s see who’s next.