Chesterton said that when people stop believing in God they do not believe in nothing, they believe in everything. That dictum is well illustrated in postsecular America. "Flying saucers have become big again," Ehud Sperling, president of Inner Traditions, told Publishers Weekly (June 14). "There is renewed interest in psychedelics. Sex, drugs and rock and roll are still with us in avery big way. . . . The search for meaning is the fundamental modus operandi."
Sperling, who claims to have invented the term "New Age" (to replace the "Occult" signs in bookstores), pioneered the field in 1978 with a book on aromatherapy. Now he sells a book on magnet therapy—a hot topic in other New Age catalogs.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).