We tend to underestimate the phenomenon of all the New Age religions that are growing up around us like kudzu on steroids. Don't you realize that Christianity, Islam, and so on are on their last legs? In a few years they will be as defunct as Mithraism, and instead people will be paying obeisance to images of Deepak Chopra or Neale Donald Walsh. Worshippers will do rituals at the lotus feet of Carolyn Myss and worship the Divine Mother in her incarnation as Madonna (Ciccione). Priests will intone passages from Wayne Dyer's holy writs; scholars will write exegeses on Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.
Of course, all of these charismatic personalities will have to be sacrificed in picturesque and gruesome ways so that some Mel Gibson of the future can make a stirring movie about how they saved us all from our New Age sins (such as low self-esteem, non-lateral thinking, and lack of quantum vision). Perhaps the Bush administration, with its new "mandate," will be persuaded by its core constituency to make a pre-emptive strike on all New Age religions lest they gain a competitive advantage over a certain legitimate state religion that should enjoy monopolistic privileges under our Constitution. That will be self-defeating in the long term, for martyrdom will feed the mania of self-empowered multitudes. But in the meantime, Deepak, watch your back!