Op-Ed Columnist - Paranormal Flexibility - NYTimes.com
More people in America believe in ghosts than evolution or catastrophic climate change.
Twenty percent of Protestants and 28 percent of Catholics said they believe in reincarnation, which flies in the face of Christianity’s rapture scenario. Furthermore, about the same percentages said they believe in astrology, yoga as a spiritual practice and the idea that there is “spiritual energy” pulsing from things like “mountains, trees or crystals.” Uh-oh. Someone’s God is going to be jealous.
Surprisingly, in some cases, those who identified themselves as Christian were more likely to believe these things than those who were unaffiliated. (It should be noted that unaffiliated is not the same as nonbeliever. Many are spiritual people who simply haven’t found the right church, synagogue, mosque, coven, Ouija board club, or whatever.)
Furthermore, 16 percent of Protestants and 17 percent of Catholics said that they believe that some people can use the “evil eye” to “cast curses or spells that cause bad things to happen.” I have to say that based on the looks my mother used to shoot me when I was misbehaving, that evil eye thing might have legs.
Since 1996, the percentage of Americans who said that they have been in the presence of a ghost has doubled from 9 percent to 18 percent, and the percentage who said that they were in touch with someone who was dead has increased by nearly two thirds, rising from 18 percent to 29 percent.