Not long ago I was covering the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, a wildly popular event hosted by Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert that drew well over 200,000 people to the Washington Mall. The gathering was decidedly odd—two faux newscasters had organised a semi-faux rally. But what impressed me were the signs I saw people carrying. It was a sea of plucky disaffection: “This is a sign”; “One sign to rule them all”; “I want more tortillas when I order fajitas at a restaurant”; “I have a PhD in horribleness”; “I Like Turtles”; “Eat Some Sushi”; “My president is black and this sign is blue”; and “I already regret carrying this sign around all day.”

What clever nonsense, I thought as I pushed my way through the crowds. I had never been to a postmodern rally before.

In an effort to make intellectual sense of this, I turned to a new book by Nancy Pearcey, America’s pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual. Her new book, “Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals and Meaning”, presents a case for Christianity as the best counterweight to the secular, anti-God views of Western culture. Leonardo da Vinci’s used his Christian worldview to reveal the spiritual realm within our ordinary lives, she writes. His 15th-century paintings, such as the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, reflected the idea that man is on Earth for a reason; that our lives have meaning and there is harmony, order and design in the created universe.

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