In all these cases, the failures being examined are largely among the secular elite, not the religious masses. In Jesus' time, one reason the Pharisees' error was so great is that they were the epitome of excellence, the character ideals for everyone. If you wanted to be righteous, you became like them. In our time, the character ideals for the kind of population aren't measured by level of righteousness, but by ability to reason based on the evidence. What if, on average, those who are supposed to best be able to do this are pretty massive failures in areas critical to the future thriving of democracy?