Why Is the One Percent So Obsessed With Magic? | The New RepublicReligion and magic have a long and intertwined history; there is even evidence that Christ was thought of as a magician. (Cohen likes to tell a possibly apocryphal story about Catholic priests who used a trick in which they’d light urns of oil on fire, which would mix with hidden urns of water so that steam passed through hidden tubes, powering a pneumatic mechanical gear network that could open enormous stone doors at the back of the church—the priest would seem to have opened these heavy doors with fire from afar.) Religion is at once a feat of magic and a response to magic—Christians railed against Pagan “magic” while proclaiming the power of their own homegrown miracles. In 2005, the magician Brock Gill tried to replicate Jesus’ famous miracles for a BBC/Discovery Channel documentary, successfully turning water to wine and walking on water. “It’s possible that there was some type of trick because I was able to do it,” Gill said.