I have written about this phenomenon in my own life; but it is striking how many of the secular ideologies are pre-immunized against Christianity: they are built on the assumption that whatever is the answer, Christianity is not the answer; that Christianity is at best useless, and at worse a major cause of the problem.
Their participants are 'free-thinkers' in all other respects, but making the simple philosophical 'move' that the correct answer being sought is 'anything but Christianity' -
(and they make this move because they believe that Leftism is a Christian heresy - when in fact Leftism is a Christian apostasy - always remembering that modern mainstream Christian Churches counts as significantly Leftist, hence mostly apostate)
- ensures that in the end they will follow the same nihilistic trajectory described in Eugene Rose's Nihilism - the trajectory of Liberalism, Realism, Vitalism, Destruction...
The current secular (Neo) Reactionaries are getting terribly excited about having made the transition from Liberalism to Realism, and a few have gone further along the path - but it is an old, old story.
Nihilism-lite certainly doesn't work at a societal level - except as a temporary distraction, and it surely does not work at a personal level - except as a temporary distraction.
Being immunized against Christianity is sufficient to ensure nihilism in the West; because nihilists never convert to other serious religions with serious obligations - Western reactionaries just don't take the non-Christian religions seriously enough. They just play-at them. The exception is Orthodox Judaism - but this option is only open to Jews.
Q: How can we tell what works? A: Who chooses Marriage and Family (coercion doesn't count).
Whatever is the answer must (at minimum - not sufficient) be an answer that gives people and societies the basic perspective from which they are motivated to commit to marriage and the family as the primary social unit, have more than two children (if possible) and raise them (if possible).
The tiniest coherent sect which achieves this level of positive, constructive motivation, is worthy of more serious consideration as an ideology than any number of expedience-wedded, self-distracting, sterile theorizers.
My minimum threshold for the seriousness of anyone who disputes the Marriage and Family Test is that they explicitly repudiate the sexual revolution - in other words, that since they will not marry that they personally make a vow of celibacy.
If not either committed either to marriage or to celibacy, a man is just a dilettante, a flaneur; insincere in thought and weakly expedient in action - and someone who should be disregarded by those who are serious about life.