Emotion is a fact.
I take from this short statement the same sentiment that Bruce Schneier was speaking about, when he stopped whining about how everything "security theater" was completely irrelevant, and started exploring the real and tangible impact and importance of the feeling of safety IN ADDITION TO actual safety controls. You cannot just dismiss grandma's warm and fuzzy acceptance of strict authoritarian searches, you have to actually include it in the calculus, the whole of which can inform the security methodology.
Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders. When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.
Religion is the same: you can't just dismiss religion, it's a palpable phenomenon for a large number of stakeholders. Often, you can coexist with their philosophy while still doing real science. Galileo wasn't locked up in house arrest for his science, he was locked up for being an ass to the church. The church actually had little problem with the already-common views on the shape of the solar system, and would have "come around" on the matter much faster without his goading.