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Posts Tagged ‘imaginary gods

Question 133: What does the Gospel of Oneness say about superstition and religion?

Religion and superstition have been intertwined for a long time because various cultures and people groups have looked for external gods and forces outside of themselves in order to explain what was going on in their lives. Whenever people think they have to placate or supplicate to an external god, then superstitious practices will arise.

Some superstitions are relatively harmless such as wearing certain gems or symbolic jewelry to ward off evil. However, some superstitions can be very harmful such as the practice of human sacrifice to satisfy certain deities. That is rare in human cultures, but a more widespread superstition that was practiced in  many cultures and religions around the world is animal sacrifice.  Sacrificing animals was seen as a way to atone for personal and group sins. The animals became the scapegoats for human failings.

Religious rites and rituals can be turned into superstitions if they are practiced in a rote manner with no inner understanding of what the ritual means. The communion service or Eucharist in the Christian religion is an example. When people use it as an outer ritual to satisfy their desire to look and be religious, then it becomes a superstition they think will please God.

To be superstitious means to not take responsibility for ourselves. We have the power of God within us and we don’t have to bow down to outer imaginary gods. If we have done something that we feel was wrong, we don’t have to blame it on someone else or sacrifice an animal to make up for it. If we want our crops to grow and our businesses to succeed, then we need to take practical steps using our initiative and free will to make it happen.

In the Gospel of Oneness we realize that to be superstitious is to lack faith in our own powers, so we introspect in order to see if we are acting superstitious about anything. The goal is to become consciously aware of what we actually believe and then cast out superstitious beliefs so we can act with clear minds.

To affirm our own loving nature and our oneness with God and all life can also be a superstition if we don’t deeply feel it within our own hearts.

We boast of our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?—Judith Viorst

To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy. – William Inge

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.—Edmund Burke

The religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences—Elizabeth Cady Stanton


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