Popular religious superstitions float through our culture on a wave of respect that they don’t deserve.
Earlier this year the owners of Hobby Lobby won a court case (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) giving them a dispensation to screw many if not most of their employees out of mandated benefits. They based their case on their oh so sincere beliefs in the popular superstition of Christianity. Would the outcome of the case have been the same if they were true believers in the power of woman hating magic crystals? What if they’d claimed that the Delphic Oracle told them that contraception was evil?
In the year 2014, in the United States, gay people and families are still fighting for equal rights. Not all Christians hate gay people but every win for LGBT equality is a defeat of Christianity. If the belief that homosexual relationships were “disordered” (as the quite insane catechism of the Catholic Church puts it) was held be a small cult located in a remote region of a sparsely populated state, rather than by billions of true believers in a family of cults spread over the globe would we be fighting the same battles? I don’t think so.
If you treat the belief in the Abrahamic gods with more respect than you treat beliefs in Egyptian gods or Greek gods or the power of the planets over individual lives, or any other less popular myths and superstitions, you lend support to the more popular superstition.
I’ve heard people who’d fall over themselves to laugh at myriad forms of woo go silent when a more popular superstition was mentioned, I’ve done it myself. It’s part of our upbringing, part of our culture to respect the Abrahamic gods and myths and disregard or ridicule other unfounded beliefs. But when we give one superstition a special seat in our culture we give their representatives and people who claim to be motivated by them undeserved power over other’s lives.