I. History and Origins.
A. To get going let’s first define what a superstition is. 1. According to the Encyclopaedia of Superstitions by E. Radford, Superstition; is a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. 2. Another definition is it's an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition. 3. And lastly it is a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary. B. Superstition and its origins date back to centuries ago when our ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances or events as best as they could with the knowledge they had. 1. An example is before the development of science explained such strange things as why mirrors show our reflections or why shadows appear when it's sunny, ancient people reasoned that a shadow or reflection was part of their souls. 2. So if someone broke something onto which the shadow or reflection appeared, people believed that their soul was harmed. Therefore, when a person broke a mirror it was considered unlucky or harmful and that is where the common superstition of breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck. Transition to body: Even today as we go about our everyday lives we practice religious superstition as well. II. Religious Superstition.
A. Most common religious superstition is saying; God Bless you, when someone sneezes. 1. The custom of saying; God bless you; to someone suffering from a cold and given to the occasional sneeze goes back to an old belief. 2. The essence of this superstition is centred in the belief that a demon lay within the sick person and causes the illness. The soul of the sick person, it was believed, was somehow possessed and needed to be exorcised. The only way to get rid of the demon was by sneezing but this also had inherent dangers. A person who sneezed was thought to be close to death because sneezing could also expel the soul from the body. Therefore, whenever someone sneezes, the name of God is evoked as a prayer and blessing that the demon and not the soul has been expelled. B. Superstitions about salt date back to biblical times when salt was a highly prized commodity. It was expensive, crucial in preserving food, and was often used in lieu of currency. So spilling salt was considered an almost sacrilegious offence, and left one perilously exposed to the devil's machinations. 1. The salt is either intended to blind the devil so he can't...