On the arrogance and ignorance of an uninformed academic declaration of what is “superstitious,” anthropological theorist and student of the Amazonian Wayapí tribe says most succinctly and in a direct manner that warms my rebel heart:
Who gets to draw the line between what is a ‘coherent set of beliefs giving moral shape to a world’ and ‘scrambled relics’ (superstitions)? Radio, televisions, and public debate all around me are flooded with God-talk. The three monotheisms that encircle the world (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) appear in ever more strident and intolerant forms. Presidents and Prime Ministers, judges and police chiefs, journalists and media pundits are all up to their ears in God-talk. In rites and incantations –heaps of scrambled relics – and yet their kind of behavior and their kind of talk are considered respectable. It’s only the vulnerable and the oppressed that get tagged ‘superstitious’ and ‘unreasonable.’
Campbell, Alan T. “Submitting.” In Shamanism: A Reader, edited by Graham Harvey. London: Routledge, 2003.53-54.