Friday, October 13, 2006
Analyzing Friday the 13th
John Miller takes a look at the background of a contamporary superstition for the Opinion Journal (from WSJ): "Your Unlucky Day." Here is his introduction:

Feeling unlucky today? If so, you're in the minority but certainly not alone: About 9% of Americans believe that Friday the 13th is jinxed, according to a 1990 Gallup poll. It's one of our more prevalent star-crossed superstitions, running a little behind a black cat crossing your path (which worries 14%) and walking beneath a ladder (12%) and a little ahead of breaking a mirror (4%).

Religious authorities have often warned against putting faith in superstition. The First Commandment contains a clear injunction against worshipping strange gods. In "Summa Theologiae," the 13th-century manual of Roman-Catholic doctrine, Thomas Aquinas wrote: "Superstition is a vice contrary to religion by excess, not that it offers more to the divine worship than true religion, but because it offers divine worship either to whom it ought not, or in a manner it ought not."

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