Superstition Is Alive and Well
What Is Superstition?
Superstition is a blindly accepted belief or notion without any rational basis. For instance, a baseball player may wear a certain undershirt whenever he plays thinking it somehow makes him a better player or at the least bring him “luck.” Luck is advantage or success, considered as the result of chance or some good luck charm, such as the ballplayer’s undershirt. Of course, that an undershirt has magical powers is irrational.
Similarly, do tell me how a dead rabbit’s preserved foot can bring luck. Consider the poor rabbit. It brought it no luck. Again, the idea that a rabbit’s foot can bring luck is mere superstition and irrational.
A Contemporary Example
In a more fanciful vain, according to a recent Yahoo News report, “Iceland has been forced to bow to pressure from elves and uncover a supposedly enchanted elfin rock after highway workers accidentally buried it—infuriating the mythical creatures.”
It is claimed that the elves caused numerous problems as a result of covering the rock which is sacred to the elves according to local folklore. The fact is, elves are a normal part of life in Iceland, and Icelanders have often had to bow to their will.
I find it interesting that hundreds of people claim to have seen Icelandic elves and describe them as human-like but diminutive in size and “generally” peaceful. Well, peaceful unless you cover their sacred rock!
Of course, if you go to Iceland and search for elves you will not find them. They are the stuff of superstition. In this case the superstition leans more toward the unlucky than the lucky. Don’t you dare cover their sacred rock! I wonder how much money the Icelandic government spent uncovering the rock to appease those little rascals.
Fantasy Novels and Superstition
Fantasy novels often contain the stuff of superstition, which turns some Christians off to fantasy stories. Goblins, elves, dwarves, wizards, witches and magic wands are anathema to some Christians. But it seems to me that that kind of response is somewhat superstitious—irrational.
I will grant that fantasy fiction written from a godless secular worldview can have a negative influence. Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is anti-religious and particularly anti-Catholic. Pullman, by his own admission, is a “hardened atheist.” His fantasy fiction is written from an anti-God atheistic worldview.
However, as the adage goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Be discerning, but not superstitious! Good fantasy fiction rooted in a solid biblical worldview can have a positive influence—Chronicles of Narnia.
Fantasy Novels Need Good Roots
I write fantasy novels, and my stories are rooted in biblical truth. Wizards, witches, magic? Yes, in a story or two, and yet I do not elevate the occult in any of my stories. Rather, if and when occultist practices are touched on, the true influence behind them is revealed. All of my stories are “light” fantasy rather than “dark” fantasy. They lead toward the Light! They do not lend toward superstition, the irrational. They are rational and lead toward understanding truth.
What are your thoughts on fantasy fiction and superstition?