Superstition ok if you don't actually believe it?

Hey all,

Just wondering, I know real superstition is wrong because it undermines God, but what about play superstition? Like making a wish when you blow out candles on a birthday cake or kissing the Blarney Stone? You don’t do it because you actually believe your wish will come true or you will be eloquent all of a sudden, but you do it for fun and tradition’s sake? Is there anything wrong with that or am I just being overly scrupulous?

Good question. I don’t have any well thought out or theologically based answer, but my feeling is that it is just harmless fun. But I would like to add a rather strange example. I teach at a Catholic university. There is a large crucifix/statue (about 15 feet tall) on campus, in the middle of a wide sidewalk/walkway. The students consider it bad luck to walk within the circle surrounding it (there is like a pattern made of pavers in a circle within the concrete sidewalk… sorry, kind of hard to explain). Anyway, during final exams the students go out of their way to make sure they don’t step within the circle, because that is ‘bad luck’. I had not previously thought about things like birthday candles or Blarney stones, but in this case the obvious irony has brought it to my conscious.

I do this too… if I see a falling star I make a wish… but it becomes a prayer because I dont believe that destiny exists or has ears. God has :slight_smile:

IF you don’t actually believe it, why would you do it.

I find it questionable for folks to follow some superstitions such as “don’t pick up a penny unless it is head up” or send this chain letter email to 10 folks or you get bad luck.

A few such as not walking under a ladder, can actually save you from getting paint spilled on you. But many are silly or questionable. IF you do something (or not do something) because you think it will bring good or bad luck then you are following a superstition.

Even if you think you don’ believe it. IF you keep up the practice you may find some random correlation to the good or bad luck and start believing in the superstition behind it. AND what if some demon causes a direct correlation for you, so for you the superstition holds true all the time because of some demonic influence.

Some things are perfectly innocent, but I would pay no attention to many of the little superstitions that some folks build up over time. Stuff like tossing a pinch of salt over your shoulder or not stepping on cracks and junk like that.

Sorry to drag up this thread but…

You don’t happen to teach at Duquesne University do you? I attended that university through last semester, and they have a statue there the students call “scary Jesus,” that they try not to walk in the circle around.

Seeker of God-
You beat me to it! My daughter goes there now and I was going to ask the same question! Too funny! :smiley:

Haha. Didn’t know there were so many people who were familiar with Duquesne. :slight_smile:

I’m hoping to transfer to Franciscan University of Steubenville this upcoming semester, but I was at Duquesne for two years.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit