I'm going to juxtapose two quite different photographs. At the top a photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP, with this caption:
Jerusalem, Israel: An Ultra-Orthodox Jew swings a chicken over his head during the Kaparot ceremony in the Mea Shearim neighbourhood. The Jewish ritual is supposed to transfer the sins of the past year to the chicken, and is performed before the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur.In this next photo, from Orange News, via Arbroath -
- a priest blesses manhole covers:
Town Hall officials have asked priests to bless all the manhole covers in their town to stop them being stolen by scrap metal thieves. Councillors in Lodz, Poland, replaced all 4,000 of the town's manhole covers after the new ones had been blessed at a church service to keep them safe.I'm not going to offer commentary except to emphasize that I'm not mocking (and I'll delete disrespectful commentary). Events like these, which elicit derision from nonbelievers, serve to demonstrate how powerful religion can be in the minds of those who are committed to their faith.