This should prompt us to consider the respective roles of myth and science in offering a guide to life. It is instructive that icons of Enlightenment rationality were rarely at the forefront of movements for practical racial equality. In England, the campaign against slavery was not led by a posse of religiously sceptical philosophers, but by Quakers, Methodists, and Evangelicals. In more recent history, Christian churches that played a central role in the civil rights movement whose leaders were more likely to draw inspiration from the Old Testament prophets than from formal declarations of human rights. Abstract conceptions of human equality seemed less effective in motivating social change than religious convictions grounded in “myths.” Indeed, it is likely that, in historical terms, the former are parasitic on the latter.
– Peter Davidson (thanks to @ayjay)