Don’t come to church if you’re feeling ill. That’s the advice from the Catholic Diocese of Dallas.
“If you are not feeling well, especially during this time of concern, please stay at home and do not risk spreading infection to others,” said the Rev. Michael Dugan, the diocese’s director of the Office of Liturgy
That’s right, don’t risk infecting people. Very sensible advice, however, I thought Jesus was magic, and that little cracker they eat at mass was LITERALLY the flesh of Jesus. So a cracker of Jesus is not enough to either cure you or immunize you from swine flu. Perhaps you need to eat a whole box? I don’t know. Then there’s the most obvious question, what about prayer?
Matt 7:7 – Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives
Matt 17:20 – For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Oh there’s more where that came from. Check the Christian bible if you don’t believe me, or try this site. So stay home from church? Why, that sounds, um, what’s the word? Oh yes, contradictory. Does this prayer stuff work or doesn’t it? Is having some Jesus in your belly powerful magic or not? That cracker is Jesus, isn’t it? Is he powerless against swine flu?
Stories like this have to beaten like a drum, for they’re indicative of what I keep saying is the key to snapping people out of irrational beliefs. We rely on critical thinking every day, not faith. Do we rely on faith before crossing the street, or do we look first to see that it’s safe? Do we rely on faith when deciding what to do when we get one of those Nigerian emails? Do we rely on faith when we’re ill, or a doctor? Do you call an ambulance or a priest when there’s a medical emergency? When it comes down to real consequences, where does that faith go? Right out the window of course, every time. Why even the Pope gets carted around in a bullet-proof Popemobile. Where’s the faith?
It’s very easy to accept irrational beliefs when there are seemingly no consequences, but when there are, especially ones that could be life threatening, it’s even easier to drop them, and believers do this so automatically that they simply don’t even take notice of it. Worst of all, doing so is given a complete pass, and as long as they get that pass, then the rest of the nonsense will sit comfortably. Well I think they shouldn’t get a pass, and any believer who opts for the rational instead of the irrational should be put to task.