African Pentecostals Preach Prayer Over HIV Drugs

RNS-HIV-HEALINGPentecostal preachers perform prayer healing services, administer a test proving they have been healed, burn the medicine in ritual, and then collect the money. Why is this not illegal? It might be Nairobi Africa or Uganda but there are still laws. Why does not the pope rise up and shout from his Vatican roof that prayer does not replace medicine? Why do not these megachurch icons like Rick Warren stand up and say that prayer does not replace medicine and therapy? Why do not the apologists like Armstrong and Chopra stand up and say take the drugs? All of them are complicit in the ill health and deaths of those who abandon medicine for prayer. All of them participate in these suicides as homicidal participants.

The “cure” is not free, and some people say they shell out their life savings to receive a miracle blessing and quit taking the drugs.

Four of those who had received the alleged prayer cure died within a month, according to Lavonga, who remains bitter that the government has not taken any action to stop the practice.

“The pastors should be in jail,” she said.

Why do not all other pentecostal leaders stand up and say stop. They can rise together in unison that being gay is a sin but cheating people and creating death through prayer isn’t?

“We (clergy) must demonstrate leadership in this area,” said Jane Ng’ang’a, who coordinates the Kenya chapter of INERELA+, an interfaith network of religious leaders living with HIV. “We should be in the forefront, encouraging adherence to the medicines, as we offer psychological and mental support to those infected and affected.”

The Rev. Adama Faye of the Lutheran Church in Senegal said prayers for miracle healing inflict serious damage not only on those who are victimized.

“We are concerned it is negating achievements against HIV and AIDS,” he said. “Governments should also keep close watch on those pastors who cheat people through the miracles.”

Prayer satisfies a need for quick cure and avoids the stigma of drugs. Why then do they not say pray for health but take the drugs? They cannot admit that religion fails. They cannot provide partial comfort but must claim cure.

Roserita Nyawera, another victim in western Kenya, said the desperation among people living with HIV and their fear of stigma and family rejection make it easy for them to accept offers for a cure.

“When you are told there is an easier option, you want them (drugs) out of your life,” said Nyawera.

In Uganda, Gabriel Amori, coordinator of that country’s INERELA+ chapter, said Pentecostal church pastors often tell people that a lack of faith is the reason the prayer healing isn’t working.

“The patients do not actually get healed, but they try to believe they are to prove they have faith, even if there is no clinical proof,” he said.

How do people like Karen Armstrong sleep at night? Compassion is the common factor of all religions, as she claims? What kind of compassion drives nearly all of their religions to rely on prayer for comfort, guidance, and healing in the face of their failures? Depaak Chopra should also be ashamed. His new agey crap born from Krishnamurti that god is the ineffable or the energy, vibration, of consciousness and that one need only put it out there to get what they want is criminal. Seductive in its pseudoscience others tolerate their crap because they are desperate to make connections that soothe the ego and cannot think clearly, “I was thinking of you and you called.” These cosmic charlatans take a small understanding of cognitive processes and combine it with human misery to cheat people of their money and ability to think clearly. They cripple them for life and when their religion fails the victims return believing they just weren’t sincere enough or their prayers weren’t answered. Let us ask why? Was god too busy? Why weren’t this prayers answered?

Why don’t they instead tell people to become stronger in themselves instead of a sky daddy? Why don’t they tell people they can do it with the help of other people with whom they can actually have a conversation? Why don’t they teach them how their bodies work and how medicine works and how therapy works? Doctors like Chopra who see that attitude seems to affect immunity abandon medicine for mind tricks glorified by idiotic movies like Star Wars with its Jedi mind control rather than helping people resist mind tricks of celestial salesmen who prey on emotions and doubt to sell ineffective products.

“We were very desperate after realizing we had been infected as young women,” she said.

Instead of saying, follow the doctor’s orders, seek psychotherapy for mental support, join social support groups for mutual aid to success, they say make a prayer, burn your pills, and don’t forget the money. They exchange a cheap thrill, a bastard ritual, a false prayer for death and they still get death. And the believers still keep coming. Arrest them all and eliminate the religions that emphasizes prayer over medicine.

Jim Newman, bright and well

About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
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One Response to African Pentecostals Preach Prayer Over HIV Drugs

  1. fred says:

    Perhaps the notion is to keep everybody so busy praying that they don’t have time to bother with sex.

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