Saturday, January 14, 2006

On a Slippery Slope with Holy Oil

I was raised in an extremely fundamentalist church, called the Church of God. Like the Christian Scientists (what an oxymoron) they didn't believe in medical care. They put their faith in God's abilities to heal. I had childhood asthma and my mother summoned the church people to come and pray over me when I had an attack. They smeared oil on my forehead and then put their hands on my chest and loudly beseeched God to heal me of my affliction. Those prayers were never effective and my ability to breathe was made even more difficult when they pressed their hands onto my chest. Those experiences probably led to my becoming a non-believer.

I was reminded of those anointings when I opened an email today from The Week's newsletter. (It's a newsletter exclusive, so I doubt you'll find in on their web site):

A group of Christian ministers last week snuck into the room where Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito was to have his confirmation hearings and daubed the chairs with "holy oil," and smeared oil in the shape of a cross on the hearing-room door. Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition insisted the ministers weren't taking sides, but said of the nomination, "God is interested in what goes on."
Alito will probably be confirmed, but I doubt smearing oil influenced the proceedings. Alito was certainly slick and the Democrats weren't tough with their questioning of him. The separation of church and state is on a slippery slope with Alito and all that holy oil.

Oh, regarding that asthma thing, after my mother died, my dad took me to the doctor and my symptoms were relieved. Where prayer failed, medical science prevailed.