It never occurred to me to literally nail myself to a cross.

March 21, 2008 | By | Reply More

When I saw this article at MSNBC, I thought it was a joke.   But no, it was no joke.  Check out the photo.   Apparently, 30 men and one woman residing in the Philippines actually had themselves nailed to crosses.  They went through the Good Friday rites

in three villages in northern Pampanga province’s San Fernando city. Five other devotees, including a woman, were nailed to crosses in nearby Bulacan province.

The people going through this procedure were trying to cure loved ones of disease as well as purportedly trying to “atone for their sins” (whatever that often-uttered phrase might actually mean–it’s apparently an attempt to invoke the moral accounting metaphor elaborated by Lakoff and Johnson).

Here’s definitely a place where religion and science diverge.  Imagine Alexander Fleming in his lab trying to understand the properties of penicillin, all of a sudden inspired with an alternate method for curing sick people.  

“Quick!” he yells to his lab assistant (in a Scottish accent).   “Nail me to a cross to help heal sick people!”   

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not knocking this crucifixion method of curing people.  Maybe it works.  Maybe hospitals should have corridors filled with crucifixes where patients and their relatives can all be nailed up in order to get cured.   Since it would be relatively cheap to administer this treatment (some of the sadistic contractors working for our government in Iraq and Guantanamo would be happy to do this work), insurers would probably be happy to waive the co-pay.


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Category: Medicine, Religion, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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