Monday, May 23, 2005


Today, in the mail, I received a letter from a place called St. Mathew's in Oklahoma City. Enclosed in the envelope was a Paper Handkerchief, a square of tissue-like paper with a blue plaid design along the borders.

An accompanying letter described the miracles this Prayer Handkerchief could bring about. It could cure folks of alcoholism. It could make the crippled walk again. It could bring redemption to sinners, happiness to the forlorn, health to the ailing, and money to those who need it!

There were testimonials as to the miraculous powers of this Prayer Handkerchief. It evidently is credited with getting a woman's son out of jail, took another person's son-in-law off dope, and brought about the delivery of a check for $3,500 to another Believer.

The reason for this, the letter explained, is because the Bible tells us all about it in Acts 19:12. "So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs...and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.".

It was explained that this Faith Handkerchief was only a Loaner. That I had to write my name and address on it and send it back, so these nameless people could pray for my needs.

I also had to select my needs from a list that was provided. This list included a wish to be saved; a family member's health; confusion in the home; children; a better job; to stop a bad habit; a new home; a new car; and money.

If I selected money as my greatest need, I was to name an amount.

It went on to state that this Bible ministry had been founded in 1951.

As I read over this missive, it occurred to me just why the Bush Administration is so set against Stem Cell Research. Why would they need Stem Cell Research or medical discoveries of any kind, if they have a goodly supply of Faith Handkerchiefs to provide them with all of their needs?

Cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, problem, just a wave of the handkerchief should do it. Money.....just name the amount and pray! It will come to you!

Years ago, my blessed mother, poor as a churchmouse, used to listen to Oral Roberts. She thought he was just a tad below God in the heirarchy of blessed beings. With hardly enough money to furnish herself with food, and nothing to spare, she would eke out ten or twenty dollars and send it to Oral, who promised that, if it was sent to him, God would give it back tenfold! Tenfold! God was not only paying back this loan, but the interest was unbelievable!

I fear the Faith Handkerchief is more of the same, and I wonder at folks who can continually be boonswaggled and hoodwinked by these religious charlatans. Oral, Swaggert, Jim and Tammy....time after time, they have been exposed as riddled with human frailty. Yet there seems to be a line-up of people willing to reach into their pockets to ensure their spot in paradise.

Just as Bush chatted with his Higher Father to lead the nation into War, ignoring the common sense of his earthly father, these people touting magical handkerchiefs and a tenfold return on money are deluding themselves. And our country is paying the price!

These same dollars could be better used in a milk program for starving children, or a donation to a local homeless shelter. But folks who have this kind of faith believe that their money will bring them inner peace and tranquility........along with a little patronizing superiority over the folks who have not tasted of this spiritual fruit.

The part of me that is always getting into mischief...and it is a big, important part...wants to make jokes about Kleenex and bad colds, but I have pushed those thoughts out of my mind and I am trying to understand anyone who believes a handkerchief could be a spiritual path to God.

When it comes to destitute folks and the homeless, the Republicans in power at the moment seem to be willing to slash programs and deny them succor. But when it comes to their own lives, the Christian Right believes that prayer will provide them with bounty. Ask, and ye shall receive....unless you are poor, black and stuck in the ghetto of a city.

I've heard of magical carpets and genies appearing out of bottles...but I have never before owned a magical handkerchief, especially one made of paper. I shall treasure it, because if it wants to send me a little money, I could sure use it. I'm sure anyone reading this could use a little, too. Just send the request and I'll ask the handkerchief to lend you a hand.

Blogger Lorraine said...

Herma. This is me. Just wanted to stop by to remind you to get going on what you told me you were going to do....OK? Is this cryptic enough for you? Hah Please. Don't forget to do it!!!

7:47 PM  

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