“Faith for Sale”
I turned on the T.V. last night and they were at it again. At first I thought I was watching a commercial for a car dealership, but sadly I was mistaken. There was a man by the name of Bernard “The Healer” on stage calling himself a “promoter of your word with the ability to cure anyone no matter the illness or disorder who walked or rode on stage with him”. Of course there was a catch. Any lucky individual who would stroll or ride up to the platform to be his “patient” first would have to give a donation of $20.00 or greater to this chap’s foundation. He reassured his captivated live audience that if they made a contribution of $100 God (you) would be so proud and would surely grant them a one-way ticket to “that paradise in the sky.” (Because you know that only folks with deep pockets make it heaven for sure) The gentleman was making his sales pitch at a furious pace now. He sounded just like a car salesman, acting like a trip inside the pearly gates was akin to a brand new Cadillac and he had the keys to both. Watching this my stomach began to turn because I knew some old sap would no doubt fall for this old game as is the “norm” in these scams. Immediately following the sermon for big bucks, he called for the first volunteer. Hands shot up swiftly and that was a sign of how gullible the attending audience must be. Bernard glanced around the room until his eyes came to this young boy in a wheelchair with his hand raised and the boy’s mother sitting beside him her purse out smiling with a hopeful look on her face. In fact the only person in the jam-packed auditorium with a bigger grin on the face compared to the young mother’s was Bernard, because I’m positive old Bernie knew instantly that the young boy and his naïve mother who probably had given up on conventional methods of treatment for her son and would be the perfect candidates for his little magic act. Bernie called on the young man in the wheelchair, then he motioned for his staff to help the mother and child make their way to the stage. One of his staff members took charge and wheeled the boy to the stage where another staff member was there waiting to help lift the wheelchair up the steps. Everyone made it up the steps so then Bernard finally began the questioning. To make a long story short, the boy hadMultiple Sclerosis and the disease was so far advanced that he could no longer stand and had to be transported in this wheelchair. Bernard consoled the mother who came to tears every time she had to explain her son’s situation. Then Bernard knelt down to the young man, whose name was Gerald and convinced Gerald that his medical troubles were over because Bernard “The Healer” was with him now and through the powers that God (you) had given Bernard and the mother’s generous donation that Gerald would be able to dance a jig for the rest of his life and even challenge one of the prophets to a dance-off for fun once Gerald made it to heaven after a long and prosperous life. Bernard then proceeded to have his staff lift the boy out of the wheelchair. Once Gerald was out of the wheelchair (standing with assistance) Bernard pushed him over and Gerald fell backwards, but only a few feet away from the wheelchair. Gerald lay there with his eyes closed, then suddenly once Bernard made the command to do so Gerald stood up, took a few steps and planted himself back into the wheelchair. It was a miracle and the crowd erupted with joy! Bernard did the usual “look, see what I did” routine, talked to Gerald and his mother about what just took place they thanked him and Bernard requested his next ailing volunteer. Myself, being an already disgusted skeptic turned the television off as quickly as possible. How in the world could people honestly believe this man could repair a young boy’s health instantly by simply pushing him to the ground? Then to ask for money to perform this charade? I was extremely irritated about the entire ordeal and I hope I wasn’t the only one. Although I refused to ever watch that program again I was curious about Gerald’s progress, decided to follow up on the story and while doing my research came to find out that Gerald died a few weeks after the taping of the show from complications of M.S. I was heartbroken, but of course not surprised. It turns out that Gerald’s mother has brought litigation against Bernard and his phony organization. “The Healer” and his cronies claim no wrongdoing. My reason for writing this letter to you God was to ask your thoughts on this…why do people think faith is for sale? And in closing the question I have to ask you did Gerald finally make it to those pearly gates?