Saturday, May 30, 2015

Resurrection or Epilepsy?

Faith healer Robby Dawkins has raised the dead. At least, that's what he says. Dawkins claims that at a church service last month in northern England, parishioner Matt Catlow collapsed and died. Dawkins diligently prayed to remove the "demonic spirit of death," and the man recovered. It's a miracle! Except that according to Catlow's sister, no such thing occurred. She explained that her brother collapsed because he is epileptic, and that his "death" was actually a seizure.

“I began to bind the spirit of death and say, ‘You can’t have him!’” Dawkins recalled. “I began to declare the resurrection life of Jesus Christ over him. People were beginning to get a bit restless but then I could hear his breathing start to recover and his color started to return.”

Dawkins, who has previously complained that United Airlines would not allow him to resurrect another passenger who died on a flight, said Catlow’s condition has improved dramatically.

The man’s sister, however, said those claims are nonsense. The woman set up a Facebook page to refute Dawkins, who she described as a charlatan using her brother’s medical condition to promote his books and ministry.

“What Robby is telling everyone is not true,” she said. “It has since been MEDICALLY proven that Matthew had suffered an epileptic seizure which often can display similar signs of someone dying. TWO nurse family friends of ours both had their hands on Matthew throughout and not once lost his pulse. So no, Matthew did not die.”

That's one way to resurrect someone - pray over a person having an epileptic seizure, knowing that most of the time people recover from those with or without any spiritual intervention. So it doesn't make any difference whether or not your prayers do anything, but when the person recovers you can proclaim that you've accomplished a miracle. Nice.

I suppose it's possible that Dawkins was unfamiliar with epileptics and really believed that Matthew was dying, but if so his first course of action should have been to call an ambulance, not start praying. As I've mentioned a number of times before, I have no problem with magical healing of whatever sort, be it prayer or energy work, but only if it does not interfere with or take the place of conventional medical care.

In this case, though, I think it's more likely that Dawkins knew the seizure wasn't fatal and took full advantage of the situation. The church where the "resurrection" occurred seems to agree, as its preacher has apologized for the incident.

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