Church Claims God Heals, Gov’t Heels God Claims

According to a BBC story, Great Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority concluded that a certain downloadable leaflet was misleading. Healing on the Streets (HOTS), the group distributing the misleading message, was banned from spreading it.

The claim?

God can heal you.

Need Healing? God can heal today! Do you suffer from Back Pain, Arthritis, MS, Addiction … Ulcers, Depression, Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Paralysis, Crippling Disease, Phobias, Sleeping disorders or any other sickness?

Such fairly standard religious adverts, according to the government office, “could encourage false hope and were irresponsible.”

Oh, papa, how far we have come. Now they’re actually forcing perfectly respectable churches not to lie.

I loved this little understated tidbit in the story:

The group, based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, said it was disappointed with the decision and would appeal.

If this happened in the U.S., any real accounting of the thing would say:

The group, based in Alabama, fucking shrieked. Everybody they knew fucking shrieked. GOP presidential candidates for the next 4 elections fucking shrieked.

Besides, nobody takes those guys seriously. Hey, any God *I* might be willing to believe in would have to be able to heal stupidity, flatulence, baldness, 98-pound-weakling syndrome, pork belly, Cambrian explosion, pulled mussel, open sowers, French cuffs, the Oxford comma, rusted quarter panels, Rin-Tin-Tin-itis, and the tendency to become a Republican presidential candidate.

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About Hank Fox
  • had3

    Is there such thing as “false hope?”. Isn’t the hope always genuine, it’s the likelihood of coming to fruition that may or may not be true.

  • Tony

    Hank:

    -I don’t care about the candidates for the next four years. I just want to see the reactions of Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Oh, and Pat Robertson…

    -I had to look up what a ‘serial comma’ was. I realized I’ve used it all my life. What is the problem with its usage?

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Oh, papa, how far we have come. Now they’re actually forcing perfectly respectable churches not to lie.

    But lying is one of the churches’ main tools. It’s more useful than hatred and even hypocrisy.

  • HP

    “Pulled mussel” sounds like a really fantastic intertidal barbecue.

  • James Hunter

    Oh, it’s not misleading. It’s just a list of conditions after saying god heals. Anyone can do it. Interested in Scientology? L Ron Hubbard created it! Scam, fraud, charlatan, pedophile, nazi. It’s just a list of nouns.

  • http://skeptichamster.wordpress.com Skeptic Hamster

    The young lady who used the fishbarrel plug-in (for chrome/firefox)to report the group has been attacked and ridiculed by Christians since (she has a blog called Hayley is a Ghost). They seem to think some atheist has seen to it that their freedom of speech curtailed.
    In fact it is only medical claims (and they were saying that they could cure cancer by prayer ffs!) that cannot be substantiated- like all advertisers, secular or religious, private or public sector – that they’re not allowed to use.

  • Stevarious

    Is there such thing as “false hope?”. Isn’t the hope always genuine, it’s the likelihood of coming to fruition that may or may not be true.

    It’s a false hope when the reason provided for said hope is a lie from the beginning.
    You can hope that, say, I’m going to write you a check for a million dollars tomorrow, and it’s a normal ordinary hope, though of the flight-of-fancy variety.
    However, if I am a famous billionaire, and I send you an email that says “I’m thinking I might give you a million dollars tomorrow,” when I have no intention of doing any such thing, it becomes a false hope. Your perceived chances of your hope coming true are based on a lie.
    Thus, the false hope of ‘god heals’. He doesn’t, and the people who say he does are either lying or passing on a lie they were told.

  • gord

    Come to god and he will cure your headaches, cancer, botulism,and anything else that cannot be verified. These people NEVER say, come to god and he will regrow your severed leg, missing arm, or those fingers you stupidly chopped off. Why? Because god can’t do it. Why can’t god do it? Because there is no fucking god.