WHEN we reported recently on pastor Ted Haggard’s failure to bag the holy grail of heterosexuality, we commented:
People who are naturally homosexual cannot change their sexual orientation, any more than a white person can turn black. Evangelicals should take this fact on board, and instead of concentrating so much of their efforts on â€˜curing’ gays, they should find themselves another hobby. They may have better success turning alligators into aardvarks.
This prompted regular visitor to this site – Robert Stovold – to point out that the Jehovah’s Witnesses once believed that, with God’s help, black people could change their skin colour to white.
They may still harbour this dotty belief, for all we know.
In a copy of the Watchtower (dated 1/10/1900), the magazine recounted the case of the Rev Draper thus:
From Black to White He Slowly Turned â€¦ Rev William H Draper .. gave a living affirmative answer to the famous Biblical question, ‘Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?’ Though once as black as charcoal, the Rev Mr Draper is now white. His people say that his color was changed in answer to prayer. Many years ago Draper was employed by a fair-skinned man, and he was often heard to remark that if he could only be white like his employer, he would be happy.
While in the white man’s service Draper ‘experienced’ religion. From that day forward he prayed constantly and fervently that he might become white â€¦ He first experienced a prickling sensation on his face, and upon close investigation found a number of small white spots scarcely larger than the point of a pin. He became alarmed, thinking he had some peculiar disease but he did not suffer and aside from the prickling sensation felt nothing unusual. Gradually the white spots became larger and extended themselves, until now, after the change has been in progress for over 30 years, Draper has not a single dark spot on his body.
Here’s another example, from the Watchtower of 15/2/1904:
Can The Ethiopian Change His skin color? No. But â€¦ what the Ethiopian cannot do for himself God could readily do for him. The difference between the races of men â€¦ have long been arguments against the solidarity of the human family. The doctrine of restitution has also raised the question. How could all men be brought to perfection and which color of skin was the original? The answer is now provided. God can change the Ethiopian’s skin in his own due time â€¦ Julius Jackson, of New Frankfort, Montana, a negro boy of nine years, began to grow white in September, 1901, and is now fully nine-tenths white. He assures us that this is no whitish skin disease; but that the new white skin is as healthy as that of any white boy, and that the changed boy has never been sick and never has taken medicines.
For more examples of quack healthcare Jehovah’s Witness-style, see here:
NOTE: The photograph used to illustrate this post is of Lee Thomas, a Fox TV anchor man who, in 2007, said:
I’m a black man turning white on television and people can see it. If you’ve watched me over the years, you’ve seen my hands completely change from brown to white.
Thomas has vitiligo, a disorder in which pigment-making cells are destroyed. White patches appear on different parts of the body, tissues in the mouth and nose, and the retina.
There is no cause. There is no cure, and it’s very random. I could turn all the way white or mostly white.
According to this report:
As many as 65 million people worldwide have the disorder, including up to 2 million in the United States.
We’re willing to bet that none of them are thanking the AlmightyÂ for their disfiguring condition.