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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Killing In The Name Of

When someone discovers that he or she is infected with HIV, the person might be scared, confused, or in outward denial. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, quack alternatives can end lives early, but if the wealth garnered by folks like Peter Deusberg is any indication, decent people still buy into various HIV/AIDS lies.

Among the false-cure culprits are religious fundamentalists. The Synagogue Church of All Nations is located in London, United Kingdom. It is an evangelical church which the faithful flock to in search of cures for everything from bunions to the aforementioned retrovirus. While there are several churches that have reportedly claimed to cure HIV through prayer, Sky News caught SCOAN's Rachel Holmes in the act, telling the Sky reporter (who is HIV+ herself) that the church had a 100% cure rate.

The church states that after the person is healed through God, he or she must stop taking medications and is free to have unprotected sex with his or her partner. According to British authorities, at least a half-dozen people have died and several partners have become infected due to the church's message, which even includes documents stating that the person is healed.

Watch and wretch:

It may be easy to blame the sick in this circumstance, but I'd caution against it. Religion sells hope, and people desperately want to believe that a Creator can wash away what the sufferer may believe is a product of sin. SCOAN is a wealthy, multinational religious corporation with thousands of adherents- people who genuinely revere their God and want to believe that he can do anything.

If SCOAN was a clinic that dispensed drugs that its proprietors knew were fake, heads would roll. There would be arrests and fines and sanctions. The medical professionals would lose their licenses and the building would be sold to compensate the wronged individuals. But it's not a medical office. It's a church, and churches can do whatever the fuck they please, up to and including giving out letters stating that they have magically eradicated one of man's most feared infectious diseases through the power of prayer.

In every crisis, there are opportunists; people and organizations eager to exploit desperation in exchange for power and currency. If all of the recent scandals have taught us anything, it should be that religious groups and their leaders can be greedy, self-serving, sociopathic, and just plumb wrong. Faith so-called healing may not be as overt a grenade, but the result is still the same. Some people get rich and others die for the crime of believing a lie.

News at 11.