Friday, August 23, 2013

#278 -Holy Magic Hair as a cure for the HIV

Last week,  I posted a status about a Youth Congress sermon about the HIV and uncut hair and people thought I was being satirical. And as much as I wish it was a farce, it truly wasn't...

Youth Congress did happen. And by all accounts it was youth congress: Except even more boring. 

However, there was the usual lot of screaming preachers with angry hand gestures. And these preachers talked about how important their beliefs were in spite of the truth: No one really cared except for the kids who were there, and most of them seemed to care too much about the hype and too little thinking about what was said.

Of course there was some fornicating, dancing, and tears.... all expected. All monotonous. All boring.... aka the same thing I predicted about 2011 Youth Congress ended up being very true about 2013 Youth Congress as well...

And all was well with the world....

With the Holy Exception that was James Maroney. It was he who was preaching in his home-state of Kentucky last week. And it was he who had all the expectations of the Youth Congress world fall on his shoulders. It was he who would not disappoint. And by "not disappoint" I really mean it was he who would carry the future of the UPC on his back in one single sermon....

Because from the porch of a plantation (Kentucky being the last state to free the slaves), James Maroney announced that he officially hates the devil:

And that was towards the end of the allegedly inspired and ridiculously obvious content that was preached that night....

The entire sermon can be found here since the embedding is disabled. But if you listen for too long you'll feel your brain slowly deteriorate as if it was watching an MTV reality television show:

But if you want the Sparknotes version of Maroney's entire sermon, realize this is the overall conclusion: 

Unfortunately for Maroney the previous quote from his sermon wasn't the dumbest thing he said. 

He did have far more laughable crap to shoot out of his mouth. In fact he delivered the single dumbest testimony I've ever heard in church:

If you didn't get the above message, here it is:

We have found the cure to the HIV. And lucky for us it has nothing to do with biology or science or the New York Times crossword puzzle. In fact all the billions of dollars spent on HIV research over the past thirty years was totally a non-factor. Because the cure to the HIV you see, was in the hair:

Uncut hair to be exact.

Forget protected sex. Forget abstinence. Forget science. Forget bestiality even.

 The surest way to prevent the HIV and to cure it is uncut hair. 

Problem with the scientific community: They forgot to ask us of Apostolic fame what exactly God wanted the cure to be.  

Because God's answer to the HIV is a bold and proud, loud shout: "UNCUT HAIR!"

And don't call it magic hair. Because it's a medical solution: Just don't cut your hair ladies. And the good Lord, He is with you. (If you're a dude nurse, I'm so so sorry but there's no hope).

James Maroney does not give two flips whether or not you think he's crazy, because the proof is in the pudding. And by pudding, I mean the proof is in the uncut hair...

Forget the fact that this kind of needle pricking thing from an HIV victim happens to nurses over 16,000 times a year. Forget the fact that of those 16,000 nurses who end up pricked with HIV contaminated needles, that 0.45% of all those nurses end up with HIV (source from an ivy league institution found here). 

That means out of 16,000 nurses who run into the problem that Maroney's nurse runs into, only 72 at the very most end up with HIV. 

But Maroney says forget the number crunching FORGAWDSAKES!   Forget the stats. Forget the research. Forget the math. Forget the science. James Maroney has discovered the cure for the HIV apparently.

If James Maroney said it, it must be true, right? It's the uncut hair that saved the women's life. And that's just how miracles work okay?!?

Miracles work at a .45% rate these days. And that's the Maroney MAGIC  HAIR LINE!

It's science. Complex Einstein stuff right here.

And let's forget about how stupid God must be if he's really up in heaven watching all these kids born with HIV in Africa die out simply because they or their mother didn't have uncut hair (2.2 million people die of AIDS annually).

As much as one testimony sounds real cool and can get a bunch of  youth riled up, let's think about the bigger consequences of what this ignorant preacher is saying: It's not about research or science or millions of unjust deaths: It's about the HAIR!

If you didn't catch that, I'm implying that Maroney is a flat out idiot.

The UPC should be ashamed of itself if it doesn't condemn such nonsense. There used to be many ministers in the UPC talking against the Magic hair doctrine and somehow their voices have been silenced in the past years. All the while idiots like Dr. Maroney get to spout their hateful, ignorant doctrines.

Talk to your pastors and let them know that as fun as an uncut hair/HIV testimony sounds, that it's simply hateful and unbiblical. 

And either that Maroney guy goes to hell in his imbecilic Southern arrogance (assuming he doesn't repent for his heresy), or I'm happily whistling my way to hell myself.... Because there's no way a merciful God exists who promotes such self-aggrandizing apostolic identity boasting venom. 


  1. I know it was a poor attempt at a joke, but the reference to baptizing a baby in utero is kind of odd.

    I love that you grabbed the stats on the likelihood of getting HIV from a needle prick. Not only does the Magic Hair doctrine exhibited in this sermon churn my stomach; but I'm also bothered by our tendency to attribute the miraculous to things that are clearly natural.

    There's no question that, yes, I'm a skeptic. But I do believe in our God, and I do believe in the miraculous. But we trivialize the fact that miracles do happen and play up the stereotype of Christians as ignorant when we grasp at events that are easily (and I mean EASILY) explained by the laws of nature and the law of averages and try to claim specific divine intervention. Do I believe God is in control of this universe? Yes. Do I believe he pays attention to our needs and cares for us? Yes. Do I believe that a woman who was pricked by a needle, which occurs to tens of thousands of individuals each year, was somehow specially and specifically saved from illness due to some "pact" she made with him? No.

    I read an article recently where someone anecdotally claimed that the Christians on their friends list were the most likely ones to pass around hoaxes. It's the same kind of mindset and gullible nature that leads to blindly believing HMH doctrine, claims of "miraculous healing" when likely there was no illness to be healed from, and our fear of questioning man made traditions, even when faced with the plainness of the Scripture to compare them against.

  2. Um...he does realize that HIV can lie dormant for months at least and not show up on a test, right?

  3. My mom has neve cut her hair. I'm going to track down an AIDS needle and prick her in the middle of the night to test his theory.

  4. Joel, while I understand your frustration and doctrinal differences, let me encourage you to seek the love of Christ and stop jesting against our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. While you may not agree and certainly have valid points, the tone and manner by which you speak reveals the bitterness of your own heart. We are commanded to pray for our enemies and love them without discrimination. Why don't you seek Christ and stop seeking the faults of others? Walk away and walk toward Christ.

    1. YESSS!!! It only took FOUR comments for the bitterness defense to be used. Thank you, Anonymous!

      If someone is spewing anti-Christ nonsense to thousands of impressionable youth, you evidently just think it's bitterness for someone to call it out. Good for you for keeping us all on the right track.

    2. But if someone was going off preaching something that sniffed of trinitarianism, letting down of standards, or de-emphasizing the importance of speaking in tongues, we'd be all over them for being unBiblical and it'd be alright because we stand for "TRUTH". But if you call out one of the UPC celebs for delivering a message that - if you think about it, there are many parallels to its absurdity and "wrongness," you might even compare it to Miley Cyrus' meltdown - well, then you're just bitter and should hush up and pray for them in silence.

    3. Keeping silent about things like this only allow them to continue. As Real just posted, I am sure that if something was said that YOU doctrinally disagreed with, you would be alright with the same exact thing. I don't see anything bitter in any of these posts. In fact, I see people who are hungry for God and more concerned about the Truth than whatever happens to pass at the moment for man made doctrines.

    4. Jerry Welch, good to see someone else appreciates good sarcasm and criticism. We are called to seek truth for ourselves and not just follow things blindly.

  5. @Anon #2, a minister simpering to a crowd of thousands to illicit a purely emotional response concerning a subject about which he clearly knows little is, in and of itself, a jest. The Almighty probably had a good-natured laugh to himself after watching this clip.

  6. Maybe I am just reluctant to feel like people like this are just spouting things off to fool people - but I think they genuinely believe this is what has happened. Knowing this, somehow makes it easier to handle, rather than thinking they are an idiot, I feel like they are brainwashed into thinking they have the WHOLE truth. I've separated myself quite a bit from the UPC doctrine (although I still attend a UPC church due to wanting to attend church with my family). I am beginning to see a danger in feeling like you have the "whole truth" and that you understand God. I have come to realize that God is a mystery. Yes, we have the bible and it tells us a lot about who God is, but he's still a mystery. He cannot be fully understood by a human mind. When we feel that we fully understand God, I think it is because we've reduced him to a little box that our human minds can understand. Why does the UPC need to have all the answer? Why do we have to say that this lady didn't get HIV because she doesn't cut her hair? Maybe it was because she just didn't get HIV just because she didn't get it.

    This is off the topic - but I keep hearing from evangelists and preachers about all these miracles they are seeing. Blind people seeing and deaf people hearing and even dead people living. I am beginning to call bogus on all of that. Why? Because NOBODY is catching this stuff on video. We live in a world where there are a thousand smartphones at the ready. Why is nobody videoing this? I think it is because it's not really happening...and it really bothers me that people keep spreading the word about these healings that I don't think are happening.

  7. Anon #2 Just because someone emphatically disagrees doesnt make them bitter and it doesnt mean they see the person they disagree with as an a medical professional who is exposed to God knows what on a nearly daily basis I probably would have walked out of the service.I resent being emotionally manipulated and having my intelligence insulted whether intentional or not....and yes I do believe in miracles....I just dont believe uncut hair gives you a extra "in" with God.

  8. @jediwii83 its not just about what you say, its about "how" you say it. as Christians, we speak the truth "in love". calling him personal names, demeaning his intelligence, attacking his internal worth, reveals your heart, not his. While the information may be correct, the manner and method is not.

  9. I've never gotten the impression that Mr. Riley cares how people think of him, only the information he presents. He's not a politician. Is what he said true? Then that's the point you should take from this.

  10. I remember an evangelist passing through in the mid 90s who was preaching against computers because they have crystals to regulate the frequency of the processor. He claimed that these were "New Age" crystals, specially prayed over by New Age believers to hypnotize and entrance Christians.
    After the service, I politely asked if he knew about the crystals he was preaching about and he assured me that he had insider knowledge that this was a fact. When I pointed out that the same crystals were used to regulate frequencies in wrist watches and radios, he quickly made up a story that those crystals were safe because they were manufactured elsewhere, but all computer crystals were of the devil.
    He got pretty mad that I would question his nonsense and to the best of my knowledge, continued his preaching. :/

  11. Holy Magic Hair...? Man-made doctrines placing the words of Paul above the word of the Creator!
    Q. What do Muslim 'fundamentalists' and Fundamentalist Christians have in common?
    A. They both want to keep their women UGLY AS POSSIBLE. (It's a joke, son. ~Foghorn Leghorn) But true...

  12. I personally know this pastor and the girl he was talking about. He wasn't saying her hair is what made her not have HIV. This woman is new to the church and has since just decided to dress holy, not cut hair, etc. She was very scared not only for herself but her unborn child which complicated matters. Even if she did have nothing to worry about the chance was still there. It was a miracle to HER. Might not be to you but to her it was. Personally I believe every breath we take is a miracle in itself. He never said it was her hair but GOD. He was merely pointing out that she has turned her life to God and the minute she did something bad happened. The difference is some people believe God is in their life strengthening and healing...some do not. You may be the do not.

    1. I wasn't at NAYC but I agree that I think that this was the intent of the clip - to reflect this and build others faith. Which is a good thing. So I don't think this particular testimony was a problem. Mind you, there are plenty of other things UPCI preachers say that I have problems with theologically, but this wasn't one of them.

  13. Last Anonymous:

    I have no doubt her fear was very real. And that she thinks that this was somehow miraculous, even though I doubt she knows a single colleague personally who's ever received AIDS from a patient (speculation on my part, I know, but the odds say that it's very uncommon).

    But you cannot listen to that 2 minute clip and not come away with the conclusion that Maroney says it's her "commitment not to cut her hair" that was the cause of her healing.

    "She made a commitment when she come out of that water: 'I'm going to stop cutting my hair, and I believe that you're going to honor it.' ...she pricked her finger with a needle, while working with an AIDS patient...But **because she made a commitment to God**, we just received news...that the test results came back...Don't tell me that Jesus still doesn't heal!"

    He explicitly says BECAUSE she made a commitment to God not to cut her hair, the test results came back clean and "Jesus still heals".

    I wonder if she made a commitment to change to a Kosher diet, if Maroney would still be sharing this story? Unlikely, because Apostolics would say that was kooky and that we're "no longer under the law."

    What they fail to see is that we've built our own culture, a law of our own, that's creates the same barriers to salvation that caused Jesus to criticize the Pharisees and Paul condemned.

    1. In the clip he says "she made a commitment...." and doesnt finish the sentence. I automatically assume he means "to serve God" or something along those lines. My mind doesn't immediately go to "hair".

    2. Is the clip altered or did I somehow miss the hair part? It is really easy to tune out the shouting sometimes. ;-)

    3. Come on, the clip isn't that long! 0:44-0:55...admittedly, he is rambling preacher style, but the intention of the statement is unquestionably clear:

      "But she made a commitment when she came out of that water, and she said to the Lord, 'I'm going to stop cutting my hair.'"

  14. Real Realism - You pretty much said everything I was going to say, so I'll just give you a hearty "amen."

  15. @real realism I disagree if kosher is what God asked her to do then he would have honored that commitment just like any other commitment she would have made.

    1. I at least admire your consistency. However, here's the difference: No one in the Pentecostal circles I've run into would claim that we should all be eating Kosher. But they do claim that all women shouldn't cut their hair.

      Second, in most Pentecostal circles anyone who claims that they personally eat Kosher...or don't eat meat...or don't drink caffeine...for religious/"God told me so" reasons are kind of glanced at sideways as a little weird. While they will be treated with respect (most of the time), most Pentecostals I know would question whether or not "God told them" to do that, and they sure as heck wouldn't consider giving up any of those things themselves.

  16. I had long, waist-length hair for years and I had it whacked off at the end of September for health reasons as I had a stubborn heat rash/open sore on the back of my neck that would not heal no matter what I put on it, including a rather dangerous steroid. I needed to get this healed because I'm diabetic and open sores are just asking for gangrene to set in (yeah, I wanted to lose my head....). This had gone on for three or more years but I didn't want to cut my hair, because you know, disobedient to God and all. Once the hair was off the back of my neck (and no, wearing it up in a bun wouldn't help, because at night my neck ended up on the hair no matter what I did to it), the rash and open sore cleared up and the ugly red scar is now slowly fading away. Two other things happened: I discovered I have curly hair now that it's short (I had no idea because it'd been so long and heavy it was pulling out the curl) and getting rid of all that hair relieved the hot flashes of menopause (so nope, I'm not a teenager wanting to cut my hair to be like all the other kids).

    I'm probably going to see my old pastor very soon (haven't gone to church since I had the haircut) and I am bracing myself for a likely criticism. But this is the deal--I don't think my salvation is dependent on having uncut protein strands on my head or, to put it another way, Jesus certainly didn't die for uncut hair.

    1. If your church loves you they will understand.

  17. I'm trying to figure out where in the clip he said her HIV was cured because of hair? He said because of her commitment to God. Whether statistically it was unlikely for her to have contracted HIV or not, the hair comment isn't there?

    Having faith in God for healing is a good thing. I don't think his intention was to tell people that hair healed HIV. His job is to built faith through her testimony, which is acceptable.

    1. Go to timestamp 0:44. It's about a 10 second statement that clearly conveys the idea that she made a comittment to God that she wasn't going to cut her hair. Then a whole story about her HIV risk...and the implication that God honored the committment (what committment? the one she made not to cut her hair.) by either healing her of HIV, protecting her from ever getting it, or whatever.

      It's really hard to reinvent history when something is caught on tape. :)