Every society has an assortment of people that represents all segments—fools, frauds, fanatics, and normal people. The coronavirus pestilence is not unusual and produced its own assortment of the same groups. As it makes its way and gathers momentum, the weirdos come out of the closets, from under the rocks, and down from their ivory towers.
Fanatics in India“actually believe and are taking cow dung baths to prevent or cure themselves from sustaining the deadly virus.” And the Evening Standard reported, “a Hindu group in India was hosting a cow urine drinking party as a means to immunize themselves from the coronavirus.”
Of course, Americans have their fools as well. One famous televangelist (worth $760 million)“would like people to believe that coronavirus can be cured through their TV sets, so long as those televisions are tuned into his show.” That Evangelical preacher urged viewers to “put their hands on their screens and be cured of the coronavirus.” This man, who occasionally stumbles on the truth, destroys any credibility with the “name it and claim it” teaching and his emphasis on money. While people have a right to give to whomever, it is usually the poor who keep the likes of this heretic in expensive suits, living in mansions, and flying around the world in plush private jets.
The above reactions are old news for old plagues. Men have not changed and they react in the same way under similar circumstances during all ages.
When bubonic plague reached Paris in 1348, Philip VI called in his top medical people from the University of Paris to give him some answers relating to the origin of the pestilence that was ravaging the city. His learned academicians decided that the answer was astrology! Their explanation was so reasonable that anyone would accept it–anyone, that is, whose I.Q. equaled, but did not exceed his hat size.
The esteemed professors informed his Majesty that there had been a conjunction of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter in the house of Aquarius on March 20, 1345–at 1:00 P.M. However, they did not indicate if that was Eastern Standard Time or Central Time. They told the king that the conjunction of Saturn and Mars meant death and destruction, and the conjunction of Mars and Jupiter released pestilence into the air. This was a Royal Con Job, and the king should have had a―You‘ve got to be pulling my royal leg look—but they assured him that the warm and humid Jupiter sucked up the water and nefarious vapors from the earth. Then, naturally, Mars, known to be hot and dry, ignited a fire.
Those professionals were certified experts! The big surprise is that the king and his court did not fall down to the floor holding their sides with hysterical laughter; however, we must remember that it was an age of superstition and ignorance. At least the king got the message that Paris was not the place to spend that spring and summer. The Paris Medical Association had decided on the origins of the plague, so they could now give expert advice about how to escape being cut down like grass before the scythe.
The experts told the king not to eat fat meats, poultry, and olive oil. The learned doctors told their patients not to sleep past dawn, don‘t bathe, and forego sexual intercourse since it could be fatal! During those days, quackery was part and parcel of most of the disciplines. The quacks wore academic gowns and were a part of the intellectual brotherhood—just like today. Moreover, as today, no one dared say, “But that’s quackery.” After all, one might be accused of being an independent thinker! Horrors!
The people spent their hard-earned money for pills, potions, and preservatives, and in a later plague, infected folk sought a cure by bathing in urine collected from people who had eaten cabbage!
When it was decided that the Black Death was airborne, they were told to visit, even live in foul-smelling sewers among the rats that carried the disease! Victims would often bathe in urine several times a day and drank a glass of urine. Others cut open their sores and applied a paste made from tree resins, flower roots, and human feces. I don’t think their medical plans covered such an alternative treatment.
Dr. Thomas Vicary, the surgeon to Henry VIII, invented the very popular treatment called the Vicary Method. With a live chicken, he would shave its butt and strap it to their swollen lymph nodes. Then, when the chicken got sick, they would wash it and repeat the process until only the chicken or victim was dead or alive.
During most plagues, it was commonly believed that a lucky charm would keep the plague away. Dr. George Thomson, a famous physician, wore a dead toad around his neck.
I assume Dr. Thomson was board certified.
Pope Clement VI declared that all people who died of the plague were forgiven of all their sins so they could enter Heaven. Since no man on the face of the earth has such ability, the Pope gave the plague victims false hope. Admittance to Heaven comes only through faith in Christ.
Recently, the Catholic Church granted forgiveness of sins to the faithful who died of the Chinese coronavirus. The decree also covers healthcare workers and relatives who care for their sick family members. To qualify for forgiveness, one must read the Bible "for at least half an hour." Pope Francis, like Pope Clement VI, assumed authority he does not have and gave dying people and relatives a false hope.
I don’t know if Clement and Francis were fools, frauds, or fanatics, but I do know their statements were false, and the coronavirus races on.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today 8 years. Boys authored 18 books, the most recent Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! eBook is available here with the printed edition (and other titles) at www.cstnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D. ; and visit his blog. Send a request to DBoysphd@aol.com for a free subscription to his articles, and click here to support his work with a donation.)
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