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The Reverend Steve Jones of West Virginia is travelling around the USA praying for people's teeth. He'll pray for other cures, but teeth are his specialty. He claims his prayers will get God to look after cracked molars, crooked teeth, toothaches, and God will replace old amalgam fillings with gold.
And he's packing the suckers into his tent shows. (In Sarasota, Florida June 3-8 2007)
He's not the only one. Apparently the Reverend John Arnett of the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship is also able to get God to do dental work, and members of his congregation have been getting gold fillings.
It's not just a North American phenomenon. At Folly's End Christian Fellowship in Croyden, England, golden fillings have been appearing in the mouths of the congregation, some of them cross-shaped.
There are also reports of similar occurrences from Africa and Brazil.
Why is God doing dental work? Why is it that he can put fillings in existing teeth, but can't replace a missing tooth (not to mention a missing eye or a missing limb.) Why is he wasting his gold on fillings rather than giving it to the poor to buy food?
Or a better question would be - why should we believe any of these tales about a deity doing dentistry?
Interestingly, Doctor Dick Dewart (yes, the disgraced Dick Dewart of the Miracle Network) once claimed during an on-air fund-raising marathon (and we are familiar with his fund-raising) that God had given him a gold tooth after a bout of intense prayer. Then his longtime dentist pointedly reminded him that he had installed the tooth ten years earlier.
Similarly Winnipeg televangelist Willard Thiessen (of Trinity Television) credited God for his gold tooth. His misstatement was exposed by his own brother - a dentist who had actually done the work. While Thiessen admitted to being embarrassed over his "mistake," he still claims God does dental work, having filled two of his wife's cavities back in the '70s. Conveniently long enough ago that a dentist is unlikely to come forward.
I wonder if these people realize how these tales of God's golden dentistry trivialize their deity; fixing teeth instead of the many major problems in the world.
- That is the actual name. Perhaps Folly's Beginning would be more appropriate.
- In her teeth! Oh ye of dirty minds.