A Miracle that isn't
by: John Tyrrell
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Currently on YouTube there's a video where a faith healer named Billy Burke claims to cure a boy blind in one eye. The title of the video - a title chosen by Billy Burke World Outreach is "Boy With No Optic Nerve Healed. " In the comments for the video - again posted by Billy Burke World Outreach, we see the statement "born blind in his left eye."
No optic nerve! Born blind! Wow! This is pretty much a God actually does heal amputees moment. Or is it?
The video is getting a bit of circulation on social media, and like reports of other miracles, this video will probably do the rounds for years. So it's worthwhile to look at it and see if the claims stand up.
This miracle apparently happened in late July this year in Burke's "healing crusade" in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
I quickly did a news search (both google and bing) because surely this would have been reported. Obviously if the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich makes worldwide news, the curing of a boy without an optic nerve would surely be seen as especially newsworthy. The result? Not one news report anywhere. Not. One. News. Report. Anywhere.
The only report of this astounding event was Billy Burke's website.
So let's watch the video. Prepare to be amazed.
Notice - we really have no reports from doctors here as to the boy's condition before and after. We only have Burke reading a list of symptoms which sounds like a list provided by a parent vaguely remembering what a doctor said, not a medical diagnosis.
And in that list, we do not hear the words "no optic nerve," rather "nerve never grew" - perhaps a subtle distinction but it does not say no nerve at all. And instead of "born blind in his left eye" we hear "partially blind in the left eye," and partially indicates there actually has to be a working optic nerve. The key piece of information is "lazy eye." Yes - the kid's apparently got a lazy eye!
Forget the without an optic nerve - because already that's false before Burke even starts the "healing"
Forget the born blind - because already that's false before Burke even starts the "healing"
Does Burke even "heal" the lazy eye?
Watch as he does his mumbo-jumbo with Jesus.
He then asks the boy if it's better now. The lad answers "I can't tell."
Wow! That's some healing if the boy cannot tell the difference.
Then Burke has the boy cover his good eye with his hand, and asks if he can see with the left eye now.
In the video, you can visibly see the young boy's pupil which is off to the side center itself, and he can successfully count the fingers held up in front of the eye.
Burke proclaims a miracle!
BUT - what is one of the standard medical treatments for lazy eye?
COVER THE GOOD EYE TO MAKE THE LAZY EYE WORK!
Of course for an effective permanent cure, the good eye has to be covered for a reasonable period each day - over an extended period. This is apparently already known as the boy indicates he expects it will be cured within five years.
What we actually see in the video is a forcing of the lazy eye work for a brief period - not a cure. Not a healing.
A miracle? No - total baloney.
And to distribute the video with the claim that a boy blind from birth with no optic nerve has been cured - that's thoroughly blatant dishonesty.
Thoroughly blatant dishonesty - that's the faith healing business's standard operating procedure.
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