Thursday, December 26, 2013

An odd op-ed, seemingly about religious cures

I'm not quite sure why Mert Erogul wrote this op-ed, which appears in this morning's NY Times. It's called "Eczema and Holy Water" and it's about a non-religious American father (the author) whose nine-month-old son experienced terrible eczema while on a family trip to Israel. So of course...they consulted a priest.

The author's family members are described as being "non-practicing" Muslims. You'd think they would avoid Christian mumbo-jumbo. However, the author -- who is also a medical doctor -- was somehow bulldozed into bringing his son to a Greek Orthodox priest known for his ability to cure pesky afflictions.

I know, I know. This sounds like it might lead somewhere interesting. Alas, no. The article doesn't seem to have a point -- or perhaps I missed it. If you suspect there is a point to this rather short essay, please hit the "comment" button and enlighten me.

Here's an excerpt:
So despite my skepticism, we found ourselves inside the Hagios Demetrios, an unremarkable old church on a hill overlooking the Bosporus. The gloomy little church smelled like incense and old people, of which there were many. They were lined up and hunched over in the foyer, patiently waiting for an audience with the priest. They all seemed to have rheumatism. We waited, too, the baby growing restless.
And then the article goes...nowhere. I don't know. Maybe it's supposed to have a folksy charm, or something. All it did for me was make me shake my head and ask, "Why did he write this? And why did the Times publish it?"