In a rare and astonishing disconnect between Jesus and the media, the Cape Town Advertising Standards Authority ruled it was “out-of-order” for a religious campaign to claim “Jesus can heal AIDS” without “objective substantiation.”

The Advertising Standards Authority made the ruling after
receiving a complaint about a newspaper advertisement last month for a
“Miracle Crusade with Reverend Angley”.
The advertisement claimed among other things that Jesus “heals Aids.”
The ASA said it had tried unsuccessfully to get a response to the
complaint, but the advertiser had “failed to provide the ASA with
verification of the claim in question.”
For this reason, it ruled that the ad was in breach of the ASA code,
and misleading.
The ASA said advertisers had to have documentary evidence to support
all claims capable of “objective substantiation.” It noted that an
element of faith could be involved when viewing advertisements such as
this.

I wonder how the ASA would rule on the verification of a claim of Jesus saving souls.

Is there enough evidentiary proof of that salvation
contention if advertised in the media — or is any religious claim
“misleading” in its prima facie core?

Does Jesus even belong as a subject for media advertising?

Are the teachings of Jesus rendered non-sublime — yet culpable — when his name is used to pocket cash from the wounded and the unobserved?

Should all faith now require “evidentiary proof?”

Is the very idea of Salvation “out-of-order?”

Must we begin to demand “objective substantiation” in all conditions for claims from any religious order?

32 Comments

  1. A sad little possibility:
    AIDS is still thought of as being tied to the LGBT community. Christians – the fundementalist kind – don’t approve of the LGBTs. The LGBTs don’t approve of the Christians. Both groups attack each verbally whenever they get the chance. The media, preferring the Left in America right now, side with the LGBTs.
    Faith as healing is NOT going to be popular.

  2. Hiya jonolan!
    You are quite right. Many conservative evangelicals have publicly stated that AIDS is God’s punishment against Gay men.
    http://urbansemiotic.com/2006/08/14/to-live-is-to-remember-a-brief-history-of-aids/
    Unfortunately the largest growing population of HIV/AIDS sufferers is Black women and they aren’t infecting each other. Their men are infecting them.
    There are some religious people who believe homosexuality can be “healed” through prayer and, along with that conversion, the “ills” of the lifestyle are also eliminated.

  3. As a Christian, I’d say that Jesus can very well heal AIDS, just in a different way than they are advertising. I’ll get to that in just a moment, though. I just wanted to make one thing clear. All of the Christians who say that AIDS is a punishment for gays, is entirely false. I feel it is a punishment for living an immoral life style by engaging in any sexual behavior before marriage.
    Ok, back to the Jesus healing AIDS. If everyone followed the teachings of the Bible and didn’t have sex before they were married, or with multiple people, i don’t believe AIDS would have become an issue. For those unfortunate to be born with it because of their parents living an immoral life, or through blood transfusions in 3rd world countries or before they could test for it, I pray for them. I also pray for all of the other people who have AIDS that they have learned from their mistakes, and that others have learned from them as well.
    I would just like to thank everyone here for creating a great community online for discussion of these topics. There aren’t many places online anymore where you can have a mature discussion with other people.

  4. Using your real name gets you even more respect, so this is the last comment I’ll make until I know who you claim to be…
    How do you explain those like Ryan White who are infected with AIDS because they are hemophiliacs and were tainted by an unsafe blood supply?
    Is Ryan White’s death placed at the foot of Jesus because he was impure and undeserving as an un-whole body, or is there something more insidious at work?

  5. David, I figured the name thing out. Sorry for not using it in the first place.
    I believe i mentioned that people who are infected through things like how Ryan White was. Those people suffer because of others immorality. He did nothing wrong, but someone along the line had (like wherever the blood came from). I was just stating that the spread of the disease is mostly caused by immorality (from a Christian viewpoint). It is just like the story in the Bible about when Moses was freeing the slaves from Egypt. One of the things done against the Egyptians was that the oldest son of every household would be killed if they didn’t have the lambs blood above the door. Many more people died than the people who did something wrong, but it was caused by the immorality of the pharaoh. It’s a hard topic for me to explain and i hope i am explaining my point well enough.

  6. Buried Alive With AIDS:

    Some AIDS victims are being buried alive in Papua New Guinea by relatives who cannot look after them and fear becoming infected themselves, a health worker said Monday.
    Margaret Marabe, who spent five months carrying out an AIDS awareness campaign in the remote Southern Highlands of the South Pacific nation, said she had seen five people buried while still breathing.
    One was calling out “Mama, Mama” as the soil was shoveled over his head, said Marabe, who works for a volunteer organisation called Igat Hope, Pidgin English for I’ve Got Hope.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=070827162603.sj4zsa64&show_article=1

  7. That’s an amazing link Katha, thanks!
    You remind me of the refusal of Jehovah Witnesses to accept blood transfusions even though they are allowed to seek medical attention:

    Some conservative Christian denominations urge or require their members to abandon all medical treatment in favor of prayer. This policy results in a very large number of infant and child deaths in these groups. However, we are aware of only one Christian faith group — the Jehovah’s Witnesses — that permits or encourages its members to accept medical treatments while urging them to refuse to accept blood transfusions for themselves or their children.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/witness5.htm

  8. Did they cancel the meeting because of this? It would make more sense to allow the meeting, and then let Jesus heal who he wants.
    Faith and the power of the mind have resulted in healings at times. It is best to give the sick person any opportunity to get better, or to at least feel encouraged. I would consider it wrong to make promises to everyone that healing is certain though. If god heals, it is his sovereign act, and his timing.
    As far as AIDS being specifically directed to the gays, that is not true. The bible teaches that disease and sickness is the result of sin in general in a fallen world, and only when the earth is restored to its original condition by God, will this sort of thing be gone. This will happen in the last days, when Jesus returns. God may call what gays do sin, but he calls a lot of other things sin too. His forgiveness, love and healing is there for everyone.
    marianne

  9. Marianne —
    Do you believe we are all born in sin?
    How do you reconcile that not everyone in the world believes in the Last Days or even the idea of a Jesus Christ? Are those non-believers foolish, misinformed, or something else?

  10. Hi David
    According to the bible, we are born with a fallen nature, that is we are weak and tend to sin. A non-biblical way to say this is that “nobody’s perfect.” Either view will admit that everyone does things wrong that need to be corrected. Man tends to not like to admit mistakes…it is embarrassing, so “repenting” and correcting mistakes goes against human nature a little, especially when it will hurt one’s reputation. People need to be encouraged to trust God for forgiveness.
    I know that not everyone believes in the Last days or Jesus Christ. I wish they did. Many people have grown up in a different culture that did not make this option available, but a different view, philosophy, or religion was available instead. And I may not believe in what they believe in either.
    I do not call anyone foolish. My only aspiration is to share what I believe in. God draws to Himself who he wills, and when he wills. When God created the earth and mankind, he had foreknowledge of each one of us. It is Him that draws each person to him. My commission is to only make the information available for others to make a decision, if they wish. God has given man free will to choose his path in life. I do not know the fate of any person. Someone to me may seem to be far from what I believe, but it is possible that in the near or distant future, they may actually believe the same way I do.
    In Romans, it says “how can they call upon Him (Jesus) in whom they have not believed? and how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how can they hear without a preacher? ” So, if I present information, then people will at least “hear” about it. Then if they hear, the maybe they will believe. Then, if they believe, then maybe they will call upon Him and accept Him in faith.
    This is a private decision between the person and God.
    Truth to many is a subjective matter. People believe in what they want. But to God, He is truth, and there is only one truth. My hope is to encourage everyone to look past their subjective truths, and see if there is something greater and better.
    thanks, I think you are very nice.
    marianne