So the other morning I was listening to the radio on my way into work. A lot of DJs like to talk in the morning, and The Bert Show here in Indy is no exception. One of the DJs was upset about paying bills on her old home back in North Carolina that wouldn’t sell, leaving her strapped for cash here when she could be enjoying her new city. It is a tough predicament that people get into financially, and I don’t begrudge her venting that frustration. No one wants to be the seller when it is a buyer’s market.
What came out of the blue on the show was when someone recommended she buy a statue of St. Joseph. See, apparently there’s this Roman Catholic voodoo ritual people can do where they bury a St. Joseph statue in their yard and he helps sell their house. People were calling into the radio station recounting tales of, “My parents had their house on the market for 2 months with no bites. They buried this statue and started praying over it. Two weeks later they got an offer for what they were asking!”
Now I’m all for the power of positive thinking. But this is ridiculous.
My first complaint is simply logical, and I probably share it with atheists who overheard this story. Have you ever been sitting at a red light? I have. The other day, when I felt I’d been sitting there for ‘too long’, I let off the brake and inched forward a little. Then the light turned green! Now some simple part of my human brain was like “oh, I made the light change by inching forward!” But all I really did was put another time marker in my brain that was closer to the light changing. Because the light WAS inevitably going to change. Just like these people were inevitably going to get an offer on their home. Actually killing a patch of grass to bury a statue in your yard might lose folks who love pretty yards. Also, would that need to go on the seller’s disclosure? It might just be the spot the future homeowner wants to plant a tree later. But I digress.
My next argument is that God is being treated like a rabbit’s foot. He is not a lucky charm (nor is He magically delicious). The girl on the show even asked, “Does this work if you’re not that religious?” This isn’t the magical world of Harry Potter, where someone just handed you a wand and a book listing magic spells. This statue is not a magical talisman blessed by someone ‘more religious’ than you that will guarantee any benefit for its user. Even if it were that way…. if you are daily waking up and making no time for God, why should He make any time for you?
My last point is against the entire Roman Catholic (RC) practice of appealing to saints. To be fair, Joseph was a pretty cool guy for listening to the angel, instead of dumping pregnant Mary back at her parents’ doorstep and washing his hands of the whole situation. But that qualifies for sainthood? The RCs have acknowledged over 10,000 saints. So there should be one for pretty much everything. But God gave us the single greatest mediator and saint we could ever ask for in Jesus, who is titled Christ (or Anointed Messiah).
5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
-1 Timothy 2:5-6, copied from BibleGateway.com, NIV