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Blind faith…
Posted: 22 June 2007 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From IOL News (SA):

Blinded by faith
By Alex Eliseev

Amal Nassif believed 17-year-old Francesca Zackey when she said the Virgin Mary would appear if Nassif gazed into the sun. Now 37-year-old Nassif, a devout Catholic, may be blind for life. She went to Zackey - the Benoni girl who claims to have repeatedly seen the mother of Jesus - to receive a blessing. Now she says at least four other people also damaged their eyes after being told “the lady” would spin the sun and confirm her presence to her believers.

On Monday, a distraught Nassif went for treatment to renowned eye doctor Percy Amoils. He operated on Nelson Mandela and last year received the Order of Mapungubwe, the country’s highest honour. Amoils was horrified at what he saw.

“This is an absolute disaster and a tragedy,” he fumed.  “I am shattered. Apparently this has happened to other people, and must be exposed.”

According to Amoils, the sun’s rays burnt Nassif’s eyes in the same way they burn a piece of paper when focused through a magnifying glass. Her central vision, which allows a person to focus in on certain items, is “severely damaged” in both eyes.

“Let’s hope that God is kind to her and she recovers,” he said.

However, Zackey says Nassif’s problem is not her fault and that she is praying for the woman. She said the sun was still spinning each day, but should only have been looked at during sunset.

“It went out of my hands, people look at the sun at their own risk,” she said. “I am not the sun.”

But Amoils issued a grave warning that people must never look into the sun, no matter the time of day. He was unable to make any promises that Nassif would recover her sight. She is on strong medication to ease the pain. Nassif and her sister Sandra visited Zackey on May 24 at her home, which the area’s security guards now call “the church”.

“Being Lebanese, we believe in our lady and the saints,” Sandra said on Monday. “You have faith… you believe. Francesca said Mother Mary would appear in the sun.”

The day before, Zackey had announced that Mary had told her that the sun would spin at sunset. She claimed the phenomenon was witnessed by hundreds of people and was “absolutely amazing”, with a rainbow of colour pouring out of the sun. Mary apparently also showed herself inside the giant fireball and placed a protective shield over it. After that, word spread and people began looking into the setting sun. Over the weekend, more than 200 people visited Zackey to be blessed or healed.

Thousands have flocked to her since the first sighting in May and are still being encouraged to seek the lady inside the sun. On the same day as her visit, Nassif - who looks after her sick mother - stared into the sun for a full minute around 4.15pm. The Mulbarton resident now lives in a world of blur, in which she can’t recognise shapes. And in almost a month her vision hasn’t improved.

“I can’t see anything. There is a large dark blind spot,” she said. “It looks like (the effect of) a television show blurring out someone’s face.”

Nassif went to Mulbarton Hospital on May 25, and returned two weeks later. Nothing had changed and the doctors could give her no assurance that she would get her sight back.

“It’s scary. You have it (your sight) and then you don’t,” said Nassif. “I hope people will learn from my mistake.”

Meanwhile, at her home, Zackey performed several “spiritual healings” and insisted thousands of people around the world had looked into the sun to confirm Mary’s presence. Her mother Bridgette said she looked into the sun each and every day. The teenager has started a prayer group and is launching a youth group - a demand she says that Mary made on one of her appearances.

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=vn20070619003153395C634163

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Posted: 22 June 2007 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Faith = gullibility

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Posted: 22 June 2007 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I disagree.

There’s many people with faith who aren’t gullible. I tend to find it’s the agnostics who’ll believe anything tongue wink


Now if this girl was told by a priest or the Pope or someone with implied religious authority to do something to inspire a vision, then that’s one thing. But to do it on the word of a 17 year old girl? That’s stupidity.

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Posted: 22 June 2007 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A lot of people who have a strong faith in their god will believe almost anything told them by someone who claims to have had a vision or talked to god.  That relates to gullibility in my books.  They are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 12:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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gray - 23 June 2007 03:01 AM

A lot of people who have a strong faith in their god will believe almost anything told them by someone who claims to have had a vision or talked to god.  That relates to gullibility in my books.  They are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

No, that’s a proportion of religious people just being gullible. Compare to agnostics or atheists who believe in psychics (who actually can be disproved) or healing crystals. Or to people who believe in alien conspiracies, or to people who believe what politicians tell them. There’s a lot of gullible people in the world. Faith has nothing to do with it.

Faith = Gullible isn’t the same thing as what you’re talking about.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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gray - 23 June 2007 03:01 AM

A lot of people who have a strong faith in their god will believe almost anything told them by someone who claims to have had a vision or talked to god.  That relates to gullibility in my books.  They are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

“a lot of people”??  Sheesh.  Let’s start bashing people who believe in something.  rolleyes

There are “lots” of non-religious people who are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

The fact that there are gullible people who also have a religious faith of some sort simply gives one the ability to create a specific group.  If these people who looked into the sun all have brown eyes…should we then start assuming that any brown eyed person is gullible??

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Posted: 23 June 2007 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think you are all missing the point. I don’t think it was a faith issue at all.  It was just flat out ignorance. 

Anyway, if the Virgin Mary wants to see me, she can very well ask me to look for her myself and not work through some teenager.  And hopefully she wouldn’t ask me to do so in a way that harms my health.  If you really want to contact me, show yourself on a piece of toast or something.  But then again, I’m not Catholic and I don’t venerate Mary.

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Posted: 23 June 2007 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Maegan - 23 June 2007 04:36 AM
gray - 23 June 2007 03:01 AM

A lot of people who have a strong faith in their god will believe almost anything told them by someone who claims to have had a vision or talked to god.  That relates to gullibility in my books.  They are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

“a lot of people”??  Sheesh.  Let’s start bashing people who believe in something.  rolleyes

There are “lots” of non-religious people who are unwilling or unable to question stuff that common sense tells them is wrong.

The fact that there are gullible people who also have a religious faith of some sort simply gives one the ability to create a specific group.  If these people who looked into the sun all have brown eyes…should we then start assuming that any brown eyed person is gullible??

What the nice lady said.

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Posted: 24 June 2007 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If someone told me the Virgin Mary was going to make the Sun ‘spin’ (leaving aside the fact that it’s been spinning exactly as long as it’s been the Sun), I might be interested enough to look, but I’d also be smart enough to wear eclipse glasses (like I did for the transit of venus and last solar eclipse)[*].

It’s not primarily faith that makes people behave foolishly but need. If you are desperate for a sign, to be healed, for word about or from a loved one, for solace, or whatever, it’s then that you’re most likely to go and do something really stupid.

Which is why there are so many psychics, quacks, therapists and self-help books.

[* On the subject of which, before you use any filter to look directly at the Sun, always check it for defects by holding it up to an interior light several inches away from your face, even if it was okay last time you checked! A small scratch or pinhole might just allow enough light through to cause localised eye-damage.]

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Posted: 24 June 2007 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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David B. - 24 June 2007 10:58 PM

If someone told me the Virgin Mary was going to make the Sun ‘spin’ (leaving aside the fact that it’s been spinning exactly as long as it’s been the Sun)

Yeah, I was sort of under the impression also that it was spinning since it’s existence…  Glad someone brought it up.

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Space…..it seems to go on and on forever, but then you get to the end and the gorrilla starts throwing barrels at you. - Phlip J. Fry

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