‘Doctor, doctor, I’ve had an attack of Matthew 19:12’

A MAN in Phoenix, Arizona, showed up at the emer­gen­cy room of St Joseph’s Hos­pi­tal and Med­i­cal Cen­ter, saying he had suffered “an attack of Matthew 19:12”.

After quickly trawling the Internet, the duty nurse realised that the man, identified only as Mr P, had acted on a verse which reads:

For there are some eu­nuchs, which were so born from their moth­er’s womb; and there are some eu­nuchs, which were made eu­nuchs of men; and there be eu­nuchs, which have made them­selves eu­nuchs for the king­dom of heav­en’s sa­ke. He that is able to re­ceive it, let him re­ceive it.

Mr P, according to World Science:

Made this hos­pi­tal vis­it un­ac­com­pa­nied by his pe­nis. That, he ex­plained, he had flushed down the toi­let three days ago af­ter sev­er­ing it with a pock­et knife. His tes­ti­cles were al­so ab­sen­t – re­moved four years ear­li­er at Mr P’s re­quest by a doc­tor in Mex­i­co. 

Al­though his speech and thoughts ap­peared mud­dled, Mr P did make it clear that he had:

Done this be­cause his pe­nis had caused him to sin and as an eu­nuch he could be clos­er to God as de­scribed in Mat­thew 19:12.

According to published medical reports, every three years or so cases of self-mutilation occur as a result of delusional dickheads believing in biblical baloney.

Mr P re­ceived ur­gent med­i­cal treat­ment, in­clud­ing a skin graft on­to the stump. He was then con­fined to a lo­cal psy­chi­at­ric hos­pi­tal by court or­der, leav­ing lit­tle but ques­tions be­hind.

Three in­ves­ti­ga­tors pro­ceeded to search an on­line med­i­cal lit­er­a­ture database, PubMed, for oth­er cases of this na­ture. They dis­cov­ered that the Bi­ble—in­deed, the Gos­pel of Mat­thew spe­cif­ic­ally—has left a trail of self-mutila­t­ions in­spired largely by four of its verses.

The bloody toll list­ed in case re­ports dat­ing back to 1967 – PubMed does­n’t go back much fur­ther – in­cluded three par­tially or fully am­pu­tat­ed pe­nises; four pairs of cas­trat­ed tes­ti­cles; three am­pu­tat­ed hands and 11 se­verely dam­aged eye­balls. Saws, cir­cu­lar saws, screw­drivers and pen­cils were among the tools used for the hor­ri­fy­ing pro­ce­dures, al­though sev­er­al pa­tients put out their eyes with their fin­gers alone.

The re­search­ers wrote:

Our lit­er­a­ture re­view re­vealed 16 pa­tients in ad­di­tion to [Mr P] who had in­jured them­selves in con­nec­tion with spe­cif­ic re­li­gious tex­t.

Their re­view of the cases is pub­lished in the May 29 on­line is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Psy­cho­so­mat­ics.

All but one of the pa­tients were di­ag­nosed with psy­chi­at­ric disor­ders or psy­chot­ic disor­ders or had sub­stance abuse is­sues, they wrote; Mr. P., for ex­am­ple,

Had a long his­to­ry of se­vere bi­po­lar ill­ness marked by hyper-re­li­gious delu­sions.

Eve­ry case was con­nect­ed with at least one of four verses in Mat­thew’s Gos­pel: 19:12, 18:8, 5:29 and 5:30. The three lat­ter verses are more cryp­tic than the first. What they have in com­mon is that they ap­pear to sug­gest that if a hand, foot or right eye are some­how of­fen­sive, cut­ting them off is the way to go, be­cause at least, that much less of the body will end up in Hell.

A 37-year-old man was quot­ed in the 1967 re­port say­ing:

Even if I do get cer­ti­fied [in­sane] and in the eyes of the world I am mad it is far bet­ter for me to have cleansed my­self.

Hat tip: Robert Stovold & John Radford

18 responses to “‘Doctor, doctor, I’ve had an attack of Matthew 19:12’”

  1. Rob says:

    I think giving young minds and mentally ill people the bible verges on a crime, not just due to the extreme violence it contains, but because of the horrific treatment of women that clearly condones.

  2. 5ec4um says:

    I had trouble reading this piece. Makes me shudder, just to think about it.

    “… if a hand, foot or right eye are some­how of­fen­sive, cut­ting them off is the way to go.”

    I understand “foot” is often used in the Bible as a way of avoiding saying penis. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

  3. Matt Westwood says:

    If it wasn’t so sick it would be funny. Darwin awards: special mentions, anyone?

  4. charlie says:

    For those who have a mental illness and follow these verses and harm themselves one surely should have compassion. Mental illness and religion are a terrible mixture that we see here leads to horrible results.
    It is obvious from this entry that religion can be a very harmful thing. The people who have mutilated themselves after reading such verses need serious mental help and compassion.
    One more resin to get rid of all religions.

  5. Robert Stovold says:

    “This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand” (Matthew 13:13)

  6. Matt Westwood says:

    @charlie: You miss the point. Religion *is* mental illness. Compassion I have little.

  7. rikjows says:

    what a dick

  8. chrsbol says:

    If he didn’t want to use his penis he could have just got married.

  9. AgentCormac says:

    What a tosser.

    Then again, not any more.

  10. barriejohn says:

    That obviously took balls – or not, as the case may be. I do agree with @charlie, however, but to what extent religion actually causes mental illness or preys on those with “weak minds” or psychological problems is a moot point. Others are also concerned at the consequences of teaching Biblical literalism:

    Many Christians, as we know, take the pragmatic view that every word of scripture (whatever that might be) is “inspired by God”, but that not every word is to be taken literally. It’s a quagmire. However, I can tell you that there were respected preachers amongst the Plymouth Brethren when I was with them who insisted that EVERY WORD of the Bible was to be taken literally. In their view, if Peter said in Acts 2:20 that the moon would be turned into blood, then that means that the moon will be turned into blood and not that it will become a red colour! This despite what similar passages might prophesy, or what different translations to the KJV might say. I don’t think that you can possibly argue with that sort of idiocy, and thought so at the time as well.

  11. barriejohn says:

    I can’t find any online article that makes the ridiculous claim that the moon will actually be turned to blod, but this explanation of the prophecy takes the biscuit:

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    I sometimes wonder at the ineptitude of the writers of these blogs – but then as we have established you have to be particularly stupid even to believe this shit.

    I read this …

    “… evil customs that takes place on the Earth, that’s why the land is defiled (releases gases that contains evil elements) and it vomits out its inhabitants.

    In simple words this means that when human beings on Earth engage themselves into doing evil through the breaking of God’s commandments …”

    … and I was seriously expecting that I would be reading “… doing evil through the breaking of wind …”

  13. john.c says:

    Well, at least there is no danger of him breeding more religiots now,If only they would all remove themselves from the gene pool like that,a couple of generations and the world might be sane.I have no compassion for such imbeciels,anyone who believes in anything without evidence deserves to suffer the consequences of such belief.

  14. Stonyground says:

    Regarding the rules for Darwin Awards. If this guy has no children, he is eligible for the award if he has made himself unable to procreate. Most Darwin Awards are given to people who have died due to incredible stupidity, but death is not essential, only the inability to pass on your genes.

    It is interesting how a book like the Bible is immune from the attentions of the bansturbators. I am old enough to remember the Kung-Fu classic ‘Enter The Dragon’ being heavily cut because it was perceived to have lead to lots of idiots hitting people with nunchakus. I am sure other commenters can give examples of movies or books being censored because of some spurious and evidence free claim of some negative effect on society. The negative effects of the Bible would fill a pretty big book if you added them up and yet no-one ever suggests banning it. Just for the record I am totally opposed to censorship of almost any kind.

  15. Broga says:

    As usual the verses of the bible he believes are extracted from a nonsensical mass of other beliefs. He seems like a disturbed, and probably insane, man who was persuaded into this extreme self harm by reading that verse in the bible.

  16. Stephen Turner says:

    @barriejohn: that blog is a real gem. I just couldn’t resist the idea of clicking on where it says ‘Words of Wisdom’, and it says
    ‘Oops… Failed to Load Data’

  17. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Turner: That’s priceless! No problem with making donations, though. It even says “SOW YOUR SEED NOW!!!”. I can’t think where I have heard that phrase before.

    As Matt Westwood says, I know a few people who have “corrupted the air and gases that are in the earthly realm” by “relaasing gases that contains (sic) evil elements”, but not because they were “breaking God’s commandments”!

  18. charlie says:

    Matt Westwood, yes, I know that religion IS a mental illness. I was just allowing for this person to have been afflicted with an even larger dose of insanity due to religion. Not all who “believe” take it to such extremes. That he removed himself from the gene pool is a good thing however.

    Stonyground, the “holly bibble” itself is one of the most pornographic books ever to be in print. There is every crime imaginable in that book. Any sin one might think up is in it. Incest, genocide, slavery, the list goes on and on. It is a vile book in my opinion.

    On a personal note. It is my view that the “fall” is entirely the fault of god. this god is supposed to know all that is, was, or ver will be. Therefore, before “he” planted the trees in Eden, “he” should have known that they (Adam and Eve) would eat the fruit. The fault was not of the “first two” humans, but the fault is totally that of god. By asking such was my exit from church around the time I was in 8th grade back in the early 1960’s. Vietnam totally “cured” me of religion.