‘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