Too Simple Solutions: Evangelical Snake Oil


New York, 1952

“Hello friends, I’m your Vitameatavegamin girl.

Are you tired, run – down, listless?

Do you poop out at parties?

Are you unpopular?

The answer to all your problems is in this little bottle. VITAMEATAVEGAMIN.

Vitameatavegamin contains Vitamins, Meat, Vegetables, and Minerals.

Yes, with Vitameatavegamin, you can spoon your way to health. All you do is take a great big tablespoonful after every meal. Mmmmmm…. It’s so tasty, too! Tastes just like candy!

So why don’t you join all the thousands of happy peppy people and get a great big bottle of Vitameatavegamin tomorrow!

Thats Vita-meata-vegamin! “(wink)

Nebraska, 1897

“Step right up, ladies and gents. What I have in this little bottle will take care of whatever ails you. Be it lumbago, impetigo, vitiglio or vertigo, Dr. Jax’s Oil will do the job. If you suffer from appendicitis, colitis, bronchitis, encephilitis, meningitis, tonsillitise, mellitis, hepatitis, tendinitis or bursitis you’re prayers have been answered. Dr. Jax is here.

“Sick and tired of anemia, tularemia, bulemia and schizophrenia? Say, no more – I’ve got your ticket. Anyone out there stricken with athetosis, ketosis, salmonellosis, atherosclerosis, brucellosis, listeriosis, shigellosis or halitosis? Dr. Jax is your new best friend.”

“If you have arthritis, autism, anthrax or asthma then don’t wait any longer. Relief can be yours with a visit from Dr. Jax. From cholera to the common cold to the heart break of psoriasis, there ain’t nothin’ Dr. Jax’s little elixir can’t fix. Throw everything else out of your medicine chest. All you need is Dr. Jax. And right now, if you buy two bottles of Dr. Jax you’ll get the third one free!”

Florida, 2008


“Hello, this is Evangel Lines, can you hold please?”

“Hi, thanks for holding. What’s your problem? Alcoholism? Sure, we’ve got the prescription. You just need Jesus. Thanks, bye.”


“Hello, thanks for holding. What can we do for you? You say you’re anorexic? Poor thing. Just call on Jesus. Bye.”


“Hi, you’ve reached Evangel Lines, how can we help you? Depression? And sleep disorder ?And anxiety? And OCD? Wow, that’s quite a load you’ve got there. And no health insurance either? No problem honey, Jesus can handle it. Just call on him. We’re all prayin’ for you. Bye.”


Evangel Lines. Whoa, hold on there babalooey. Take it easy. What’s your problem? Oh, drugs. Oh, your kid has the problem with drugs. Just tell him to call us. He won’t? Well, tell you what, that’s OK. If he won’t talk to us then you can tell him what he needs. Jesus. You say you already told him that? Well, what happened, did he call on Jesus? He did? And you say it isn’t working, he’s still hooked on drugs? Well, he must not have done it right. Tell him to keep on tryin’. Jesus will hear him, but it might be in God’s time, not yours. What’s that? You say he needs help now, that the gangs are gettin’ to him, too much peer pressure? Tell him to start readin’ the Bible then, that always helps. What, he can’t read either? Sheesh! Well…just tell him that he needs to have more faith. Faith in Jesus. Keep callin’ on Jesus’ name and the faith will come. That’s right, honey. Jesus is all he needs. Anyway, the phone’s are ringin’ off the hook. Gotta run. Bye!



  1. #1 by BuddyO on May 28, 2008 - 2:05 pm

    So buttons on balloons…

    “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. “

  2. #2 by BuddyO on May 28, 2008 - 2:15 pm

    And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

  3. #3 by Christian on May 28, 2008 - 3:11 pm

    Ah, so refreshing, to bathe in Buddy’s stream of consciousness. If only I could sweep, I fear it is too deep for me. 🙂

    Buttons? How about wild oats?

  4. #4 by BuddyO on May 28, 2008 - 3:26 pm

    No commentary has to be added to understand. No analysis from ancient or modern theologians… no hundreds of years of church doctrine… no looking at how the modern church does it….

    Just read what God says about regarding quick-fix theology….

    What did God have to say through James…?

  5. #5 by Christian on May 28, 2008 - 3:37 pm

    Ah…OK. What did God have to say through James? Besides loose lips sink ships. (I’m just teasing, I am very fond of that book but you have me at a disservice, Obewan. )

  6. #6 by BuddyO on May 28, 2008 - 3:58 pm

    Well, if I told you then I would just be giving you MY interpretation….

    Take the quotes I posted (in thier proper context please) and couple that with James 5 and see what shakes out…

    My OPINION is that the ‘church’ as well as many theologians have made up this whole ‘quick-fix’, ‘if you had enough faith you’d be healed’ BS to the detriment of many people… I can’t find support for it anywhere….

  7. #7 by Christian on May 28, 2008 - 4:08 pm

    That’s what I thought you were saying but I never know….

    But, you are right. I agree completely. “To the detriment of many people” – so true and yet such an understatement. How many folks can you think of that were so disillusioned when things didn’t get better after their conversion that they just walked away from the church? I wonder how many, who because they left church, were able to find God anyway.

    Or how many have a clenched faith, one that hides under the table like a scared puppy, thinking that in some way God is punishing them for something, anything , that they are doing wrong. If only they had enough faith then God would love them more.

  8. #8 by logiopath on May 28, 2008 - 6:40 pm

    Maybe the church has invented the quick fix, especially since the Plymouth Brethren movement, however, academic types (like theologians) and “quick” are mutual exclusives. Trust me. As an academic once said (and I paraphrase horribly) nothing is slower than a group (committee) of academics.

    I have it in for academic types today.

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