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    Defibrillator and a Rosary, Stat!

    surgeonrosary.jpgQuote:  "It may have made them uncertain, wondering am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?" Oklahoma cardiologist Charles Bethea in the New York Times.

    Figure of Speechdialogismus, the quoting figure.  Also innuendo, the idea insertion.

    Do a stranger’s prayers help heart patients recover?  New findings say probably not; in fact, the praying can actually hurt the patient.  Dr. Bethea, one of the co-authors of a $2.4 million study, guesses why in a dialogismus ("dialogue"), which brings another person’s words into an argument.

    Rhetoric would lend credence to Bethea’s theory. The prayers may have committed accidental innuendo ("significant nod") — inserting negative ideas in people’s heads like Nixon’s "I am not a crook."

    Three congregations prayed for the heart patients, asking God "for a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications." The patients were informed of the prayers, which, in the anxious mind, could be translated into:  "Don’t let Patient X die a slow, agonizing death or suffer from the many easily imagined complications."

    You can see why the sleaziest politicians love innuendo.  It opens Pandora’s Box even while praying for closure.

    Snappy Answer: "Imagine the TV series, though. ‘CSI: Holy Intercession.’"

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