I’m somewhat of a Merle Haggard fan. I think his music and vocal abilities are fantastic. His form of country music is what country music is supposed to be: gritty, raw, and anti-authoritarian. Somehow country music lost its edge around the same time that rock ‘n’ roll records got mixed in with the pop section. But Haggard refused to give in (although he did quit the drugs and cigarettes, which is, to be honest, probably why he’s still around to be gritty, raw, and anti-authoritarian to this day).
Last night I came across the following post from Merle Haggard, who had been experiencing some health issues and had to cancel Thursday night’s gig:
I’m not sure why Mr. Haggard would thank his audience of 17,000 fans for helping him to get over his illness. But that’s not the point. Why would anyone, given everything we now know about germs, thank a supernatural agent?
Don’t get me wrong. Pneumonia can be a very serious disease, especially for a man in his mid-70s. Anytime someone that age gets over Pneumonia is a “blessing,” but we have no reason to suspect that it has anything to do with a miracle.
To claim that he “kicked laryngitis and pneumonias ass” [sic] because Jesus stepped in leaves open the question: who caused him to get sick in the first place? All evidence we have points to the germ theory. And germs are often defeated by immune systems, even in old farts like Haggard. He got sick because sometimes people get sick, and he got well because sometimes people get well. I don’t know much about his medical treatment, but, as most people will tell you, if he was given any kind of help from medical professionals, he should be thanking those folks (and the doctors who got us to where we are today).
Mr. Haggard, you make great music, and I hope you’re around for many more years to continue making great music, but I’m pretty sure that Jesus had nothing to do with your recovery. I mean, the guy’s been dead for 2,000+ years. It’s actually more believable that your fans cured you than a dead man.