Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Biting the bullet

I'd never thought I'd see the day. I'm posting a link from Fox News, but only because it concerns an issue that is close to my heart. This is the network that according to its critics, wears its right wing colours on its sleeve, and has Colonel Oliver North, one of the key protagonists in the Iran-Contra affair, as an on air personality. Issues of suffering and illness are one of my hobby horses. Sometimes I dialogue with atheists in the blogosphere. In an attempt to portray religious people negatively, occasionally these atheist bloggers post horror stories about chronically ill Christians who refuse medical treatments because they believe that God will miraculously heal them, and that using conventional medicine would show that they lack faith, or bring God's wrath upon them. When this doesn't happen, and the illness worsens, or the person dies, this is put forward as proof that God doesn't exist, and that Christians are simple minded fools.

This is a misrepresentation of mainstream Christian thinking on this issue, which sees no inherent conflict between faith and the healing professions. When He chooses to heal, God isn't limited to working through supernatural means. If God is sovereign, He can bring healing however He chooses, so medical science can and should be affirmed as a gift from God, and not treated with suspicion. If I was seriously ill, I'd have people pray for me, but I'd get medical treatment as well. If only my brothers and sisters on the fringes of Christendom saw things the same way. It would mean less of those horror stories, wouldn't it? 

2 comments:

JD Curtis said...

Waddya mean? FOX News is Great! They slaughter the other news channels in this country (US). They're much more fair than CN or MSNBC.

I check them out about once a day.

Bret “Ginx” Alan said...

No wonder JD is so ill informed...

Anyway, this particular atheist doesn't bother posting about the religious fringe, although you should be aware there are entire religious sects dedicated to not accepting medical treatment (the prime one that comes to mind are the ironically named "Christian Scientists").

I prefer to focus on the mainstream problems that affect non-Christians, like complete intolerance for homosexuals, the rise in STDs and teen pregnancy from abstinence education, ridiculous bans on scientific development, and other infringements upon the freedoms of non-Christians to live a life that isn't based on a faith some of us want nothing to do with.

It is sad when someone's kid dies because their parents thought magic would cure them, though. I would just prefer to focus on the Scientologists that do that, since it's a clearly stated part of their dogma. Isn't it odd how atheists only seem angry at Christianity, not the dozens of other religions?