Sunday, May 29, 2016

Book: Bad Faith When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine

The Churches of God have a dark history of deaths caused by lack of proper medical treatment because of the extreme devotion to "faith healing."  Scores of children and adults have died as a direct result of this belief system, many who could have been saved by the simplest of procedures.  But pressure from the ministry or other church members prevented many from seeking proper treatment.

This is not isolated to Armstrongism though, it is a belief held by many conservative religious groups and cults.

This book looks into the mindset of the people who refuse medical treatment for themselves and their children.

When Jesus said, “Suffer the children,” faith healing is not what he had in mind. 
In recent years, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough among children in California, mumps in New York, and measles in Ohio’s Amish country—despite the fact that these are all vaccine-preventable diseases. Although America is the most medically advanced place in the world, many people disregard modern medicine in favor of using their faith to fight life-threatening illnesses. Christian Scientists pray for healing instead of going to the doctor, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish mohels spread herpes by using contaminated circumcision tools. Tragically, children suffer and die every year from treatable diseases, and in most states it is legal for parents to deny their children care for religious reasons. In twenty-first century America, how could this be happening? 
In Bad Faith, acclaimed physician and author Dr. Paul Offit gives readers a never-before-seen look into the minds of those who choose to medically martyr themselves, or their children, in the name of religion. Offit chronicles the stories of these faithful and their children, whose devastating experiences highlight the tangled relationship between religion and medicine in America. Religious or not, this issue reaches everyone—whether you are seeking treatment at a Catholic hospital or trying to keep your kids safe from diseases spread by their unvaccinated peers. 
Replete with vivid storytelling and complex, compelling characters, Bad Faith makes a strenuous case that denying medicine to children in the name of religion isn’t just unwise and immoral, but a rejection of the very best aspects of what belief itself has to offer.


Anonymous said...

A mountain of deaths proves that 'God must heal' is a misinterpretation of scriptures. But this assumes that people respect reality, or put reality over some interpretation of the bible. Christ said 'you shall know them (which includes correct doctrines) by their fruits.' This means honouring rather than looking away from, or ignoring reality.

Steve D said...

It always troubled me when someone says, "I know God is going to heal you." It is one thing to say that God CAN (faith) and another to say that God WILL (presumption). Didn't Jesus say that a sick person needs a physician? I don't see how going to a doctor shows a lack of faith in God. Don't we use the services of professionals in other fields to assist us? Oh well, what can you expect from a high school drop out with no formal training in interpretation? What is most troubling, their arrogance or their ignorance?

Anonymous said...

But, but... we dont need those worldly, Satan-led Sunday-keeping doctors injecting us with poiiiiiisons! Just eat healthy and throw your chamber pot refuse out in the street to wash away... rats? What about them?

Anonymous said...

Paul and Barnabas were regarded as gods by the locals in the book of Acts, when they performed a miraculous healing. Isn't this the motivation in trying to manipulate God ('you promised daddy, you promised to always heal') to heal in every case. The mafia ministers have all their members under their thumbs, now they are working on getting God under their thumb. Hence, they will be the ones in charge, with God the Father and Christ being figureheads, just like the queen of England. And not forgetting, in the kingdom, they will demand that God give them a king to rule over them, just like in the book of Samuel. This king will be HWA. Again God the Father and Christ will be figureheads.
This is the wet dream vision that motivates 'Christian' leaders inside and outside the Armstrongite splinters.

Anonymous said...

God is the one that has created all these diseases in the first place. He engineered all the germs and viruses. Why create them, then promise to heal every one of these same diseases?

Anonymous said...

Unscrupulous snake oil salesmen have arisen from the fact that people get sick.

I've noticed that salesman's trainings result in big heads of those who are trained, and small results for the clients they hook with their learned sleaziness.

This is not unlike how Christian megachurch preachers do, in taking advantage of people. After people throw away their crutches onstage while the audience is cheering, they go home, have the need for crutches again, and then often die or commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

Christian Science is BAD science!
Unscrupulous snake oil salesmen have arisen from the fact "THAT PEOPLE WANT TO GET BETTER."
In the same way as a hammer that can build or destroy, the art and skill of communication can be used for good or bad. HWA was a conman. "...and small results for the clients they hook with their learned sleaziness."