Saturday, January 8, 2011

Health and prayer, and why God can't lose

The job I started last year takes me into a lot of hospitals, and a large percentage of them are actually religious institutions - and all of these religious facilities are Christian. I find these latter hospitals strangely contradictory places that, without knowing it, are particularly damning of the idea that prayer works. I've been going to these places for a few months now and had the vague feeling I wanted to blog about them but wasn't sure how and why, until recently when a number of things intersected and gave me a direction to take. One day I saw a picture in one facility that, in equal measures, creeped me out, made me laugh out loud and certainly cemented my decision never to have surgery there. Just before I saw the picture and afterwards, there were then a number of medical scares to close family members (one of my children and my dad) and finally I've been reading "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" Which I've linked to before and flicked through but never taken the time, until now, to read in its entirety.

In all honesty, if you've ever taken the time to read "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" then none of this should be new to you. But it is my take on some of the ideas presented there with a couple of new bits thrown in. If you haven't read it then why the hell not? It is much better than anything I've ever written on the topic!

How do people get sick anyway?

When the health scares hit it occurred to me that the religious in my family would no doubt be urging prayer and praying themselves, and I did get one "God bless" sent my way. And all I could think was, "If prayer worked, then these people wouldn't be sick, would they?" After all, people don't ask for health scares or medical emergencies in their prayers do they? People don't pray along the lines of "Dear God, please send me or a family member a stroke." Do they? No, of course not. What they pray for is good health for themselves and their loved ones. The fact that people get sick shows, in my opinion, that at best God isn't always listening to prayers or that a great many self proclaimed religious people only pray when they think they really need to, and then usually out of fear or greed. At worst (at least for those who believe prayer works) the fact that people get sick is further proof that prayer doesn't work.

If God answers prayers, if prayer actually does work, if God can actually grant prayers, then why do people get sick? Nobody prays for themselves or a loved one to develop an illness, so how is it that people get sick? Shouldn't the only sick people be the atheist, agnostic or non-practising?

Not that old Chestnut...

This leads to another old chestnut that skeptics and atheists have long talked about: How God can't lose.

People pray for others to get better when they are ill. When they do so, and the person gets better, more often than not people will grant the recovery to God and prayer, to either a great or a small extent. But, if God has the power to cure an illness, doesn't he have the power to prevent one? But do you ever hear someone saying that a loved ones cancer is God's fault? Apart from scum like Fred Phelps and the truly fanatical gloating over the deaths of people who don't hold to the same superstitions, do you ever hear people blaming bad things on God? No, you don't. Because bad things are not God's fault, apparently. If there are 1,000 people on a sinking ship and 1 of them survives, some people will inevitably call it a miracle and attribute it to God. That 999 died is ignored. Miracles are God's work apparently, tragedies not so much. The thing that is ignored is that if God can save 1 person, he can save the other 999 and yet didn't. But no-one blames God for 999 deaths. They praise him for 1 life saved. In other words, no matter what, God can't lose. Bad things aren't his doing, but good things are.

A good recent example of this is the so called  "Miracle on the Hudson". Of course, some people immediately gave the credit for this remarkable and extraordinary piece of flying to God - people immediately started calling it a miracle. Some even got upset when the pilot didn't himself attribute the landing to God. But, if this one triumph of skill and preparation was God's work and not the crew of flight 1549, then he is very hit and miss. But does anyone ever blame God for not doing anything? For allowing these other accidents to happen?

Mulling over these sorts of questions recently prompted me to post this on my Facebook status:

Dear God,

Instead of letting people get sick and then apparently curing them after a harrowing experience for all involved, how about not letting them get sick in the first place?


...PS. And why do you always wait until after the medical attention from dedicated professionals, what's that about? Makes it look like maybe it wasn't you at all...

The same could be said for almost any bad experience that a person goes through where a successful outcome is subsequently attributed to God. If God can cure the sickness, then God let them get sick in the first place. Wouldn't it be much more loving to not let them get sick anyway? At the very least it is a lot less showy. It's kind of like setting a building alight so you can impress people with your firefighting skills, isn't it? If God has the power to improve people's lives by curing them then how about he just stops them getting sick in the first place? Everyone's time is saved and no-one has to go through any horrific or traumatic or painful illnesses.

In fact, if you are a believer in Intelligent Design or creationism then you readily accept that illness is God's doing. In fact, if you are a Biblical literalist, you readily accept that illness and death are God's doing. So, how come no-one blames God for getting people sick, but they do praise him for curing people, even when the Bible specifically says sickness and death are God's doing?

Would you praise and thank a person for deliberately breaking someones arm because they then applied a splint and/or sling? Or would you call them a sociopath and lock them up?

At the end of the day, if you believe in God, then you'd have to say that the very least God can do is make people better because GOD caused them to get sick in the first place. The fact that he makes you grovel before he does it should really cause any right thinking person to pause for thought.

Instead of saving 1 person from the sinking ship, why not save everyone by not letting the ship sink? Instead of taking credit for a breathtaking feat of airmanship, how about you don't let the plane crash in the first place? And why do it so rarely? Why save flight 1549 but not the hundreds of others?

Think about it - does anyone pray "Dear God, please wake my wife from this coma, but it is OK if you give her severe brain damage and make her quadriplegic." People wake up from a coma and it is called a miracle and thanks is given to God - the fact that they have other major health problems as a result is ignored.

So God can't lose. If it is good, it's God. If it's bad well then it is bad luck, human error, free will, the arbitrary horror of nature, an unfortunate set of coincidences etc etc. Why does God get all the credit and none of the blame?

For instance, someone I know through work underwent very aggressive chemo and surgery for some very serious cancer problems last year. When the cancer appeared to be beaten an e-mail went around that finished with "See, prayer really works." - God got the credit. Since the cancer now appears to be back and the illness possibly terminal, do you think God will get the blame? Do you think the person claiming that prayer beat the illness will now re-examine that belief and retract it? Of course not, because God can't lose.

Health, medicine and prayer

OK. Let's assume that through some hand waving, post hoc rationalisations, openly honest avoidance or by just plain ignoring them, these questions are answered or ignored by the believer in the power of prayer. A person is sick and they, being a believer and having health insurance that allows, are taken to a religious hospital. There, because of the healing power of prayer, they are greeted by a member of the clergy, or a preacher, or some religious representative. From there they are taken into a special chapel where a group of devout believers will pray to their god and a cure is miraculously received. Oh wait no that isn't what happens, is it?

No, what happens is they receive science based medical treatment, surgical interventions, drug therapies, physical therapy and a great deal of attention from trained medical professionals who may or may not be religious.

But doesn't that strike you as odd?

If healing prayers work, why do religious hospitals need medical staff and treatment facilities? Why does a religious hospital need any of the trappings of modern medicine if prayer works? Why does a religious hospital need an ER, OR, ICU, PACU, NICU, IMCU, rehab unit? Why does a religious hospital need a pharmacy, ventilators, heart rate monitors, IVs, X-Ray machines, needles, scalpels, sutures, wound vacuums, suction pumps, pulmonary bypass units, wound therapy mattresses?

If prayer really works, and God does exist, then why does he/she need so much help? How come God only cures people after they have received all that other conventional medical treatment and why is it he/she who gets to claim the cure and not the medical team? And why do these miracle cures often take so long instead of being instant? Are people really praying "Dear Lord, please cure this cancer. But not for six months."

Shouldn't a religious hospital merely consist of enough amenities to keep a person comfortable and then a quiet room on each floor filled with devout hospital employees who pray for each patient? I mean, they do believe in the healing power of prayer don't they? Don't they?

They must do. Taking just the religious facilities I know, they are all Christian. So yes they do believe that prayer works and miracles happen. Indeed, inside each facility are devotional messages, Bible passages and pictures that imply that yes, prayer works and God exists. But then, what are all the doctors, nurses, therapists, MAs, unit secretaries, kitchen staff, cleaning staff, facilities staff, materials and supply staff etc doing there? They aren't really necessary are they? Well, not if prayer works at least.

If on the other hand prayer doesn't work, then we'd expect religious hospitals to need all those people and facilities just like non religious ones, wouldn't we? And lo and behold it seems that religious hospitals need all the things that non-religious ones do in order to treat patients. How curious.

Do you need a more damning indictment of the power of prayer? Even Christian hospitals don't trust it.

Where would Jesus make the first incision (WWJMTFI)?

So, here's an image I saw in a religiously affiliated hospital I was working at one day:

And after laughing out loud my next reaction was a mixture of horror, disbelief and fear. Is that really what modern science based medicine passes for in a religious hospital in the 21st century, hoping that Jesus (allegedly a carpenter from 2,000 years ago) is guiding your surgeon's hands? I resolved right there and then to never go to a religious hospital for treatment of any kind as long as I was able to make the choice.

Here are some questions for you - if you think that Jesus is guiding a surgeon's hands then does the surgeon need to go to medical school? If he or she does, why? Surely with faith, prayer and the Son of God on their side anyone can perform surgery? If not, why not? Why do people who work in religious hospitals need medical training?

And here are some other questions. If prayer works, why does Jesus need to use surgery to make someone better? Why does he need to act through a surgeon? Doesn't he do miracles anymore?

Oh, and more importantly - if Jesus is guiding a surgeons hands, who is to blame when surgery goes wrong? Do surgeries go 'wrong', or are they going exactly according to God's plan? Are surgeries in religious hospitals always 100% successful? If not, why not, since Jesus was aiding them? Does Jesus let some surgeries fail and not others? Why? Does Jesus deliberately misguide surgeons who screw up? Who do you sue for malpractice in that case? Should you even sue for malpractice since God was involved?

Do these medical professionals really believe that Jesus is guiding their hand? If so, then isn't that just terrifying? "Doesn't matter what I do or how good I am, Jesus is here with me."

What the hell does a carpenter from the year 33AD know about triple bypass surgery?

If that picture isn't filling you with dread at the thought of treatment in a religious institute that takes that kind of image seriously then you really aren't thinking it through. Or, on the other hand, maybe it is yet another indictment of what people at religious institutes really know about the healing power of faith and prayer.

Now, in trying to answer some of the questions above the religious don't get to redefine what a miracle is. You don't get to claim that modern surgical skills and techniques are miracles, they aren't. To the medically and scientifically illiterate they might look like magic but they are nothing of the sort - they are the product of thousands of years of science, medical experimentation, education and dedication whose origins and justifications can be traced and documented. They have an explanation. Calling them a miracle makes a mockery of the term. It makes the term 'miracle' meaningless.

The religious don't get to co-opt modern medicine for their own purposes.

A statistical case for the non healing power of prayer

So, we have a lot of questions that arise from the idea that prayer and faith can actually physically and/or mentally heal a person. The questions may or may not make people think about the claims that prayer and faith heal. Questions can be ignored or rationalised away. How about cold hard facts?

Well OK, they can be ignored as well, but let's look at some anyway.

First, let's re-state the hypothesis we're examining: Prayer and faith can heal people physically and mentally because God exists and he performs miracles.

If we accept this hypothesis, then there should be some evidence we can look at that supports this. For instance - shouldn't countries with large populations of devout people have healthier populations? Shouldn't countries with more devout people in them have better health and longer lifespans than those with less devout people in them - shouldn't it be healthier to live in a religious nation when compared to a secular one?

Let's take a look.

I started here to try and identify which countries have the most devout populations, and found that religiosity is highest amongst developing nations. Here's the Gallup table showing their results (you can see it better on the Gallup page but click on the table to enlarge):

Pay particular attention to the countries that identify themselves as the most religious and those that identify themselves as the least religious with respect to the hypothesis we are examining. What are your immediate first impressions?

Now, take a look at this table of international life expectancy (note: below I do use a different set of life expectancy figures when comparing developed countries to each other). Notice anything yet? The lowest life expectancy is in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, the highest in Japan, Andorra and San Marino. Unfortunately there is no religiosity data on Mozambique, but Malawi has a life expectancy of 37.6 years and 99% of adults claimed religion is an important part of daily life. Zambia has a life expectancy of 37.2 years and a religiosity of 95%. There is no religiosity data for San Marino or Andorra but the life expectancy of Japan is 80.7 years and there just 24% of people say religion is an important part of their daily lives. All three of the least religious countries on the Gallup poll have a higher life expectancy than the three most religious (in the cases of Denmark and Sweden, much higher).

Which doesn't seem to support the hypothesis that religious faith and prayer can work miracles for public health, does it? Wouldn't we expect that the more devout a population the more healthy it would be, if we accept that prayer and faith actually work to improve health or treat disease?

The obvious objection to this is that there are many other factors involved in the health of a population and this is no doubt borne out by closely examining the data I've so far provided, and my response is: Yes, exactly. Anyone who raises that objection is simply proving my point. If prayer and faith truly had an impact on health, then nothing else matters and the more religious countries should have better health - but overall they clearly don't. In fact, the data suggests that economics, sanitation, infrastructure and a great many other things have a far greater impact than prayer. Clean water has a bigger impact than prayer ever could. And that is my point.

But, let's be fairer to the hypothesis than it seems to deserve, let's compare countries that have more similarities than those at the extremes of developed states versus developing or failed states (even though prayer working or not shouldn't depend on the developmental state of the nation in which the prayee resides, only how devout they are, and nobody who says prayer works qualifies it with "Unless you live in the third world" anyway). And lets add another variable to judging how well prayer and faith work in respect to health care - the average per capita expenditure on health care. Shouldn't we expect more religious states to have to spend less on health care if prayer and faith work in treating medical problems or improving health? So let's include health expenditure as well.

Here are a few pages of data comparing countries with more similarities in terms of their developmental status, including data on states belonging to the OECD.

Starting with the UC Atlas website we see a comparison of life expectancy with per capita expenditure on healthcare in dollars. Taking the 5 countries with the longest life expectancy here (excluding San Marino, Monaco, Australia and Andorra because I didn't have religiosity data for them) we see that, with these figures and highest first, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and France all have life expectancies between 82 and 79 years. Respectively, they have a religiosity of 24%, 41%, 17%, 42% and 30% (so an average of 30.8%).

The 5 countries (excluding Portugal and Cuba because there was no religiosity data) with the lowest lifespans are (lowest first) Ireland, Cyprus, USA, Denmark and the UK with a life expectancy between 76 and 78. Respectively they have a religiosity of 54%, 75%, 65%, 19% and 27% (so an average of 48%).

Far from conclusive in favour of the hypothesis that prayer and faith somehow improve health one way or the other. Significantly the USA, with its 65% religiosity, has a low life expectancy compared to other developed nations yet spends roughly twice as much per capita on healthcare than most other developed nations. Why would a country with such a large devout population need to spend so much on healthcare if prayer worked, and for such a relatively small gain?

In fact, the second graph on the UC Atlas page suggests that, up to a point, life expectancy has far more in common with money spent on healthcare than religiosity. Why would money have more of an effect than the devout appealing to the Almighty? Unless, of course, prayer doesn't work. The second website, Seeking Alpha shows that the USA spends almost double the average OECD percentage of GDP on healthcare. Why would that be if prayer worked?

Indeed, if prayer doesn't work then the data we have looked at makes perfect sense. However, if you believe prayer does work then the data presents you with a problem - what is going on? How do you explain what we are seeing in the data if prayer works?

If prayer works, then how do you explain the data on the Visual Economics page that shows that the US infant mortality rate (6.8 per 1,000 live births) is almost triple that of Japan (2.8) - 65% religiosity compared to 24% remember? People don't pray for children? God ignores those prayers?

Or maybe, just maybe, prayer doesn't work?

The fact remains that no matter how you look at the data, prayer seems to have no discernible effect on health. The most devout nations are amongst the least healthy and shortest lived in the world when we should expect the exact opposite if prayer worked. Some of the most devout developed nations spend the most on healthcare and still have relatively low lifespans when compared to less devout developed nations, when we should see the exact opposite if prayer works.

Even just within the USA we can see evidence that being devout doesn't significantly help you live longer or healthier - as a group black people are more likely to frequently attend church than white people, yet they still have a lower life expectancy than white people.

The Plan

As pointed out on Why Won't God Heal Amputees one of the common responses to the questioning of prayer and its effectiveness is that if what was prayed for doesn't happen then it not happening was part of God's Plan. I think it is worth re-iterating the answer to this given over at WWGHA.

If God has a plan for everyone and everything, and has done since the dawn of time, then prayer is pointless. In fact, it is more than pointless, it is asking God to change his plans. Who are you to ask the creator of the Universe to change what he has set in motion? What kind of arrogance is that? If a loved one is sick, if a loved one is dying, then that is what God wanted and the outcome is already determined - it is in the plan remember. Praying is therefore a waste of time and will change nothing. It will accomplish nothing. The way it is is the way God wants it and therefore prayer still does not work because the way it is going to be is also the way God wants it to be.

If God exists, and he has a plan for everyone and everything, prayer does nothing.

And yet the Bible says that prayer does work. How confusing. Either God has a plan and that explains the seemingly inexplicable and arbitrary nature of the success of prayer, which also means prayer is ineffective because outcomes have already been decided by God. Or, the Bible is wrong and if you ask for something in prayer you still might not get it.

How would a believer in the power of prayer explain that?


Prayer simply does not work.

Claiming that prayer works leaves you with so many unanswered questions that your position becomes unsustainable. The evidence presented here and elsewhere shows that prayer doesn't have any discernible or even demonstrable effect on healthcare or medical treatment and it is apparent that, whether they consciously recognise it or not, religiously affiliated medical facilities are, by the simple virtue of their existence, an acknowledgement that prayer doesn't do anything.

Prayer doesn't work. Let's stop pretending it does and do something useful with our time instead.


  1. Jim,

    after the birth of our third child a couple of weeks ago, a colleague of mine sent me an email, saying

    "congratulations, God is truly great"

    I was more than a little loath to give God the credit for the remarkable feat my wife had just accomplished, so I wrote back

    "Thanks, but God deserves no credit. All the hard work was done by my beautiful wife. In fact, if I find out he had anything to do with the creation of this baby, he and I are going to be having words"

    This was less than well received, in fact, it elicited a truly less-than-Christian response, accusing me of being racist (wtf? - apparently being Christian is a race now).

    I am getting more and more angry with people giving God credit for good things and completely ignoring the inequality, abuse, poverty and lack of charity which they do not feel they are party to, simply beacause they 'believe'.

    Oh, and by the way, that is not Jesus guiding the surgeon's hand. It is a young Rufus from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

  2. You responded more reasonably than I would have done. My first thought when I read "God is truly great" was the Takbir: "Allāhu Akbar". Or, "God is great/the greatest."

    I would have reminded them that the hijackers of flight 93 can be heard reciting it on the cockpit voice recorders. There are more known Islamist uses.

    But I wasn't aware that Christian has become a race. Would that mean that atheism is a race, or a lack of one?

    George Carlin as the Messiah. I'm certain he would be horrified at the idea, but that's a religion I could buy into...

    Oh, and once again congratulations to all of you on the latest addition. Where would you like the infant Liverpool kit sent to?

  3. This is an article written by an atheist:
    "If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean everything to me.
    I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone.
    I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering.
    Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable.
    I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be: "WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?"

  4. I confess Anna, I have no idea why you think this is relevant to the point I was making that clearly prayer doesn't work.

    Please do enlighten us.

    Do you agree with this mysterious unidentified atheist? Looking at your blog, clearly not. So did you then just not understand the point being made - that the religious are often clearly not as sincere or devout as they want everyone to believe and this is clearly a good thing?

  5. It looks to me like some thinly veiled version of Pascal's Wager. I don't know many atheists who agree with Pascal.

    So I call "made-up bullshit that has nothing to do with this article".

  6. Yeah, if you try to find the origin of this quote you will find lots of people who use it but no-one who can tell you where it comes from or who said it other than a claim that some missionary claims he read it and it inspired him. No-one seems to know who actually said this however. What a surprise.

    In any case, I see it as an indictment of religious people who talk the talk but don't walk it, and the potential for the truly religious to forget this life in a rush to get to the next.

  7. "apparently being christian is a race" i guess that doesnt really make sense but u have to respect people's beliefs everyone has a right to believe whatever they want. faggots and lesbians aren't really a race either but they sure as hell feel like they are. society and governments around the world have succumbed to the whining and bitching of these gays for their "rights." its not something i agree with but i guess we must respect each other. just hate it that they take it up the butt (ironically lol!!!)when u use the word "gay" in derogatory ways. who cares they are not a race the just have beliefs, just like christians and other faiths have their own beliefs. just repsect each other and leave it be. the writer of this blog can choose to be atheist and can criticise religions all they want, but if religious hospitals are staffed and equipped with the same standards and certifications of regular hospitals (equipment and personnel) then there really is no need to bitch about "never being treated there." same professionals and same equipment as a state hospital (unless its a level 1 hospital). u sound so stupid and idiotic that u did not realize this urself. same shit, same treatment. grow up and stop complaining about little things in life and learn to respect everyone and maybe people will respect you.

  8. "apparently being christian is a race" i guess that doesnt really make sense but u have to respect people's beliefs everyone has a right to believe whatever they want.

    No, you don't have to respect people's beliefs you idiot. Why should I respect Nazi beliefs? Why should I respect the beliefs of someone who thinks having sex with children is OK?

    Only a total moron with indefensible beliefs would think you have to respect beliefs. You have the right to hold whatever belief you want - that doesn't mean anyone, anywhere has to respect those beliefs.

    faggots and lesbians aren't really a race either but they sure as hell feel like they are.

    What the fuck are you talking about you bigoted twat? This doesn't even make sense, never mind mean anything worth arguing.

    society and governments around the world have succumbed to the whining and bitching of these gays for their "rights." its not something i agree with but i guess we must respect each other.

    And I guess you have absolutely no clue what respect actually is.

    just hate it that they take it up the butt (ironically lol!!!)

    There is nothing ironic in that statement. It's just the dribblings of an illiterate redneck douchebag. What is ironic is that you make a statement about respecting gays right before you make one which proves you clearly don't. Fool.

    when u use the word "gay" in derogatory ways. who cares they are not a race the just have beliefs, just like christians and other faiths have their own beliefs.

    Learn some basic grammar, people won't think you are such an uneducated prick if you do. If I use the word "American" in a derogatory way, who cares? They are not a race they just have beliefs, just like Christians and other faiths have their own beliefs.

    Hell, even my rewording doesn't make sense, but it makes more sense than your version. Sexuality is not a belief system - it's biology. The fact that you compare it to faith proves you really have no clue what you are talking about. You might as well compare eye colour to faith.

    just repsect each other and leave it be.

    You would do well to heed your own advice - but then if you can't tell the difference between respecting the person and respecting their beliefs, there is no hope for you. You should also try to get your head around the idea that respect is earned, not given freely.

    if religious hospitals are staffed and equipped with the same standards and certifications of regular hospitals (equipment and personnel) then there really is no need to bitch about "never being treated there."

    Once again proving that the point of the blog post just sailed right over your head.

    same professionals and same equipment as a state hospital (unless its a level 1 hospital). u sound so stupid and idiotic that u did not realize this urself.

    You really didn't comprehend what I wrote at all did you? My job is delivering certain types of medical equipment to hospitals - I know exactly what equipment they can get. And no, they don't all get the same. And they don't all operate in the same ways either. And most hospitals operate to their own rules/standards within the requirements set by JCAHO, the FDA etc. Exactly how much do you know about hospital operations and standards?

    And since you can't spell or use basic grammar you should probably be the last person calling others stupid and idiotic. At least my posts don't read like an 11 year old's text messages.

    same shit, same treatment.

    That's funny, I was thinking that about your comments.

    grow up and stop complaining about little things in life and learn to respect everyone and maybe people will respect you.

    Words fail me. Are you really so lacking in self awareness?

    Go away you sad, ignorant, little buffoon.

  9. You're as ignorant as you are intolerant of anyone who disagrees with you. As much of an asshole as you clearly are, I can see why you put so much energy into your blog. First, it's your only friend. Secondly, it can't disagree with your utter stupidity.

    1. And yet, despite my apparent utter stupidity, you couldn't offer anything, ANYTHING, by way of refutation.

      I think that says it all.

      Don't give up the day job.

      Oh, as an afterthought; how exactly does two or three posts a year, in recent times, amount to "so much energy"? Bye now.

  10. I have a little boy whom we adopted w/ CP and cortical blindness. We took him to specialist in Chicago and in Philly. We were told he was "permanently blind. God alone healed our son. We were also told he would be in a wheel chair and would not be able to sit up or walk. Apart from medical services, God healed our son. Today he sees and runs.
    I have a little girl born w. DS. We adopted her from India. A cardiologist at the Hershey hospital found a hole in her heart that needed repair. We prayed. Many people prayed. We went for a second opinion and the hole could not be found. We returned to Hershey, her cardio (not a man of faith) said there was no logical explanation for her miraculous healing.
    I am reading your article now as my own infant son recovers from heart surgery. He had an amazing team of doctors. You asked why should they go to school at all...We do not believe in fatalism or that God some how comes down and "makes the first inscision.." Nor do we dare believe that a doctor is infallible. I would never choose such an arrogant man to operate on my son. His surgeon, of 30 years is both excellent, well-qualified and humble enough to recognize that after all these years he is dependent on the creator of life. There is a limit to what man can do.

    1. I thought your comment warranted more of a reply than I could make in the comments here, so I created a new blog post. You can find it here.