What I’ve been reading: Faith Healing & Court Scrutiny

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One thought on “What I’ve been reading: Faith Healing & Court Scrutiny

  1. tildeb says:

    For anyone who doesn’t realize that there is a very real incompatibility between religious belief and evidence-based science to pernicious effect, one needs to look only so far as how privileging the religious beliefs of parents to be justifiably imposed on their dependent children in the matter of medicine not just harms but murders children with a nod and a wink of legal approval by agents of the secular state as well as the general populace that approves of this superstitious barbarism in action.

    I use the word ‘murder’ to clarify the malicious nature of wrongful death that accompanies the unjustified belief that empowers false confidence and false hope in faith healing. It’s a malicious belief because we know by the lack of compelling evidence that there is no causal efficacy of such ‘healing’ beyond placebo. Prayer doesn’t work as advertized. It is a false belief many people maintain… yet inexcusable to be held with ANY degree of confidence by anyone who is reasonable and respects reality to arbitrate such claims.

    We know by demonstration that many ailments can be successfully treated by evidence-based medicine yet this medically-based (scientific) treatment is withheld from dependent children not on merit of evidence of efficacy but on purely religious grounds that have no scientific justification. At the very least, any parent who chooses to impose withholding treatment from a dependent child based on such an unjustified belief as the efficacy of faith healing should be held as criminally liable for malpractice as doctors who withhold efficacious treatment in the name of THEIR religious beliefs.

    What is truly shocking, however, is how often charges of abuse and neglect of children by religious believers are brought before the courts and REPEAT convictions obtained… only to be waved away by the same courts with more suspended sentences and longer periods of probation! If a stranger had caused the same harmful effects on children without the religious excuses, I have no doubt the public outcry would be loud and sustained and the convicted criminals treated to much harsher sentencing. But that’s not how we treat parents who neglect and abuse their children in the name of THEIR religious beliefs.

    This is religious privilege in action. And it kills children with widespread public approval to protect and excuse the sanctity of religious actions (regardless of known pernicious harm and predictable deadly effects) over and above the health and welfare of vulnerable children. (As an aside, note the widespread approval from excusing religious harm to children from those in the ranks of the ‘pro-life’ movement. Recognizing irony and hypocrisy is not an intellectual strength from these folk.) This is intolerable to any society that wants to claim itself civilized rather than barbaric participants in approving the blood sacrifice of children in the name of faith. And that’s what faith-healing is in all its forms: a sacrifice of respect for knowledge and reason in the name of approving and privileging ignorance and stupidity and harm in the name of superstitious nonsense.

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