Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Death by prayer.

Prayer works. Right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Sorry, folks, but I grew up around the faith-healing hacks and know what charlatans they are and how so many believers take that stuff seriously. They are, in fact, often deadly serious.

Neil Beagley, 16, was one of those believers. So were his parents. All three belonged to the Followers of Christ cult. Neil had a urinary tract blockage. It is easily treatable. But Neil didn’t see a doctor. Nor did his parents want him to. Instead they gathered around and prayed for him.

Well, that didn’t work and Neil got even worse. So of course they did more of the same thing. Remember the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. As Neil got more ill they got more church members over to pray for him.

In this sense I guess God is supposedly like a politician who ignores one person but pays attention to a petition with 1 million signatures.

When the urinary tract is blocked starts to build up in the blood and that begins to poison the body. In this case the heart failed. So a 16-year-old boy is now dead because he trusted in prayer. He is dead because his parents trusted in prayer. He had a whole group of people around him who truly didn’t lack faith in the matter. They were real believers. And Neil is really dead.

Neil was 16 so he was old enough to make his own decision, even a stupid decision to commit faithicide -- death by faith. His faithicidal tendencies were encouraged by his fanatical parents and the cult they belonged to.

The really absurd thing is that these God addicts never learn. In the case of this family a 15-month old cousin, Ava Worthington, had recently died as well. That infant, who clearly wasn’t old enough to make a decision, had bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection.

Baby Ava died because her parents, Carl and Raylene Worthington (the sister of Neil's father) refused any treatment for the child except mumbling to their imaginary friend in the sky. They claim that their defense is “freedom of religion”. I don’t care if the parents pray to they are blue in the face. I don’t care if they pray for themselves and die as a result -- it just cleans up the gene pool and wipes out another pocket of stupid. But when they refuse care for their baby, resorting to mystical mumbo-jumbo instead they they are guilty of neglecting their infant.

I don’t really care if they believe God tells them that is okay to let a baby die to prove their faith. They choose to have that child and they are responsible for giving it decent care. To neglect the medical care of a sick infant merely because they have theological delusions is no defense.

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20 Comments:

Blogger doug said...

Beautifully put, thankyou.
Doug.

June 27, 2008

 
Blogger Claudia said...

Were any of those wackos charged any of those deaths?

August 02, 2008

 
Blogger Rebel Heart said...

heck, don't blame the fact they didn't go seek medical help... what a pastor/cunt will tell you is that it wasn't that which killed the baby, but their lack of faith. don't you know that the Bible says that if you have even a tiny bit of faith you can move mountains? so therefore blame it on their lack of faith. if God exists it's not His fault the baby died, it's the parent's fault for not believing enough. they obviously doubted that God would heal their son

James 1:6 When he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

August 04, 2008

 
Blogger Ahna said...

i don't believe that it is lack of faith or prayer that killed those children, but a misunderstanding of God and how he answers prayer. ever heard the fable/story of the drowning man who prayed for God to save him, and let different boats pass by, saying that God would save him? he drowns, gets to heaven, and asks God about it, who tells him that he sent boats to get him. he did answer his prayer.
what i'm trying to say is, God uses earthly circumstances to answer prayer sometimes. these people were praying and praying, and didn't realize that by sending medical help, God was answering their prayers.
but i'm not an expert. that's just my opinion.

December 06, 2008

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Ahna, the way your logic is set up it nothing could prove you wrong. The chances are that with anything a person prays for it is possible that it would happen -- whether they prayed or not. Christians say if the person got it then God answered prayer. If not they have multiple excuses all proving God is still answering prayer. It is a theory which they innoculate from evidence and reason thus arguing it with Christians is absurd since nothing can prove them wrong to their own satisfaction. I'm not sure, however, that a bad joke is good theology.

You Christians pull b.s. all the time. If someone is sick and medicine helps them, as you yourself noted, you give the credit to God not doctors. If the person dies you people tend to say: "The doctors couldn't help him." Your whole approach is outside reason and rationality.

December 06, 2008

 
Blogger Ahna said...

personally, i wouldn't blame the doctors for someone's death if there really was nothing else they could do. i believe that it was simply their time to go, that God was calling them home - which sounds incredibly cheesy, i know.
i also believe that God created people with the intelligence to discover medicines and cures and become doctors; so then, reasonably, i would give the ultimate credit to God. this is not to say i am not thankful to the doctors as well, and that they don't deserve any credit.
and if i was making an argument that i thought could be proved wrong, why would i argue it? i understand the gaps that you pointed out in my argument, but those are things that i cannot prove with words, they just depend on personal beliefs. i was just trying to explain how i might explain that situation, and what i believe.
when looking out at beautiful nature and studying science and how everything fits together perfectly and is designed purposely; can you not at least wonder if there is a Creator? does it really make the most sense to you to think that this whole world just happened by chance?
please do not think me an idiot for believing in God, i do not think you are one for disagreeing with me.

December 06, 2008

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

From what I read you always give God credit for good things and explain away bad things. Yet he is all power and all knowing which means he knows about evil, has the power to prevent it, but doesn’t. In addition he created evil in the sense that he created satan and demons, etc. (I, of course, believe none of that.) So evil can only exist because he created it and because he permits it but you will argue he is all good.

You also don’t understand the point I was making about making an argument that can be proved wrong. All rational arguments, even correct ones, have things that, if they happened, would prove the argument wrong. They may not be proven wrong but they could be if a specific result happened. The theories can be tested. What would test prayer? Is there anything that could happen, that if it did happen, would prove prayer is false? That is the point. Read up on falsifiability. An assertion can be true but still can be falsifiable -- that is there are things which, if they happened would prove the theory deficient or erroneous. You theory of prayer and god seems to say that nothing can falsify it thus it is not rational and outside reason. It can’t be refuted because your theory excludes all evidence to the contrary. You are confusing false with falsifiable and they are NOT the same thing.

As for the caliams about “everthing fits together perfectly” that is just not true. That is a dream version of reality. We have very imperfect bodies for instance. We have organs we don’t need since we evolved past their use, which are dying out but still exist -- such as the appendix. We live in a galaxy which is spinning through the universe and which, in fact, is crashing into another galaxy. Hardly fitting together perfectly. Luckily the universe is vast enough that we all will be long dead by the time that happens. We have a sun that is dying out but will last well past our lifetimes. Hardly perfect. We have a natural climate that creates tornados, hurricanes, floods, typhoons, blizzards, heat waves and cold snaps which wreck havoc on living creatures. But best to ignore that nature is not perfect,, but in constant conflict and often violent, deadly conflict, because that reality doesn’t fit the fairy tale version of a god. The “perfect fit” universe has viruses that kill infants and the elderly, that can wipe out millions of people.

If you think that evolution is a theory that the world “happened by chance” then you don’t understand evolution. I don’t know you well enough to think whether you are an idiot -- that would take more input. I think you are wrong. That is not the same thing. If I thought you were an idiot I would not debate the matter as only a fool debates with idiots.

December 06, 2008

 
Blogger Loren said...

test

December 06, 2008

 
Blogger Maurice said...

In order for you to say that there is no God you must know everything. If you know everything then you are God. Hmm. Interesting.

May 06, 2009

 
Blogger Nitro_X said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 18, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Maurice: One can know there is no Christian god, at least not as orthodox christians pretend. That is because it would be a contradictory being. I've never said there is nothing anywhere that one can call a god, only that there is no evidence to support such a claim. That is not claiming to know everything. To say that one knows of NO EVIDENCE that you are a rapists doesn't mean one claims knowledge of everything. To know of no evidence means just that, not the broader claim you make that it requires claiming to know everything. That is just irrational on your part and a false assumption.

December 18, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 18, 2009

 
Blogger Nitro_X said...

Unfortunately most folks put severe limits on the Supreme Being (often called god) in an effort to quantify and qualify this entity in physical terms. A being that is omnipotent, omniscient, infinite and eternal defies comprehension with the human brain. I am confident that if you describe to me this "god" you claim not to believe in, I probably don't believe in him either.

The supreme being YHWH and his son Yoshua have been grossly misrepresented by organized religion and its mindless followers for millenia to justify all manner of bad behavior. The negative or evil side (Satan if you prefer) of "All That Is" was put here to give us choices. Otherwise our free will would not be possible. That office we call Satan is temporary and when we reach the point where it is no longer needed, the force itself and all if its adherents' spiritual energy will be recycled (hence the lake of fire analogy: burned up for all eternity, not burning in hell for all eternity).

Insofar as faith healing goes, YHWH has provided many choices of natural and simple treatments for various maladies. Most of these our modern doctors and pharmaceutical companies eschew in favor of very expensive and, all too often, fatal treatments that are highly profitable and require perpetual use. So having faith in modern medical science can just as easily be fatal. Based on real numbers of fatalities, we can save many more lives by banning doctors than by banning handguns. I do find the failure to treat an infant suffering from pneumonia with antibiotics reprehensible, because YHWH gave me a brain and I can see the idiocy in not doing so. But allowing the state to step in and direct the parenting of anyone's child is also reprehensible. In light of the fact that numerous children have suffered and died under the care of social workers, the state makes even poorer parents. People, regardless of title or profession, are not perfect and never will be so some children will alway suffer. Our free will allows us to make bad choices as well as good ones. I would rather live with the dangers of that freedom than be fettered in the chains required to protect us and our children from ourselves. Because if that day comes, you may find yourself and your children escorted to church for "your own good". It just depends on the beliefs of the people wielding power at the time.

If you choose to believe that we are not all connected spiritually, that there is no more to this existance than meets the eye, that when your body dies you are done, so be it. This is America and for the time being we are all still free to believe what we like. I choose to fear, revere and love YHWH based on life experience and an unbiased study of scripture. I choose to love my fellow men and stand steadfastly for their liberty regardless of their beliefs so long as they leave me alone. However, as a heretic in the eyes of many in the organized church, I also fear the intolerance of those who ostracize and condemn those of us that do not believe as they do. It was a group of men that were predominately true Christians who set this Republic knowing full well the liberty and prosperity they and their progeny would enjoy was the result of Divine Providence. The degree of liberty we all enjoy to this day, whether you care to acknowledge that or not, is the direct result of their faith as well as their works.

December 18, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Nitro: Your logic is backwards. How does one describe a non-entity that one doesn't believe in due to a lack of evidence. It is not incumbent upon the skeptic to describe the non-existent -- actually the very idea is illogical and absurd and indicative of cloudy thinking.

It is up to those making the assertion that there is some entity that exists that they call a god to prove their case. You must offer, first a definition of that which you are talking about. Without it you are just spouting meaningless words. If I said there is gibloth out there but refuse to define it then you have every right to dismiss me. Much as I dismiss you if you don't define what you are talking about.

You make many claims now prove one of them. You claim prayer heals, fine show us a study that backs that up. You talk about a god that no one can comprehend. That is a cop out, that is an excuse for believing something without one shred of evidence. You make up bullshit and want us to accept your believe merely because you call your belief god.

Define your terms and present evidence. Until you do those two things you are talking without actually saying anything.

December 18, 2009

 
Blogger Maurice said...

godlesszone:

Irrational? What do you know about reason? Can you tell me the origin of reason? Answer me, how have you achieved the power to reason?

If you claim to know that there is no God, you must know everything there is to know. If you do know everything, then you must be God.

Since I know you don't know jack, you are nothing but a fool.

Reason with that.

December 19, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

The irrationalist, when confronted, resorts to nothing but misrepresentation and insults. You prove that.

In my reply I specifically said I don't claim to know there is no god. I said I have no idea what a "god" is until you define your term and no reason to accept a belief. Lacking a belief is not the same thing as asserting there is no god. I lack a belief in a god. Define god specifically and I can say if I know there is no such thing. To claim to know some things is not an assertion of knowing everything. You misrepresent my position and then, like all religionists I know resort to personal attacks.

That is a sign of someone who can not defend their own position. Actually, you can't even define what it is that you claim to believe in. To claim a belief in a thing that you can't define is to assert absolutely nothing.

December 19, 2009

 
Blogger Maurice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 20, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

Maurice: Quoting the Bible is not evidence. Instead of presenting a case you went to preaching about sin, etc. If you want to preach get a church but this is not a church. If you want to present evidence do so. So don't be surprised that your off-topic sermon is excluded.

December 20, 2009

 
Blogger Maurice said...

I spoke the truth, but the truth is not allowed in this blog.

It seems to me that censure is a sign of weakness.

What are you afraid of?

December 21, 2009

 
Blogger GodlessZone said...

You preached religious beliefs, you didn't present evidence for the entity you say exists but which you refuse to define so anyone else can know what you are talking about. You say you believe in a X but won't tell anyone what the X is, how there is concrete evidence for its existence and how you can distinguish it from all the other things that exist. And you resort to the last refuge of the religionist—insults instead of argumentation. (Insults are all that is allowed now that burning at the stake is forbidden).

If you want to stay on topic and argue your case with evidence you are welcome to do so. If you want to use my website to preach your religion then you are not. And for the same reason that no church allows atheists to stand up in the pew and preach atheism. Christians tend to be rather rude and want to use other people's property to preach their religion. Use your own for that purpose. If you want to define your terms, instead of preaching about the delusions you have about sin and salvation you may do so. But you won't do that, because you can't do that.

December 21, 2009

 

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