Why Bring in an Unnecessary Middleman? August 3, 2009

Why Bring in an Unnecessary Middleman?

Father Jonathan Morris appeared on FOXNews again…

He was there to speak partly about Kara Neumann‘s parents, the people who let her die because they wanted to heal her sickness through prayer instead of modern medicine.

His goal was to defend God, while at the same time saying what the parents did was wrong. His argument is essentially that God gave us doctors, so let’s use them — something I imagine a lot of Christians who hear this story are saying to themselves.

Here’s my favorite line, though:

Well, I would say faith does heal. God heals. And our faith in God certainly brings forth that power from God. But, sometimes God chooses to heal us through doctors. And we have to take advantage of that. When we say we don’t want doctors to get involved, what we’re saying is “God can only do it one way,” and I don’t believe that…

One problem, though, is that religious people (like the Neumanns) may not know when a doctor is needed. I think anyone with some common sense would’ve known that Kara’s predicament was one of those times when you get a doctor involved.

Also, there’s plenty of obvious evidence that doctors heal quite often. Sometimes, medicine does the trick. Sometimes, you body just fixes itself via evolutionary developments.

There’s no need to put a god into that mix.

(via Atheist Media)


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  • Reginald Selkirk

    His argument is essentially that God gave us doctors, so let’s use them…

    Uh, OK. God also gave us abortion doctors. And the means to implement euthenasia. And condoms. And the pill. Let’s use them.

  • Ryan W.

    >There’s no need to put a god into that mix.

    I dunno. Some measure of social peace and stability is helpful for getting access to doctors or not getting sick in the first place. Countries with stronger Judeo-Christian histories seem a lot stronger on that front.

    So if you mean God as in faith healing, I agree, there’s no need. If you mean God as in “The Logos” I’m not so sure.

  • billybee

    This tragedy absolutely infuriates me. Seeing the pictures of this beautiful 11 year old child, then imagining the suffering that she endured so as to serve and maintain her parents superstition….Then to hear Father Shitforbrains pontificate his nonsensical version of “truth”. It’s just too much.

  • The problem is that adding religion to the mix has no positive effect. An atheist either chooses to go to a doctor or stay home.
    When you add a religious belief to the decision making process it delays action, it causes the decision makers to feel guilty and weak for choosing to go to a doctor, and it subjects the persons involved to peer pressure and shunning from the rest of their religious community. None of those thinks helps cure the patient.

  • Ryan W – “countries with stronger judeo-christian histories” covers quite a range of countries, with varying degrees of social peace and stability, not to mention quality & access to healthcare. Current religiosity in those countries seems to have stronger correlation with such things and the way that correlation swings doesn’t really support your argument.

  • Dan W

    While it’s nice that he’s encouraging people to go to doctors (or take their kids to doctors) when they’re sick, it’s rather irritating that he thinks god somehow has something to do with a doctor’s medical treatment. As if the doctor didn’t take the time to go to college and put in the effort to learn how to do what he does. There’s no god involved, just years of training and study.

  • Stefan

    I love how he says “Faith and reason goes together” when they are in fact exact opposites.

  • Yeah, God ‘gave us doctors…’ Funny how God chooses to work that way- he’s going to sometimes use doctors to heal people, but he just happens to move at the pace of medical technology, which is relatively slowly. Even if you’re a YEC, that’s still several thousand years that humans were around with almost zero medical knowledge. Surely people back then got diabetes and cancer and any number of other diseases. Why didn’t God ‘inspire’ people to discover cures/treatments back then? (And I’ve known so many Christians who flat out don’t believe in ‘coincidence.’ Sure seems like one hell of a coincidence to me.)

  • Well, I would say faith does heal. God heals.

    Really? How exactly is this healing performed?

    By what mechanism does God heal? Can we duplicate this new medicine to save lives?
    How does God choose who to heal and who to kill? If you compare the statistical evidence religiosity against health for different states you’ll see no benefit to health for being religious. Does God cure atheists, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc as often as he does Christians? Why doesn’t God cure everyone all the time rather than only random people very rarely? Why does it seem that diseases go into spontaneous remission whenever God decides to magically cure people?

    Why is the fickle nature of these apparent miracles cause to worship such a god?

  • gribblethemunchkin

    Fsith does heal, and god gave us doctors as agents to perform that healing.

    But of course doctors can only channel gods healing power to the extent of medical technology.

    And you and your doctor can both be atheists and it still works just as reliably.

    And Doctors, no matter how devout they or their patients may be, have yet to chanel gods healing power to regenerate severed limbs. This is because god hates amputees.

    In a similar way, the bus i get to work is powered by pixies. Now of course the pixies channel their pixie magic through the medium of the internal combustion engine and so my bus can only go as fast as the engine allows. But its definately the pixies behind it all.

  • pete

    Ever notice every time a story like this makes news, the media brings out some sort of “expert” to play down the actions of idiots like this.

  • Ok, so who is healing all the non-believers when they go to the doctor? Can’t be just the doctors now, can it?

  • Karlover

    I can’t believe that priest had the f-ing nerve to say “It’s kind of a sad story.” Idiot, an 11-year-old girl died needlessly because of her parents’ stupid faith in an imaginary being. It’s more than “kind of sad”.

  • God gives us atheist doctors at a higher rate than He gives us atheist non-doctors. Interesting. And the doctors He gives us in the U.S. learn nothing whatsoever about the power of prayer to heal, almost as if to really fix someone, you can’t use magic words. And (as 10plus observed) the doctors became markedly more effective after the Enlightenment, ***despite the incredible resistance of Morris’s own church to God’s plan***, which is inevitably dropped with no explanation once the medicine in question becomes a fact of life. So if God gave us doctors, than the Vatican has some ‘splainin’ to do.