Prayer Costs Lives

The BBC has a sad, disturbing article about a totally preventable cause of death due to HIV in Africa.  It seems that people who had been being successfully treated for HIV infection died when they stopped taking their antiretroviral medication because their pastors or priests told them to and instead put their faith, and lives, in the power of prayer.

If anyone has any doubts about the harm that superstitious, religious beliefs can cause, this story should quash them.  People like to say that god answers every prayer, but sometimes the answer is “no”.  Bullshit!  What kind of loving, merciful god would let someone die in agony when they had abandoned worldly treatments of their illness and put their faith in him?  If there is a god, then this just proves that he is a sick, sadistic fuck.  But we knew that already from reading the Old Testament.  Just look up the books of Joshua, Job, or, for that matter, most of the whole of the Bible if you want a taste of callousness, perfidy, and outright cruelty.


4 thoughts on “Prayer Costs Lives

  1. I see where you are coming from and agree that this is a horrible approach to faith. I posted a blog in response as I believe you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  2. Sorry Jay, I was missing you, wanted to make sure you were doing alright, read a good bit of your thoughts and had to write. I have known you since Junior High, never saw so much toxic hate spewing from you. That’s surely your option, but I just wanted to explain something you may be missing about of tolerance.

    “What kind of loving, merciful god would let someone die in agony when they had abandoned worldly treatments ” you mean like his son Jesus did?

    Who is the sick fuck? Cold it be the person so angry at his lot in life he has to condem anyone’s faith with the same venemous toxic hatred that he accuses the faithful of having.

    Religious or Athiest, the world requires tolerance. You expect tolerance of your ideas, don’t you?Tolerance is a two way street Jay. You want tolerance for your viewpoints, need to offer tolerance for the viewpoints of others. You don’t need to agree with me, or even try to, but if you expect me to tolerate your views you should try to tolerate others as well. Or is your world about hating anyone different? I would explain all my socialistic faithfilled observations, you may not understand or want to, but then my religion is about love not hate. You know about love? You do listen to the words of George Harrison or do you just like the melodies?

    Sorry life turned on you, know you are in my prayers and not forgotten by God.

    Pax et Bonum

    John Walker

    • John,

      I appreciate your concern for me, I am sure it is sincere and heartfelt. Having said that though, what possibly makes you think that life has turned on me? I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I have wonderful kids, a job I love that pays well, and I’m going to be marrying the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met soon. Life is great. It’s better than it has ever been.

      I’ve run into this before. People seem to think that because I feel that superstitious beliefs can do real harm, because I dare to criticize beliefs that people hold dear, somehow I am intolerant and hateful. I don’t hate anyone for what they believe, only for what harm they may do. I believe that freedom of religion (which includes freedom from religion if one so chooses) is a vital right that every person has. What every person does not have is the right to not have their beliefs challenged. Just because a belief is religious doesn’t make it above criticism. Their are people who believe that the earth is flat and that the sun goes around the earth. Others may believe that faires and unicorns are real. Most of us have no problem dismissing these beliefs out of hand. Are we being hateful toward those who believe these things? Are we being intolerant? We are only hateful and intolerant in our intent and our actions, not in our criticism.

      People disagree with my beliefs all the time, and they have every right to. For example, I believe that two people have the right to marry, regardless of their gender. Many, many people disagree with that belief, and that is ok. What I find abhorrant is not that people feel that same-sex marriage is wrong, but that they feel they have the right to force their beliefs on other through laws, through harassment, and even through violence. Someone’s right to a belief does not give them the right to take rights away from another. That the vast majority of people who seek to take these rights away from other claim that their religion makes it right is why I speak out so strongly against the evils of dogmatic beliefs. This is just one example. There are many more that I could find that show how those who claim to follow a religion of love and tolerance are often the first to seek to force their beliefs on others. I force my beliefs on no one. If you don’t agree with me, fine, that’s your right.

      Ideas are not things to be worshiped and clung to; they are things to be analyzed and discussed. I am happy to debate with anyone about anything. I don’t hate anyone for what the believe, only their deeds can cause me to hate them.

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