8/27/2016 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Ronna Russell ~
When someone who has an incurable disease is told their condition can be whisked away by a magic spell, it disrespects their daily reality. Every day contains struggles unknown to the rest of us, both emotional and physical.
The utter disregard of that reality is staggering.
Chant the right spell and it will all go away. Um, no. To pretend to have access to a magical cure is arrogance beyond comprehension. It insults the sick in a way that faith healing believers cannot fathom, because their certainty and superiority complex runs deep. It seems the underlying emotion is love for the afflicted and a desire for their wellness, but disregarding the personal beliefs of others is not love; it is an ego-driven, manipulative power trip. Such disregard is rude at best, but also cruel and misinformed and can be emotionally damaging to those not good at critical thinking.
This might seem to be an overreaction to anyone who hasn’t been steamrolled by religiosity, but I have a sick kid who is experiencing this manipulation. She, being a better person than me, rolls her eyes and takes the good intentions.
I want to punch a wall.
I see, at least a little bit, what she goes through; her fears and symptoms and side effects and endless appointments. I see her absolute determination to stay as healthy and fit and positive as she possibly can despite her fatigue. I see her siblings’ worry and fear and unwavering, astounding love. If there is such a thing as a holy spirit, it lives there. I know what I go through, not just because I am heartbroken for her and would take the disease myself if it would save her from it, but working multiple jobs to pay the bills, staying in a job I couldn’t leave if I wanted to for the medical benefits and watching my daughter ask strangers on the internet for money because I have no way of paying the deductible, despite all the long hours. I also see the resources and attention that go to this one kid, when I have others who need me, as well. The endless fatigue and stress on us all. If there was a god that could prevent this or take it away, and it doesn’t automatically do so, then it is evil.
I realize there is likely nothing I can say, no matter how careful or loving or angry or direct or clear, to throw a faith healing believer off the scent or knock them off their high horse. Zealotry does that to people. If you are interested in not alienating loved ones, please consider the following suggestions:
Recognize the difference between FACT and BELIEF. Words have meanings and these things are not the same. Faith healing is not a fact; it is a belief. Say the prayers, if that’s your thing, but please think about it when tempted to shove and/or wheedle beliefs down the throats of others. It’s a nice thing to pray for someone you care about. If you do it without their knowledge, it makes you feel better. If they know, perhaps they feel cared for. Please ask, because maybe they don’t like it. If they don’t like it, refrain. If you cannot refrain, you do not respect them and so do not love them, either.
Fact is truth. Facts are true whether you believe them or not. We all have “personal truths,” based on our desires, perspectives and experiences. These do not necessarily translate, rendering them something less than factual, and should be wielded with great care and understanding that what is true for you may not be true for others.
Ok, so I write this whole blog post about faith healing.
Not about faith healing. About people who believe in faith healing and feel compelled to spread that around. I wrote and edited and had an editor give me notes and really thought long and hard about how to say it without being mean. I even took out almost all the curse words. I mean, I REALLY tried, but there is just no way to say it without saying it.
Faith healing is a crock of voodoo woohoo bullshit and if you want to believe it fucking fine, go ahead, but leave the saner among us out of it.
Jesus Fucking Christ, stop it already.
You are fucking nuts and believing in faith healing is fucking nuts and you need to stop yourself from sneaky praying for people who think you are a batshit lunatic.