Wednesday, September 02, 2009

god hates amputees

For Christians, prayer is an important part of communicating with God and asking for help. Some of them are quite happy to have Pray At The Pump meetings in American filling stations, and they take credit for the lowering of gasoline prices.

Lots of Christian churches, not just the far-out ones, have healing services. Even more commonly, Christians pray to God to heal sicknesses in people they care about.

Leaving aside the arrogance of presuming that God doesn't know what he's doing and shouldn't have let anyone be ill, I'm more interested in another issue it raises.

Many Christians really believe in God's power to heal the sick, and a sizeable proportion of them believe they've seen it work. So why doesn't he ever heal any amputees? I've been searching the interweb for answers.

amputees don't need to be healed. removing the limb is often what saves a persons life. People are born missing limbs and live content successful lives. Why should we be " healed" when prosthetics and other devices allow us to live successfully.

I know a lot of amputees and none of them have prayed for their limbs to grow back. If anything when I lost my leg my family prayed that it would come off taking the cancer with it.

Yes, amputation can save their life, as it did with the cancer sufferer who wrote that reply. Which brings us not only on to why God would let them get cancer, but why he can't get the cancer cured without the need for amputation.

Yep, we now have prosthetics. But that only applies to a minority of amputees even today. What about the ones not rich enough to buy those, or all those who lived before the advent of prosthetic limbs, why didn't God help them a bit more?

Even if there were universal access to prosthetics, it's rather like the Alf Garnett line about God being benevolent by blessing the poor-sighted with two ears and a nose so they could wear glasses.

The idea that all amputees are having lives just as good as if they had all their limbs - well, excuse me while I rush off to get my legs taken off then. Praise the lord and pass the landmines.

There's a Christian who guesses

perhaps God doesn’t restore lost limbs (or other body parts) for the very reason He doesn’t raise people from the dead – it’s not time (yet)... The raising of the dead and the restoring of limbs (whether for those who lost them due to injury or birth defect) is for the resurrection.

I don't think we're looking for the exact same leg to be stuck back on, surely growing a new one would do. Certainly the resurrection of the long-dead is a hell of a thing to achieve, but as living people can readily and automatically regenerate blood, skin, hair, fingernails, bone and many other bodily tissues, there's no reason why it couldn't come from the living body of an amputee.

Another Christian suggests

Perhaps God chooses not to convince the world of his existence through acts of power

Not only does God bang on in both testaments with exhortations to prayer and his power to answer them, but, for fucks sake; sending the messiah! Having that messiah go round publicly healing the sick, then raising that messiah from the dead! If that's not a show of power - and specifically medical miracles - what is?

Our man also suggests that perhaps

he reveals miracles to those who already believe, and to those who disbelieve he never reveals more than they are able to explain away

Are we saying no true believer amputee has asked for a limb back? Or are we saying that it's happened but they've kept quiet about it?

In which case, why have so many other miraculously cured people been very vocal about their good fortune and used it as leverage to try to make suffering humans turn to the lord? He only ever cures blabbermouthed blind people and secretive amputees?

Then I found As well as having a page patiently, clearly and convincingly covering all the arguments about amputees and why it leads us to the conclusion that god is imaginary, it's part of, perhaps the best anti-monotheistic place I've ever come across. It doesn't just lob bricks from outside, it takes the stated beliefs, the bits of bible we get quoted, and then walks us through all the reasons why they don't make any sense at all.

There's something wonderful about setting out to uncover an idea only to find that somebody's done it with greater clarity than you could ever have managed.


Paul said...

Why does God hate amputees?

Because they can't pray.

Anonymous said...

It's not only God who despises the armless - more importantly it's the banks, the Gods of the so-called Free World.

All Steve Valdez wanted to do was cash a check from his wife during his work break. Bank of America insisted that Mr. Valdez provide a thumbprint to verify his identity, which he was unable to do because he was born with no arms. Despite the bank teller acknowledging this, and Mr. Valdez providing two forms of photo identification, the bank still refused to cash his check.

The bank eventually called Mr. Valdez to apologize.

Anonymous said...

I personally am offended when anyone suggests that if you pray enough, God will heal you of your disease. It's easier to believe a miracle happened when the disease isn't so black & white. I personally think that a 'miracle' is not in how you are physically healed, but in the way that you transcend illness/disability in your actions. Basically, the mircacle being how you/people who you know deal with this and how these things can lead to a higher understanding. I think the bible in general is a beautiful story, but a story. It doesn't matter really if it's true or not. Taking these things literally, well, I don't see the point. Check out Joseph Cambell & his teachings on the power of myth. Then people would not have to get so caught up in this kind of back-and-forth nonsense. I think the quotes here from the Christians are as strange and the person who has dedicated so much time into posting them.

merrick said...


I too think the quotes are strange and thereby worthy of comment, hence posting them.

Strange in that the underlying beliefs are ludicrous and unthought-through, but also strange in that they are commonplace. A vast number of very sedate mainstream churches have healing services, essentially buying into this bizarre outlook.

Taking mainstream views and walking the reader through why they're nonsense is one of the prime functions of blogging.

As for the bible being a beautiful story, well, maybe we've been reading different bibles. Is your version done by the same people who did the 'Love Conquers All' cut of Brazil?

Most of mine's taken up with the Old Testament, a lurid account of needless suffering, vicious brutality meted out be a cruel and vengeant god, and also by his chosen people on others with his blessing.

Then the final third is the New testament wherein more suffering - both random and deliberate - are inflicted on assorted people, followed by the wwords of the messiah being twisted into authoritarian claptrap by St Paul, closing with that wacky psychedelic nightmare of Revelations.

You must lend me the beautiful version some time.

Paul said...

100 proofs that God Exists...

merrick said...

Thanks so much for this, Paul.

i really love

(1) If evolution is false, then creationism is true, and therefore God exists.
(2) Evolution can't be true, since I lack the mental capacity to understand it; moreover, to accept its truth would cause me to be uncomfortable.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


(1) If there is no God then we're all going to not exist after we die.
(2) I'm afraid of that.
(3) Therefore, God exists.


(1) There is a website that successfully argues for the existence of God.
(2) Here is the URL.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

DocRichard said...

Reminds me of a faith healer who asked people to come forward to be healed. First a man came up on crutches. "What is your name?" asked the healer. "Charlie"
"And what's wrong with you, Charlie".
"I can't walk without crutches". "Charlie, go behind the screen there. Now who else needs God's help?" A man comes forward. "What's your name?"
"F-f-f-f-Fred" says the man.
"And what's wrong with you, Fred?" "I s-s-s-s-s I got a s-s-s-stutter"
"Go behind the screen Fred. Now Charlie, throw away your right crutch"
Right crutch comes over the screen, to applause from the crowd. "Now throw away your left crutch" Over comes the left crutch, more applause.
"Now Fred, say something".
Fred's voice comes from behind the screen:
"Charlie has thrown away his crutches and now he's f-f-f-f-f-fallen over"