Prayer absolutely, positively does not work

Prayer does not work.  For anybody insisting it does I offer the following rebuttal: Zachery Swezey.

“Family members were aware that Zach was seriously ill prior to his death,” said a report filed with charges from Okanogan County Sheriff’s detective Kreg Sloan. “Family members were also aware that Zach was going to die before his death; yet there was no effort, at any time, to obtain medical assistance,” the report stated.

Before finishing that paragraph, most of you have already guessed why his parents never sought medical assistance.  There is really only one thing that can cause parents who love their child, who want their child to get well, to watch as their child dies without ever picking up the phone to summon an ambulance.

Carlton parents who police say unsuccessfully tried to faith-heal their son back to health have been charged with second-degree murder.

Good!  If you watch impotently while your son dies, you should go to jail.

There are many who believe that prayer can heal the sick if one’s faith is sufficiently strong.  You will not find a stronger faith than the Swezey’s.  It failed.

The escape will be to say that the parents should have taken their son to the hospital AND prayed.  But the hospital works all by itself, without prayer, for atheists, Christians, and believers of other faiths alike.  You can’t combine the thing that clearly doesn’t work on its own with the thing that does work all by itself and then claim they share the credit (unless you’re really desperate).  That’s like mowing your grass while whistling to show how whistling can result in a well-trimmed lawn.

Prayer is impotent, and to pray while you could actually be doing something effective is immoral.

But charging documents, filed Feb. 2, also indicate that Greg Swezey told investigators he knew 10 to 15 minutes before his son died that he was going to die. He also told detectives that he asked his son if he wanted to go to the hospital, and Zach declined.

Oh horseshit.  If you take a child, who is biologically programmed to trust authority, and every day you tell it that this is the way it is, it’s your fault when they grow up thinking those ludicrous things.

This young man did not have to die.  What killed him wasn’t malice, it was a bad idea about the universe: a bad idea kept alive by gaggles of Christians who, themselves, keep irrationality alive by renaming it faith.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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