The other day Pat Robertson got a message from an elderly man named Jim who was eschewing doctors in favor of his faith in god:
I am 76 years-old. Several years ago, I made a covenant with god. I asked him to be my physician. I said, “I trust you, Lord, for all my physical needs – whether I am sick or healthy, healed or afflicted. I will never cease to praise you. And when my life is ended, I pray, you will receive me into your holy kingdom. The problem is: every time I am sick my family pressures me to see a doctor. Was I foolish for making such a commitment? I know my loved ones are only concerned about my welfare. How can I make them understand?
The truth, Jim, is that yes, you were foolish for making that commitment. There was no need for it. Doctors clearly work for healing the sick. Even if god did heal the sick (which he never seems to do when parents believe with all their hearts that god, not doctors, will heal their children), there’s no need to abandon what works. That’s like saying you trust god has the power to fill your stomach, so you’re going to stop eating. Maybe god does have the power to fill your stomach, but the means to do that is already right in front of you.
I know that’s hard to hear, and I imagine this will be similarly hard to hear: it’s not your family who needs to understand, it’s you. You can continue to praise god while availing yourself of the techniques proven to assuage medical problems, thus maximizing your time alive with your family, which benefits them and you. If god exists and has any decency or appreciation for love and family, he would surely understand that.
But that’s not what ol’ Pat had to say:
Robertson defended the viewer’s refusal to take a trip to the doctor’s office: “There’s some people who think that doctors are god and they really aren’t. You’ve asked God to be your physician so stick with it and say ‘Lord, I’m asking you for it.’”
Wrong fucking answer. This is advice that gets people killed. This is advice that has gotten children unnecessarily killed. Nobody thinks doctors are god, they think doctors cure illness – because they fucking do. They don’t need to be god to do shit that works.
What an evil man.