December 17, 2014

Does Pat Robertson Have a Point About Christians Not Seeking Medical Care?

Pat Robertson is still preaching on TV, reaching out to many Christian households through his 700 Club. And while he manages to provide endless fodder for atheist blogs, there seems to be a dark side to the advice he dispenses to gullible viewers. Much of what he says on the air is potentially harmful if taken seriously.

During the call-in portion of a recent show, Robertson advised a 76-year-old man to disregard his family's requests that he see a doctor because he has asked some sort of god "to be my physician." Robertson said:
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.’
Robertson followed this by telling the caller to adhere to his commitment and not to let his family influence him.

As horrible as this seems, I have to ask whether Robertson might have a point here. While we secular individuals tend to take measures to promote positive health (e.g., getting flu shots), Christians have something we don't: prayer. Maybe Christians have little use for health care when they can simply pray away whatever ails them. While we want health insurance to prevent financial ruin when we are sick or injured, Christians may have little need for conventional health insurance. As they are so fond of telling us, prayer works. And if, despite prayer, a Christian somehow manages to get sick, then this is clearly part of a divine plan, personally crafted for them by a loving god. Maybe this is how Robertson can be so certain in his pronouncements.

H/T to Right Wing Watch