April 20, 2015

A Tale of Two Hospitals

Cancer Hospital in final stages of co...
Cancer Hospital in final stages of construction at the University of Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Let's build two large hospitals in one lucky city. One of them will be a state-of-the-art medical center offering evidence-based medicine from a collection of talented physicians, nurses, and other trained professionals. Although atheism will not be a condition of their employment, some of them will undoubtedly be atheists.

The second hospital will utilize evangelical Christian prayer instead of medicine. Instead of doctors, nurses, and trained medical professionals, this hospital will employ only evangelical pastors who are experienced at praying in Jesus' name. Atheists need not apply for jobs with this hospital.

One beautiful Spring day, your 6 year-old falls out of a tree, hits his head on the driveway below, briefly loses consciousness, and seems confused and lethargic when he comes to. You live the same distance from both of the hospitals described above, and you know your health insurance will cover services at either of them. Which hospital do you take your child to? I thought so. And here's what I find interesting: I suspect that the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians would agree with you. They would take their children to the same hospital you selected.

What do you suppose this means? What does this tell us about their faith, about the beliefs they claim are so central to their lives? Who needs doctors when one has prayer? Shouldn't prayer be enough? They don't even seem to think so, do they?