Prayer Healing Sparked Debate in the UK

Sometimes we tend to focus on matters close to home but when I read the article on how  prayer healing sparked debate in UK, I thought it was so ridiculous…I couldn’t keep quiet. You see this is a bigger issue than it first appears because it highlights a wider problem in society. First here’s a little background:

Prayer Healing Sparked Debate in the UK

prayer healing sparked debate in the uk

Prayer healing sparked debate in the UK

A registered Christian trust, the “Healing on the Streets – Bath” (www.hotsbath.org) team, comprised of Christians from many different churches, have been praying for the public outside Bath Abbey for three years and regularly offer to pray for people who are sick to receive healing.But atheist Hayley Stevens, a 24-year-old from Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire, who is a regular blogger and speaker at skeptic conferences, took offence to the group’s adverts, complaining to the ASA that the claims by the Christians could “not be substantiated.”

[…]

Her complaint was upheld and the ASA have now ordered the group to stop stating on their website.

“The ASA has decided it is appropriate to insist that we cannot talk about a common and widely held belief that is an important aspect of conventional Christian faith. They would now like us to recant our Christian faith in the Bible.

Original Post Here

The response to this has been polarizing for many reasons. Firstly because it is an infringement of rights to attack such fundamental doctrine as faith in God’s power to heal.

Ruling Against Prayer is an Affront To Freedom Of Religion

This is an outrageous attack on freedom of religion, on the basic right of people to express central tenets of their faith. Of course, the authorities have a role to play in keeping a check on the scientific claims made by businesses in their ads. If, for example, Pepsi suddenly announced that a can of its pop can cure backache, that should be challenged; likewise, companies that spout homeopathic claptrap can reasonably be asked to provide evidence for their claims. But the state and its offshoots have no business whatsoever sticking their snouts into the expression of a religious conviction, into the public articulation of faith, which is precisely what the HOTS leaflet was. Monitoring claims that are made in an explicitly scientific fashion is fine, but policing the expression of an inner conviction, of a profound belief in the healing qualities of God, is ludicrous and authoritarian. Not content with policing the public square, the ASA, it seems, now wants to monitor men’s souls too.

Original Article Here

Except for the homeopathic barb (which is another currently raging controversy) I think he has a very good point. But let’s take a few words from the other angle. (obviously this guy doesn’t believe in prayer and he’s never read this post…)

This is Not a Religious Attack

Well, of course. They should be welcome to say “We believe that all recovery from illness, including but not limited to asthma and multiple sclerosis, is the work of God.” (In the interests of balance, they should probably add that their theology dictates that all illness is also caused by God in the first place, but let’s not get into that.) They could even drop the “We believe”, I suppose. But that’s not what they are saying: they say that their prayers will increase the likelihood that a given individual will get better. Otherwise, what’s the point? Are they just praying for people in general to get better? “Oh Lord, let the overall incidence of stomach ulcers in the global population decrease by a measurable degree.” In which case, why would a specific someone with a specific stomach ulcer bother?

This isn’t an outrageous attack on religion. People are still allowed to believe, and state that they believe, in obvious nonsense like faith healing. But advertising laws can’t be redrawn just because someone decides their product is religious; if they make actual empirical medical claims, then they need to be able to provide actual empirical medical evidence. Or, if we’re going to make religions free of all advertising restraint, then hang on a minute while I set up the First Church of Masculine Enlargement Pills, and watch me make a killing in internet sales.

Original Article Here

prayer healing controversy

His Dark Materials- Atheist evangelism by Phillip Pullman

There is a bigger picture here than how this Prayer Healing Sparks Debate in the UK. This may seem a stretch to some, but it is made clear in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy which was the foundation of the movie ‘The Golden Compass’

This trilogy highlights the war between the educated intellectuals and the religionists, with a huge war at the end wherein they kill the aged puppet of a god (I guess this is how Pullman sees God and Religion). The killing of God wasn’t done by the “bad guy” but by the hero and heroine in the story who jump on the side of the antagonists in the story after they realize partway through the trilogy that there’s merit to their cause.

I was disgusted when I finished it. I didn’t know that it was an actual profession of the state British society and the aims of many of their current “big thinkers” . This is the problem in society i referred to at the beginning. The people are losing faith…kind of. You see, they don’t realize that even to believe what a science book says on atomic structure takes faith – faith in the author of the book. at least I’ve never seen an atom in my electron microscope…

It’s always been a sad state and spelled trouble for people when they find themselves rejecting God and the principles of freedom in the absence of irrefutable proof. I think this is all a cringeable mistake, yet still glad that prayer healing sparked debate in the UK because it helps me see the forces at play a little clearer.

What do you think about it? Share your thoughts …respectfully…in the comments below!

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