Saturday, 24 March 2012

Wasn't Prayers That Saved Muamba

So is there a God looking after us or not? That's one of those subjects that always acts as a red button to those on either side of the argument and i was readying myself to test my recently discovered tolerance of religion, but it never came.
What i thought would be the ignition was the case of Fabrice Muamba, the 23 year old Bolton footballer who collapsed with a heart attack during last weeks game. It is reported that he wasn't breathing for 60 minutes and doctors had to shocked his heart fifteen times before it started beating on its own again.
Thankfully, although still in intensive care, he is now conscious and talking again but while his life was in the balance, we were being urged to pray for the footballer. His family were in the media urging the country to pray for him, as was his teammates, several wearing 'Pray 4 Muamba' t-shirts.
Now i agree it is a nice sentiment but phrases like 'It is all in God's hands' and 'God will decide' as i have heard from those of a religious standpoint during those first days do not sit very easily with me.
It is a terrible thing that has happened to the young player and i wish Muamba a full and speedy recovery but if he fully recovers, thinking that it was the 'power of prayer' is a massive insult to the dedicated surgeons and nurses that fought so hard to save him and will be the only people who saved the poor man's life.
It drives me to distraction when people credit God instead of modern medicine in these cases and leads to the unanswerable question of why, if God is willing and able to save the poor victim, did he do his damnedest to kill him with a massive heart attack in the first place and would have succeeded if it hadn't been for the quick actions of the medical team?
Have faith if you want, praying for victims can do no harm, but let's not get carried away with who is responsible for keeping him alive because Muamba is still with us because he was taken to a highly trained medical team at a hospital, not a Bible clutching priest at a Church.


Cheezy said...

"Muamba is still with us because he was taken to a highly trained medical team at a hospital"

That's what I think too. But as you say, people's prayers are fundamentally harmless. I recall that even a confirmed atheist like Christopher Hitchens said that he didn't mind people saying prayers during his final illness. Well, he told them not to bother unless it made them feel better, but he also acknowledged that it was their way of conveying sympathy and good thoughts.

Cheezy said...

As luck would have it, there’s a kind & tolerant Heathen Manifesto just published in the Guardian today. I don’t agree with absolutely all of it, but I do like parts of it, including this bit, which I think is relevant to this post.

"This secularism does not require that religion is banished from public life or that people may not be open as to how their faiths, or lack of one, motivate their values. As long as the core of the business of state is neutral as regards to comprehensive worldviews, we can be relaxed about expressions of these commitments in society at large."

Anonymous said...

as a christian i'm often disappointed with interpretation of scripture and how pastors/priests/etal use interpretation. on a typical sunday i hear "god answers prayers","pray often", and "pray about anything".

as a result most of my christian peers pray for healing, to win, to not die, for money, and for many, many other things that i think are inappropriate... "Lord, give me a sign, should I have grape jelly with my toast or should I have strawberry jelly?... oh yeah, and may your will be done Lord."

i think prayer should be restricted to spiritual things so i tend to pray for help resisting the various temptations. my personal view only.

i also don't like it when victims (tornado, flood, pick your fav) thank god for saving them but don't attribute the condition (tornado, etc.) to god's creation... i say thank god for life, our wonderful earth, family, etc. and all the "bad" things that come with it including weather events, and yes death (a not so tragic part of life).