02 October, 2010

Why God won't heal amputees

(I already posted this on my tumblr, so I apologize for anyone reading it twice. I just figured since I wrote two tumblr posts on it I could combine them into one regular-length post.)

It’s funny because I think why won’t God heal amputees? is a really important question but not for the same reason the people at the website think it is.

(First of all you’re assuming that the only possible God is a God who answers prayer at least some of the time. This is obviously not true--and in fact I don’t believe in “the power of prayer” in the mainstream Christian sense, so I am not arguing completely from my own point of view--but I’ll let it go for now.)

1. Presumably you don’t think that if someone prays for something that’s obviously really bad, the fact that it doesn’t come true proves the nonexistence of God. I think most people who believe in the power of prayer wouldn’t be swayed by someone saying, “I prayed to God for my ex-boyfriend to be in a car accident and die, but it didn’t happen!”

2. Disability is part of Creation. God won’t heal amputees, and won’t heal many other PWDs, because without disability life would be really stupid and boring. Just because someone thinks they should be non-disabled doesn’t mean they should be, anymore than someone who thinks their ex-boyfriend should die in a car accident is actually right.

The End.

some other responses: The Thinker
Wheelie Catholic (who also points out how offensive the whole website is to PWDs)

And, also:

when I was a kid, I used to have this book Always Wear Clean Underwear, which I think my parents got me because they were atheists but I was really interested in religion which they weren’t super happy about, but I think they got accustomed to it and realized they should try to make me be the kind of religious person that atheists can still get along with. So they gave me this book which was written by a rabbi and mentioned God and praying a little bit, but was mostly just a funny book about how to be a good person.

There was one part in the book where he described hell as being a place where a bunch of hungry people are sitting around a table piled high with delicious food, but when they reach out and pick up the food, their arms won’t bring it back to their mouths. Then he described heaven the same way. Since you are not eleven years old, I bet you can figure out the surprise ending: in heaven, everyone feeds each other. I know this is cheesy but I like it.

I think this also applies to our regular, pre-afterlife life, and can pretty easily be related to the question that atheists think is going to really stump religious people: “But are you saying that GOD CREATED DISABLED PEOPLE?? HOW COULD THAT POSSIBLY BE TRUE??”

Okay guys, let’s think about this. Disability is socially constructed. “Socially constructed” doesn’t mean that disability isn’t real. It’s super real. But it’s real because people who look and act different are discriminated against, and people who have different needs don’t have those needs met.

You, yourself, going around saying, “but look, if God really is so great, why did He create people who can’t do all the stuff that I think people should be able to do? Why doesn’t He cure them?”—you yourself have the power to cure all the disabilities in the world, by treating disabled people as equals and trying to help everyone get what they need, and encouraging everyone you know to do the same. You could actually be curing disabled people right now, but instead you’re making a dumb website where you try to use a cliched idea of disabled people to prove a point.