Paul J. Mills, Tiffany Barsotti, Meredith A. Pung, Kathleen L. Wilson, Laura Redwine, and Deepak Chopra Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us […]
What should be done when parents rely on religion instead of medicine to heal sick children?
I doubt that any sensible person would sanction withholding medical treatment for a sick child because of his parents’ religious beliefs, especially when it’s a case of life and death. So far as I know, courts have always sided for treatment. America is a secular society based on the rule of law. Priests who abuse children are not immune to civil law because they have taken vows (even though the Catholic Church for decades acted as if the clergy was immune, treating abuse cases as an “internal matter”). Christian Science is the most prominent denomination that believes in healing through faith, but they have come to terms with medicine as a practical matter in modern life.
For some believers, adapting to a purely secular worldview is abhorrent, and here it is easy to sympathize. Human beings crave meaning, and that often includes a higher meaning. To spend one’s life grinding away at work and accumulating possessions isn’t an adequate substitute. Even a loving family and success isn’t adequate. We are wired to look beyond the material world. It’s been said that all the things denied or unknown to science — beauty, truth, service, morals, compassion, empathy, justice, aesthetics, philosophy, and spirituality — are the very things that make life worth living.
Published in the Washington Post