I have strong personal reasons for disliking faith healers. By now, I’d have probably lost my grandmother anyway, but when she died in 1988, she still had at least 5-10 decent years left. She threw those years away because of her belief in Christian Science.
I understand why she couldn’t abandon her beliefs in spite of the pain her (undiagnosed) disease was obviously inflicting on her. She’d lost a husband and a brother to cardiovascular diseases that went untreated because of their shared beliefs. She’d let one of my aunts lose her hearing in one ear from an untreated ear infection. As my Dad said, she just had too much time in the ideology to walk away.
My great aunt was older than my grandmother, but she outlived her by a decade, mainly because she’d ditched Christian Science after an untreated infection nearly killed her in her late teens. Ironies abound in this.
I don’t think of my grandmother as a fool. She wasn’t one. Maybe if she’d been more foolish we could have talked her out of Christian Science, but when confronted my grandmother had a master grifter’s talent for the shuck. No PR flack for a tobacco company ever spun as well as she did. The mountains of contradictory evidence just melted when she spoke. Of course she was getting better. Of course the prayers were working. And if they weren’t working, it was because our negativity was inhibiting her healing prayers.
It pains me to think about it.
All this was meant to introduce Steve Shives’s excellent video “Five Stupid Things About Faith Healing”. Subscribe to his channel. It’s one of the good ones.