My brother and his family were out this weekend for a visit; always a pleasure and always fun . (And yes, he does read this blog so I can only be slightly cranky).
My sister-in-law, who as far as I can tell is the only one in that family with a mind capable of supporting religion, brought up a story about a sickly friend. My wife's sister is battling cancer so this made for a common topic of conversation. My nice sister-in-law expressed the thought that her friend was doing well as a result of faith and support. Because of the "faith and support" context of the story she was telling, (and a few more beers than necessary), my eyes glazed over and my mind took a brief vacation; so I may have missed a few parts.
But really now, that type of conversation doesn't need much in the way of mental prowess.
The gist, from what I can remember, was centered around a friend that, as far as my disinterest remembered, has cancer. Every family probably has someone who is afflicted with that disease, or something as bad. We all know the pain, the suffering and many times the courage, that people either experience or feel.
Out of the two concepts, (faith and support), one is definitely useless, and the other has only slight significance.
The one with some possible use was about how the diseased person's family and friends were there for "support." Though knowing the definition of the word, I'm not sure how this helps in any real way. Their are support groups for every damn thing you can think of. You have a disease, there's a support group. You have an addiction, there's a support group.
These groups are usually centered on emotional and information resources. That's why I would say there may be a possible use for support, but only based on emotional help. I'll get my information and facts from my doctor or the web thank you, I don't need some god loving idiot's erroneous data.
But at least there may be a use for the support concept, not like faith.
Here is where the concept of help completely falls apart. If you are going to have faith, then you must realize that this disease was made for you. God looked at his children and said, "this one's for you baby!"
What does faith accomplish when related to the sick?
Does your faith heal you? No, it just warps your mind into accepting whatever comes your way. I guess it is good for the healthy, "praise god it's not me bitches," but is there an advantage to the one that needs help? Does making one compliant about their situation help anyone other than the living?
Well, "her faith helped her." Mentally thinking this is part of god's plan is so fucked up. The all loving father, torturing the hell out of you, and your faith in the all mighty blowhard makes that torture palatable.
Christians see great beauty in faith, which means they see great beauty in torture and pain; and death. Faith means you accept life as it is, because it is meant that way.
I won't know until I'm hit with disease that is all of our final battles. But knowing that all those who live until a ripe old age will have that battle, I will accept it for what it is, the end of life. I will not have faith, because faith is accepting the thought that the horrors I am enduring is a plan, a machiavellan plot that somehow I am part of.