Daniel Florien and I Agree–Sort Of
Mark this day on your calender folks. It appears as though Daniel Florien (proprietor of Unreasonable Faith) and I agree on something. Well, sort of. Our points of view are vastly different, but we both agree that what Leilani Neumann did was reprehensible. Her daughter, Madeline, was sick of a treatable form of diabetes. Ms. Neumann prayed instead of seeking medical attention.
I agree with the court’s conclusion that this is negligent homicide. Though he never says so directly, I think that Mr. Florien also agrees with the court’s conclusion. However, Florien’s point of view is that God is imaginary, or he has somehow failed to answer the prayer. Human intervention could have saved the girl, but divine intervention appears to have done nothing.
What Mr. Florien, as an atheist, of course assumes that divine intervention will do nothing, ever. He assuemes that because he believes taht God isn’t real. So how does someone like myself, who believes that God is very real, arrive at the same conclusion that Florien does?
Simple. I believe that God uses us lowly humans to enact his healing. God works his great plan through intermediaries. Sometimes, he does things himself, and that is where religious experiences come from. Things like burning bushes or bright lights that knock people to the ground on Damascus roads are of God to be sure. But, so is a doctor healing a patient. Again, God uses us humans to enact his healing and his will.
Prayer doesn’t work on its own. Ever. It requires medical intervention. Prayer is only a supplement to competent medical care.