In his new book, Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and Medicine, Richard Sloan examines the claim that prayer and religion can heal the sick. Using the scientific method, he shows that there is no compelling evidence that religion can actually cure medical ailments.
Greg Koukl from Stand To Reason actually addressed this topic over 10 years ago, ‘Can Science Test Prayer?‘.
At one point (15 min.) Sloan recounts the story of a father whom remarked that his daughter’s biopsy results came back negative because “we’re good people, we deserve this”. Another patient awaiting her biopsy results was also in the room. Sloan feared that the other patient would infer that she was “not good” when her biopsy came back positive. I think the father’s remarks are completely without theological justification from a Christian perspective. However, what would Sloan have said to the women to comfort her? What would he have told her about the possible effect of the prayers of her love ones?
I am convinced that stories such as this only work to discredit religion as having any scientific relevance. This allows the left to discredit dissenting views by labeling them as religious or scientfic (stem calls, intelligent design, abortion).