Thursday, August 11, 2011

God Cures Cancer...Again

We again have a touching and inspirational healing story that could have been taken from Touched by an Angel. Jacob Boger of Indiana claims that God told him to give up his medical treatment as his battle would soon be over. He is now cancer free.

How uplifting and heart-warming, many would say. His prayers were answered and God spared a loving and kind soul. This seems to be the sentiment echoed from just about every network which has covered the story, as they have presented it as such and have let Boger go virtually unchallenged in every interview. Why isn't anyone seeing the problem here?

Despite Boger stating that he does not recommend others stopping their treatment, it would be quite hard for people to ignore the core of his story - that it was God who healed him, and not the medicine. By his own example, and by the senseless promotion by the media, he is promoting the idea to others that they too can give up earthly remedies and rely on a higher power. Perhaps by giving up medicine, some may think, they can show God just how much faith they have in his heavenly powers.

In any case, there is no good reason to believe that Boger was healed by means of divine intervention. Until someone grows back an amputated limb, we can almost be certain that such recoveries can be credited to medicine, natural workings of the body and efforts from the patient. Boger was told that he had about a 10% chance of survival, so it isn't really an enormous surprise that he pulled through. He underwent chemo- and radiotherapy which shrunk his tumour considerably, as well as other treatments. Sure, his chances were low, but there are plenty of others who survive similar conditions without any faith in God and plenty who die despite persistent praying. The media never reports on those stories though, of course.

It always seems that when someone beats the odds for the better, it is the work of a good God. But when bad things happen, it is God working in mysterious ways. Boger's parents and younger sister were all lost to cancer. This must be the work of a mysterious God. But now, armed with his survival story, Boger has become a preacher and businessman who earns a healthy income. This, surely, must be the work of a good God...right?