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Published:March 31st, 2006 11:34 EST
Praying Can Make You Worse

Praying Can Make You Worse

By R.J. Smith

Who would have ever thought that praying could make you worse off than you were in the first place?  Well, someone did, because science, in its ongoing quest to debunk false ideas, has proven it.  According to a decade long study on patients that underwent heart surgery to be published in the American Heart Journal next week, Doctors concluded that those who had strangers praying for them, but were unaware of the fact, were no better off than those who didn’t. Not only that, but the $2.4 million study goes on to say that those who knew they had strangers praying for them often had a noticeably higher rate of complications. 

The study showed that 52% of patients overall experienced complications in their surgery.  That rate jumped up to 59% when the patients knew that they were being prayed for.  The report gives no explanation for this difference, other than the patients might have been somehow mentally affected by the knowledge of the prayers. 

"Did the patients think, ’I am so sick that they had to call in the prayer team?"’ said Dr Charles Bethea, one of the co-authors and a cardiologist at the Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. 

However, Paul Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and chair of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, was quoted as stating the reason the study found no unseen healing power in prayer was simply "Because there is none."

Even though we have wasted all this money disproving another one of religions ridiculous ideas, we can bet it will change no minds.  It doesn’t matter what you prove to some people, they will still follow their churches with all the blind passion of a flock of lame sheep.  Even when faced with evidence that their actions may actually be hurting more than helping, such has been shown many times in the past, they will not stop. 

Remember this article the next time someone at your local church or hospital tells you, “I’ll pray for you.”  It may be more of a threat than an offering.