God is Not a Prescription
It was the worst headache I have ever had. My vision was blurring. People were talking to me, but their voices sounded like a foreign language. My hands were shaking; I had forgotten how to spell words like “who,” “plane” and “land”– so I panicked. My teacher escorted me to the nurse’s office, and the sunlight felt like it was searing through my brain.
My mother picked me up and took me to the nearest urgent care. She was already sure it was a migraine, but she wanted a doctor to give us their opinion and some medication to help with the pain.
After 30 minutes of waiting, the doctor came into our room. He asked me how I felt and made me stand up to see if I was off balance.
At the end of his examination, he determined that I was having a panic attack. The cure?
“Pray to God every night before bed and every morning when you wake up. This will make you less stressed. Why are you so anxious? Put your faith in God.”
I stared at him in disbelief, in too much pain to say anything back. My mother and I left, and she told me we would never come back here.
I did not understand why a medical professional would tell me to pray my problems away. I had already decided months ago that I was an atheist, and I didn’t believe that a headache could be cured from praying to God. I still don’t believe that.
A doctor is somebody who is meant to heal someone scientifically, through medication, surgery, etc. People don’t go to hospitals for somebody to pray for them; they go so they can heal their pain. It is unacceptable for a medical professional to prescribe God to a patient.
This can also be seen with nearly every catastrophe that has occurred in recent years. Whether it’s a shooting, a tsunami or a hurricane, the same twitter posts resurface every time: “Sending my thoughts and prayers.”
I have never and will never understand that saying. It seems like an excuse to sit back and do absolutely nothing to help a situation. Rather than getting up and doing something, like donating money to organizations or even volunteering to clean up damage from disasters, tweeting “thoughts and prayers” is how most people decide to react.
Perhaps some believe that this does something, that tweeting “thoughts and prayers” really helps to fix a situation. I have had people say they’re going to pray for me when I’m struggling, and while it doesn’t necessarily help me, maybe it makes them feel better. Maybe it makes them feel like their God will take care of me.
Praying can be an outlet for some, but it starts to get scary for me when praying is the only thing one does to help others or themselves. Some believe that everything that happens is a part of God’s plan, and while this can be a pleasant thought, it can also be a dangerous frame of mind. Relying on God to control and fix every aspect of one’s life just is not the best option for me.
I don’t want somebody to pray for me. If I am struggling, I want somebody to take action, especially if they are a doctor, whose entire job description involves healing the patient in whatever way they can.
Religion has never been a prominent part of my life, and it likely never will be. To me, praying does not accomplish much. It is difficult for me to see the benefits of praying over actually prescribing medication or taking action to help victims of a catastrophe.
There is a time and a place to preach your beliefs, and a doctor’s office is not one of them.