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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 385)...

    Recently, I saw a Dateline special about a group of Southern Christian Scientists who practice faith healing. Their way of life causes many deaths, especially among young children and mothers, since it forbids anyone of their church to get medical assistance. When the word "murder" began to go around, they claimed that they were simply living their faith, and they were leaving the fate of their children "in the hands of God." I believe this to an extent, but I also believe that if "God" really wants to take a life, he would let us know even after making an effort physically to save that person's life. Does your idea of the Leavers "leaving it in the hands of the god(s)" agree with the Christian Scientists' belief?

    ...and the response:

    I nowhere speak of Leavers as behaving like Christian Scientists, as leaving their fate or the fate of their children "in the hands of God." When they’re sick or injured they don’t passively wait for the gods to heal them. They universally have shamans---medicine men and women---and why would they do that if they thought like Christian Scientists? What they leave in the hands of the gods is the ruling of the world, not the setting of bones or the lancing of boils.


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