Freethinker’s Forum: God must really hate amputees |

Freethinker’s Forum: God must really hate amputees

Damian Sowers

During one of my random bouts of Web surfing I came across an interesting question that lies in the face of every religion: “Why won’t God heal amputees?” ( Amputees are people just like the rest of us. I’m sure they pray as much as any cancer patient does, and yet, never once has God given an amputee his or her legs back. God is willing to ward off malignant brain tumors, and sometimes he even grants a winning lottery ticket to a good Christian shopping at the local 7-Eleven, but for some strange reason God appears to hate amputees – even the ones who lost a limb fighting in his name. How sad.

Are amputees not worthy of God’s miracles? Or is there a better explanation for this divine bigotry towards our limbless brethren?

As the Web site declares, “If God were answering the prayers of amputees to regenerate their lost limbs, we would be seeing amputated legs growing back every day.”

Which means that one or two of the following options must be true: 1) God doesn’t exist; 2) God exists, but he is a victim to the same prejudices that afflict hate-filled humans; 3) Prayer doesn’t actually work and it is just a remnant of wishful thinking.

To better illustrate these options, consider the following thought experiment: A friend of yours recently lost his leg to a roadside mine in Iraq. Let’s say that you happen to have more religious connections than the pope, and you manage to orchestrate a national day of prayer directed towards the regeneration of your friend’s leg. If one million people were praying for your friend, and even if prayer had the marginal success rate of only .001 percent, then your friend would still have a 10 to one chance of getting a new leg. Despite these odds, we know from the experiences of every other amputee that all the praying in the world will not regenerate his leg, not even when a Herculean effort such as this one has been organized. So prayer either doesn’t work, thus proving option number one or three, or God chooses to ignore the prayers postmarked with appendages, thus proving option number two. Either way, the amputees are left without a natural means of locomotion.

Deep down, I think most people understand that prayer doesn’t actually work. Yet, six billion people continue to practice this archaic superstition in the name of hope. I cannot fault anyone for dreaming of a better life, but I do encourage people to explore other methods. For instance, the atheist equivalent to the national day of prayer is the “Atheist Blood Drive.” This event is a medically proven way to save lives. And if you are actually interested in helping the amputees get new legs, choose to donate your money to stem cell research and prosthetic engineering instead of giving to faith-based initiatives this year.

After all, “God” might take your legs away, but science will give them back.

— Damian Sowers can be reached at

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