Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine Written by Paul A. Offit, M.D.
2015; 272 Pages (Basic Books)
Genre: nonfiction, medicine, religion
I was just going to read the Introduction of this book before I turned to my current read (legal thriller); and the next thing I knew I was halfway through the book and a little past my bedtime. I had work in the afternoon so I was able to finish the book just before lunch. Bad Faith is a hard book to rate…it is well written and the subject matter is fascinating but at times can be quite difficult. Offit uses real life cases and those of young children to illustrate his point. Parents who believe that healing through religion is the only salvation and cure for their children usually have given them a death sentence. I liked that Offit didn’t blame religion or mistreat it in this book as it gave more credence to his argument. It is the way in which religion is used and how it allows treatable illness to be ignored. I didn’t know the origins of Christian Science – which Offit points out is not very “Christian or Science”- and is something I would like to read more on. It seems like it’s creator allowed a lot of exceptions to getting “medical help” if it served her purpose. And, it was interesting in what people thought “medical help” meant. Going into this book one must keep in mind that it is not a “what is wrong with religion” diatribe but how can we make people see that modern medicine is not the enemy or downfall of mankind in regards to disobeying God. There was a great point made in the book that it is God who has given us the ability to think and create new things like medicine so why wouldn’t he want us to partake of it? While the subject matter of young children dying of treatable illness is tough, the way the book is written is very easy to understand as Offit explains but doesn’t provide too much medical jargon. Read the introduction and see if you can put the book down!