Interesting story in the Globe and Mail. The sub-headline is "One-third of U.S adults have experienced or witnessed a divine cure of an illness or injury, study shows". The study was a U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which polled more than 35,000 U.S. adults.
Mormons were especially likely to say this (69%) as were half of those from evangelical churches and 54% of those from historically black churches. In addition, the numbers showed that 71% of Americans are "absolutely certain" of God's existence.
The article surmised that us Canadians would be less likely to believe in divine cures, partially due to less church attendance compared to our southern neighbours- 20% vs their 39%. Healing is part of our native tradition, but my impression of the approach is of being more earth centered, shared as part of a group working together - not the whimsical intervention of a superior being.
Those numbers are a little scary,especially with the state and church so closely intertwined in America. But maybe that's a way to reduce the health care crisis there -just encourage the spread of this belief in divine healing.
Personally I am an atheist. I was a Catholic choir boy in my younger days but had difficulty maintaining those beliefs along with my questioning teenage mind. I've developed my own philosophy and set of beliefs that serves me well - I'm not religious but spiritual. I do align with some of the principles of eastern philosophies, of learning more of the self, of regaining a focus, of compassion and care for others. But not of any afterlife or rebirth - this is it, we need to enjoy and make the best of what's here and now. And make a positive contribution.
I'm tolerant of other's religions -depending. If your beliefs help you to get through life, fine. I don't mean to put down any of my friends' beliefs. However, I don't appreciate those that try to convert me, and that maintain their god is the right one and everyone else's' is the wrong one, dooming all others to damnation in hell. Actually, I'm not sure whose version of hell it is anyways. Since many religions seem to have different variations on what heaven is then I assume they would have different versions of hell to banish people to. And it's a shame when they shove those beliefs on their children- they probably think it's a way to give their kids proper family values, but they are external values, not ones the kids can develop and explore on their own as they mature. Yes, there are common values we agree to in a society, but we also need to think for ourselves.
Getting back to this divine healing -if you believe a superior being can point a finger and cure your arthritis, can you accept the notion that maybe he/she also pointed a finger and gave you that arthritis in the first place? If you believe it was given to you to test your faith -well then hobble on and don't ask for it to be removed. Is your god one that only intervenes at the suggestion of some minister, after you're donated your savings to him? And if you're not healed - is it your fault for not having enough faith, or it just wasn't part of your god's plan?
Enough for now -feel free to discuss ;-)