A cross-party group of MPs have attempted to bully the Advertising Standards Authority over their ruling against faith healers; attacking the suggestion that people who make health claims should be required to provide evidence for them.
As reported by Total Politics, “Three Christian MPs – Gary Streeter (Con), Gavin Shuker (Lab) and Tim Farron (Lib Dem) – are trying to overturn an advertising ban on claiming that ‘God can heal’.” Inspired by the case of Fabrice Muamba they “say that they want the Advertising Standards Authority to produce ‘indisputable scientific evidence’ to say that prayer does not work – otherwise they will raise the issue in Parliament.”
Tip: @SLSingh on Twitter
The original story is here from Doubtful News: U.K. group banned from advertising public medical claims about the healing power of prayer
This is an editorial, so the language gets dicey but here are some important points:
Advertising Standards Agency are, pound-for-pound, one of the best public institutions ever created when it comes to dealing with scientific evidence. Just a quick scan of their past adjudications shows the dizzying array of evidence-based issues they’ve had to rule on, from bogus cosmetic claims to alternative medicine. MPs should be publicly supporting them for the work they do protecting consumers, not putting political pressure on them to alter their code of practice.
Bearing all that in mind, let’s look at the letter the three MPs wrote:
“We are writing on behalf of the all-party Christians in Parliament group in Westminster and your ruling that the Healing On The Streets ministry in Bath are no longer able to claim, in their advertising, that God can heal people from medical conditions.”
The editorial outlines numerous ridiculous notions from the Christians in Parliament gropu who wish to rely exclusively on the Bible (in lieu of modern medicine entirely? I wonder). And, they put up stories and pleas about sports stars to bolster their case. It’s quite ludicrous.
The main problem is, those promoting faith healing are proposing a supernatural claim. THEY are proposing this claim. Science has shown, quite handily, that it is a false one. To stand up and say that the rational people must prove God DOESN’T heal is so ludicrous, it made me laugh. I think they should give up all access to modern medical care cause otherwise, they are very hypocritical. Go on, pray your ills away. See how that works for you.