False Idols

Thou shall not worship false idols.

I’ve been thinking about the commandment not to worship false idols a lot since getting floxed.

We, as a society, and probably as individuals too, look to pills to fix us.  We look to pharmaceuticals to cure us when we are sick.  We worship the pills as if they are magical, and good, and as if they will remove all problems from our lives.  There is a systematic lack of questioning about whether or not drugs are actually good – whether the benefits outweigh the costs.  We have faith – blind, baseless faith – that all drugs do more good than harm, that adverse effects are transient and rare, that there is enough knowledge about the workings of the human body to anticipate how a drug is going to affect cells and how those effects are going to change the health and well-being of the person who takes them, etc.  (To their credit, scientists do try to make drugs safe and understand how they work – but there is a lack of willingness to admit that we know far too little about the workings of the human body to be messing with it like we are.)

We worship doctors as if they are Gods.

I wonder if there is something profoundly broken about this way of thinking.  And I wonder if there are some deep lessons to be learned in thinking about where our worshipping of false idols is taking us.

What happened in our floxed bodies is chemical.  I don’t think that any of us got sick because of God’s spite or vengeance, or because any of us worship the “wrong” God.  (There is NOTHING about getting poisoned that is your fault.  Nothing.)  Likewise, what it will take to fix us is chemical, and I don’t think that faith is going to be able to repair our broken cells.

But I also think that it is destructive and wrong to worship pharmaceuticals and doctors.  They can be helpful and they can be guides – but they are not Gods.

I used to believe that adverse reactions are rare, antibiotics are benign, when a drug does harm a doctor can fix it, the FDA is ensuring drug safety, diseases are well understood, the pharmaceutical industry is working hard to find cures to the ills that plague humanity, etc.  I no longer believe any of those things.  I have lost my faith.  Getting hurt – then gaining a little knowledge about how drugs work – will do that to you.

I don’t claim to know who or how (or even if) we should worship.

But I don’t think that pharmaceuticals or doctors should be worshipped.  They are powerful – there’s no denying that.  Unchecked power has never led to good though.  In politics, unchecked power leads to corruption and tyranny.  In medicine, unchecked power leads to poisoning – which leads to chronic disease and suffering.

Drugs aren’t the only false idol that are worshipped to the point of destruction and pain.  The oceans, rivers, land, animals and humans are being hurt in the pursuit of fossil fuels.  Money – the ultimate false idol – the one that none of us (myself included) seems capable of getting out from under the enchantment of – is pursued to the point of inducing pain, destruction and suffering of the earth and all her inhabitants.

When we, collectively (seriously, no individual blame here), worship false idols, we get poisoned.  Our earth and our bodies are being poisoned as we worship money and power and chemical concoctions that we don’t realize the consequences of.  It is a shame – a crying shame.  My heart and soul ache for us all.


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6 thoughts on “False Idols

  1. Ms. A August 13, 2014 at 10:12 am Reply

    Amen. I haven’t had much faith in doctors in over 30 years, from the time I believe something happened that may have been a first floxing and doctors refused to believe there was anything wrong. I did have testing done then and for several years after. I was diagnosed as depressed, with chronic fatigue and an irregular heartbeat, tremors as well as muscle wasting and IBS. I developed pretty intense chemical sensitivities and medication sensitivities. After a number of years on prescriptions, that always needed another prescription to counter the side effects, I’d had enough and came off of everything, until 9 months ago when I was given an IV of Levaquin that has turned my world upside down!

  2. Katee August 13, 2014 at 10:29 am Reply

    You say, very well, just what has been bothering me for some time now. Many of my friends and family are very conservative Christians, and i continue to wonder how we have gotten to the place where modern medicine commands such blind faith, especially from Christians. I can’t tell you the number of times i’ve made a suggestion to someone for a benign, natural treatement, only to have the person respond, “But my DOCTOR says . . . ” as though they are quoting some great prophet.

    Modern medicine covers very well that it is the number #1 killer of folks in this country. It doesn’t show up that way because they break it into smaller parts, “Medical error,” and “Drug reaction” being the two top. Still, people continue to put their faith in these treatments. I continued to do so for some time, even after seeing “Gold standard, double-blind” tests being done (not nearly as clean as we are led to believe) and looking at actual package inserts and knowing the statistics they were using were skewed.

    And then, of course, if you look at the history of modern medicine, it is a monopoly because they used some very dirty tricks in the past to wipe out their competition.

    Galse Gods indeed.

  3. Rene August 13, 2014 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Amen. There are so many false Gods everywhere. It is nauseating, Rome is falling and all the while there is clamor for self worship, aggrandizement and foolish desperation looking to the world for sustenance. At the root of this pharmaceutical monstrosity is worshiping money. All their hopes and faith is in riches and holding it up as the most high. Above God, above life. They bow down to money. Money is their everything. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, ad to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

    We must keep occupied with those things that are good, and turn away from that which is not of God. Mathew 22:39-40 The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto to it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

    Let us pray for each other and our enemies. Let us be filled with his spirit and be made whole and be a blessing to others. And let us forgive each other.

    • Ruth Young August 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm Reply

      The forgiveness part I am having trouble with– letting go of anger at the doctor who poisoned me and then did nothing to help me get well. I need to remember all that Christ forgave me and at what cost. And it certainly wasn’t her intent to harm me so much.

      I’m almost completely well and heading to the point that I will be better than before I was floxed. A friend told me last weekend that I look ten years younger than I did when she saw me on New Year’s Eve.

      Holding anger against my doctor for a mistake she made is not healthy or right. But when my left Achilles’ tendon feels swollen and sore or when my heart pounds when I bend over or when I have to quit typing because it’s flaring my anxiety symptoms– I just get so angry with her for her carelessness.

      Beautifully written comment, Rene. I just have to keep focusing on the positives. I’m very blessed. I’d say lucky, but I don’t think it’s luck.

  4. Chris Ellington August 14, 2014 at 9:49 am Reply

    I believe you have said this wonderfully! Thank you.

  5. Bj February 24, 2020 at 9:07 am Reply

    First do no harm is the doctors oath isn’t it? Conscious informed consent is good ethics, isn’t it? I’ve been harmed by drugs and my quality of life and overall health zapped. No doctors are not gods and my God is watching!

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