Menu Close

Curt Schilling Thinks Obeying God More Important Than Respecting Dying Teammate, Tim Wakefield’s Wishes

schilling and wakefield resized

Curt Schilling, a former pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadephia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and two other teams, finds himself in hot water over his recent announcement that former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield has terminal cancer. Wakefield has since died. Wakefield didn’t want his cancer diagnosis broadcast far and wide. Schilling, however, decided to take to social media and let the world know Wakefield was dying. How did Schilling justify his violation of his former teammate’s privacy?

This is not a message that Tim has asked anyone to share, and I don’t even know if he wants it shared. But as a Christian and as a man of faith, I’ve seen prayer work and so I’m going to talk about it.

Schilling, a right-wing, Trump-supporting, Libertarian Evangelical, violated Wakefield’s privacy because he believes if he gets enough people to conjure up a prayer spell, healing will follow. Didn’t God already know Wakefield had cancer? Wakefield was an Evangelical too. Weren’t his prayers enough to qualify for healing? Does healing require a certain number of prayers to be prayed? “So sorry, Joey, you came up one prayer short. No healing for you.” Countless prayers will be prayed today for the dying. No matter how many or how few prayers are prayed, death always wins. It was Wakefield’s time, and someday death is coming for Schilling too. The difference between the two men will be in the measure of what they said and did.

As of today, Schilling has not apologized for his behavior. I doubt an apology is forthcoming. Schilling wanted to “save” Wakefield. What’s a little disrespect and indecency if God rides in on his magic horse and heals Wakefield? Of course, no God or horse was seen, and Wakefield died. All we are left with is a Christian asshole who valued his friendship with a dead Jew more than he did his friendship with Tim Wakefield.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.


  1. Avatar

    ‘….Does healing require a certain number of prayers to be prayed? “So sorry, Joey, you came up one prayer short…’
    I was teetering on the edge of deconversion when a relative’s church plant in a rough inner city area appointed a young pastor. He wrote how thrilled he was god had led him there and was confident of a great jesusing future in that rundown place. A few months on and he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His wife was pregnant with their first child. So the church held nights of prayer – to no avail. He lived just long enough to hold his newborn child in his arms once. I had this image in my head of god up there on his throne with a stopwatch saying to the praying folk ‘Very good, you’ve kept it up for over eight hours, get to nine and I might consider healing Sam.’ I felt so sad, not just for the man’s early death, but for all the deluded x-tians wasting so much time and effort believing a miracle would happen for Sam.

  2. Avatar

    There’s no aspect of praying that can possibly work, other than providing the person delivering the prayer some sort of comfort. Firstly, at a practical level, studies of the effects of prayer have been shown to provide no better patient outcome than chance (one even suggests negative outcomes). Then there’s the obvious philosophical point. If God knows everything then there is no need to implore him further: he already knows. Additionally, if he’s already mapped everything out then whatever result comes about has already been planned. Again useless prayers. Lastly, there’s the sheer egotistical issue. I cannot begin to imagine the numbers of prayers that will have been made by the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust but I’ve no doubt it would be into the billions. None were answered in what we would regard as an affirmative way (though doubtless many who were ‘lucky’ will have attributed that luck to God). It’s this last point that always sticks in my mind when I read articles such as ‘I prayed, and I found my keys’. A God who places the importance of car keys above children dying in gas chambers is not actually worthy of reverence.

  3. Avatar
    Heidi Ann Gaiser

    The contradictory logistics of prayer are never considered by christians. The possibilities are endless but here are a few of my favorites:
    a) I’ve seen two videos recently proclaiming the truth of on verse that says two people gathering in prayer will get results from Jesus, or something to that effect. Another of the many easily disprovable BS claims in the bible.
    b) Prayer is just another example of christian narcissism. The thought that a woman in small-town USA, for example, can affect the war in Ukraine by thinking and wishing is absurd and laughable. I guess I’m responsible that the war continues because I refuse to pray.
    c) And yes, what is god’s tipping point for the number of prayers required? If you are alone in a situation no one knows about (a grizzly attack in the woods) are you fucked because one prayer is beneath god’s threshold for action? That seems to be the logical outcome if prayer volume is important.
    d) Two people in equally desperate circumstances pray for different outcomes in the same situation. Who gets the job two people want, for example? When you pray that you get the job by appealing for divine intervention for yourself (but not for the other person) aren’t you just being selfish?

  4. Avatar

    You could write a series of columns highlighting all of the obnoxious things Schilling has said and done in the name of Jesus. Why is it that Christian humility seems so much like arrogance?

  5. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Geoff—You mentioned the “egotistical “ aspect of praying for someone.  It’s something I came to understand after I stopped believing:  I prayed for my dying grandmother, a friend who died by suicide and others in tragic circumstances to assuage my feelings of powerlessness: I couldn’t prevent their terrible experiences and demises. 

    Sometimes I still have trouble accepting the fact that I couldn’t save my friend or that my grandmother probably wouldn’t be alive today. But at least I know that it wasn’t because I didn’t pray long or hard enough—or that prayer has any effect at all.  Still, it’s ironic that my prayers, as impotent as they were, are more than any supposedly omnipotent and compassionate deity did for them.

  6. Avatar

    Schilling completely disrespected Wakefield and his family during a time of considerable heartache. One could argue that Schilling intended to help, but he should have contacted the family to ask permission before outing their private struggle. Schilling tried to make himself feel better by attempting to be a “hero”. That was incredibly selfish and disrespectful to Wakefield’s family.

  7. Avatar

    “..No healing for you.” Well gosh, what’s the mystery? More prayers on the scale equal more of what you pray for. It’s just science. Right?

    Speaking of baseball, I’ve seen no mention of the possibly (but for you Bruce) most famous inhabitant of Ney Ohio, that being major league pitcher Ned Garver. When I lived around there Ned Garver was synonymous with Ney. I think he passed in Bryan. You being a BB fan, Bruce, I wonder if you knew Ned.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser