Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Long Days and Observation

I had my appointment at Cedars-Sanai, yesterday. It didn't go like I hoped it would, but I guess thems' the breaks. Frankly, I knew going in that this doctor is a prominent surgeon in his field, but I was hoping he wouldn't be quick to try that option in my case. I was wrong. What really disappointed me was that I was being handed surgery paperwork before I saw the doctor. What the hell? On one hand, I guess that by the time you're sent to him, the problem is likely bad and he's just assuming you're going to jump at any solution he presents. On the other hand, I'm of the (apparently naive) belief that medical professionals should see the patients and read the chart before suggesting major surgery. Anyway, I don't know what I'm going to do at this point. I just know that as much as my left kidney is a pain just inches above my ass, I do like having it and am not eager to get rid of it or have it filled with plastic. Watching P1 go through a nephrectomy and multiple surgeries gave me an insight to that sort of approach and, though it was the right thing for her, it's not for me. So...what does this have to do with atheism?

Since March 21, I've passed four stones a week (or more). There's no getting around that pain- even with narcotics. I can personally attest to the fact that, yes, it is worse than giving birth. The pain of giving birth has a purpose - you get a cute little baby who you love so intensely that you forget the ordeal of birth within minutes. But, kidney stones are ugly and excruciating. Anyway, last week, while laying on my bathroom floor because I couldn't wake Pdaddy up to help me get to bed, I had this momentary, fleeting thought that "I wish I could pray to stop this pain." *pause* Yeah. It caught me off guard. I don't know where, other than pure pain, it came from. I never prayed from relief from pain or illness even when I was a believer. And, that's the point I'm trying to get to: how much of belief is wanting the option to believe that a deity will here you and care enough to help? How much of belief is a response to not wanting to deal with life's crappy parts by yourself? I would guess that it's a big part of why people believe. If Pdaddy or my kids had been there to help distract me or get me back in bed, then I have no doubt I would've never got to the point where I would think about appealing to a deity. Religion preys on vulnerability. It appeals to you at the exact moments when you're dealing with something outside your power to control and when you feel there's no one who can help. I don't know if my prayer thought came from years of Catholic conditioning or desperation - maybe both. But, those are really bad reasons to believe. Why would any deity, or religion, want to manipulate people in the worst hours of your life? It's dysfunctional.

Then I saw the little pamphlet on the doctor's counter, yesterday. I meant to grab a copy so I could scan it, but...I was a crying mess when we finally left. It said something like, "In your moment of need, please don't hesitate to dial extension XXX and request a spiritual leader of your faith...We care about your whole health." It was the last part that seemed out of place. "We care about your whole health." I don't know why that bothers me. If you have an idea and can phrase what it is that bugs me about that, then please leave your insight here.

Anyway, when we left, we took Sunset Blvd. through Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Westwood to get to the 405. Dealing with the 101 didn't appeal to us at 3:30pm. But, I digress. We went past the Roxy and the Whisky-a-go-go. For those who aren't familiar with the Hollywood scene, these are famous night clubs. They're places where bands and comedians make names for themselves. Anyway, outside of both were guys holding sandwich board signs. Because I was in the back of our mini-van, on an air mattress, I only saw a few of the signs, but I saw enough. One said, "Don't Support Satan" on the front, with an address for a church on the back. Another said, "Death metal is deadly." (front) and "He loves you." The third guy's boards said "Hollywood - Land of sin and vice."

Ok. For one, if they're trying to reach the people who go to these clubs, then maybe 3:30 in the afternoon is the wrong time. In fact, I question their commitment to the cause. If they really wanted to reach the intended audience, then 3:30am would seem like a better time. No? The sign that said "He loves you." was very funny because it was so vague and, at one point, he was standing next to the guy with the sign that said "Don't support Satan." LOL As for the "Land of Sin and Vice", I really thought that was Vegas? Religious people like this have far too much free time. And, $20 says that these holy rollers were members of the audience in the 80's. I'm sure they've burned the pictures of themselves looking like Dee Snyder and jonesing for hookers and blow. Good times.

58 comments:

elianara said...

"We care about your whole health."

I don't know if I can phrase this right, but what bothers me about it is:

One, if you don't want to call, it implies you don't care about your health.

Two, if you don't call, you are not whole. It says you are missing something, or some part of yourself.

Does that make any sense?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Enshoku said...

the "We care about your whole health." thing seems to refer to something that your doctor can't provide, and since they are talking about spiritual counseling, I'd assume they were referring to your spirit. Maybe they sell replacement souls on the phone as well, if they have them, can you order me one?

Seriously though, I feel for you, though I can't actually feel it. I have heard that it's the closest thing a man can come to childbirth, especially because the excretion of the kidney stones is a longer path in men. I'm curious, why don't you find surgery right for you?

(anonymous no frelling anonymous comments. please...)

Calladus said...

I'll plagiarizer from a comment that will soon disappear here - so everyone can remark on my own genius for being the first to suggest...

Pmomma, you SHOULD have called the number and demanded that they send you an Atheist immediately! I think that would have been great!

And if you get the response that there are not Atheists standing by, you should ask for a Secular Humanist, Pastafarian, or even an Igtheist! That'll confuse 'em! Tell 'em to bring a book from Bertram Russel, or perhaps an Ingersol speech!

And just think, if someone of that nature DID respond, you'd have an interesting and engaging person to talk to - and distract your mind from your pain.

Even better - if a priest appeared, you could dismiss him or her with a sniff as being obviously unqualified.


And as for the temptation to grasp at straws, no matter how imaginary - I know the feeling. I've had (a much smaller) reason to wish the same lately, and like you understood it to be part of our evolved human nature.

Calladus said...

tsk. My spelling. I need a proofreader.

reVAMPed said...

Dear Gawd, please heal my friend and make her whole...

Sorry Gawd's not available to hear your pleas, he has a master plan and can't be bothered with you at this time. Please leave a message after the beeeeeppp.

I'm so sorry you have to continue dealing with the insincere medical field of, "We don't give a shit, please pay here". It's just not fair.

Whole health kind of rhymes with Holy Hell....geez, I'm tired..sorry. I'm not makin' much sense.

reVAMPed said...

That was my sad attempt at sarcasm.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I'm curious, why don't you find surgery right for you? - Enshoku
Good question.
*thinks*
I don't think I have a problem with the surgery, but the way it was presented and the ignorance on the doctor's part of my "whole health" (to borrow their phrase). I've been trying to get my strep ridden tonsils pulled for almost three years and there has been an excuse at every turn (on the part of the insurance and docs). "Your lupus makes it a bad choice." or "You wouldn't be able to handle the post op pain and almost guaranteed infection." (because of my immune system. So, to have this doctor just toss it out there and hand me all these forms makes me nervous. If I'm not a candidate for getting my tonsils removed (which would save us tons of pain and antibiotics), then how am I okay for major kidney surgery? Y'know?

Then there's my worry because of a really bad circumstance during a surgery in 2004. I woke up during the surgery. For about 80 seconds (which doesn't seem long, but is when you count it out), I was awake and the anesthesiologist didn't notice because he was busy talking to a nurse. I had a breathing tube in and had been giving paralytics so I could not move or talk. It's terrifying. You can feel every bit of pain and hear every word said. Finally, another nurse noticed that there were tears coming out of my eyes and they pulled my eyelids back and I looked straight at the nurse and doctor. Now I have this fear that it will happen again. It's not likely it will, but that was pretty traumatic.

With those things on the table, I think it's more a case of wanting to know this is the right move, as opposed to just being something he does because it's his specialty.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I'm so sorry you have to continue dealing with the insincere medical field of, "We don't give a shit, please pay here". It's just not fair.
Well, I know you know what I mean. Did Halo tell you I called tonight?

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Sorry to hear about the treatment by the medical fraternity.

Jeez you must have been in pain though to consider divine help.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

"We care about your whole health."

I can't speak for others, but that little snippet would bother me only the context of your previous experience being handed surgical paperwork before meeting the surgeon.
For me, at least, I would be annoyed about a system concerned with cloying spiritual reassurances while playing fast and loose with your dignity and autonomy.
Clinics should tackle problems based in reality first, before they make over-many concessions to fantasies.

That paperwork bungle makes me feel ashamed for the medical profession. If it's any consolation, hearing your story might help increase awareness just a little. (I hope I can at least nudge this aspect of healthcare in the right direction if I ever finish training...).

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Sean -Jeez you must have been in pain though to consider divine help.
Oh yeah. I don't know what they have in Australia, but here they have this pain scale thing (you can see one here: http://www.anes.ucla.edu/pain/FacesScale.jpg) that you're supposed to use to give your pain a number. There have been many, many times in the last three months that I've felt like that guy from Spinal Tap ("This one goes to eleven!").
As for divine help, it was very, very odd. It was fleeting and as soon as it entered my mind, it exited. In my opinion, it just goes to show that there are people who get into faith for the irrational belief that that deity is going to do something to help ease their suffering.

Paul - I can't speak for others, but that little snippet would bother me only the context of your previous experience being handed surgical paperwork before meeting the surgeon.
THAT is exactly it. It was a conflict between what was stated and what was occuring. I have to say that the doctor was very, very nice. He did take about ten minutes (which is a good visit here) to talk to us. But, it seems presumtuous to hand someone surgical forms and information before he's even seen the patient. And, you're right - saying they're worried about my "whole health" isn't accurate since they didn't have the whole picture before jumping to suggesting surgery.
My pediatrician friend pointed out another possibility, this evening. Cedars is mega huge and caters to celebrities and the wealthy (I'm only going there because the guy at UCLA was booked for MONTHS). These people probably come in looking for the fastest and most inventive procedures because their lifestyle is fast. So, I think they give surgery out like some doctors give antibiotics- because it gives the perception that you're treating the problem immediately.

David said...

"...whole health."

First, the sentence is awkward if not downright ungrammatical. That just feeds into the bigger objection.

It takes a fair amount of ignorance in 2008 to accept as axiomatic that "spiritual" health is a component of overall health. To say the least, this is not a facet of a surgeon's practice that would make me comfortable with it.

Michelle said...

Anyway, last week, while laying on my bathroom floor because I couldn't wake Pdaddy up to help me get to bed, I had this momentary, fleeting thought that "I wish I could pray to stop this pain.
The Lord spoke to you, pm!! He spoke to your heart. This need to pray is good since it proves you have no lost the holy spirit. He will not forsake you even when you've foresaken him. Don't fight the feeling to pray. What can it hurt to follow that impulse? He may not take the pain as we all need pain to be healthy but I know in my heart that he would relieve suffering.

Yeah. It caught me off guard. I don't know where, other than pure pain, it came from.
This is the blessing we have been praying you would receive. Every night we gather and ask god to grant your heart the light of his heavenly plan. Your desire to pray came from the heart. Your heart is the only part of your body who keeps the spirit for times like these. You can ask him to love on you. If he uses pain to get you to come back to Him he will and He has. Glory be to Him.
It is now your turn to accept Him.

I never prayed from relief from pain or illness even when I was a believer.
That means you never believed in the power of the One and Almighty. Catholicism was what wronged you. That is why you are an atheist. It is why you struggle now. Catholics put up spiritual road blocks but you don't need an intercessory to ask God to come in and fill your soul. Please do not let this chance to know our loving Father pass.

Poodles said...

OMG Pmomma, it appears you have a prayer club. Kinda creepy if you ask me.

Anyway, as for waking up during surgery EEEKKKK!!!

You need another opinion. I know this one probably isn't your first one, but just because he is one of the best in his field doesn't make him the best for you, and the choices you want for yourself.

yuyay said...

Michelle,
You understand there is a big difference between someone praying to make something better and wishing they could pray to make something better. When I wish for something it tends to be something impossible, something that can never happen like "I wish I could fly" or "I wish I could see into the past." Both of these are impossibilities. When something is possible, we should simply work toward it rather than wishing. Possumomma knows that praying would not achieve anything, which is why she wished it would rather than simply doing it. If some god out there really wanted to get through to Possumomma they really could go about it in a much more efficient way regardless of how 'mysterious' you feel their ways are.

Possumomma, as for the 'whole health' issue, I'm glad someone could put it into words for you. I'll add that for me, like a few of the others, it implies that I am somehow incomplete. It's like when someone survives something like cancer and the family and friends talk about how they were saved by prayer or faith. Not only is that an insult to the scientists who actually did the work, but it is a slap in the face to those who didn't survive because it means they didn't pray hard enough or have enough faith. Most people don't think their ideas through to everything they imply, and this is certainly one such case.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

Atheist in a Minivan said:

THAT is exactly it.

Yay! What do I win? :D
<-- Puerile reward-based morality is fun.


Michelle said:

This is the blessing...
He may not take the pain as we all need pain to be healthy but...

Look at that! This poor woman cries out in agony -and you celebrate. If I needed another picture of the disconnection between religious 'morality' and real, human suffering, this would make a poignant one.
And, in almost the same breath you immediately move to insulate prayer from any investigation into its ineffectiveness. I suspect you have been hamstringing your own expectations for your own prayers automatically for so long that you didn't even notice how odd your point is.


You can ask him to love on you.

That sounds rather inappropriate!

Your heart is the only part of your body who keeps the spirit for times like these.

Fascinating. Do you suppose this spirit resides in the sino-atrial node, or perhaps adjacent to the mitral valve? Given that PMomma has traded in her Palpal headgear for a Devo hat, that would be an amusing development.

If he uses pain to get you to come back to Him he will and He has.

I honestly couldn't parse that. Here is how to construct a conditional sentence in future.

I never prayed from relief from pain or illness even when I was a believer.
That means you never believed in the power of the One and Almighty.


But neither do you, Michelle. You've already instructed her to reduce her expectations regarding that prayer, so that if (or when) it doesn't work, not to criticize prayer.
It's amazing how quickly that little development happened.
You might like to ask yourself why you were so quick to make it.
If earnest prayer to God is such a powerful force, surely it doesn't need to hide behind caveats?

Christine said...

P-Momma - I hope you get some relief from the kidney stones soon.

aiabx said...

Michelle
What good does the prayer do? Doesn't God already know what's in your heart, and Pmomma's? Or is he just blackmailing her with pain until he gets an act of submission?

Pmomma, tonight, I am going to eat a sacrificial plate of Spaghetti to the FSM, and tomorrow (payday), I am going to send $25 to Lupus Canada. Or the Kidney Foundation of Canada, if you prefer. It's longer term than prayer, but research really will do something to make life better for you and other sufferers.

reVAMPed said...

No my little Halo did NOT tell me you called. I'll beat her appropriately for not telling me (*I keed, I keed, folks*)

"The Lord has spoken to your heart...." PFFFFFFFT!

Jason said...

PM - Sorry for the pain you are going through. I've had a couple of episodes of kidney stones and know the pain is unbearable. Hang in there and we’ll be sending up some prayers for you…weather you like it or not. :)

The "We care about your whole health.” thing.
I think this comes from a number of different things, for a theist spiritual health can be a very powerful part of the healing process. There have been lots of studies on how prayer can help on a psychological level which can intern help on a physical level. The problem is people assume everyone is a theist so you run into these broad statements or pamphlets etc… The interesting thing is no one thinks when they produce something like this that they are going to offend anyone, unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

That means you never believed in the power of the One and Almighty. Catholicism was what wronged you. That is why you are an atheist. It is why you struggle now. Catholics put up spiritual road blocks but you don't need an intercessory to ask God to come in and fill your soul. Please do not let this chance to know our loving Father pass.
What in the sam-hill does this mean? How much about Catholicism do you even know? It’s apparent by your statements that it isn’t much. Catholics do not put up spiritual road blocks and if you knew what intercessory prayer was you’d know that. Please learn about others faith before you go attacking it, I’ll be more than happy to help you learn about your Catholic brothers and sisters if you like.

Calladus said...

Yeah. It caught me off guard. I don't know where, other than pure pain, it came from.
This is the blessing we have been praying you would receive.


So, you were wishing that Pmomma would feel enough agony to start grasping at any straw? You were wishing her ill to turn her toward your God?

Wow, it's no wonder that Christians in the dark ages felt justified in torturing people "in the flesh" in order to save their "soul". After all, what is a little mortification of the flesh if you win eternal life - right?

With that sort of attitude, it is religiously justified to use any implement of torture, even up to burning alive, in order to win a conversion. And a little study of history shows that Christians did all that and more.

Apparently God loves forced conversions.

Thank you Michelle, for such a vivid demonstration of the horrors of the Dark Ages. And thank you for the warning that we are not so far removed from that sort of attitude.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Wow. Michelle manages to make God sound like your "friend" who wants to be your bodyguard - so he pays a bunch of thugs to jump you in an alley so that he can rescue you.

God as the Godfather - "That's some nice health you've got there. Wouldn't want anything to happen to that, now would you?"

Sorry about the kidneys, pmomma. Best of luck with getting things back to tolerable.

The problem with the pain scale is that 10 is "the most pain you can imagine". I don't know about you, but my imagination failed me big-time. When I hit actual serious PAIN, I went shooting straight past 10 without a wave and landed somewhere around 50.

Milo Johnson said...

Michelle, you are a superstitious ghoul. Do you "pray" that your children, family, and friends suffer crippling pain so they believe in your sky-fairy too? You need to step back and take a look at your words, and if you have any human decency you will be too ashamed to even think anything like that again.

KevinGreene said...

I personally have problems with the phrasing because of it's inverse implications.

If you don't seek relgious council then you personally don't care about your whole health.

It's probably just how I'm reading it but I find it insulting.

David said...

Not to "pile on" Michelle but...

oh...

what the heck. Piling on.

Michelle, your cult of suffering and death values every negation of true human potential. You maintain ignorance of science in favor of Bronze-age goatherders' mythology. You favor suffering for the ill over relief of pain: the much vaunted Mother Teresa basically established shelters where the sick could suffer for Jesus while she and her fellow harpies mumbled over them.

And now you have the nerve to come to this place, established by one who epitomizes the triumph of reason and logic over superstition, and say to her that you revel in HER PAIN because you think it might give superstition a new foothold in her life!

The gall you display astounds. The lack of empathy completely dumbfounds.

But allow me to return the favor. If I saw you on on fire, I would not cross the street to {you can imagine} on you... but I would indeed be more than happy to pray for rain as I continue my stroll.

If that would make you feel better.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

The Lord spoke to you, pm!! He spoke to your heart. This need to pray is good since it proves you have no lost the holy spirit. He will not forsake you even when you've foresaken him. Don't fight the feeling to pray. What can it hurt to follow that impulse? He may not take the pain as we all need pain to be healthy but I know in my heart that he would relieve suffering.

Your spewing would hold a lot more water if God chose times when people were not in pain or under distress to "speak" to them. Pain and stress cause people to think and do things that aren't normally in line with what they think during un-stressful times. ie.. thinking clearer.

nice try.

Berlzebub said...

@ All Anonymous commenters:

Per P-Momma's commenting policy, all anonymous comments will be deleted.

Please read her commenting policy located beneath No anonymous comments! on the left side of the page.

Jim said...

Michelle - I have a feeling that Pmomma is going to pass on getting to know your loving Father just like she's going to pass those kidney stones.

Pmomma, I think passing 4 stones per week, earns you the right to flag in your "faith" for a moment or two. I'm pretty sure that none of us can begin to imagine dealing with that kind of pain once much less on the frequency that you are...

If someone like Michelle was in your situation I'd wager she'd be offering her purported soul to the highest bidder for a moment's respite.

The "whole health" phrase bothers me too and I'm still not sure why...

Your follow-up post about waking up during surgery has given me the shudders. That is pure nightmare fodder. Be sure that it's noted on your chart for the next surgery, perhaps they'll keep a closer eye on you rather than chatting it up.

May the FSM bless you with His Noodly Appendage, now and always.

Karen said...

Pmomma, I'm hoping this kidney business gets sorted out VERY soon. I've never experienced that kind of pain, and I'm not very good with pain. I can't imagine I would cope nearly as well as you. Bravo!

Regarding getting the surgery papers before seeing the doctor, I think you're experiencing the "when all you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" phenomenon. For my mother's first visit to a cardiologst, she was referred to cardiac surgeon, and he practically chased her around the table with a knife. She then went to see a cardiologist who didn't specialize in surgery, and he kept her alive and moderately well for years with the pharmaceutical equivalent of duct tape.

Regarding the "whole health" thing, people do heal faster if they believe they can, and for theists this may mean believing that God is on their side (or at least, not actively punishing them).

During the last few days of her life, my mother was in a coma, and a very savvy hospital chaplain checked up on my dad and me frequently. She immediately picked up on the very nonverbal cues I was giving that I'm not a theist and my dad was, and she tried to say the right things to comfort both of us. She was concerned about the mental health of each of us. After that experience, I started cutting people who talk about "spiritual health" more slack.

ozatheist said...

Sorry to hear about the Kidney stones PMomma, and your story of waking up during surgery just freaked me out. No wonder you are reluctant to have surgery again!

I think the first post by elianara correctly explains the problem with "We care about your whole health."

As for michelle's comment, several commenters have already well criticised her inconsiderate remarks. I'd just like to say "Michelle, if that's your idea of a loving God; then I'm happy to know that he doesn't exist"

Katie said...

Why are always the good doctors always so over booked?

At least you got to see some entertaining signs on the way back.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Thank you for all of the well-wishes and comments. I love ya', guys.

I have so much I want to say in response to Michelle, but it's going to have to wait until tonight.

Enshoku said...

I responded to michelle's post on my blog, something about her post just really made me angry...

reddhedd said...

P-momma,

I hope you recover your health quickly...and totally foil the subhuman joy that Michelle and her unwholesome ilk are feeling now. You deserve better, and I hope you see another specialist...did you talk to the doctor about the surgical presumptions being made? Perhaps there is actually a good reason; maybe you could call or email his office to get an explanation.

Michelle, you are more wicked than you know. Only a twisted and sadistic person would look upon deep and terrible suffering as a blessing. Take a long look in the mirror; you need professional (and perhaps chemical) help, and I hope you get it soon.

Michelle said...

I can't believe how I was being judged for what I said. It guess it's true what they I have heard about atheists which was that you just want to hear each other agreeing and ganging up on well meaning theists.
OMG Pmomma, it appears you have a prayer club. Kinda creepy if you ask me.

Asking for god's help is creepy. O Okay then. Whatever.

yuyay said...
Michelle,
You understand there is a big difference between someone praying to make something better and wishing they could pray to make something better.

No there is no difference with asking God to come to your heart. Thinking about prayer means an atheist has not lost a spririt as I said that He resides in their heart. Wishing to pray is as good as praying.

Paul said...Look at that! This poor woman cries out in agony -and you celebrate. If I needed another picture of the disconnection between religious 'morality' and real, human suffering, this would make a poignant one.

You are getting me all wrong. I am happy that pmom is asking for help but I don't rejoice in her suffering.

Fascinating. Do you suppose this spirit resides in the sino-atrial node, or perhaps adjacent to the mitral valve? Given that PMomma has traded in her Palpal headgear for a Devo hat, that would be an amusing development.

I feel sorry for you atheist that can't understand metaphors. There are places in your heart that are unexplorable by scientists and this is where you keep faith.

aiabx said...
Michelle
What good does the prayer do? Doesn't God already know what's in your heart, and Pmomma's? Or is he just blackmailing her with pain until he gets an act of submission?

Prayer is everything to me. Of course God knows what Pmom needs. He wishes she would let Him help her through the trial of pain. How can you dare second guess God? The problem with atheists is that they think they know all there is to know but it's their lack of understanding of faith that makes me sad.

Jason said...Please learn about others faith before you go attacking it, I’ll be more than happy to help you learn about your Catholic brothers and sisters if you like.

Catholics are idolaters. They believe the Pope is able to speak for our Heavenly Father when we are told that Jesus is the only one who can speak with God. Jesus uses our hearts to communicate what he desires. I know that Catholics have it wrong because they don't speek to God about sin.

Calladus said...

(God) wishes she would let Him help her through the trial of pain. How can you dare second guess God?

...

Catholics are idolaters. They believe the Pope is able to speak for our Heavenly Father when we are told that Jesus is the only one who can speak with God.


John 8:7

Milo Johnson said...

Of course you are being judged for what you said. You said stupid things, why should you not be judged for them? You claim to be "well-meaning," but your statements are full of condescension. How do I know? "O okay then. Whatever." That's condescending. If you want to demonstrate your superiority, perhaps you shouldn't act like a thirteen year-old. You seem to think that it is completely unquestioned that your sky-fairy exists. Well, provide some evidence for it and we will listen. Until you can do that, you are simply making an assertion, not a statement of fact. And then we have this: "There are places in your heart that are unexplorable by scientists and this is where you keep faith." You have no basis for this other than your own superstition. You are welcome to believe stupid things, but don't pretend that they are anything other than your own primitive magical thinking. Now you really get rolling with a this: "Prayer is everything to me." That's nice. In other words, you have nothing. And you follow that up with a twofer: "How can you dare second guess God? The problem with atheists is that they think they know all there is to know but it's their lack of understanding of faith that makes me sad." How can I second guess something that doesn't exist? If you want to believe in mythical beings, go right ahead. You will be deservedly mocked for your simplemindedness. Of course we don't understand faith. It is insane to believe in things just because someone tells you to. If you choose to be crazy, don't blame us for not joining you. Then, for the big finish, your final paragraph, dripping with arrogant self-certainty that your preferred brand of delusion is better than other brands of delusion. You are worthy of scorn and pity, scorn for your ignorant beliefs, and pity that a human being can be so foolish. If you don't like it around here, why do you keep coming back for more? You are only going to get more of the same. Go talk to your sky-daddy, I imagine that's the only thing you can talk to without being laughed at.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Who is this god prick who's causing Pmomma pain. I am gonna get on a plane come over their and kick his arse.

Berlzebub said...

@ Michelle:
I can't believe how I was being judged for what I said. It guess it's true what they I have heard about atheists which was that you just want to hear each other agreeing and ganging up on well meaning theists.
We are all judged by our actions, Michelle. You don't get a free pass because you have an imaginary friend. That you can't "believe" that you're being judged for your actions speaks volumes.

In case you're wondering, the main reason I find you reprehensible is this statement:
"This is the blessing we have been praying you would receive. Every night we gather and ask god to grant your heart the light of his heavenly plan. Your desire to pray came from the heart. Your heart is the only part of your body who keeps the spirit for times like these. You can ask him to love on you. If he uses pain to get you to come back to Him he will and He has. Glory be to Him.
It is now your turn to accept Him."

Apparently, you have no idea of the term compassion. P-Momma is undergoing intense suffering, and you have the audacity to come on here and proselytize. Then, you claim that it is your invisible friend causing her pain, and give him glory for it.

OMG Pmomma, it appears you have a prayer club. Kinda creepy if you ask me.

Asking for god's help is creepy. O Okay then. Whatever.

No, you praising your deity of choice for causing P-Momma so much pain is "creepy" (I can think of some more appropriate terms, but this is a family blog).

The one I can say is "useless". P-Momma has a severe illness, and you attribute it to God. If you read back, P-Momma got her illness when she was still a believer. So, that would imply that your non-existant deity is actually responsible for P-Momma's non-belief.

yuyay said...
Michelle,
You understand there is a big difference between someone praying to make something better and wishing they could pray to make something better.


No there is no difference with asking God to come to your heart. Thinking about prayer means an atheist has not lost a spririt as I said that He resides in their heart. Wishing to pray is as good as praying.

You have the last line wrong.
"Wishing is as good as praying."
There, fixed it for you.

According to a study done by the Templeton Foundation, prayer can be a bad thing for those with medical conditions.

Paul said...Look at that! This poor woman cries out in agony -and you celebrate. If I needed another picture of the disconnection between religious 'morality' and real, human suffering, this would make a poignant one.

You are getting me all wrong. I am happy that pmom is asking for help but I don't rejoice in her suffering.

Could've fooled me. Again:
"This is the blessing we have been praying you would receive."
P-Momma is suffering and vulnerable, and you're attempting to prey (pray?) on her. You may not be rejoicing in her suffering, but you sure as hell seem to be rejoicing because of it. I'm not sure which would be worse.

Fascinating. Do you suppose this spirit resides in the sino-atrial node, or perhaps adjacent to the mitral valve? Given that PMomma has traded in her Palpal headgear for a Devo hat, that would be an amusing development.

I feel sorry for you atheist that can't understand metaphors. There are places in your heart that are unexplorable by scientists and this is where you keep faith.

I feel sorry for you, Michelle, that you incorrectly use words. You are speaking of the "spirit", not the heart. Perhaps you should pick up a book other than your Bible, now and then. We now know a great deal about the heart, and how it functions. So much so that we can create artificial ones.

aiabx said...
Michelle
What good does the prayer do? Doesn't God already know what's in your heart, and Pmomma's? Or is he just blackmailing her with pain until he gets an act of submission?


Prayer is everything to me. Of course God knows what Pmom needs. He wishes she would let Him help her through the trial of pain. How can you dare second guess God? The problem with atheists is that they think they know all there is to know but it's their lack of understanding of faith that makes me sad.

If prayer is "everything" to you, does that mean you don't go to the doctor when you get sick?

The problem with theists is that they think they know everything. Guess what, Michelle? I used to be a believer, along with several others on this blog. So, we understand faith, probably better than you do. Put simply, it's belief without evidence. Faith is as empty as prayer.

Oh, and I don't have to second guess your deity of choice. I don't believe he exists.

Jason said...Please learn about others faith before you go attacking it, I’ll be more than happy to help you learn about your Catholic brothers and sisters if you like.

Catholics are idolaters. They believe the Pope is able to speak for our Heavenly Father when we are told that Jesus is the only one who can speak with God. Jesus uses our hearts to communicate what he desires. I know that Catholics have it wrong because they don't speek to God about sin.

If Jesus is the only one who can speak with God, why do you pray? Isn't that the intent of prayer?

Oh, and your misunderstandings of Catholicism is astounding. Speaking as someone married to a Roman Catholic, I can unequivocally say that you are flat out and totally full of it. Catholics do pray to God, and tell him their sins. However, some of them also go to confession.

Jason offered to help you better understand Catholicism, and you start into a rant about them. The irony of you saying, "The problem with atheists is that they think they know all there is to know..." and then following with a rant about something you apparently know absolutely nothing about is the problem I have with you. It's a trend in every one of your comments.

Now, here's some homework for you. Look up the Council of Nicea (okay, I did it for you, but I'm tired of theists who don't know how to use Google). Everything that you are "told" is based on a commity who decided what you should be told.

I would also recommend reading Misquoting Jesus.

Now, bring something constructive to the conversation or leave, Michelle. Regardless of what you may think, you aren't being persecuted. You are being told to put up or shut up.

You have shown no compassion for your fellow human beings, spoke of things that you know nothing about, and tried to make yourself seem the victim. I, for one, am tired of it.

P-Momma is a friend, and a person I respect. You claim that your prayers have caused her this pain, and I'm telling you to defend yourself. Either that or STFU.

Michelle said...

Milo Johnson said: Of course you are being judged for what you said. You said stupid things, why should you not be judged for them?
I said nothing more stupid than has been given back to me.

If you want to demonstrate your superiority, perhaps you shouldn't act like a thirteen year-old. You seem to think that it is completely unquestioned that your sky-fairy exists.
You have real nerve if you call me condessending while you write what you just did.

Well, provide some evidence for it and we will listen.
Atheists always want evidence. It is your battlecry. You want evidence for almost all the unexplainable things in the world. God does not have to prove himself to you and I don't either. If you don't want to believe in the truth then go ahead and demand evidence for all things without explanations like love and this hate you have for God.

You have no basis for this other than your own superstition. You are welcome to believe stupid things, but don't pretend that they are anything other than your own primitive magical thinking.
My basis is that God shows me his will every day. "Stupid" "magical" "primitive" are really nice words to say for someone who knows the truth that there is to know about everything. Primitive means old but it does not mean that it's untrue.

Now you really get rolling with a this: "Prayer is everything to me." That's nice. In other words, you have nothing.
I HAVE A LOT THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOU HORRIBLE BIGOT. I have nine children who God has trusted me to raise by positive faith. Moral children who know better than to disrespect their creator. I read this blog every day and see how pmom is focused on her daughters academics so far as to consider sending her to a school very far away. Education is never more valuable than faith. Pmom is the perfect example of atheists who have the wrong priorities for their children when they turn them from specialness given them by God. What is wrong with giving a child an education in faith, hope, morals, and joy?

You will be deservedly mocked for your simplemindedness. Of course we don't understand faith. It is insane to believe in things just because someone tells you to.
You want to mock me for living by my hearts truth? You are a condessending bigot.

Do not comment back because I won't read your comment. I will listen to people who can be mature.

Berlzebub said...

Milo Johnson said: Of course you are being judged for what you said. You said stupid things, why should you not be judged for them?
I said nothing more stupid than has been given back to me.

Actually, you've said nothing of any substance at all. You have yet to defend your actions. All you've done is complain about us questioning your beliefs.

If you want to demonstrate your superiority, perhaps you shouldn't act like a thirteen year-old. You seem to think that it is completely unquestioned that your sky-fairy exists.
You have real nerve if you call me condessending while you write what you just did.

No, he's being honest. Again, you haven't defended any of your statements, only complained about our questioning your beliefs.

Well, provide some evidence for it and we will listen.
Atheists always want evidence. It is your battlecry. You want evidence for almost all the unexplainable things in the world. God does not have to prove himself to you and I don't either. If you don't want to believe in the truth then go ahead and demand evidence for all things without explanations like love and this hate you have for God.

Again, you should pick up a book. There are explanations for love (hint: it's chemical reactions in the brain, not the heart).

I have absolutely no hate for your deity. I cannot hate something that doesn't exist. As far as love, I would again suggest doing some reading (hint: it's a chemical reaction in the brain, not the heart).

You have proven yourself to us, Michelle. You have proven that you're immature, incapable of simple logical thinking, and a spoiled brat. We've repeatedly asked for some intelligent defenses of your actions (actions being what you've typed in the comments), and you've yet to do so.

You have no basis for this other than your own superstition. You are welcome to believe stupid things, but don't pretend that they are anything other than your own primitive magical thinking.
My basis is that God shows me his will every day. "Stupid" "magical" "primitive" are really nice words to say for someone who knows the truth that there is to know about everything. Primitive means old but it does not mean that it's untrue.

We don't know everything, Michelle. It just seems we know a helluva lot more than you. For one, "primitive" means crude or simple.

I assert that you want to believe God shows you his will everyday. In my observations, the universe works exactly the same as if there were no supernatural beings. Therefore, I do not believe in the existence of them.

Now you really get rolling with a this: "Prayer is everything to me." That's nice. In other words, you have nothing.
I HAVE A LOT THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOU HORRIBLE BIGOT. I have nine children who God has trusted me to raise by positive faith. Moral children who know better than to disrespect their creator. I read this blog every day and see how pmom is focused on her daughters academics so far as to consider sending her to a school very far away. Education is never more valuable than faith. Pmom is the perfect example of atheists who have the wrong priorities for their children when they turn them from specialness given them by God. What is wrong with giving a child an education in faith, hope, morals, and joy?

Because then they turn out like you. Of course, I doubt you'll understand my meaning here, but the rest will.

You will be deservedly mocked for your simplemindedness. Of course we don't understand faith. It is insane to believe in things just because someone tells you to.
You want to mock me for living by my hearts truth? You are a condessending bigot.

And you are a whining bitch who can't defend her own actions, and resorts to attacking others statements to redirect attention.

Do not comment back because I won't read your comment. I will listen to people who can be mature.
Then talking to yourself must be out of the question. Take your ball and go home, Michelle.

Oh, and congratulations. You've just demonstrated why I started questioning my faith, and proceeded to let go of it altogether.

Enshoku said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Enshoku said...

Milo Johnson said: Of course you are being judged for what you said. You said stupid things, why should you not be judged for them?
I said nothing more stupid than has been given back to me.

Didn't you start the thing by making a claim that you and your god are responsible for possum momma's kidney stones?

If you want to demonstrate your superiority, perhaps you shouldn't act like a thirteen year-old. You seem to think that it is completely unquestioned that your sky-fairy exists.
You have real nerve if you call me condessending while you write what you just did.
I just want to say, from here on out in your post you spelled condescending wrong, kinda annoying.

Well, provide some evidence for it and we will listen.
Atheists always want evidence. It is your battlecry. You want evidence for almost all the unexplainable things in the world. God does not have to prove himself to you and I don't either. If you don't want to believe in the truth then go ahead and demand evidence for all things without explanations like love and this hate you have for God.
hun, without evidence there is no reason to believe in: yetis,faeries,pixes,nymphs, sirens,minotaurs,fauns,mermaids,
unicorns,xenu,thetans, souls,spirits,jesus,buddah,osiris, zeus,loki, saturn,jupiter, neptune,venus, vishnu, lucifer, the boogie man, el chupacabra, the screaming(old?) hag, godzilla, king kong, or even allah and yahweh. Your god doesn't get a special statement that allows him to be believed without evidence while all of those other things are held up to scrutiny.


You have no basis for this other than your own superstition. You are welcome to believe stupid things, but don't pretend that they are anything other than your own primitive magical thinking.
My basis is that God shows me his will every day. "Stupid" "magical" "primitive" are really nice words to say for someone who knows the truth that there is to know about everything. Primitive means old but it does not mean that it's untrue.
ohh, I know the truth of life, the universe, and everything too... it's 42!!!!!!!!!

Now you really get rolling with a this: "Prayer is everything to me." That's nice. In other words, you have nothing.
I HAVE A LOT THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOU HORRIBLE BIGOT. I have nine children who God has trusted me to raise by positive faith. Moral children who know better than to disrespect their creator. I read this blog every day and see how pmom is focused on her daughters academics so far as to consider sending her to a school very far away. Education is never more valuable than faith. Pmom is the perfect example of atheists who have the wrong priorities for their children when they turn them from specialness given them by God. What is wrong with giving a child an education in faith, hope, morals, and joy?
One of these things is not like the others: one of these things just doesn't belong. Fine, let acadamia teach faith...in the flying spaghetti monster, seems like the most unbiased religion, ne?

You will be deservedly mocked for your simplemindedness. Of course we don't understand faith. It is insane to believe in things just because someone tells you to.
You want to mock me for living by my hearts truth? You are a condessending bigot.
Is it your hearts truth, or actual truth as you claimed before, because those tend to be two different things.

Do not comment back because I won't read your comment. I will listen to people who can be mature.
Irony, hun. Judge not, lest ye be judged can be applied in your post, as far as making a call about whether one is indeed a condescending bigot because he equated your god to a sky pixie(to that effect, listening to the non prophets sounds like it would put you in more pain than Pmomma)and called your behavior comparable to a thirteen year old is actually a bit judgmental...

note: I think judging things is helpful to society, because if it can't hold up to scrutiny, then it definitely is not flawless, including humans.

Milo Johnson said...

It's so predictable, you folks are all the same on the inside. You are full of pious concern for us poor lost souls, but scratch that self-serving camouflage and your spiteful and noxious bile comes belching out. "Education is never more valuable than faith." That pretty much says it all. You live in a technological civilization that is the direct and visible result of science and human intellectual accomplishment with no contribution from your superstition. The very fact that you were able to survive the calving of your nine progeny, who have evidently survived as well and whom you are doubtlessly indoctrinating to be as ignorant as yourself, is a tribute to the accomplishment of reality-based physicians with no contribution whatsoever from your imaginary friend. You sit on your illiterate ass and type your nonsense on a computer that was also not developed by your pretend sky-daddy. Surrounded by all of these accomplishments of intellect, you nonetheless pompously mock evidence as being somehow irrelevant to reality, and think reality is insufficient to explain reality. Just because you don't understand how the universe works doesn't mean nobody else does. I dread the thought that you may ever be called to serve on a jury. The only thing you have to offer is insistence on the authenticity of your fairy tales, and that carries no probative value at all and you are too lacking in credibility to take you at your word. "Stupid," "magical," and "primitive" are precise descriptions of your behavior, I fail to see how you can quibble with them. I can no more hate your nonexistent make-believe friend than I can hate the Tooth Fairy, unicorns, or extraterrestrials with anal probes, and for precisely the same reason. None of them exist. It is impossible to hate something that isn't real. If it comforts you to think that it is condescending (notice the correct spelling here, and remember you can actually cut and paste that so you don't embarrass yourself any further) to point out that you are carrying around a bag of made-up, inconsistent and self-contradictory baloney, have at it. The only one you are fooling is yourself. Thanks for once again proving my points. Have a nice day!

Erin said...

Oh yeah. I don't know what they have in Australia, but here they have this pain scale thing (you can see one here:

Oh, the pain scale. I had a nurse ask me what number my contractions were, and I felt like saying, THEY'RE A F-ING 150 ON THE CHART, SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

Calladus said...

Michelle said... Atheists always want evidence. It is your battlecry. You want evidence for almost all the unexplainable things in the world. God does not have to prove himself to you and I don't either. If you don't want to believe in the truth then go ahead and demand evidence for all things without explanations like love and this hate you have for God.

But if there is no evidence, then why should I believe in your God? There is a multitude of Gods to believe in. I could just as easily believe in the Islamic God, or the Hindu Gods.

Also, you seem to disbelieve in some forms of Christianity. Why should I not become Catholic, or Mormon, or part of what ever sect you don't believe to be on the "true" path. How can I tell the difference?

Evidence is important - even in the Bible evidence is important. The laying of the fleece before the Lord, the burning bush, the evidence of doubting disciple Thomas, the scales that fell from Saul's eyes. There are a LOT of examples of evidence - in the Bible - that are only supernaturally explainable.

But there is NO such evidence of that nature today. Burnt blurry images of Jesus on toast? Pareidolia is a well understood bit of psychology.

And every time, EVERY single time when a Christian points to something that they call evidence of God - it turns out that they are just ignorant of nature and basic science. For example, when you point to "Love" as unexplainable.

Here is the problem, Michelle - religion requires enemies in order to survive. If it has no enemies, it will create them. It's part of your basic mindset.

Yes, I agree that some commenters are rough - but they are not wrong, merely frustrated with repeated religious arguments that have already been refuted time and again.

And we are all frustrated with the Christian tendency to scream that they are being attacked, when we merely point out that what you are saying doesn't make sense.

I know several Christians who don't do this - who honestly try to understand the Atheist worldview. Christians who can live happily without attributing everything to God's will. They talk to me because they are genuinely interested in me, and are willing to listen, and they are willing to think and to do their own homework.

Prove us wrong about you Michelle. Most of us have read the same books that you've read, gone done the same path that you're on. Maybe it's time for you to study a little of Atheism, to walk in our shoes.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Oi.

Michelle, do you have any response to God as a mafia-boss? I noticed you ignored that bit.

I'm a theist. Yet if I truly and absolutely believed that God operates the way you think he does, I'd be forced to refuse to worship him on principle, since I don't worship malign, blackmailing dieties who think making a mistake in your theology is worthy of eternal torment.

Also (this is not just for michelle), please drop the "Mad at God" line. Atheists aren't mad at god (any god), anymore than you are mad at Zeus or Isis. Or the invisible pink unicorn. Every time a christian (and it's always a christian) pulls out this line, it just makes me cringe. How have you failed to notice that most of the world doesn't believe what you believe, and believes something completely different just as sincerely?

I get so tired of theists who use God as an excuse for sloppy thinking, bad logic, and their own smug immorality.

Enkidu said...

Pmomma, you SHOULD have called the number and demanded that they send you an Atheist immediately! I think that would have been great!

That's what you do when you have time and energy, not when you're sick and in pain.

Calladus said...

That's what you do when you have time and energy, not when you're sick and in pain.

(sigh) You're right Enkidu. Pmomma - I hope you feel better soon so you can start kicking tail and taking names.

spajadigit said...

Oh, Pmomma, your experience of waking during surgery is one of my biggest fears of surgery, and that it actually happened to you is horrifying.

And scary.

The fact that you are soldiering on (and being such an AWESOME mom) despite what you're going through is pretty inspiring to me (as a new dad).

And Michelle? STFU

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

You are getting me all wrong. I am happy that pmom is asking for help but I don't rejoice in her suffering.

Michelle,

I apologise if I came across as rude. Please understand I'm a little sensitive when people I care about are in pain.


Atheists always want evidence. It is your battlecry.

Yes, I confess this to be entirely accurate. But how is this a bad thing? This means we atheists are being completely open, sincere and honest about what you need to give us to convince us to change our mind.
It's all right there. All you need to do to convert us is take this evidence, which is, presumably, what convinced you to your position in the first place, and show it to us.

Can you see how atheists are the opposite of theists in this manner? Theists, almost categorically do NOT say "here is what you need to do to convince me to your atheist position".
This means that theist's views aren't dependent on reality- there is nothing that could happen in the world that would cause them to reexamine their beliefs.

Isn't that that an extremely dangerous position?

Paladelicioso said...

I find it strange that you would go to one of the best medical and research facilities in the world, and then question the quality of care you are getting. Sounds like you don't want to get well.

fejkat said...

Paladelicioso, it sounds like you are a person who accepts the word of authority figures without question, and regards it as a virtue. I think you would find that very few atheists do so.

Atheist in a mini van. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Atheist in a mini van. said...

Paladelicioso said...
I find it strange that you would go to one of the best medical and research facilities in the world, and then question the quality of care you are getting. Sounds like you don't want to get well.

I find it strange that you obviously didn't read the entire post or comments before you made an ass of yourself.

Let's see...which part did you miss? The part where this doctor tried to tell me I needed surgery before he had looked at the chart? We hand carried my chart down - meaning, he didn't have it before we handed it to him AFTER he recommended surgery. Or, did you miss the part where I stated that I have a seriously compromised immune system and surgery has not been done for another problem because of that? Oh wait, you must've missed the part where I said I'd have to get authorization and my rheumatologists opinion? Or, did you miss the part where I have had problems with surgery in the past? Now...if you're someone who gets his/her jones off surgery and doesn't care if the doctor has complete information, then that's your choice.

Really, anyone of those would have been a clue for most literate people.

The rest of your claims are equally unfounded. Getting well is my priority - but, I'd like not to DIE during surgery, or from infection afterward, please.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Oh and, Paladelicioso, you also must've missed the part where I said that the care I received was actually pretty good. I said the doctor was nice and spent ten minutes with us (on and off, as he was going between two rooms). That's hardly complaining about the care.

amarullis said...

In regards to the "whole health" thing, I am, in general, uncomfortable with religious references in public setting. I am even more uncomfortable when it comes up in a medical facility (makes you worry if your doctor is treating you with science or something only he/she believes). I understand the optional "check here if you would like to speak to a religious representative" box, with a write in blank for your religion, on a form when you go to a catholic hospital's emergency clinic, but I don't get signs or pamphlets in a waiting room. I think religion should be a more private issue.