Special Note To Friend With Sick Baby On Facebook

December 29th, 2010

Dear Friend with Sick Baby on Facebook,

I too am very relieved to hear that your baby survived his recent harrowing ordeal with a very grave illness.  I thought of you often while you were with your baby in the hospital and I hoped that you had extra smart doctors, extra attentive nurses, and the full benefit of all the most recent medical breakthroughs to help your baby get better.  I followed your updates with concern on Facebook and was glad to hear about the eventual turn-around in your infant’s well being, how he gradually improved and is now home and continuing with a steady recovery.  Yay!

Unfortunately, I feel that I must inform you that your insistence that ‘God’ is the reason your child has recovered is not only faulty logic, but demeaning to all the people who were legitimately involved in the care and cure of your child.  I find it strange that you incessantly refer to this ‘God’ of yours as being the primary reason that your baby is well again and that the ‘prayers’ of your friends are the main reason that your child recovered so quickly.  None of this could possibly be true – or if it is true, your ‘God’ must be an asshole.

Case in point #1  – Over 30,000 children die everyday in the developing world from starvation and malnutrition related diseases.  I am sure that many people pray for these kids as well, and yet they continue to drop like flies.  Why would the ‘God’ who saved your baby from a very complicated illness by making sure he had access to all the advantages of modern medicine, allow over 30,000 babies in the third world to die from simple lack of food?

Case in point #2 – Prayer has been proven over and over and over again to be completely ineffective.  Patients who are prayed for in double blind studies do no better than patients who receive nary a single prayer.  In fact, some studies on prayer show that it actually decreases a patients likelihood for full recovery because it increases a patient’s anxiety which can wreak havoc with the healing process.

Case in point #3 – If you are so positive that the prayers of your friends to a ‘God’ are what cured your son, perhaps you should organize those same people to pray for those starving kids in the third world.  If it truly works, there should me a marked drop in the occurrence of malnutrition related deaths among children within a matter of days (hours even!).  I am positive that if the number of dead children from starvation went from 30,000 to say 10,000 it would be a newsworthy event and we would certainly hear about it (especially at Christmas!).

Case in point #4 – Prayer and ‘God’ did not cure your baby.  Modern medicine did.  Thank your child’s doctors.  Thank your child’s nurses.  Thank the medical research team who invented the drugs.  Thank the engineers who created the diagnostic machines and tiny tools used in pediatric medicine.  Thank the hospital administrators who hired the brilliant surgeons who saved your kid.  Thank the janitors who kept the hospital sanitized.  Thank the ambulance drivers, the secretarial staff, the cafeteria ladies, the guy who stocked the vending machines, there are thousands of people to thank for creating and maintaining a place where sick babies can get better.

But please don’t thank the imaginary deity who only lives in your head and in the pages of a stupid, cruel book.

Remember what the bible says about kids…?

Deutoronomy 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me…

Hmmmmmmmm……

That doesn’t really sound like a God who gives a fickwicket about kids….

Or maybe all those 30,000 kids in the developing world had great, great, great grandpas who hated your God and they deserve to starve to death?

Which would bring us right back to my working theory of…

If there is a God

That God must be an asshole.

Honestly glad your baby is better,

Rechelle

Comments

  • Mike K:

    “If there is a God

    That God must be an asshole.”

    -amen

  • susan:

    Oh, wow Rechelle. If only more people would apply that logic. The lack of such is what so disturbs me when all those platitudes about how prayer and God saved their loved one, friend, etc. I think how can these people conveniently dismiss all the horrors that befall those that are not as fortunate as being “God’s will”. Sickening I say.

  • ilovecress:

    I was at a wedding once, where the groom thanked God for his recovery after a long illness.

    Then came the speech from his Doctor (who was now a famiily friend) who genuinely asked the groom if he thought that his 9 years medical training had anything to do with it.

    Quality silence ensued….

    • M C:

      That doctor had to be a real asshole to make that comment at a wedding

      • priscilla:

        Not as big an asshole as the groom

      • Christine from Canada:

        Disagree with you M C. We need MORE of this kind of thing. Let the religious nutjobs (or even the twice-a-year moderates) tsk-tsk in the car ride home, gab on the phone about it the next day, and discuss it at the dinner table!

        Makes them, oh, I don’t know, THINK about how silly it all is.

        Ever since I came out as an atheist, I find people “apologizing” for their religious practices. Good. I’m glad.

        • M C:

          But it was a WEDDING. Not a time to stand up and make a point.

          • M C:

            Especially as thanking God doesn’t necessarily rule out the doctor’s contribution. I told my husband about the comment (med student)–he didn’t even think about the God aspect and just said, “Wow, what an egotistical asshole.”

          • Rechelle:

            Aw shoot M C – It ‘s the people who are willing to say outrageous things at weddings and funerals and baptisms and Thanksgiving dinner who make life interesting. I wish more people would speak their minds. It staves off boredom and keeps the phonies in check.

          • jalf:

            So you think a wedding is a good time for the groom to insult his friends and guests, then?

            You’re right, a wedding isn’t the best time to make a point like that, which is why the groom shouldn’t have done it. He was the one who stood up and made a point, that “at this wedding is a doctor who studied 9 years, and who treated me when I was ill… I don’t think he had anything to do with my recovery”.

            If the groom wants to make a statement like that *about his guests, at his own damn wedding, I can’t really blame the guest in question for objecting.

          • Christine from Canada:

            Depends on “how” the doctor made his point. If he jumped up, arms flaying, face crimson, voice bellowing, then yeah, you’ve got a point. However, if the guy, calmly and with a smile on his face, mentioned his years of medical training, then the asshole is the groom.

        • Sally:

          Why in the world would anyone apologize for their religious practices – oh, I get it, their not religious. :(

  • Erin:

    Not speaking for everyone, but personally when I (and my family) thank God for a loved one’s healing, we thank him for the great abilities of the doctors and nurses. Their role is never ignored.

    Similarly (relating to a post you made a long time ago that I never had a chance to respond), when we prayed before sporting events (I went to Catholic school) – especially the prayer over the PA prior to football games – we did not pray for our own victory, but more that no one would be injured.

    But I know others do not exactly pray the same way.

    • jalf:

      “Not speaking for everyone, but personally when I (and my family) thank God for a loved one’s healing, we thank him for the great abilities of the doctors and nurses. Their role is never ignored.”

      Isn’t it? Do the doctors and nurses know about this? If not, I’d say it *is* ignored pretty blatantly.

      Have you considered maybe saying thanks *to the doctors and nurses themselves*?

      Do you also thank the garbage man for the delicious meal you ate at a restaurant last week? Do you thank the astronauts at NASA for education your children are getting? Do you thank a random stranger in India for your paycheck?

      Maybe I’m alone in this, but I think it usually makes more sense to thank the person who did something for you.

      If you eat a good meal at a restaurant, thank the chef. If your children are getting a good education, thank their teachers. And if a doctor treats you, thank the doctor.

      If lightning strikes a person you hate, or if you wake up one morning and discover that you can fly, *then* thanking God might be in order.

      • Spinny:

        jaif: If lightning strikes a person you hate, or if you wake up one morning and discover that you can fly, *then* thanking God might be in order.

        I can’t be alone in finding this totally awesome and amusing, can I?

        • Heidi:

          What a coincidence – lightning struck my mother in law just last week and I immediately dropped to my knees to thank the Good Lord Above.

          But I happen to be one of those people who DOES send thank you notes and Christmas gifts to our doctor and tell our wait staff they are doing an excellent job, and even buy gifts for our high school teachers.

          I have NOT however contacted NASA to thank them for their contributions; which I really should do because I loved those Space Food Sticks they used to make when we were kids.

    • Joel Wheeler:

      when I … thank God for a loved one’s healing, we thank him for the great abilities of the doctors and nurses. Their role is never ignored.

      Not ignored, just attributed to Someone Else. Actually worse.

    • So Erin,
      When you thank God for a loved one’s healing and provide thanks for the great abilities of the doctors and nurses, do you consider that possibly said physicians and nurses came to the table with an intellect, a set of values independent of a God or religion that would guide their practice, and an education that instilled in them a desire to care for people? What does God have to do with the care provided to patients? In reality, nothing. I practice within a well-defined scope of practice, based on patient preferences, quality measures, and best practices in nursing and health care. It has NOTHING to do with a fucking GOD to whom people pray. It has EVERYTHING to do with my level of education and values of social justice, beneficence, and autonomy that I try to uphold as a professional nurse. Thus, patient outcomes for my patients are excellent, as documented by science….

  • Yeah this is sorta kinda one of the reasons I shut down my Facebook account a year ago.
    On another note, I’m going to try to slip the word fickwicket into every conversation I have for the rest of my life.

    • Rechelle:

      I was poking around facebook today and I stumbled onto a distant relatives and he had all sorts of sarcastic, upbeat, witty people commenting on his space. I was so, so, so jealous. I want his friends!

      As to fickwicket – I wish there was a job for people who liked to make up words cuz I could totally do that job.

      • JJ:

        Politicians, special education teachers ( I had a supervisor who was REALLY good at it – made the words sound so damn professional)
        diagnostician, medicine “namer” ( I am just not that creative) are just some of the many professions that do require this word design ability…

      • Michelle:

        Rechelle, I was a product namer. I mostly made up names for soaps and beauty products. You might enjoy it!

  • Kay in KCMO:

    The thing is if these people really believed that it was their god that saved their baby then they’d be Christian Scientists. If they or their baby gets sick again, I suggest that they forgo science and instead stay home and pray. Think they’ll do that? Nah.

  • Did they also thank their deity for their child becoming ill in the first place? This is the same question I always have for those pro sports players who thank their god for their win, but never for their losses. This, to me, always leads to certain hilarity – that is, if they win, it’s because they prayed hard enough, and if they didn’t, if was because they failed to do so. The most honest thing I’ve ever seen related to this was that football player who tweeted a rant to god about dropping what would surely have been a game-winning (or at least game-leading) pass, by asking if this is what he got in return for all his praise.

    Why yes. It certainly seems to be.

  • Marilyn:

    Right before I read Rechelle Unplugged, I read http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/. I choose “life in grace.”

    • I’m not sure I understand. Do you mean to say you’d rather read that ‘life in grace’ blog than this one?

    • Rechelle:

      That whole fire story screams poe to me. Whoever writes that blog sure knows the lingo to make Christians salivate and quite possibly open their wallets wide. Just be careful is all I’m saying.

      • Anon.:

        Screams poe? You don’t believe the fire actually happened? You don’t believe she lost her home?

        • Rechelle:

          There’s something about that blog… they way the Christian lingo is so carefully placed… let’s just say that if I wanted to scam people… the first thing I would do would be to go to church, because Christians are extra naive and believe that they must help people even if their minds are screaming at them that they are being played. Why would she put her sister’s address on the internet? That seems strange to me for a group of people (Christians) who are generally extra paranoid. Secondly – she claims that they are well provided for, but she still gives an address for people to send what I am assuming would be cash. Thirdly – the way that the link appeared on my blog is a bit suspect – coming from a ‘reader’ who is attempting to rally people to check out a blog because it is the exact opposite of this blog. If you just think about it for only a nano-second, it seems a bit fishy.

          • Anon.:

            I’m totally onboard with you about Ree, but I believe Edie is on the up-and-up.

            (I was surprised to see the link to her blog here, though. She’s probably being talked about quite a bit at the moment in blogland.)

    • Anon.:

      I love Edie’s blog.

      One of the things she has posted about is the doctrine of vocation, and how God uses the vocation of people, including people like doctors, nurses, janitors, etc. to do His work.

      (I recommend Gene Edward Veith’s book on the topic, God at Work.)

      • Rechelle:

        See – you just did it too. You just attempted to sell something on my blog. I am thinking that you are working my readers.

        • Anon.:

          Haha. No, not at all. I just thought it was a fast, easy read about vocation. (I thought you liked book recommendations.)

      • Nancy:

        Soooo…what are those atheist doctors (my son) and nurses doing? Give me a break.

      • As a nurse and nursing educator, I am insulted that someone would suggest my career is a medium for God’s work. I provide quality care to patients to promote health at the individual, family, and community level and I educate nursing students to eventually do the same: provide safe and quality nursing care. It has nothing to do with a God or religion.

        • I think I love you <3

  • Awesome! I agree with your observations 100%.

    My brother was diagnosed in August with lung cancer. I gave up being a Christian shortly after you, Rechelle, so praying for his recovery hasn’t been an option. Instead, his investigation & research led him to a doctor who has put him on a test medication that has shrunk his tennis ball-sized tumor over 90% and his affected lymph nodes over 50%! Hooray for advances in medical *science*!

    This brother’s oldest daughter, was diagnosed with breast cancer 1-1/2 weeks after my brother got his bad news. Again, modern medical science is healing her, and the ancient practice of acupuncture is keeping nausea at bay.

    Prayer has nothing to do with it. Positive attitude & science does!

  • The step-son of one of my coworkers was recently severely injured in a snowmobiling accident. If I were to say I’d pray for his recovery, that would be the same thing as saying “it’s a good thing God let that snowmobile throttle ice up! Now he can show off and heal your step-son. Those doctors and nurses? All for show.”

    Instead I can ask about his progress, and listen, and let him know I care and hope everything goes well. It’s what I’d want to hear from people if something horrible happened to anyone in my family.

  • Diane Tulsa:

    The same people who claim God answered their prayers by healing their loved ones will also agree that this God has a “plan” for everyone’s life. They also claim God is omniscient. So, why would it do any good to ask hundreds of people to pray for the sick baby? Is God indecisive? Does he NOT know everything, including what will happen in the future? Do humans really have the power to persuade GOD with numbers(of people praying), and once critical mass of prayer is reached, God changes his mind and heals the baby? If they really followed their own logic to its conclusion, prayer is POINTLESS as a means of effecting outcome, as God, by their very definition, already knows what he’s got planned for every sick baby, and that plan is PERFECT.
    I wonder how all the parents who pray and their baby dies anyway justify it?

    • Yeah, that “God has a ‘plan’” one just slays me. What a poor excuse.

  • Nancy:

    If God saved her baby, then who is healing all the atheists???

  • Rechelle, I love this post beyond words. When my daughter was sick and hospitalized 2 straight Springs in a row, I had so many people saying useless prayers for us. I imagine it was their way of doing something, but I personally think their time could have been better spent on doing something actually beneficial for our family.

    When my daughter finally came home from the hospital (complete with an IV still in her arm, giving her round the clock antibiotics to cure her infection) there were countless “Praise God” messages in my inbox. For me it felt like the biggest slap in the face. My child was sick. A wonderful bunch of doctors and nurses along with the latest medical technology saved my child, not prayer, not god, not even all of the people who were thinking of us. I understand people feel the need to do something and prayer always seems to be front and center, and in my mind an easy out. “We prayed for you every night.” Oh yeah, prove it. Then prove it did one ounce of good. But how do you tell someone to not even bother wasting their time, especially when emotions are running high anyway?

    • Alison:

      You don’t. You’re thankful that you have people in your life that care about and are thinking of you. Even if you don’t think their prayers are going anywhere, you should still be grateful that someone is thinking about you and hoping for the best when you’re hurting. I think that telling someone you prayed for them is a way of saying that you feel helpless in the situation, but want them to know that you want the best outcome for them.

  • Yep. Life is random. It throws the good and the bad our way. But a life without God? If not God, then what? How? Sure, I’ll concede that believing in God is a long shot, but not nearly as long as believing there isn’t.

    • jalf:

      Come again? if not God, then no God. Simple as that.

      Do you also believe that a teapot is orbiting the sun? It’s a long shot, but hey, according to your logic, not nearly as long as believing it’s false.

      A thousand years ago, believing in God was a long shot, but *not* believing left too many questions unanswered, so you could argue that it was “not nearly as long as believing there is no god”.

      Today? Believing in God *creates* questions that need to be answered. It no longer answers them.

      Believing in God means we have to sort out a million conflicts between what science tells us and what the Bible tells us. Either we have to come up with answers to why all our science is wrong (and, not least, why it still *works*, if it is wrong. How does all our technology keep ticking away, if it is based on falsehoods?), or we have to explain away why God has been lying to us in the Bible.

      We no longer need God to explain anything.

      So no, believing that there is no god is the natural conclusion. It is not a long shot.

      What about it do you consider to be “a long shot”? Which questions do you feel it leaves unanswered?

  • Nancy:

    I live deep in the Bible Belt (not by choice) and have been prayed for, prayed at, and put on prayer lists. I gave up beating my head against the brick wall of southern Christian logic and now view them the same way that I view people who carry a lucky rabbit’s foot or a four leaf clover. It’s all just superstition and has the same effectiveness. I have a sister-in-law that prays for my soul nightly whose time would be much better spent just being kind to others, something she struggles with. I have to roll my eyes and ignore it. I do, however, have to open my big mouth when people use their religion to judge, harm, scare,and intimidate others – and that’s all too often. Idiots.

  • Iconoclast:

    There is no god and I am his prophet.

  • km:

    my son’s pediatric cardiac surgeon IS a god to us:) Thank you Harvard and Yale, and all he and his parents’ dollars, for producing a gifted doctor.

  • I once saw a cartoon which really affected me (and of course now that I want to reference it I can’t find it again), which depicted god relaxing in an armchair watching a TV on which was this image: http://pasturescott.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/starving-child.jpg

    If a god exists that can blandly allow that kind of misery, he’s a psychopathic asshole and certainly not worthy of worship. It’s really a lot more comforting to realize that there’s no god at all.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    If I ever have cancer and people want to start praying for me, I think I’ll post on Facebook: “Please don’t pray for me, but you can do my laundry.” (wash dishes, clean toilets, whatever)

    My eyes still hurt from all the rolling at Facebook posts and family comments these past two holiday weeks. Keep CHRIST in Christmas. Come to Jesus. Jesus reason for the season. God has a plan. Even some of my favorite in-laws, who married Catholic and converted, discussing how many Masses you have to attend at Christmas to “count.” Ugh.

    • Nikki, those facebook posts just about did me in this year. I saw so many posts about putting ‘God back in America’ (was God deported or something?) and keeping ‘Christmas about Christ’ that I seriously thought about shutting down my fb account all together. Luckily, I remembered the hide feature, so I don’t have to read it anymore.

      • Love and Laughter,Amy:

        they don’t let God in anymore. He was traveling while brown…

  • Carol the long winded:

    I frequent a message board that was created to snark on quiverful, dominionist Christians. One of the blogs that is followed is someone everyone actually likes – single mom, a couple of adopted kids (one with down’s) who is upbeat and not “Y’all are going to hell.” So a collection was taken at the snark site to give her kids presents. On her blog she specifically said “THese wonderful people did this for me” with no mumbo jumbo about Jesus putting these folks in her life etc. Almost every post that followed was “See how God provides!”
    Even after she said “THese people are providing. ”

    Of course, I’m the one that went off on a christianist blog for the christianist being sanctimonious, better than thou kinda cat..

    BTW, on a different blog than this, an athiest ran a campaign to match funds to folks who needed them, ended up with over $42,000 given. Has PW ever used her power to do something similar? Just curiions.

    • Sally:

      Yes, she did a while back (I believe it was relief in Haiti).

      • Bridget:

        One time. She almost never uses her blog to raise money for charities unlike most popular blogs. She just has giveways which convinces her followers what a good and giving person she is.

  • annmarie:

    The only thing that concerns me about these comments is that some people here have had the experience that people who pray do nothing but pray and never offer anything but prayer. I pray, but I think of myself as a pretty good friend and neighbor and citizen and when I can do something, I do it. I give money, time, food,talent ( what limited talent I have) whatever is called for. And I don’t just do it for friends, I do it for anyone I can, I don’t care if I know the person. I’m kind of sad that no one here who has been told “I’ll pray for you” has not also been given actual help in the form of money, meals, etc, all that stuff that is needed when going through crisis. Trust me, there are people who pray who also act on it, who come through in a pinch, who pull together, who are there in the most practical of ways. They are out there. I know because I’ve been on the receiving end of it. As far as the whole putting the Christ in Christmas thing, yes, it is true, many Christians are of the less than stellar IQ level, but if you look and keep your eyes open there intelligent ones too. They are usually less vocal, but they exist. I know many stupid atheists, but I don’t blame their stupidity on their atheism. Some people are just stupid because.

    • I agree, Annmarie. Personally, I like to read blogs even if I don’t agree with the authors, which happens to be the case with Rechelle’s blog. (In my opinion, I think there’s a difference between religion and theism. I personally disagree with atheism because it means having NO faith.) I also want to note that Edie of the aforementioned blog, Life in Grace, is a former physician who gave up practice to stay home – not sure why exactly? But it’s her life I guess. I discovered both Edie’s and Rechelle’s blogs through their posts about their lovely homes.

      • jalf:

        I have faith in a lot of things. Just not gods.

        And to me, it’s not so much a question of what I “agree with”, but simply what I think is true. I don’t think there is a god, and that makes me an atheist, regardless of what else I agree with.

        Just like *if* I believed in God, it wouldn’t really matter whether or not he was “good”. If he existed, then I’d believe in him, even if he was the most evil-minded mean-spirited baby-killing monster there ever is. Even if he condemned me and everyone I ever cared about to hell for all eternity. I might not *agree* with him, but as long as I thought he existed, that’s what I’d believe in.

        And Annmarie, I think the point you’re missing is that people who *say* “I’ll pray for you” put it at the forefront. This, out of all the contributions they make, or could make, is the one they feel is worth singling out and mentioning.

        Getting help from someone is great, *even* if they also pray for you, but thinking you’re doing someone a favor specifically by praying for them is silly.

        • annmarie:

          Hi jalf,

          Personally, I only tell someone I will pray for them if I absolutely, positively know for certain they think prayer is useful and if I absolutely, positively mean it, because here’s the thing – and, yes, this is true because people joke about it all the time – when people say they will pray for you, about nine times out of ten, they forget to, which is why I never believe any of those reports about whether prayer works or not. Someone is going to comment about how that is not true, or how they always prayer when they say they will, but they are full of it. It’s one of those things I joke about all the time with my friends and the reason we laugh about it is because it isso true. So instead of rolling your eyes next time someone says they will pray for you, ask them “oh, really, when are you going to do it? Now, or tonight, should I call you to remind you?” People’s prayer lives just are not as full as you are being led to believe. I still disagree with the sentiment that people who say it first and put it at the forefront don’t do anything beyond that. I’ve seen too many people being helped to actually believe it. And if it is silly to say it, hey big deal. People do so many silly things in their lives. For example, I just spent five minutes responding to you and for what? I could have been taking care of my kids who are now arguing about God knows what. I suppose I should go see what the fuss is all about, but I’ll probably go waste more time on the computer. Silliness abounds.

          • jalf:

            I never said people who say they’ll pray for you don’t do anything beyond that (that’s too big a generalization, even for me ;)). It just irks me when people think the prayer by itself is something worth highlighting. Why do I need to know that you’ll pray? If someone thinks that prayer will help, then I can’t stop them from praying, and if people want to do something *tangible* for me, then that’s great and I’ll be grateful.

            But *saying* that you’ll pray for me scores you no points. So why say it? (and while I’m not exactly an expert on the Bible, I seem to recall a few passages saying that you shouldn’t pray in public or flaunt how holy you are, or something like that. Seems like God doesn’t want you to talk about how much you pray either)

            I guess the prayer itself seems like a valid way to help if you believe in God, and “real” physical help (say, doing my laundry) is always helpful regardless of what you believe in. But *saying* that you’ll pray? What’s the point?

            Why do I need to know, and why do you need to tell me? And if you did something *else* for me, wouldn’t you rather tell me that instead?

            Just my $0.02

  • Sherry:

    A few years ago I was listening to a radiothon on my way to work. Some mom was thanking god that whatever organ her child needed for a transplant came just in time to save her precious child. Hallelujah, what a blessing etc etc. I was yelling at the radio as I drove, “Lady! Someone else’s child had to die! You’re thankful god killed someone else’s child so yours could live?!”

  • Nancy:

    Anyone remember Sally Field in that Saturday Night Live skit from years ago? She prayed for EVERYTHING…”Lord, please guide my hands as I crack these eggs to spare my family shells in their pancakes..”…”Jesus, please watch over my husband as he backs out of the driveway and help him to avoid the trash cans…” finally Jesus appears in her kitchen and tells her to give it a rest. Hilarious!

    • I remember that! It was a sketch called “Obsessive Praying”. Someone probably has it somewhere on youtube.

  • Bridget:

    This reminds me of the story of a man living in a town that was flooding. At first the water was only at his steps and a truck came by to pick him up and take him away from the flood waters. His response,” No go on. The lord will save me.”

    In a couple of days that water levels continued to increase, and now the man was forced into the highest part of the house. When the rescuers came by in a boat, the man wouldn’t let them help him. Instead he said, “I don’t need any help. The lord will provide and save me.”

    Finally the water levels got so high the man was forced to the top of house and was hanging on to his chimney to avoid being swept away in the flood waters. The rescuers had to come in a helicopter to try to save him, and still he wouldn’t go. Claiming that the lord would save him.

    The man died in the flood and when he go to heaven he asked god why didn’t you save in the flood? And god answered: first I sent a truck, then I send a boat, and then I sent a helicopter. What else did you need?”

    I just like this story as answer to those people that attribute a life being saved or healed all thanks to god. And they miss the point that we are all just simply fragments of a god like energy force. An energy force that connections us all together as human beings, as beings on this planet, and that connections us to all sentient beings on this planet.

    The god that saved their child was the god force, or the simple humanity inside of the nurses and doctors who went to school and work hard to heal and cure sick people. God’s miracles are actually the drugs and procedures discovered and developed by researchers.

    Right now. Each person is actively involved in turning our world into either heaven or hell by their actions and their words. Each of us is god. Or a piece of god. (My beliefs are strongly influenced by Buddhist theology) So the nurses and doctors that saved that boy’s lives are simply god pieces doing their best to make this world a little more peaceful, calm, and joyous.

    If we could see the god pieces in each other, see ourselves reflected in others imagine how much easier it would be show respect and compassion to each other, to our environment, to the beings sharing our planet. Instead many believe that this is a made sky god that is more important than anything that we have here on earth.

    • Emily:

      I like that story better with the alternate ending.

      The man asks god why he wasn’t rescued, and god answers, “who do you think sent the flood?”

      • Bridget:

        Emily: I don’t understand what the alternate ending is suppose to suggest. Can you please explain?

        • Rechelle:

          I get it! I get it! It means that the dude who is waiting for God to save him from the flood fails to realize that the same God sent the flood because you know God – always sending floods and hurricanes and shit.

          • Bridget:

            Oh yeah I forgot that god is always sending those things to punish the wicked, the godless, and the sinners.

    • JJ:

      My Uncle – who was a preacher- introduced me to this story and used it often in church, when the message “get up and get off your butt to do something about it” was needed.

  • Hey, Rechelle, here’s something to keep in mind: you should probably wrap up your blog by May 21, because that’s the newest end of the world as we know it. Alas, it doesn’t say if zombies are involved. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40885541/ns/us_news-life

  • Joel Wheeler:

    Rechelle, my sweet, it would seem that you have ALREADY FORGOTTEN that the True Believer™ must give thanks to God for Absolutely Everything.

    My brother had a Baptist wedding last January. I will never forget the first prayer of the weekend, on a Friday night before the rehearsal, just after all family had arrived. It was led by the Baptist minister, and began like this:

    “Lord, we just come before You this evening to thank You for bringing everyone together safely… Lord, we thank You for safety…”

    I shit you not, he thanked the Lord for SAFETY itself… you know, just the very idea of being safe. My partner still jokes about it all the time.

  • Leah:

    Do you know what the difference is between God and doctors? God knows He’s not a doctor. :)

    • Joel Wheeler:

      Very clever! What does it mean?

      Are you suggesting that all doctors perceive themselves as God, or that God doesn’t actually help to heal people? It’s kind of confusing.

      Daniel Dennett calls this kind of thing a “deepity”.

      • Charles:

        I think it means that doctors don’t know they’re not doctors. Food for thought ….

        • Charles:

          It could also mean that doctors don’t know that God is not a doctor.

    • jalf:

      Interesting. So if I spend less than a decade at medical school, I’ll learn skills that even an omnipotent and omniscient God doesn’t have? That’s pretty cool.

      I should’ve become a doctor, I guess.

  • Bridget:

    I needed to come here and scream that Christians are fucking idiots. I was just talking to a friend who has incurred a serious tradgey in her life and the Christians in her life are telling her to offer forgiveness to the man who destroyed her family. Saying that god offers love to everyone and we as humans cannot fathom his love for every sinner. We are all sinner in his eyes. It just pisses me off.

    • Rechelle:

      Even when I was a Christian I struggled with forgiving people for unforgivable acts. If the person responsible for the tragedy is interested in forgiveness, he/she should spend his life trying to earn it by re-building what he/she has destroyed or working in a capacity that generally helps to make the world better in some way that is connected to what he/she destroyed. This would be far more beneficial than an umbrella absolution from the parties who have suffered from the heinous act. That forgiveness that they would give means nothing anyway, but working to fix what you have broken is meaningful. Surely there is a simpler way to state what I just said. What’s that word that means working for forgiveness?

      • Bridget:

        I had a hard time explaining why what they are saying is pissing me off. I am all for forgiveness. It is hard to hold on to hurt and anger. I think what is pissing me off is that they are suggesting that some how this man’s “sin” of rape is some how the same as another person’s “sin” of lying or stealing. And that this man is still able to receive forgiveness, redemption, and saving from jesus and that my friend should open her heart to him finding salvation through Christ. Suggesting that she should pray for him. To me is just seems to so smug to offer bullshit advice like this. It angers me in ways that I can’t seem to put into words. Thank you for letting me come here to scream about fuckstick Christians. I don’t think that only Christians are fucksticks but in this case they are drawing my ire.

        • Bridget:

          Also I guess forgiveness is the wrong word. I think what I meant to say is coming to an understanding that you did not ask for this person to hurt you. That I did nothing wrong and at some point I need work on healing so the person doesn’t continue to wreck my life. And I have had someone close to me do something unforgivable to me and it wasn’t so much about forgiveness for that person, but loving myself and showing compassion and forgiveness towards myself. My trusted church leader told me that was unchristian of me, but it felt right to me and that seemed to matter most. What I needed to get through and I told my friend to do the same. Do what she needs to get through this time and not what others think is the right thing to do.

          • Joel Wheeler:

            Feeling you here, Bridget. Your frustration is with the core Christian doctrine: it’s not what you’ve done, but what you believe that will Save you. And absolutely anyone can believe in Jesus, even total assholes and rapists.

          • Bridget:

            That is it Joel it doesn’t matter what anyone does. Just as long as a person believes in Jesus then all is forgiven and they are saved. Bullshit.

      • JJ:

        Atonement – I have always told my kids that it is not always good enough to just say sorry. Too often sorry is said without much meaning behind it – if they are truly sorry they need to atone – make up for, work towards righting the wrong…
        Also, too many think forgiveness should just be a given. While I believe in forgiveness – much for the good it does for the person hurt – just to let go – I feel a sorry is more sincere if the person indicates that he /she knows forgiveness may not be forthcoming, but they still try to atone for it. I have talked with my kids about how, once a hurt has been done, once trust has been lost it takes much more than an I am sorry to make up for it. If trust is lost, it is a b**** to earn back.
        I am always suspicious of someone – a rapist, murderer, etc. who jumps on the “Jesus saved me” band wagon, now YOU should forgive me attitude. That shows me they really do not see the harm that they have done. Likewise a pastor should understand that forgiveness is not simple or easy; any attitude of how” unchristian of you” shows the pastor lack of sincerity.

        • Bridget, I get totally what you’re saying. It pisses me off, too. It’s been said here before, but I’ll state it once more – the felons who think they should be “redeemed” because they’ve found Jesus. Karla Faye Tucker comes to mind.

          Not even in the same vein as what you’re talking about, but my husband will NEVER hire someone anymore who displays the Christian “fish” symbol on their business cards, ads, etc. He says it’s an excuse to screw you over, because they are “forgiven.” Just another lame excuse. Hubby’s theory seems hold true….

  • Would that sound the same if we replaced “Christian ‘fish’” with any other religion and/or ethic group? Indeed it would…

    • Bridget:

      Lucy’s husband has every right to make a personal decision for himself who he wants to work with or not. It is as simple as that. I won’t eat at Chick a fila because they support anti homosexual groups. I am a bigot against religious beliefs that are anti homosexuality.

      • I’m not sure, but it would appear that discriminating against an entire religion, race, ethnic group, etc. based on limited experience or interactions might not be such a great thing. Scale it up and you get some pretty ugly actions/events. Also, I don’t think boycotting a business due to an injustice is the same as discrimination.