Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Facebook exchange

My mother:
Charlie and i said a prayer of thanks giving for the Doctors and the hospital staff that pulled Norm out of this and more prayers to get him the rest of the way through this. Charlotte needs our "thoughts" also. The Lord put her in the right

I'm satisfied that you and Charlie have recognized that Norm would not have survived without the staff at the hospital. And because of modern science and the advancement of modern medicine he did not die. But that was not always true, and even today people die of this kind of injury because they don't get to the hospital in time. For example: Natasha Richardson died in March in a ski accident. Another example is Sonny Bono in 1998 died of head injuries in a ski accident.

A few minutes later another post.

My cousin:
I praise God for the doctors that had a hand in Norm's recovery. I don't believe that it would have happened without our prayers. I know from experience that the "critical hour" is very important in the outcome of these kind of injuries. As with Kim (another relative with a head injury), everything fell into place, and all the doctors and nursing staff where where they should have been to make this happen. That is God's hand!

I respectively disagree. There are many people who never make it to the hospital and die because of it. It happens to mothers of small children, old people, successful people, doctors who save lives, homeless people, and to ordinary people like me. It's random and tragic when people die because they didn't get to a hospital soon enough. It's also wonderful and inspiring when people do, that I will agree.

It's hard for me to process that people still think in this childish, backward, superstitious way. What do they think when other people have stories of family members who die because they don't get to a hospital soon enough? That God had a hand it it? That God saved their relative but didn't save the other person's because he wasn't important enough? How horrible is that? There's a huge disconnect to their way of thinking, as if they only think of their own situations and when death happens to others God isn't involved or that horrible excuse of "working in mysterious ways."

Most of my extended family is undereducated and their world is very, very small. They need a higher power looking out for them or else their little world becomes bigger and scarier. And heaven forbid if you rock their little world with a suggestion that their lives are random and meaningless. As I've mentioned before, I've been blocked by relatives and I've been disowned by some just because I disagree with them. My reply? "Whatever!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I really heard this today

My very Catholic friend said today as I was explaining the Flying Spaghetti Monster concept to a group of people: "I'm not totally convinced we came from monkeys..."

Unfortunately I wasn't able and really had no interest in explaining how we know evolution did happen to humans.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The power of prayer...

Lately there’s been a flurry of activity within my religious family. An uncle has required several surgeries to survive and the family has rallied around my aunt for support. When I mistakenly thought my uncle had been life-flighted to Houston I called my aunt to offer my home and services to help her, which she appreciated and acknowledged. But this post isn’t about that, it’s about the craziness these super-religious people engage in when a crisis happens in their lives.

The first wave of emails (which I was surprisingly included) stated the nature of the injury and first attempt towards the recovery of my uncle. Seems my elderly uncle went four-wheeling and had a fall several days ago. While on a driving trip he experienced slurring speech and vomiting which prompted my aunt to take him to a hospital immediately. The injury was so severe that he was life-flighted to a bigger hospital that could handle this type of surgery. This email also included this request:


I got this email several time during the day, which is alright. My family is a bit computer illiterate and can’t be bothered to read the “sent to” list at the top of the email. A trait I find that seems to be synonymous with religiosity. (Sorry, I’m snarky right now.)

The next email states that my uncle’s condition has not improved and he has gone through another surgery. Another prayer request goes out:


As the day progresses I get emails from a different person. Although this person is also religious, she doesn’t invoke prayer requests or God/Jesus in anyway. She just reports the facts. Refreshing.

But the other aunt, the one that goes bullshit for God, sends the last email. This one I get from several other relatives first that my uncle is recovering nicely but she can’t stand that she doesn’t know whether I’m getting them or not, so she sends this exact same email directly to me. I’m honored and I know why it was so important that I got it directly:


This is the email in its entirety. No mention of the doctors and nurses. No mention of the science and medical advances. No mention of my aunt who had the foresight of getting my uncle to the hospital as soon as possible which saved his life. I wanted to email a snarky answer to her but I blocked her emails instead. That felt good.

Tina’s world is getting better and better.

(Note: this super religious aunt is Janice's mother. See yesterday's post. Also I found her email in my spam folder so she might have sent it to me when she sent it out to everyone else. How my name got on her email list I'll never be certain but it seems dubious at best. It's the only email I've gotten from her in years. LOL)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My family and Facebook. Another rant.

Over the years, and I’ve documented much of this on my blog, I’ve had to deal with the religiosity of my family of origin and also that of my extended family. About 5 years ago there wasn’t anything in my life that caused me to claim my atheism. I didn’t believe in god and prayer and the religious nature of my family didn’t bother me. I guess I didn’t care enough to really notice. Then my father got very sick and died four months later. During his fight to live the religious craziness hit a crescendo. I felt I was among children with their wishful thinking and irrational requests.

Also during this time I was involved in an email list that my father had started up with our extended family. Everyone except me is super religious and conservative. It was about a month before Dad’s death that my sister was involved in a minor roll-over accident which she reported to the family via the email list. Now my sister is no dummy so I was surprised that she attributed the mildness of the accident to God/Jesus. Everyone agreed except me. I think I wrote something to the effect that God should have interfered about 30 seconds sooner to avoid the accident all together. Oh the shit storm that followed!

It wasn’t that bad I suppose, mostly reminders about mysterious ways and all, but one cousin was offended in the most profound way. The only way I can describe what she did to me through emails was what Xians call “witnessing.” This cousin, who I’ll call Janice, ended the brief exchange (which was filled with misspellings, bad grammar, and all text being capitalized) by blocking my emails to her with a statement that read “Since I have to have the last word I am now blocking you from answering me.” I wish I was kidding.

My father died the next week and the confrontation I had with her at the wake was ugly and disgusting. It was also orchestrated by her to get the maximum amount of Christian righteousness for herself front of my mother and her mother. In my silence, out of respect for my father, the Christians did damage to my good reputation.

I must add that I’ve never been close to my mother or father. It’s been a strained relationship ever since I can remember. As much as I wanted to be close to my sister, she has taken advantage of me for years and after my father died there was no reason to let it continue. She’s made it very clear she wants nothing to do with me now and I’m ok with that. My mother feels the same way. She has remarried, moved to another state, and is happy being closer to her new family than to her own children in TX. Whatever.

But this essay isn’t about my sister or my mother. I’ve withdrawn from them in a big way and they no longer have the power to make me feel small. This is about Janice, my super religious, fundamentalist, ultra-conservative, Christian whack-job cousin. She has blocked me on Facebook and I think she’s told my other relatives to ignore me as well. I feel victimized by her all over again. My lesson when I found out: I don’t like my family and I wish I could disown them.

There’s a happy ending to this story. I gathered all the names of those relatives who can’t find it in their little Christian hearts to friend me or at least make an effort to contact me and I blocked them. All of them and I felt good doing it. Now they won’t see me and I won’t see them. Out of sight, out of mind. Ahhhhh.

The world of Tina is right again.