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Religious offense - serious question...


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#1 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:18 PM

Ok, folks, I'd really like to get honest viewpoints and opinions from both theists and non-theists on this matter...

 

 

 

This is one of the few times I'm biting my tongue, where I would prefer to speak my mind. So I'm coming here, to not only speak my mind, but ask the even more important question - why should I have to bite my tongue? 

 

 

 

Here's my situation - my uncle suffered a massive heart attack last night. He's still considered critical, and his condition isn't really improving. Most of my family is very religious, so on the phone and online there has been much 'please pray for him' talk. Fine - that is what gives you comfort, and gives comfort to one another in time of pain in crisis. I get it - I really do. I don't knock it - seriously. Whatever makes you feel better, whatever comforts you, is what is good for you. 

 

Here's the issue - my mom has been updating his condition on facebook. Every single response so far has been 'prayers' and the like. I'm not religious, but I want to show my love and support. I make a comment along the lines of 'I hope he's got some good doctors that can do their best'. I'm not trying to be offensive or anti-religious in the slightest, but I'm not going to jump on the prayer bandwagon. 

 

A lady responded to my comment with 'the only doctor he needs is the Supreme Doctor of us all - god bless!' Several other people also chimed in to support her, in a nutshell saying 'all he needs is god, and god is the one who will save him'. 

 

 

 

*Religion aside for one moment, this pisses me right the hell off - it's a slap in the face to the crew of intelligent, highly trained doctors and technicians who quite literally have his heart, and thus his life, in their hands. I couldn't believe that it wasn't just one person that dismissed the humans working relentlessly to save his life.

 

 

 

My normal reaction would be to speak up. I'm not going to, because it's a tough time for my family right now, especially my mom and grandma - this week is the 15th(?) anniversary of when the most wonderful man I've ever known, my grandpa, passed, due to heart attacks/complications. 

 

 

 

So here's my question to you all - why is it (seemingly) acceptable for her to "correct" me, because of her beliefs, but it would not be acceptable for me to "correct" her, according to my own? Because she's the majority? Is that it? 

 

 

Am I just tired and cranky right now? This seems really lopsided to me. 

 



#2 MeOmYo

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:28 PM

It's a debate that you will never convince her of your side.  I'd think her response to whatever you say will be the same.  Not worth the debate.  Not worth the time and certainly doesn't help the situation with your uncle.  Just my opinion.



#3 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:34 PM

I'm not trying to convince her. I know a strongly convicted person when I see one, and I wouldn't bother having a theological discussion with her. 

 

 

I guess my question is - why would I (likely) get chastised or verbally jumped on if I did to her what she did to me? 



#4 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:37 PM

Are you familiar with moral courage? In the end, you do not have to bite your tongue. You make the decision to do so based on the battles (and the timing of them) you choose to fight. You are apparently out numbered in your view, and based off the timing of this event, it seems you're being kind and compassionate towards the feelings of your family members.

 

I commend you. For I, and many of you know this, do not have a filter as such. My moral courage to stand adverse to almost this entire community on several issues is a testament to that.



#5 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:49 PM

I am familiar with moral courage, yes. I too hold views that are in the minority, and I usually speak my mind. I always have. I am, however, learning more diplomatic ways of doing so. It's tough sometimes, because I'm a passionate person. 

 

Yes, I'm being considerate to my family. They know my views on religion, and I'm not going to start shit with their friends and loved ones. 

 

 

It's actually because of people like the first responder that is helping teach me to not be the same way. I see her and how she barfs out her absoluteness, and at first I laugh. Then I realize that I can very well do the same thing on my end. Neither does anyone any good. If I really cared about showing others what I thought, I would do so in a different way, because forcefulness doesn't convince anyone of anything. Tough, because it's easy for me be that way. 



#6 JBetty

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:13 PM


 

 

So here's my question to you all - why is it (seemingly) acceptable for her to "correct" me, because of her beliefs, but it would not be acceptable for me to "correct" her, according to my own? Because she's the majority? Is that it? 

 

 

 

No.  Because it's Facebook and people write a whole lot of stupid stuff there that they would never have the nerve to say directly to a person.

Then you get all the bandwagon jumpers and everything goes to shit.

Happens all the time.

 

 

I'm sorry about your uncle and hope that all turns out well.  :heart:



#7 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

Thanks JB. Still waiting for updates from mom. She has a dumdum landline and it's been busy all morning. 



#8 JBetty

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:52 PM

You're really getting the smack down these days, with your epic fail delivery and now your uncle.

Much :heart: to you.

Hope you get a break soon.   :smile:



#9 In A Silent Way

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:55 PM

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?

 

They mean well, and fortunately, the religious fanatics are not the ones providing the medical care.



#10 TEO

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:04 PM

Did she correct you or merely state her belief?



#11 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:07 PM

She corrected me. As in 'no, it's god that will heal him', when I said good luck to the doctors who would heal him. 



#12 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:08 PM

You're really getting the smack down these days, with your epic fail delivery and now your uncle.

Much :heart: to you.

Hope you get a break soon.   :smile:

 

<3  Moi aussi. 

 

 

Let's hope that whole 'comes in 3s' thing is hogwash. 



#13 TEO

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

Who will give the doctor's the gift of healing?

 

All best to your Uncle.



#14 u.s.blues

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

they are no more right correcting you than you are correcting them.  some things are worth arguing for, some are not.  



#15 Depends

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:12 PM

When they get better, it's god that heals them.  When they die, they sue the doctors.



#16 Depends

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:18 PM

I kinda side with IASW here.  You know you are right, but there is zero amount of facebook posts that will make them change their mind.  Rather than challenge them in a religious debate, you might want to tactfully (no advise on tact here) say that you are athiest, and would appreciate the same respect that you give to their views.



#17 hippieskichick

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:18 PM

Who will give the doctor's the gift of healing?

 

 

I know many who would say this same thing - that is fine, that's what you believe, and although I don't believe it, I don't have any problem with it. My answer to that would be brains and medical school. One could easily argue it's both. I can't disprove it, just as you can't prove it. 

 

But there are many who do indeed place it too much on beliefs. 

 

Personally, I prefer to have more faith in my own kind. I know what I am capable of doing, and there have been times when people have had faith in me, and what I could do. I try to extend that to them as well. 



#18 In A Silent Way

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 04:19 PM

She corrected me. As in 'no, it's god that will heal him', when I said good luck to the doctors who would heal him. 

 

And let's hope that luck has nothing to do with it. :cheesy:



#19 hoagie

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:58 PM

She corrected me. As in 'no, it's god that will heal him', when I said good luck to the doctors who would heal him. 

 

you should be wishing strength to his immune system, for that is what actually will be doing the healing, if you want to get technical.

 

And fwiw, maybe prayers actually work....ya never know!



#20 Karen

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 03:01 AM

Under different conditions or a different forum, I would debate her correction of your statement...  Since it was a public thread specifically about how he is doing, I would just ignore it.  To counter her statement in that forum puts the focus on you and her instead of him.   If you were in person having a chat with her and she said it?  Then that is a different story and I would freely share my thoughts with her on it.

 

Wishing him speedy healing <3



#21 Julius

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 05:44 AM

I'm very sorry about your uncle. And for what it's worth, you've got all my good vibes coming your way. 

 

"Faith healing" is a notion that only the most extreme religious people (Christian Scientists, many of them in my family, now all dead at very young ages) I've encountered actually buy into. That's really not the norm. Most of the faithful are quite aware that modern medicine is how people get cured.

 

But there is just no arguing against the faith angle. Faith trumps all and it's an exercise in futility to take the other side. 

 

It sounds like she means well and just has a very simple and rigid mind. 

 

I watched two cousins and a great aunt die because their faith was "anti-doctor." That's how powerful faith is and there sure isn't much sense to it. 



#22 JBetty

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:07 PM

How's he doing today, HSC?



#23 hippieskichick

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:23 PM

He's stable today. They had him in a medically induced coma to monitor his brain (not sure about stroke or brain damage). He's out now, and responding with basic hand commands. Hopefully ventilator gets taken out today <3

 

Something that makes me just as happy (if you saw my FB post last night...) is that in Indiana, where they just passed a big anti-gay law thing, the staff there let his partner stay in the ICU with him all night. Faith in humanity restored. It's little things like that, being able to be with your loved ones in time of need, that most of us completely take for granted, that his partner may not have been able to do in this case. 



#24 JBetty

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 02:26 PM

He's stable today. They had him in a medically induced coma to monitor his brain (not sure about stroke or brain damage). He's out now, and responding with basic hand commands. Hopefully ventilator gets taken out today <3

 

Something that makes me just as happy (if you saw my FB post last night...) is that in Indiana, where they just passed a big anti-gay law thing, the staff there let his partner stay in the ICU with him all night. Faith in humanity restored. It's little things like that, being able to be with your loved ones in time of need, that most of us completely take for granted, that his partner may not have been able to do in this case. 

 

 

That is great!   Sucks we need laws like that, though.

I wonder if his partner was female, would they have let her stay?

Not immediate family and not covered by the anti-gay law thing.   :dunno:



#25 Tim the Beek

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 03:50 PM

Good news. :)

As to the topic, I think often a <3 as a comment on FB is a fine thing...



#26 nikkiblue

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:12 PM

He's stable today. They had him in a medically induced coma to monitor his brain (not sure about stroke or brain damage). He's out now, and responding with basic hand commands. Hopefully ventilator gets taken out today <3

 

Something that makes me just as happy (if you saw my FB post last night...) is that in Indiana, where they just passed a big anti-gay law thing, the staff there let his partner stay in the ICU with him all night. Faith in humanity restored. It's little things like that, being able to be with your loved ones in time of need, that most of us completely take for granted, that his partner may not have been able to do in this case. 

 

That sounds positive...Answering commands is always a good sign. 

 

That old statement about never talking about politics or religion holds true.... and I never wanted to believe it.... Until I got in a FB debate with my own brother, and we are barely talking anymore because of it.  He 'unfriended' me because of my opinion, and I'm not sure if we can ever recover.  (One of the million reasons I disabled FB)  

To keep the peace, I would just let it go.  But I tend to get myself in trouble with my mouth... so thats just my opinion. 

And I hope your uncle feels better really soon. 



#27 china cat

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 12:05 AM

That sounds positive...Answering commands is always a good sign. 

 

That old statement about never talking about politics or religion holds true.... and I never wanted to believe it.... Until I got in a FB debate with my own brother, and we are barely talking anymore because of it.  He 'unfriended' me because of my opinion, and I'm not sure if we can ever recover.  (One of the million reasons I disabled FB)  

To keep the peace, I would just let it go.  But I tend to get myself in trouble with my mouth... so thats just my opinion. 

And I hope your uncle feels better really soon. 

 

It's not so much your mouth as other people's reactions to it.  People take other people's opinions way too seriously (and take themselves too seriously. Self included). 

 

My brother didn't speak to me for about  year over some Occupy/police/military posts I made. They weren't directed at him nor were they meant for him to see (he's not even on fb, he saw them through his wife's account). He sent me a very hurtful and undeserved e-mail. I had every "right" to respond with the same nasty (as he was out of line), but I responded to his e-mail with love and understanding. He still didn't talk to me for a year.  I found the whole thing beyond foolish and didn't feel much like being the one to reach out to make peace, because 1. I already had and 2. I didn't feel I'd done anything worthy of being disowned... why had my personal opinions caused so much offense in the first place?

 

Anyway, as time went on, I told Tim I wanted to reach out to my brother (hell, my brother or I could die.. life is short, way too short for this kind of nonsense), anyway... I was unsure as to what to say/how to start a conversation. Tim responded, "do you love him?"  Of course. Tim: "why don't you just tell him that?" So I sent a card that just said, "I love you," Eventually he came around. We never really talked about it, but just recently, he offered a small concession that maybe he had said some things he shouldn't have.  Whatever, water under the bridge.  

 

My advice, in general, is let go of self-justifications, egoic-based upsets, etc... we're so small, our issues so petty... take the high road with most things, especially when they really don't have a direct impact on you..  Withhold a judgment or even offer an apology, not because you're wrong, but because you care more about the relationship (and peace on the planet) than you do about the need to be right.

 

I don't always succeed, but I still think it good advice.



#28 hippieskichick

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 02:05 AM

<3 :)



#29 JBetty

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 03:40 PM

How's your uncle doing, HSC?



#30 hippieskichick

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:27 PM

Sitting up, off of ventilator, can talk a little bit. His throat is swollen from the ventilator, though. He's been pretty feisty though, and anxious to go home. 

 

 

Looks like a speedy recovery :D



#31 Tim the Beek

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:33 PM

Good news! :)

Guess alla the praying worked. :funny1:



#32 Julius

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:06 PM

Excellent! The what is way more important than the why! :)



#33 hippieskichick

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:22 PM

Excellent! The what is way more important than the why! :)

 

 

:iagree:



#34 sarah b.

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:07 AM

glad he's on the mend. best wishes.

#35 Spidergawd

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:19 PM

I kinda side with IASW here.  You know you are right, but there is zero amount of facebook posts that will make them change their mind.  Rather than challenge them in a religious debate, you might want to tactfully (no advise on tact here) say that you are athiest, and would appreciate the same respect that you give to their views.

 

 

I also agree with IASW.  And as an atheist myself, Depends' second sentence is how I often deal with this sort of situation.

 

Remember:

 

Arguing religion with a zealot is like trying to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and annoys the pig.



#36 OpusX

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:11 AM

I think the issue is that you feel as an outsider, lacking a religious connection with God, and want to express this to your devoted family, without offending them. The power of prayer is an unexplainable force that emits such strong energy, that in my opinion, promotes comfort and healing. In your situation, suggesting the notion that there is not God will not promote comfort or healing. You can express yourself positively without the mention of God or any spiritual realms. Paraphrasing along the lines of what you already said, maybe something like... Uncles in a really good hospital and some very talented doctors looking after him. In a situation that you have no control over, it's only natural to look for an unworldly being for help. No reason to knock anyone for that. You can also just express to your aunt that you're there for her and the entire family, and help them any way you can. You don't have to be religious to be a good person. I'm kinda reminded of the time I fasted for an entire day to support peace in Syria. Not one of my friends understood how not eating for a day could possibly help another nation. Every time I was hungry and wanted to cheat, I was reminded of the atrocities going on over there. In the spectrum of me changing anything, I accomplished nothing. Did it make me a better person, did I become more loving or compassionate, who knows? I'd do it again tho. Hope you got my point there. Best wishes to you and your family.