Stranger in a strange land


On top of everything else, I’ve been rather preoccupied this past week since Momma Chief went into the hospital. This event brought the tribe in from all corners of the prairie which is very nice but incredibly surreal for me. You see, most of them drink the Jesus Juice, the evil fire water, and they’re addicts. So too are most of the healthcare people I encountered. I felt like I was a stranger in a strange land, and it really upsets the shit out of me. It’s certainly possible for us to insulate ourselves from this nonsense. We can avoid family that are addicts. We can certainly pick friends who are clean and sober and most careers which we find ourselves in which demand a higher education level tend to only draw other clean and sober types, but there are times when we aren’t in control and in those situations we find ourselves surrounded by the addicts. I can say now that although I don’t scare easily, I’m deathly frightened of having to be in a hospital, vulnerable and in the hands of these people.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the exchanges I’ve had this week with you all…

It’s a miracle you found her when you did
- No, that’s when I normally see her
What if this happened on another day? Thank God!
- Well I think sparing her this on any day would be more worthy of thanks

Thank God it wasn’t more serious.
- Yeah, because He usually messes people up far worse, so I guess she got off lucky
He saved her from a stroke
- But couldn’t go the extra mile of saving her completely

I was so upset hearing what happened.
- Well yeah, it was scary
I opened my bible and it opened to just such a perfect passage which put me at ease
- How nice for you
That’s a sign, you know
- Oh it’s a sign alright. I’ve got to go now

I want you to know our prayers are with her
- Ok

Let her know we’re all praying for her
- Well you could come see her, you know.

Let her know we’re praying for her
- There’s a phone in her room, you know.

Thank God your mom’s doing better
- I think the doctors and those IVs deserve all the thanks

Doctor: Your mom’s recovering quickly, thank God.
- So why is she here?
Doctor: I think she can leave tomorrow
- No I meant that her recovery is due to yours and everyone else’s efforts here, isn’t it? If it’s due to some god, then why is she here?

You’ve done so much for her. What a blessing you are to her
- I’m her son. There’s nothing exceptional about doing what’s necessary.
No, not every son would do everything you’ve done. Thank God you’re the way you are
- I think it’s my mom who deserves thanks for how I am, no?
Oh you’re mother is wonderful, and that’s why she’s been blessed with you.
- You reap what you sow.

That’s just a meager sampling, and I have no idea what Turkey Day will be like since we’ll have to go to a cousin’s. Thankfully their addiction is more ceremonial but still, I always feel like the BIG argument could happen at any time which is really annoying. Of course any of us, having the experience we’ve had addressing religious bullshit online and the ridiculous arguments and apologetics, are for the average believer like walking into a buzzsaw, but the resulting carnage is just not what a family outing is supposed to be about. I dread family events for this reason. I don’t hide what I am, but I don’t advertise it either, and I generally try to overlook most of the religious crap. I guess with my own family I tend to be more sympathetic since afterall, it’s an addiction and they’re in a world of enablers. What a strange land this is.

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12 Responses to “Stranger in a strange land”

  1. I'm glad your mom is okay. Sorry you have to deal with all the religious bs on top of it. I'm like you: I don't hide who I am to my family, but I don't broadcast it, either. I don't do much family stuff anymore because of it. Happy Thanksgiving, and sending good thoughts your way for your mom's continued recovery.

  2. It's good she'll be okay, I encountered the same kind of nonsense years back when my father was dying and everyone and their brother came out of the woodwork trying to shove religion down his throat. The theotards know exactly when people are most vulnerable and try to use it to win converts. I was never more proud of my father when the hospital priest stuck his head in the door and asked to pray with my father and he told the guy to pound sand.

  3. I hope your mom recovers quickly. I empathize with how annoying god-talk is at times like this.

  4. It all started looking for a place to park in the hospital garage and seeing a block of spots reserved for clergy. I saw a few circulating, but thankfully they didn't pop their heads in to the room. Momma Chief's version of Christianity is odd, and one I've mentioned before. My favorite comment of hers on the topic is, "you can't believe everything in that book. That's goofy!"

    Anyway, thanks for the comments. She merely had a bad reaction to some medication.

  5. Is your mom even a Christian, Philly? I'd imagine that your mom would have to believe the whole "died and came back to life" and the whole "God went down and conquered hell to fix a supernatural deal with the devil" thing that christians normally believe to qualify as being christians. On the other hand, there are some parts of the bible that are indeed historical while other parts of the bible that are mythological, similar to how greek myths go.

    Anyhow, ughhhh, you've no obligation to help anybody out who isn't in serious danger. Religion isn't always dangerous to people whom adhere to it, although some people get on the wrong track with their thinking and actually do something stupid.

  6. I think my mom is more typical than atypical as far as Christians go. She believes what she wants to believe and dismisses the rest, and relies on her own moral compass while thinking it's Christian. Being older and having lost loved ones, it naturally comforts her to think there's a heaven where they all are and that she'll see them again.

    It's all a bunch of delusional bullshit, but she doesn't push it on anyone nor does she agree with anyone who tries to do that, especially when it comes to politicians. Her Christianity is comparable to a functional alcoholic.

  7. Well, it's more of a fictional fantasy than a delusion. Christians are like a dumber version of Star Trek geeks and the only problem becomes when their weekly fantasies start destructively interfering with the their daily activities. Your mom doesn't carry a Bible around with her and preach nonsensical things on the street corners and building entrances, right? Your mom doesn't walk out in front of traffic trying to perform the miracle of "stopping traffic" by having much faith, hopefully, nor does she roll around on the ground and blabber her mouth nonsensically in an effort to talk in tongues.

  8. Hers is the garden variety Christianity where good things are due to a god but bad things just happen and if they're REALLY bad, well, there must have been a reason for it. It's just nonsense to make you feel good or less bad about things.

    There are comparable things which aren't religious that I know many people indulge in. For instance there's Airborn, the anti-cold alka-seltzer like thing. I know people who pop them like candy whenever they feel the least bit ill. When they don't get sick, it's due to Airborn. If they get sick, they don't blame Airborn. Sounds like praying to a god, doesn't it? Then there's athletes and their lucky socks or not shaving, or even the businessman and his lucky tie, cufflinks, or whatever that ALWAYS help him seal deals, except when it it doesn't, but then that wasn't the fault of the lucky item, that was just meant to be.

    Rationalizations are the syrup atop the pancakes of delusion. ;)

  9. Okay, then there isn't much harm she can do to herself, and so long as she doesn't push it on others then she's not doing harm that way either.

  10. Sorry to hear about your mom, and I'm glad that the medical crew was able to do some good with their training (despite their lunacy). I, too, come from a family full of believers, but I have the good fortune that they all believe different things and so we can all get along as a bunch of weirdos. I still don't understand why they can't see blood sacrifice for the barbarism that it is, though. I spend a lot of time before holidays simulating conversations in my head, trying to anticipate the effects of how I might respond to this or that comment, and it sometimes helps me derail what could easily become a scene. Which is nice, because I can't help doing it, anyway.

    Good luck on gluttony day!

  11. I tend to do that as well, but for any potential confrontation with anyone on anything. For instance, I've simulated in my mind confrontations with clients, bosses, students, family, girlfriends, friends, you name it. Luckily most of those only ended up as simulations, but there were a few times where they actually happened, and I had quick responses thanks to going over things first in my head.

    I like "Gluttony Day". I'll have to remember that.

  12. I'm glad your mom is okay. Sorry you have to deal with all the religious bs on top of it.

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