[Image description: A colour photograph of a manatee, side on, just poking its head out of the water. Its eyes are still half submerged. TEXT: “You are not an idiot. Please stop telling yourself that. You are a good and smart person who makes mistakes sometimes, and that is okay.”]
[tw: depression, anxiety, offensive know-it-alls eating your mana]
People are always ready to tell you what coping skills you’re using that are making your depression worse.
But, if you ask them what coping skills you should replace them with, they never have an answer. They give you a generic response of “do something you enjoy” or “do something that’s relaxing to you”. If you’re depressed, that’s the whole problem- you don’t enjoy anything, and everything you do produces anxiety.
So, what then?
This is long, but I’m livid and needed to vent. It’s about abortion, nursing, and extreme unprofessionalism.
So I just read this article:
Nurses Fight For Their Right To Refuse Women Care
A group of nurses have sued for their right to refuse to participate in abortions, citing their anti-choice stance as reason enough to decline to care for women who have elected to terminate a pregnancy. From the way the complaint describes it, you’d think they were being ordered to line babies up and shoot them with a crossbow in front of their children. But they’re not being forced to help out with the procedure at all — nope, these nurses are citing their moral beliefs as justification for refusing to care for women before or after having abortions.
The Washington Post reports that in September, The University of Medicine & Dentistry’s New Jersey hospital changed its longstanding policy that allowed nurses to opt out of participating in any step of a medical procedure based on their religious or cultural beliefs. While medical professionals employed by the hospital would still be allowed to perform specific procedures with which they disagreed, they’d no longer be allowed to excuse themselves from all steps of the procedure; that is, nurses who objected to abortions would now be required to provide pre- or post-surgical care. At the end of October, a group of nurses filed suit against University Hospital, claiming religious discrimination.
A lawyer for the hospital says that the procedures utilized in prepping patients for abortions or assisting their recovery was fairly run-of-the-mill; nurses weren’t going to be required to say a Black Mass and then laugh gleefully while chanting “Huzzah for sluttery!” over the woman’s fetal remains. No matter! Abortion is wrong, and thus the women receiving them don’t deserve any sort of medical treatment. Twelve of the sixteen nurses who work in the hospital’s same-day surgery unit have refused to participate in any stage of care for a woman terminating her pregnancy.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the hospital from requiring nurses to receive training on pre- and post- abortion care, and on December 5th, a judge will hear their case. If the nurses in New Jersey are allowed to use religious or cultural beliefs as grounds to refuse to provide any care to any women terminating pregnancies, their case sets a strange precedent.
How far back could a health care provider’s opposition to caring for women extend? If I had an abortion in 2007 and wanted to get a pap smear, could the nurse refuse to check my blood pressure in 2011? How about if I got in a car accident on my way home from having unprotected sex with a stranger? Could an ambulance driver refuse to transport me to a hospital?
Doctors in emergency rooms have no right to refuse to provide medical care to someone who overdosed on heroin, even though heroin is illegal and many people are morally opposed to its recreational use. They have to care for drunk drivers, even though driving drunk is both illegal and a pretty universally assy thing to do. Why, then, should a hospital be forced to bend over backwards to accommodate people’s religious beliefs surrounding abortion, a legal medical procedure protected by the Constitution?
One of President Obama’s early acts in the Oval Office was eliminating a Bush era expansion of an existing “conscience clause” law that allowed people who worked in health care facilities— from anesthesiologists to cafeteria workers— to refuse to provide care to women terminating pregnancies, or to anyone for any moral reason. Under the Bush law, medical professionals who morally objected to contraception, abortion, or any medical procedure were also under no obligation to provide a patient with a referral to someone who would be willing to help them. The rule’s reversal means that Americans, for the most part, shouldn’t have to deal with their doctor’s kooky morality when they want to, say, get an IUD or vaccinate their child.
Put simply, because the University Hospital nurses’ job is to help patients prepare for and recover from surgery, these nurses are asking for the right to not do their jobs. On what planet is this acceptable?
If medical professionals are going to insist on the right to refuse to do things at work that they find icky, perhaps people in other industries should do the same. I’m morally opposed to mandatory annual regulatory training and the word “webinar” is against my religion. Get on it, government.
The very first reading assignment I ever received in nursing school was on values, ethics, and advocacy. I remember my instructor saying to us, if you can’t check yourself at the door and show up for your patients, then you probably want to withdraw from this program now. I actually still have my Nursing Fundamental textbook; I’ve gotten rid of many over the years, but held on this one because in it was this:
[…In their daily work, nurses deal with intimate and fundamental human events such as birth, death, and suffering. They must decide the morality of their own actions when they face the many ethical issues that surround such sensitive areas. Because of the special nurse-client relationship, nurses are the ones who are there to support and advocate for clients and families who are facing difficult choices, and for those who are living the results of choices that others make about them…]
I can’t speak for all nursing schools, but before we even learned how to take a blood pressure, we spent an entire week learning about nursing ethics and the nursing code of conduct. Learning about human dignity, morality, integrity, social justice, and nonmaleficence- the duty to do no harm. There are International and American Codes of ethics that nurses are held to. In my opinion , these nurses are absolutely in violation of these ethics and quite frankly sicken me. The preamble of the International Council of Nurse Code of Ethics reads:
Nurses have four fundamental responsibilities: to promote health, to
prevent illness, to restore health and to alleviate suffering. The need
for nursing is universal.
Inherent in nursing is respect for human rights, including cultural
rights, the right to life and choice, to dignity and to be treated with
respect. Nursing care is respectful of and unrestricted by considerations of age, colour, creed, culture, disability or illness, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, politics, race or social status.
Nurses render health services to the individual, the family and the
community and co-ordinate their services with those of related groups.
Healthcare is such a diverse field allowing you to specialize in the type of care you feel is a good fit for you. I knew with absolute certainty that I would not be able to handle working in Pediatrics or Labor and Delivery, long before I had to live through the horrible clinical experience of both. However, while I was there, it was not about me. It was about the patient. It broke my heart to see a child in a hospital bed broken because their mother’s boyfriend had beaten them. The fact that the mother was present at the child’s bedside and was upset because her boyfriend was arrested pissed me off to degrees I cannot express in words. However, I was there for my patient, the child in the bed. I checked my rage at the door and completed my assignment.
What these nurses are doing goes against everything I know the profession to be. I worked in psychiatric nursing, with child abusers and rapists. I also worked with their victims. The level of care I provided to both groups could not be differentiated. With a history of sexual abuse in my past, I could have easily refused to provide care. I would have been reassigned. It would have been the end of it. Nurses have the right to refuse assignments for personal reasons that would render them incapable of performing their job duties competently. However, we do not have the right to make our decisions impact the lives of our patients. I’m an atheist and most of my patients aren’t. I hear them and their families say “Thank God” every single day, and even if I do an occasional mental eye roll, I NEVER allow it to impact my care. I’m not there for me. It’s not about me. I check my shit at the door and show up for my patients. These nurses should all be fired. Sounds harsh I know, but I would never want anyone with such deep held prejudices taking care of me in any capacity. ~ Kim (all emphasis mine)
Hey Atheists, you’re right. No life after death, no bright light, no one coming to save you and give you glory. Death, just death, no change. It’s called Hell. The choice is yours.
Another loving Christian taking glee in the theoretical torture of unbelievers and those who believe differently. Fascinating.
I don’t really have much to say to it. Do you think this reflects the love you believe your savior wanted you to exude?
Do you realize it’s possible to be a Christian without being a hateful fundamentalist?
Year Anniversary of Spinal Surgery
Last year on this day, I was admitting myself to the hospital at 4AM to receive a full disc replacement for a severely damaged L5-S1 spinal disc. Today marks the one year anniversary of receiving an artificial spinal disc and reclaiming my life.
In May of 2009, I was in a severe car accident. I had been driving on the freeway when the traffic in front of me came to a full and complete stop. While I was able to stop, the car behind me was not, and I was rear-ended by a car going 45mph. Both cars were totaled and had to be towed from the scene.
While I did not know it at the time, I had received a serious disc injury that caused my disc to herniate and leak fluid. After seeking medical and legal aid, I discovered the injury in August of 2009.
It took a year and a half of medical care and legal aid to finally receive my badly needed disc replacement. The month before my surgery, I was essentially bedridden due to chronic, debilitating pain. I was unable to do much of anything, including the outdoor sports that I adore. I couldn’t even clean the house. I was unable to work and unable to function. High doses of morphine made the pain somewhat bearable, but transformed my personality making me extremely irritable and angry.
A year ago today, surgeons, surgery assistants, nurses, my lawyer, and my lawyer’s assistants helped me regain my life. Medical advancements that made life-long disc replacements possible helped me regain my life.
I now have a nifty artificial disc that will last me a lifetime and has allowed me to regain the ability to do the things I love. I can wakeboard, dirt bike, and do just about anything that my heart desires.
The only scar I have is about three inches long on my stomach. (In order to do a disc replacement, they must come in through the front.)
Some would thank god. I thank the countless individuals who helped make this process a reality. I thank the countless individuals who helped me through the chronic pain process. I thank the skilled medical staff who performed a flawless surgery.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to express the depth of my gratitude to them. Gods had nothing to do with this amazing process; humans did. I am so grateful to the humans who restored my life.
I read through and atheist’s blog just now.
The truth is, despite his name (which i will not state to avoid unneeded conflict), there was nothing friendly about it.
I can’t imagine anyone will guess who you’re talking about here. I think you’re getting the credit for being non-confrontational all the while smearing someone specific. Rather cynical ploy.
I found the things posted to be entirely pretentious and offensive. Most liberal, atheists seem to have this attitude where they see themselves above people of faith… not just people of faith, but mostly Christians. They seem to look down upon Christians while they spread their “non-judgmental, equality for all” political messages.
I’ve already had one migraine today. I’ll let someone else take this.
I notice a lot of this disbelief comes from a common factor. Non-believers use the presence of tragedy to justify the absence of God.
Some may, but you just said “non-believers use blah blah blah” without any qualifiers so I feel perfectly safe saying you’re not just wrong but completely wrong. Unbelievers have their own reasons for not believing. Mine is that no one has yet provided even a morsel of evidence to suggest there is a god.
People may come to unbelief for a variety of reasons just as people come to believe in fundamentalist evangelical Christianity in a variety of ways. However, I suspect most unbelievers who remain unbelievers long term will settle on the unproven nature of deities as the primary reason for their unbelief.
These tragedies are results of sin in the world. That means ALL sin. We can’t expect God to eliminate only selected sin, He would need to destroy ALL sin… that includes us. Human beings are tainted with sin and have been since our Separation from God. God also says that he will use ALL THINGS for his glory and Kingdom, not just “good” things.
Until you prove your god exists or your moral code is superior regardless of your god’s status, your concept of sin is irrelevant. Were it relevant, it would not show a good or just god. Eve ate a forbidden fruit after being set in an environment guaranteed to make her do so. Eve was supposedly set in this environment by your loving god who, even if he wasn’t omnipotent as most fundamentalist Christians believe, would have known exactly what result this would produce.
Then this god broke all his toys and damned all his creation for doing what any third grader could have told you would happen.
When you set the table
When you chose the scale
Did you write a riddle that you knew they would fail
Did you make them tremble
So they would tell the tale
Did you push us when we fell
— David Bazan, When We Fell
Also, I don’t see too many atheists going out of their way, into possibly dangerous regions where it is illegal and punishable by death to believe a certain way to try and right these wrongs. There are thousands upon thousands of Christians who venture into these places to spread the word of God and help human beings in the best way they possibly can.
The logic jump you just made here is ridiculous. Whether atheists would go die to right the wrongs that your god has supposedly visited on humanity is irrelevant to the truth or falseness of the atheist position (which, for the record, is that no one has provided any evidence suggesting the existence of a deity).
I speak from experience. I’ve had to speak in code because certain governments bug phones and tail citizens and visitors alike.
I know exactly where you’ve been smuggling Bibles and fundamentalist religious literature. Considering how spiritually unhealthy the Christians who smuggle Bibles to that country are, I’m not entirely sure I believe that country’s government is especially persecuting Christians whose churches refuse to register with the government. At least not as part of the broad spectrum of things that government does.
Compared to other things that government does, its behavior toward unregistered churches is pretty tame.
If you think that Christians are no longer persecuted and are ruling the world with their bibles and hymns, then take a trip to China, to Russia… Think about whaat terrible things happened to people of faith in the Holocaust… examine the Public schools… look at your social networks.
I’ve been to Russia. Have you?
Russian Orthodoxy is thriving in Russia. Christianity is doing quite well there despite protestant churches’ propaganda about atheism and “communism” being best buddies and FWBs.
Regardless, being persecuted is not an indication that you’re right. Otherwise, the fact that Gnosticism is all but non-existent but readily reviled by every pastor I’ve ever met would indicate that Gnosticism was the truth. Falun Gong would, in China, be more true than Christianity. Islam would be more true in the U.S. than Christianity. Atheism would be more true in many Islamic theocracies than Christianity.
Your last remark here ruins my day. People of faith largely did the Holocaust. Some other people of faith tried to mitigate it. Millions of Jewish, gay, Roma, and disabled people were killed. By religious people. It doesn’t prove religious people are inherently bad, but you’re twisting it to make it seem like religious people were the primary victims of the Holocaust.
If you mean observant Jews, you’d be right but that’s really not what you implied.
And then to add in whatever you think is going on in public schools and on social networks … I’m nauseated. You dare compare your perceived slights in public schools and social networks to the piles of dead?
I will say that there is a hand full of horribly misguided church goers who have given the name “Christian” a terrible connotation.
You’re giving Christianity a bad name. The ones giving it a good name are in the minority. I’ll mention a few. Quakers, Unitarians, MCC, Episcopalians, etc. Fortunately, the veracity of your claims do not rest on your character. They rest on evidence.
People have thrown out the whole crop because of a few bad seeds. If non-believers were as open minded as they push everyone else to be, maybe they’d see a whole other side to what they so openly rebuke.
Our job as Christians is not to make people believe as we do. That’s God’s job. Our job is to present the love and hope known as the Gospel and let it work in people.
I just wish people would give us a chance to do so without attacking our beliefs before we have time to justify them.
Pun intended, Practice what you preach.
If we will know you by your love, then we have never known you.
We have known Christians, but they are those you consider heretics. They were Dorothy Day and Ammon Hennacy. Leo Tolstoy was in their number.
They were those who stood against slavery when the other churches were standing for it. They valued the truth and justice above what dogmatic readings of scripture said. They believed love was a higher law than any preached by a pastor or evangelist.
So my birthday is this Saturday, and apparently my grandmother knows that I’m an atheist because she put a little jesus packet in my birthday card.
love you too, grandma
Ha. My grandparents did that to me in my 2010 birthday, along with a creepy homemade card that implied they were watching me. But I don’t think they knew I am an atheist. I just think they thought I wasn’t fundamentalist enough.
After all, I was dating women! And, for all they knew, sleeping with them too!
Anyway, your grandparents might not have figured out. XD
A Sign of Economic Woes to Come…
I went to the bank today to take out a loan, and was a bit surprised to learn that the minimum loan amount one can apply for has risen from 1,000 dollars to 7,000, in just nine short months. (And that’s for a guy that has never missed a payment on any financial obligation and is making a stable and equitable living.)
Once this economy has had a taste of what it takes to replace those three trillion dollars that are being cut, we’re all going to be feeling the pain of the teabaggers’ foolishness. (Namely, corporations will continue to lay off workers en masse, outsource jobs and industry, raise prices on every damn one of us, and make it impossible to obtain or repay loans.)
Those of you who voted teabag deserve this shit, not a person who’s made every payment to which he’s obligated himself, and frankly, I hope every one of you mouth-breathing scumbags contracts chlamydia and dies in horrible pain.
The day I stopped believing in god.
you’re fourteen years old and fresh-faced, pink in the cheeks, and it’s been a hard year. it’s been a really hard year, if we’re going to be fair. you’re starting freshman year of high school and everyone’s so much more beautiful than you are. everyone’s thin and gorgeous, hair pulled back in neat ponytails, mascara darkening eye lashes. your father won’t let you wear make up and your mother comments on your weight constantly and you’re trying to figure out your fashion style despite the new uniform your school system has imposed, and though you know the majority of the incoming class from middle school, none of them really like you.
like you really don’t like yourself. you’re growing into this realisation that people change and when people change, people change their minds about you, and it’s always you. it’s never anyone else, just you.
like your father is changing his mind about the promises he made to always love you and like your mother is placing your feelings on the back-burner for hers.
see, it goes like this: you’re young and then you’re suddenly painfully not. you’re alive and then you’re ten years old and trying to hold back from swallowing an entire pill bottle because your father is in jail. you’re happy and carefree and then suddenly you’re taking care of your mother’s feelings by transferring out of the one church you ever loved and into another where everyone legitimately hates you.
you hear it in the hallowed halls, whispered mutterings about the new girl. how her different, revolutionary views are terrible.
so you ditch christianity but don’t stop believing in god, because the thought of being alone in the universe scares you. the thought that someone out there doesn’t love you unconditionally is frightening and it makes you feel smaller than you are. so you experiment. you try and fill the void.
and trying to fill the void makes things go more like this: you’re calm at the lunch table and then getting screamed at for doubting the existence of a hell. you’re his daughter and then you’re getting threats of being thrown out because you are no longer normal. you are beautiful and then suddenly you are flawed.
it’s a bad time in your life. bad habits start to form and things don’t go so well and you lose friends and you lose sight of yourself and what your parents mean to you. the emotional abuse that you know today is now forming, small seedlings under your parents’ skin.
so one day you go to church.
the preacher names bible verse after bible verse about how god comes first. god comes first. before family or friends, god comes first. before your hobbies, god comes first.
on the car ride home your mother tells you she loved the sermon and that god comes first in her life. even above you.
and that’s when it hits you. a train crashes into the centre of your chest and just keeps on going and you are the only one dented, bones caving in under the pressure, because that’s it.
it’s a moment you will remember for the rest of your life. you ask to take a shower when you get home because your parents yell at you when you cry and you have to cry. you go into the bathroom and strip down to the body you are so ashamed of and go into the shower, turn it on full blast, and fall onto your knees.
you know the prayer. not verbatim, but you know it. you feel it. it’s still there.
i cannot believe in a god who would make a mother hate me. i cannot believe in a god who expects unconditional love out of me but will not allow my own parents to return the favour. i cannot believe in a god who spouts off that jealousy is unforgivable and coveting in a sin and yets covets those who do not believe in him and is jealous of anything that comes before him. i cannot believe in a god who would want my own mother to hate me if i stood in the way of her and you.
you tell him goodbye. you rise and wash your hair until your knuckles prune. when you come out of the shower and wrap yourself in a towel it is the most powerful baptism you know you will ever undergo.
Thanks for sharing. It’s a powerful story.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows nails it
I haven’t read this (I R BAD TUMBLR RESIDENT), so someone who has correct me if I’m wrong: I’m willing to bet that Hermione ends up being wrong, following the popular tradition of the skeptic…
I think I must have communicated my point badly. Apologies. My complaint is not with Harry Potter or genres. My complaint is about an insulting and irritating story writing trope.
I am not opposed to fantasy, science fiction, or horror as genres. I freaking LOVE them. I’m opposed to the overused trope of skepticism as bad, and credulity as good.
When I said “the problem with fantasy,” it’s not a problem WITH fantasy, it’s a problem with characters who insist that magic isn’t real and dragons can’t exist, in a world swarming with werewolves and fairies and ghosts and stuff.
In a fantastic setting, being overly skeptical isn’t really skepticism, it’s just being dense and stubborn. The reason this irritates me is because it communicates clearly that the writers (and the audiences who seem to experience joyful catharsis when the naysayer gets killed in a glorious shower of guts) clearly think that real skeptical people are stubborn and dense. Everyone’s tired of someone saying “that can’t be real.” It bugs them. Because it’s more ~fun~ to believe in unicorns and gods.
It wouldn’t bug me as much if it didn’t seem like this happened an unfair amount of times. There are certainly merits to building a character who IS dense and stubborn and doesn’t want to admit that things are weird. The problem is that there seems to rarely be alternatives to that archetypical idiot, in anydirection.
Very rarely are the credulous people, the ones who believe in the witch/ghost/demon/alien/virus without any evidence, punished as gruesomely as skeptics.
Even rarer is a skeptical protagonist who, upon seeing evidence for the mystical thing the story is about, changes their mind and believes whole-heartedly in the concept. Generally speaking, they tend to experience the entire story, and if they haven’t died horribly while still denying the thing that is currently killing them, they walk away at the end, shaking their head and saying “there must be a reasonable explanation for this…” and end up in the loony bin for it or something. The audience is supposed to pity them and their incredulity. They don’t learn, which is really what skepticism should be all about.
And the rarest of all, the diamond in the rough: The protagonist who refuses to believe in something until they have been presented with enough evidence to do so, and they ended up being right while everyone else panicked and was harmed by their own unjustified beliefs. As Tim Minchin points out, one of the best shows to ever manage to do this was Scooby Doo.
That’s all. I took that picture and I launched off of it into a different rant. That’s why I tagged it #this went a different direction sorry. I do that a lot. ;)
I totally agree with your complaint in general. I tried watching X-Files from the beginning and was turned off pretty quickly. At least in the first two episodes, it’s absolutely offensive to anyone with critical thinking skills.
Stuff like that is the bread and butter of skepticism in fiction.
Like the episode of House where House spends the entire episode convincing a woman she needs to have an abortion if she wants to live and saves her life without killing the fetus anyway. While he’s doing the surgery, the fetus reaches out and grabs his finger … and for the rest of the episode House refers to the fetus as “your baby” and seems to have a change of heart.
What a crock of anti-choice, anti-skeptic shit. The character, Dr. House, knows better but the writers decided to give his character a change of heart.
Hermione is seriously the only example I can think of where a writer wrote a skeptic well and in a non-derogatory way. There should be an award for good skepticism in fantastic writing (The James Randi Literature Award?) and that she should win it for Hermione.
Seriously, who puts a scientific thinker in a fantasy story and shows that scientific thinker thrive because of her adherence to the rules of evidence?
Well, aside from me anyway. Though that story may never see the light of day at this rate. Haha.
Anyway, you’re right and totally awesome for bringing it up. :D
Yesterday, I went to this small town North of Duluth for a baby shower of a friend.
We get into town and the first thing we see are two late 20 year old guys riding “trick bikes” and holding babies in their arms.
My friend Erin says, “oh, that’s how they get around town here.”
Babies get their own hipster bike chauffeurs? If I’m ever a baby again, totes doing it in Duluth.
Sorry. I’m a bad bad person, but this interpretation amused me too much. XD