Tuesday, April 19, 2005

THANKS BUT NO THANKS: AN ATHEISTS RESPONSE TO YOUR WELL MEANT PRAYERS

Thanks in large part to my often irrepressable son, I have been introduced to the wild, wonderful world of weblogging.

I had inteneded for my first post to be about another topic, but for reasons which shall soon become obvious, I have opted to put my original idea on hold and use this opportunity to complain about something that has been bothering me for the past two and a half weeks.

Last month my barber--my barber of all people--informed me that the birth mark on the back of my neck should be" looked at." Mind you, I had been born with this thing. It was a tiny, quarter inch wide spot, dark brown spot which was located on the back, left side of my neck. I never gave it a second thought. Not, that is, until my barber informed me that it had been growing and changing for the past several months. What was once a small, dark brown spot had now grown into a raised lump with distinct areas of blue, black, and gray coloration. Having an uncle-in-law who is a retired doctor proved to be of some help and when he told me that I was looking at a probable case of skin cancer I decided it was time to go to a specialist--just to shut everyone help.

As it turned out, I was the one who needed to be shut up. The birthmark with which I had lived for the past 36 1/2 years was indeed cacnerous, a malanoma no less. On the plus side we seem to have gotten to it in time. On the minus side, I now have a rather large wound on the back of my neck which, while not especially noticieable because of its location, will probably leave a deep, cavernous scar the size of Akron, Ohio. And again, on the negative side, the doctors inform me that I should undergo "subsequent treatment" to treat this problem on a systematic basis and to protect against any possible future outbreaks. Okay, I can see the logic in that. And if the truth is be to be known, I really don't mind the idea of putting up with a little misery now if it means that I'll be around to watch my six-and-a-half-yea- old triplets grow up and to watch my oldest son get married next June. It's worth it. I can live with the idea.


But what I DON'T want to live with are all these busy body neighbors, friends, and do gooders who are using my illness as an excuse to "evangelize" me. Maybe it's because I'm a former(Protestant Minister; maybe it's because I became an atheist; shit, maybe it's because I really don't like a lot of unnecessary attention, but I have really become disgusted with the constant flow of well-meaning indviduals who are offering me their spiritual guidance at an incredibly trying time. For some reason everyone seems to thnink that I should be going through a holier than thou conversion because I learned that I have a potentially dangerous disease. Well, my dear friends, I have news for you.

IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

I haven't believed in Gods, or Devils, or Heaven, or Hell, or reincarnation, or Nirvana, or any of that pie-in-the-sky delusional nonsense for the better part of eight years and I don't see myself going back tothe dark old days of ignorance and superstition. I am content to know that I was born into godless universe, that I live in a godless universe, and that I will die in a godless universe. I don't expect eternal damnation nor ever lasting bliss. All I expect is a very long, eternal, dreamless sleep from which there shall be no awakening. And that's it. End of story. Finis. When I'm dead I shall be truly dead.

Do I miss the comfort that comes from a belief in a delusional big daddy in the sky? Well, yes, as a matter of fact I do. But I feel more comforted by the fact that I have a clear and realistic understanding of the world in which I live and that I am doing the best that I can to make this, the only world that is truly real, a better place to live for my family and loved ones.

So for all the people who think that they need to preach and who think that I will be swayed by your well meant, but misdirected spirituality, I would humbly ask you to work on your OWN spirituality, and to leave my family and myself to handle this matter as we see fit. I don't mind if you want to say your prayers in the privacy of your own home or within the confines of your own church, and I must admit that the angel food cakes (is that a hint?) and casseroles that you've been bringing over are truly mouth-watering, BUT, I really do wish you would concentrate on your own spirituality and leave me to work on mine We like you a lot, and we appreciate your concern, but to be honest it's getting a little irritating and the worst thing that you can do for me at this time is to irritate me or bore me to tears. We're trying to keep an upbeat and yet realistic attitude around here and your constant preoccupation with death and the afterlife has not always made that possible.

Again, we like, even love you a lot, but really, people. Enough is enough.

Thanks for your concern,

Trevor (Enlightenment_76).


2 comments:

chrisbilal said...

Trevor, I wish you well without the holy waters and the chips.

Anonymous said...

I'll pray your mind opens up and that the Holy Spirit fills you with faith.

The best part was how the barber saw the thing growing for months, but didn't say anything until after those months had passed!

May the ever loving Lord be with you....Jesus loves you, even if you don't love him...isn't that great!!