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rward

Atheists Are Mean (Worm Food Edition)

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rward

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/0 ... 93122.html

 

(huffpo doesn't care what we link)

 

 

Quote
That's after New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews offered an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act Wednesday that would allow humanists or members of ethical culture groups to join the chaplain corps. Andrews' idea was to help members of the military who don't believe in God, but want someone to talk to about problems without having to seek a medical professional.

 

But Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee objected mightily, saying that atheists can't offer spiritual counseling and would likely offend dying soldiers or their families.

 

"They don't believe anything," said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) "I can't imagine an atheist accompanying a notification team as they go into some family's home to let them have the worst news of their life and this guy says, 'You know, that's it -- your son's just worms, I mean, worm food.'"

 

"This I think would make a mockery of the chaplaincy," said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). "The last thing in the world we would want to see was a young soldier who may be dying and they're at a field hospital and the chaplain is standing over that person saying to them, 'If you die here, there is no hope for you in the future.'"

 

I'm an atheist. I have never even thought the phrase "worm food". In fact, the only people I've ever heard use that phrase are Christians talking about atheists.

 

Basically, what they're saying is that atheists aren't capable of empathy or kindness. As if we're just wandering around, grabbing children and saying, "When grandma dies- and she will, real soon- she'll decay and you'll be sad." Um, no.

 

Also, you know what's super annoying as an atheist? Being sick and scared in the hospital and some asshat chaplain wanting to discuss Jesus/Heaven with you.

Edited by OnceUponATime
adding tags

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ILoveJellybeans

Do they not understand that atheists can offer support for people who have dead relatives or are sick and dying. We do have sympathy for people, you dont need to say "Your dead relative is with Jesus now" or whatever to support people. They could talk about how the soldier died for their country and was a hero, that he will always be in their hearts, just that they are sorry for something this awful to happen.

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rward
Do they not understand that atheists can offer support for people who have dead relatives or are sick and dying. We do have sympathy for people, you dont need to say "Your dead relative is with Jesus now" or whatever to support people. They could talk about how the soldier died for their country and was a hero, that he will always be in their hearts, just that they are sorry for something this awful to happen.

You know, as atheists do every day already. "I'm sorry for your loss" doesn't require belief in anything.

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Conuly
Basically, what they're saying is that atheists aren't capable of empathy or kindness. As if we're just wandering around, grabbing children and saying, "When grandma dies- and she will, real soon- she'll decay and you'll be sad." Um, no.

That's at least the truth. If we were to do that, it'd be better than "Granny didn't pray the right way, so she's burning forever!!! Let's hope you never see her again!!!!"

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salex
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/05/atheist-chaplains-worm-food_n_3393122.html

(huffpo doesn't care what we link)

I'm an atheist. I have never even thought the phrase "worm food". In fact, the only people I've ever heard use that phrase are Christians talking about atheists.

Basically, what they're saying is that atheists aren't capable of empathy or kindness. As if we're just wandering around, grabbing children and saying, "When grandma dies- and she will, real soon- she'll decay and you'll be sad." Um, no.

Also, you know what's super annoying as an atheist? Being sick and scared in the hospital and some asshat chaplain wanting to discuss Jesus/Heaven with you.

Super annoying to a most people, (religious or not) is some chaplain coming and asking "Was Bobby saved when he died" when a family is grieving because well, you know, Bobby may be being tortured in hell as we speak if he wasn't in the correct variation of Christianity.

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doggie

Or that they are better off dead as they are now with Jesus. Of course only Christians grieve or understand it they are special that way :pink-shock:

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infooverload

Also the atheist/humanist whatever the person identifies will not just give a platitude of I'll pray for you. The person is more likely to say what can I do for you to help during this diffiicult time. Personally prayer requires hardly any effort or none at all.

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rward
Also the atheist/humanist whatever the person identifies will not just give a platitude of I'll pray for you. The person is more likely to say what can I do for you to help during this diffiicult time. Personally prayer requires hardly any effort or none at all.

Prayer often is used as a way to do nothing while feeling really superior about it.

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snackle

As an atheist who is married to an atheist servicemember, this shit gets my goat (to put it very mildly). I believe in many things, just not the supernatural. And if I was faced with the death of my partner, the last person I'd want to see is someone who believes he's burning in hell. What this rhetoric misses is that the roughly 15% of us who are nonreligious and military affiliated are being denied the same services as others in the community.

Now I could go on a whole rant about how they use the chaplaincy rather than actual mental health professionals, but that's for another day. I really despise how they offer things like marriage retreats only through the chaplain's office. Religious people aren't the only people who face marital struggles with all the stress the military throws on our lives.

I will say, though, there are groups popping up to help atheists. I'm a member of MASH (military atheists and secular humanists) and a few of our members are recognized as lay chaplains. This is actually what mormons do as well as they don't have a recognized by the military ordination process. So, a tiny bit of progress despite what my congressional representation may think about me.

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Satisfied
church_of_dog
Or that they are better off dead as they are now with Jesus. Of course only Christians grieve or understand it they are special that way :pink-shock:

In the late 70s my younger brother was killed in an accident at age 12. Now, I am 100% certain that everyone who offered their condolences to my parents meant well... But years later, my mom admitted to me that one of the hardest things for her was having to deal with neighbors and acquaintances saying "he's in a better place now" or "God needed him" etc.

I suppose those concepts might be comforting to true believers, but they only caused extra anguish for my grieving atheist family...

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curlytoes79
I'm an atheist. I have never even thought the phrase "worm food". In fact, the only people I've ever heard use that phrase are Christians talking about atheists.

I think I've figured it out. Rep. Conaway was trying to say that he's a worm.

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DrWhat
Now I could go on a whole rant about how they use the chaplaincy rather than actual mental health professionals, but that's for another day. I really despise how they offer things like marriage retreats only through the chaplain's office. Religious people aren't the only people who face marital struggles with all the stress the military throws on our lives.

This is a completely tragic situation that I did not know about. For goodness sake, who needs good mental health professionals more than the military?

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Peas n carrots

Essentially these lawmakers are saying us non-believers are nooses than human.

He needs to talk to atheists sometime, and learn. However I'm sure he would never be open to such a situation.

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Rachel333

In the late 70s my younger brother was killed in an accident at age 12. Now, I am 100% certain that everyone who offered their condolences to my parents meant well... But years later, my mom admitted to me that one of the hardest things for her was having to deal with neighbors and acquaintances saying "he's in a better place now" or "God needed him" etc.

I suppose those concepts might be comforting to true believers, but they only caused extra anguish for my grieving atheist family...

I don't think that's all that comforting even to believers. I like the C.S. Lewis quote, “Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.â€

Recently a Christian family I know of lost two teenage daughters (13 and 17) in a car wreck. Horrible beyond words. I've seen so many people on facebook who didn't even know those girls, just other members of the family, use the tragedy to talk about how, as Christians, they can see death as something to rejoice in because the girls are in heaven now. I just can't imagine that telling a grieving family that their children's deaths are a good thing is very helpful.

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miffy

I can understand not wanting one of those fundie extremist atheists counselling the bereaved, but people like that tend to have a level of tact & compassion similar to that of an MRA. So there is little risk of one of those people being picked to counsel others.

Personally my faith tends to spike massively when somebody dies or is very ill. But the most comforting things i've been told during those times are actually really secular.

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Arete

So my grandmother, a believing Christian, went completely blind in the last year of her life. She had read from her Bible every day of her life for over 80 years, and was distraught that her loss of sight was going to rob her of this joy. What did her unapologetically atheist son do? He became her eyes and read to her from the Bible every night until the end.

Does he make the cut as a person who is capable of comforting the dying according to these lawmakers?

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Dizzy
Blahblah

Since when did "atheist" and "compassionate, helpful, sympathetic, empathetic, listener, friend, supportive" become mutually exclusive concepts?

People of whatever faith do no have a monopoly on basic human decency.

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AVENues

Ooh, someone's feewings got huit!!! :( Boo hoo...

490ee23b106c920bb4e996a1df2c7de4.jpg

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Waffle Time
Jinderella
In the late 70s my younger brother was killed in an accident at age 12. Now, I am 100% certain that everyone who offered their condolences to my parents meant well... But years later, my mom admitted to me that one of the hardest things for her was having to deal with neighbors and acquaintances saying "he's in a better place now" or "God needed him" etc.

I suppose those concepts might be comforting to true believers, but they only caused extra anguish for my grieving atheist family...

My fathers little brother died in an acccident at age 10. The calvinist neigbourghs of my anabaptist grantparents told them it was such a shame their son wasn't baptised yet, so he wouldn't go to heaven. My grandfather couldn't stand calvinists after that.

The kindergarten teacher of my daughter told our daughter that if you believed in Jesus, he would heal you when you were sick. So, my daughter concluded, my husbands sister who died from cancer age 21, should have believed in Jesus.

I think most of the time atheists are much more carefull in the things they say, because they are very much used to walking a thin line with religious people. We are always told how we have to respect religion. Religious people are often so confinced they are right, and so used to living in a community, joining a church, were everyone shares their believes, they will say what they always say without thinking how it would feel for the recieving party.

Can't make myself clear the way I would want to. When our son got leukemia, we were thankfull for all they kind things people would say to us. But we did notice that a lot of Christian people just said what they had learned to say (we pray for you, you have to trust the Lord). Atheist more often told us how they feeled about what had happened, and asked us about our feelings. Sounded more honest to me....

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Dizzy
Blahblah

Jinderella I hope your son is ok now. And as for English not being your native language, I think that you are articulating your feelings better than many native English speakers.

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Waffle Time
Jinderella

Thanx!

Our son just finished his 2 years of chemo. Now we just have to wait and hope the leukemia won't come back.

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browngrl

I'm an atheist and I've had to deliver bad news far too many times. I think I do a reasonable job of it. Why? Well, there is actually a substantial body of research about how to deliver bad news. So I've studied, taken courses, sought out mentors to help me, and learned from experience - you know the usual atheist cabal.

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AVENues

A hint of true, humanely compassion instead of the bogus "It was God's will", "God needed an angel", etc... really does help.

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Meh
formergothardite

When my baby brother died, trust me, all the "it was God's will", "God needed him more than you did", "there is a reason God allowed this to happen", "God needed another flower in his garden", didn't help.

Edited because I got distracted and push enter before actually finishing my sentence.

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AVENues

Holy cow. Hoooooly everloving cow. That is exactly what a mourning family whose heads are filled with why's, need to hear... If that happened around me and I couldn't say anything smart, I would just bring flowers, offer hugs, do the fucking laundry for a while, bring over cooked food for a few weeks, rake the leaves quietly, wash up, babysit, I think that's more godly than any of those awful and cheap sentences holy people just like to shoot out of their behinds.

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