“You were the only one kind to me.”

It never ceases to amaze me how un-Christian so many Christians can act. Crazy Tracy fills us in on some Christian nurses behaving badly:

It all started with a report of a woman who was suffering from post-partum depression (with a little psychosis thrown in for good measure). She decided one day that her infant needed to be cleansed of bad spirits and lowered the baby into a tub of scalding hot water. FIGHT that initial reaction just for a second. The woman was fucking insane. She was not in her right mind. She heard voices and believed God was speaking to her. She actually believed that the only way to cure her baby was to cleanse her in this manner. I felt that. I ached for her. I was just about to say, “That poor woman…” when the charge nurse slammed the tape recorder off and said, “This woman she be burned alive!”

What followed were comments like, “She should be boiled alive,” “She should be stoned to death,” and “Skinning her alive wouldn’t be harsh enough.” I sat in silence until realizing they were waiting for me to say something. I did. I said, “Would ya listen to all the Christians.”

They stared in shock. Because the silence filled the room with such discomfort I thought I should say something else. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” That didn’t go over well either.

It seems odd that the folks you’d assume would know Jesus’ message best seem to have somehow missed it along the way.

Found via Solonor.

24 thoughts on ““You were the only one kind to me.”

  1. If the scientific statistical data were available I think we would find that, more people are driven to insanity by religious hysteria than all other causes combined. In this case both sides, The Children’s mother and the people who have passed this type of judgment on her.

    We who set on the outside of these events can reflect on this and say, “There but for the wisdom to know better, go I”.

  2. Things like that are what initially turned me off to Christianity. A guy came up to me at church and felt he needed to pray for me…problem was, I knew who the good Deacon was sleeping with (besides his wife).

    Granted that it was a horrible thing that she killed her baby in that manner, but it’s hard to believe anyone could be so hard-hearted and uncaring when it comes to the womans own mental condition. So called “good Christians” should be first in line to understand and sympathize with the womans illness. Disturbed people do disturbing things, maybe without knowing any better.

  3. Yes, well, if they didn’t need guidance in being compassionate people, they wouldn’t be Christians …

    Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?

    If the scientific statistical data were available I think we would find that, more people are driven to insanity by religious hysteria than all other causes combined.

    Correllation is not causation, of course.  “Religious hysteria” is common because religion is a very common ideology and mindset.  I think humans are suitably ingenious that, should they somehow rid themselves of “religion” as we recognize it, they would replace it with something else equally hysterical. 

    Things like that are what initially turned me off to Christianity. A guy came up to me at church and felt he needed to pray for me…problem was, I knew who the good Deacon was sleeping with (besides his wife).

    The proper response, on a number of levels, would have been to offer to pray for him, in return …

  4. I think humans are suitably ingenious that, should they somehow rid themselves of “religion” as we recognize it, they would replace it with something else equally hysterical.

    QFT.

    Whenever I feel myself starting to come down harshly on religious people for being religious I try to calm down and remind myself that many of those people would be insane dicks with or without religion as their rationalization for their behaviors. The people who are rational, kind people with religion would still be rational, kind people without it, and if you think that it’s a good idea to scald your child or flay someone alive then you don’t really need invisible Papa Sky Daddy to pat you on the ass and push you along with a prompt either.

    Religion only makes a particularly cultural fiction of rationalization, but if you need a rationalization then any black dog will do.

  5. Crazy Tracy later relates about the above incident that: I thought it was just funny as hell. I did. I giggled over it all day.

    If one has any type of background in human psychology, the thought of a baby being scalded is going to evoke an emotive response in all humans.  The only very natural and human reaction, initially, is to want to protect the baby and lash out at such an atrocity. To mock those who experience that very human response for their humanity, seems to miss the point.

    The question in my mind after reading her post was: Why does differentiate between those she believes are crazy?  She believes that the Christians are deluded. What is it about the non-baby burning Christians that are crazy that they don’t deserve her empathy?  Why wouldn’t she reach out to them?  Listen to the very human reaction that she acknowledges exist when one runs across a tragedy such as this, and then help them reach the professionalism that she is striving for on behalf of her patients.

  6. I don’t see anything odd about hypocrisy at all.  Aren’t the majority of humans hypocrites to some extent?

  7. I certainly am a hypocrite when it comes to health matters, but like theft you cannot label all instances as being equally bad, depends on your intentions and the effect it has on people.

    I think within certainly quite a few religions there are some people who label themselves as being associated to it without any desire to actually absorb the messages as originally intended, sometimes they don’t question some of the less than wise parts and only follow the way of life to avoid hell for their own benefit and feel righteous for doing so.
    Merely associating with a human-created theory doesn’t guarantee being right regardless of what they do. To be honest even if god did exist i doubt he’d create people only to worship him regardless of what they did, though it’s possible

  8. Yes, well, if they didn’t need guidance in being compassionate people, they wouldn’t be Christians …
    Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?

    LOL

  9. Common sense is required to understand Jesus’s message. Many Christians seem to actually replace common sense with “Christianity.” As a result, they don’t understand it.

    They create war and kill, rather than love their neighbors. They support anti-gay laws, rather than let God judge as he will.

    If a Christian really read, and listened, rather than blindly obeying a human with a possible agenda, they would realize that Jesus is very clear. Sure, sometimes he talked in parables, and the NT is pretty long, but you don’t have to read the whole thing, or understand the parables to get the general idea of what Jesus asks.

    Jesus wants us all to make love, and smoke weed, just like hippie Jesus.

  10. If I believed the Christian model, I’d think this was a test.  From Matthew chapter 25:

    35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    “And I was a woman deprived by psychosis of her rational mind, and you could not show me even the tiniest scrap of compassion…”

  11. Consi, I don’t know whether you’re playing Devil’s Advocate here or really believe what you said but …

    Why wouldn’t she reach out to them?

    I’d say she has in the past but she is not treated kindly either because she’s an atheist or a lesbian or both – I’ve found that many xians don’t need much reason to hate.
    So she tried another door and appealed to their xianity which didn’t work either – why would it with people talking the talk?
    Nursing like many professions requires some empathy with the client.
    I, as an atheist, think the most beautiful thing Tracy, as an atheist, said was:

    There is no beauty found in dumping an infant into boiling water. There is no poetry in that. It is the most horrendous thing you can do to another human being. There is a knee jerk reaction in hating someone for that. There is a near homicidal rage, a feeling of wanting to exact punishment…an eye for an eye. But getting beyond that, reaching into the guts of that and feeling what this patient must be going through, that is where the poetry is. That is where the lesson is. That is where God speaks.

    It takes courage to go into that space; it takes self-knowledge, humility and humanity; that is Jesus-like compassion working there; it’s walking the walk.

  12. I just scanned down Tracy’s blog again …

    Consi: Why wouldn’t she reach out to them? 

    I think she’s working on her unconditionality.
    You must also realise she’s NOT a xian and therefore has no moral code.  wink

    My challenge now is getting over my dislike for the contemptuous, holier-than-thou bitches I work with. I have to have empathy even for them.

    LOL

  13. I think she’s working on her unconditionality.

    Guess that puts her par with those Christians she has a problem with huh?

  14. This is a bit off the point but i thought when reading the bible extract from decrepitoldfool why does the bible still use old english like Ye and Thee? its not as if these words are somehow holy and English was not the language the people like jesus spoke, it just makes it more awkward to read without changing the message. i think like a lot of literature the bible could also be more to the point and maybe people would understand the messages better and save a load of time

  15. Consi, she seems to be trying pretty hard to live up to her moral standard, while the other nurses she works with are apparently ignorant of theirs and dislike to be reminded of its finer points. They’ll be on a “par” when the Christians say “You know, you’re right, and I will stand with you in trying to have compassion for unlovable patients.”

    I almost always quote from King James Version.  My favorite version besides that one is the New English Bible – from the same church many hundreds of years later.

    Both are serious attempts at translation.  There are also transliterations like the Living Bible (not sure about the name) but with the exception of the Cotton Patch Gospel I never liked those.  Fundies prefer the KJV while more freewheeling evangelicals seem to prejer the New International Version (also a very good translation).

  16. To comment on the tangent, I’m pretty sure KJV 1611 users are well in the minority now.  Every church and denomination has their favorite translation that they try and stick to, most of which are better than the KJV 1611.  The most accurate Bible translation to date is the NET Bible, which was published last year and is my translation of choice.  Most Biblical scholars do not hold the KJV 1611 to be one of the more accurate translations because it was translated exclusively from one manuscript.

  17. You’re probably right about NET’s accuracy, Theo, I haven’t looked into it.  But I use the two versions mentioned above just because I like them.  A more accurate translation of ancient myths and stories – eh.

  18. A more accurate translation of ancient myths and stories – eh.

    I’ll go with the more poetic version too, DoF.  For example, in 1 Samuel 6,the lovely “emerods” of the KJV are replaced with prim “sores” in the NET Bible.

  19. Personally, I tend to think that any person who could do something like that to a baby/child has to be either an evil person, seriously mentally ill, or both.  Any parent who could do that to their own child is most likely mentally ill.  And as such, they deserve sympathy and not necessarily contempt.  Because even though boiling a baby is awful (and my first reaction is also that she should have had a dip in the boiling water herself), I can’t imagine the sickness that doing something like that implies.  The Andrea Yates’s of this world need help, not condemnation and hatred.

  20. i think this woman had schizophrenia or something, and her beliefs did not help it. that one woman, who killed her 5 children, was it susan smith? , she held religious beliefs, and she was nuts to top it off. she believed her children would be better of dead then to fall into sin, i saw a thing about it on television. but then, without religion, what crazy beliefs would we replace them with, i never thought of it that way. maybe some people do need it. ugh, did i just say that?personally, it hurt me more to hold those beliefs then to not have them.

  21. Postpartum psychosis is a very real and extremely dangerous condition.  In a state of psychosis, the line between delusion and reality is nonexistent.  As a result, harming one’s own infant while suffering from postpartum psychosis is more common than most people realize. 

    It appears that this mother thought her child was going to harm her, which is not an uncommon delusion for women suffering from this condition.  These women do not need to be “burned alive”, or any of that other stupidity.  Instead, as an allegedly intelligent society, we should take a closer look at the woman’s support system, in an attempt to ascertain why no one realized the extent of her delusions until it was too late.  We can’t take back what she did, but we can try to keep it from happening to another infant by increasing public awareness of the warning signs.

    While this is an extreme example of what can happen, and is certainly disturbing, it’s not surprising that it could happen.  If I have to judge someone in this situation, I’d judge the “Christian” nurses – who as medical professionals should understand the disease – far more harshly than I’d judge a severely mentally ill mother who no longer had control over her thoughts and actions.

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