The "You ain't no Muslim" remark made by a bystander in the London subway stabbings has been a major internet sensation. Substitute "Christian" for Muslim, and we atheists would be saying it ALL the time. Hate filled rhetoric, especially aired by Republican presidential candidates, is so anti-Christian. Of course, they can't see it as such. Shameful.
It is the pits! I do believe it. I have lived in such places. I do live in such a place.
After my fall and complications, spending a week or so in the hospital with people tending to me, all the while giving me god's blessings, and praying for me, These people were kind and gentle with me as I wanted to kick the bucket and I kept throwing up on the bedding and their clothes and shoes. With each "I'll pray for you!" I told them I am an atheist and don't believe there is a god to answer them. I didn't think there was an assistant, either, or a son who could respond in any way helpful.
Different nurses and staff members throughout the day repeated the blessings and prayers. I repeated my statements in clear, concrete, confident, competent ways. No excitement in my voice, no expression of anger or complaint.
A strange thing began to happen. Individuals came to my bed after visiting hours and asked me all kinds of questions. They had never knowingly met an atheist before. They couldn't figure out how I could be so "nice" even as I threw up on many of them. One doctor and technician couldn't figure out how I tolerated the nose tube so easily. It was usually very difficult to insert. I told them I had been doing stress management exercises for the past 30 years. This was just an exercise in staying calm during stress. The tube siphoned my fecal matter out of my stomach, through my nose, and into liter containers.
Well, the point of writing about all of this is that my night visitors were not there to save me; they wanted to meet a living atheist. I did not frighten or threaten them. I just was honest in my rejection of god and all the stories that go with it. I told them some of the reasons I know there is no god, Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and no heaven or hell.
It was really very easy to do and I suffered nothing for the effort. I don't know if there are any new atheist running around the northern forests; I do know some people ask very good questions.
Thankfully praying is frowned upon in UK hospitals. I remember when a pal of mine was hospitalised with a life threatening condition and my co-visiter( who is a mad as a march hare Christian) began praying. He was told in no uncertain terms to stop or leave the hospital as he was upsetting the other patients(not to mention our pal in bed at deaths door).
Gerald, that is wonderful news! The UK advances far beyond US practices in hospitals. We get all the usual stuff at our huge medical complex that was started by a Roman Catholic nun, Mother Joseph, who was 63 years old when she started Spokane's first hospital in 1886.
Remember the stories Sk8eycat told of putting her atheist t-shirt over the crucified christ hanging in her hospital room?
All we have here is a hospital run by Seventh Day Adventists. They screwed up my medication after my operation. Afterward, when I told others, every single one of them had a horror story about being in that hospital. Yikes! I really don't want to go back.
Why do hospitals have to have religious affiliations?