Today I did an entire day of oncology surgery with the best oncology surgeon this side of theMississippi. It was a really good day. After the first case, we turned over the room and I ran out to check in my second patient. I introduced myself and started in on the 68 questions that we automatically go through on the “pre-op checklist.” About the third question, “do you have a living will” and “do you have responsible family available…” he went off with, “well, I’m an atheist and I don’t need any of that… blah, blah.” He then brought out a book that he “highly recommended” and proceeded to show me and explain in great detail. The title was “Fascist Christians Converting America into a Christian Nation”… or some nonsense like that. I’m not sure. I said, “hey, I’m on a time line here… and went on to the next question…”when did you last eat or drink?…” Being persistent, he answered with, “I don’t believe in God, and because there is no heaven, there obviously no hell… so I don’t need to worry…” I was already running way behind and I was getting irritated. I mean, as a white male, I can’t just spout my beliefs and get away with it. On the other hand, I am required to listen to someone else blather about their religion till the cows come home. I had to stop this now or I was going to tagged for “surgical delay.” As I occasionally do, I blurt out before my brain actually gets in gear. “Hey, that’s great, your free from worry, I mean, I’m your nurse, I give you my solemn word that you will stay alive and well for the entire time you’re in my care… OK? I also promise that eventually, one day, you will meet your maker, and I’m absolutely certain that you will be in for a really big surprise… and with that sir, we really have to get back on topic … I’m very sorry, I’d love to pull up a chair and debate religion, theology and philosophy, but I have a schedule to keep and I’m very nearly in trouble, so… if you don’t mind, I’d like to get on with the remaining 59 questions of my pre-op checklist so that we can eventually get to your procedure?” He reluctantly agreed and soon we were off to surgery.
I’m not sure why atheists seem to have to press their religion on to everyone else. It’s not like they have something to give. They just seem so really unhappy that someone else has faith. As a nurse that works in a very liberal environment, an environment that celebrates diversity, which actually means normal people had better really be careful not to offend. With this attitude from my employer, I never proselytize or even discuss my faith at work. On the other hand, if anyone ever asks me about Jesus, Faith, or heaven, or salvation, or even the eternal life you receive after those 60 or 70 years you toil away as a mere mortal here on earth… Well, I’m happy to discuss it with them or pray with them anytime.
A friend sent me this joke. I thought it kinda cute so to lighten the mood, I’ll pass it on to you!
An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”
The little girl, who had started to read her book, replied to the stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.
“OK,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but first let me ask you a question. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff for sustenance…grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”
To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, no Heaven or Hell, or even the issue of life after death, when you don’t know shit?” She turned and went back to reading her book.