Gimme That Old Time Religion
"If G-d answers all our prayers, why is it sometimes he says no?" -Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You
"I've stopped praying to G-d, and now I pray to Joe Pesci because I find when I pray to him it gets done." George Carlin
Since I've been researching medical narrative all week, I'm going to continue and post here about some more fabulous experiences from my life as an invisible disabled person. The big O has recently posted about how he has been advised in his current condition to perhaps find faith.
Luckily, and perhaps this is because I am Jewish, no one has suggested to me even when I almost bled to death when I was 21, even when there was concern that I suddenly in kidney failure at 26, (insert several other life threatening/painful medical occurences here) that I "explore my faith." This is good thing for them because even coked out of my mind, I am fairly sure I would have stuffed my hospital pillow down the throat of whoever uttered such a phrase. Mainly because when I am in that much pain it doesn't take much to provoke me into an act of violence. Some people are soothed by prayer, not me, generally I am soothed by idiots who rather offer me platititudes than genuinely try to be with me in my pain.
Last year one of my students wanted to write a paper about the "healing power of faith." "How," I asked her, "are you going to set about proving it? How can you prove a person has real faith? What about people who have it but don't boast or proclaim it? What kind of evidence can you bring me?" I tried to be reasonable about it, but honestly I was enraged. Faith, it seems to me, is often a way of blaming the victim for failing to be cured. Christina Middlebrook, who wrote one of the best cancer memoirs, suspected that those who did not fully accept her terminal diagnosis, (she was diagnosed with breast cancer already in stage IV-there is no stage V) like her own mother, would blame her "lack of a positive attitude" for her death rather than accept that her death was beyond the hopeful effects of optimism.
Many people seem to operate on the idea that G-d is essentially like a parent with children in college. You call up when you really need money and whine and weedle and kvetch and G-d gives you some money, not everything you want, but just what you need. And it's easy, if you wear horseblinders, to believe in such an idea. The idea of G-d is very attractive when you are suffering, to give some reason, some purpose to suffering, and to those who believe I would not take their beliefs away from them. But for those of us who don't believe, there should be some respect that perhaps, just perhaps,we aren't suffering because of a lack of religious faith. And if something terrible should happen not see it as a failure on my part for not believing in G-d, but that quite obviously accept that unfortunately bad things happen to good people.
Of course, having said that there are no atheists in foxholes. I am WAY behind on grad apps and honeslty, if there is a G-d, I could use his undivided attention until dec. 1. And really I can't be picky, any minions, seraphs, underlords, elves, nymphs, demigods, that owe favors to you, if you would mind pulling them in, really really really need their help.
Note: Tomorrow's blog-wacky familial hijinx, perhaps the final draft of my SOP, and yes, actually a happy thought

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