“It isn’t important,” you’ve argued before,
“Cos God doesn’t really exist”
But look! When the hospital gave you last rites,
Though you weren’t on the Catholic list,
(And when you recovered, which no one expected,
And found your desires were ignored),
You sued, and you claimed “immaterial damages”
Thus making fun of our Lord.
The sacrament shouldn’t have bothered you much;
It’s nothing—or that’s what you’ve said—
We couldn’t have known that you’d think to object
(And of course, we all thought you’d be dead!)
Yes, yes, we intruded, but in our defense
It’s not like you’re Catholic, like us!
Your views are quite foreign; they’re godless; they’re strange
Not really worth making a fuss!
Your second-rate views, why, they’re not worth defending—
They’re merely the atheist sort—
You have no religion, no reason to live,
And no reason to take us to court!
My aggregator threw something strange at me today–a story out of Poland, reported in Germany, of an atheist who, in a coma, had received “extreme unction” by the hospital’s priest, and who, upon recovering, sued the hospital for “immaterial damages” in the amount of 21,00 Euros. Poland’s Supreme Court has (apparently–any readers who can verify, please do!) ruled that freedom of conscience applies to atheists as well as to the godly, and has asked the lower court to determine the amount of the atheist’s award.
Oh, yeah, I did not read this in the Berliner-Zeitung; I read the reaction to it in a site that thought it was a horrible overreach:
Somehow, this case is quintessential for what is going on in our society: we are reaching new levels of idiocy that were unknown to previous generations. What we have here is, on the one hand, the perfect prototype of a militant atheist (or, as they nowadays prefer to call themselves, a “humanist” or “secularist”): a man who squeamishly asserts his status as a “victim” whose rights have been trampled upon, and who at the same time is aggressive and quarrelsome enough to spend his and other people’s time and resources for a lawsuit on such a matter. What a cantankerous, obnoxious, ridiculous, fussy, stingy, petty-minded, lamentable pain in the neck this man must be! I feel sorry for the guy, but I really would not want to be like him.
That horrible atheist, in his manipulative coma, forcing the Catholic hospital to overlook his beliefs and assert their power over him.
How strong is Catholic privilege?
In my humble opinion, this lawsuit is the best proof that so-called “secularists” don’t take their own stated beliefs seriously. If they did, then the rite of the anointing of the sick would simply be of no meaning of them: just a few words, muttered sotto voce, and maybe the sign of the cross – not more. In the case at hand, the plaintiff, being in a coma, was probably not even able to notice that someone was praying at his bedside. So, what damage does he believe to have suffered? Did he feel pain? Was his (unexpected) healing delayed? Or was his self-esteem hurt by the fact that someone charitably prayed for him when he seemed to need it?
Treating you by our beliefs is a compliment; treating us by your beliefs is an insult. It is charitable to pray for an atheist.
Yeah… no. When my brother was dying, the hospital chaplains were worse than useless. If lawsuits like this mean that priests are an opt-in feature, rather than an opt-out, then people can have whatever rites they want performed, at their explicit request. And not before. You want extreme unction, wear a
medic-alert chaplain-alert bracelet.