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Godlessness gives strength

Ain’t this the truth?

So that’s my story in a nutshell. I highly doubt you’ll be seeing it on your current affairs television show as they tend not to like defiant, questioning, atheist cripple stories. They’re not very inspiring for the viewers.

But at least you can read Holly Warland’s story online. She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was 12, and realized it wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t god-given, it wasn’t there for a purpose: she was the unlucky loser in a cosmic lottery. And she found strength in herself. Now that’s inspiring!

Comments

  1. billgascoyne says

    Sorry for the off topic comment, but has anyone else seen the URL “http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/” redirecting to something called “download.cloudantivirus.com/eng/malicious/?id=antiphishing-vmninternethelper1_1dn&url=freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula”

  2. lancethruster says

    There is strength in facing existence on its own terms. So many are conditioned to look forward to a “Cosmic Mulligan.” Better to live as if this is the one life we have. All the best to Holly, who is also passing along her strength to others in a way that exemplifies the best of what it means to be human.

  3. isamu says

    Marcus Cole: “Wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us, come because actually deserve them? So now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe”

  4. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I highly doubt you’ll be seeing it on your current affairs television show as they tend not to like defiant, questioning, atheist cripple stories. They’re not very inspiring for the viewers.

    The problem is those stories are not there to inspire people living will illnesses and disabilities, they’re there to cuddle and reassure those who don’t live with them.

    It’s easy to prattle on and on about “Everything Happens for a Reason” when the shit isn’t happening to you personnaly or to someone close to you.

    Tell me the reason my best friend died at 36 from ovarian cancer.

    Tell me why one of my friend’s daughters got retinoblastoma at 3.

    Because they did something bad ? Because they were better able to withstand it than other people ? Give me a fucking break.

    Those who did not see my friend’s fear, rage, and tears just weren’t close enough to her to see how she was really feeling. The courageous mask was something she wore for people she didn’t quite thrust.

    Fact is, there is nothing special at all about them personnaly that caused this – shit happens. Which means it can happen to any of us, whatever we do. People tend to find that very disturbing.

    That’s what those god stories are all about.

  5. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    The problem is those stories are not there to inspire people living will illnesses and disabilities, they’re there to cuddle and reassure those who don’t live with them.

    All hail Tpyos !

  6. Socio-gen, something something... says

    kemist:

    It’s easy to prattle on and on about “Everything Happens for a Reason” when the shit isn’t happening to you personnaly or to someone close to you. [...]

    Those who did not see my friend’s fear, rage, and tears just weren’t close enough to her to see how she was really feeling.

    Yes. One of the things that irritated me was people’s reactions when my BIL didn’t live up to the “brave, stoic, cancer fighter” image. They didn’t want to know he was grieving, terrified, unable to cope with the level of pain he was experiencing, embarrassed and ashamed by the effects of the meds on his appearance and his abilities, that he was planning his funeral, etc.

    They wanted him to make them feel better, and if he couldn’t, then he was doing cancer wrong.

  7. says

    Godlessness gave me and my father strength when he was dying of cancer at 56. And knowing that he is gone from the universe forever means that I personally try to continue his generous and loving manner, because there is no spirit-that-was-my-dad to do it for me. Legacy means more that way, and Holly will inspire others too.

  8. says

    Socio-gen, have you ever read Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Welcome to Cancerland”? When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer more than a decade ago, she found a medical establishment and patient groups eager to push saccharine, pink, infantilizing, gawd- and woo- laden bullshit down her throat, expecting her to have “a positive attitude” throughout — that is, never complain and always smile, even when in pain. (She also reported the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s right-wing connections.)

    The essay became the basis of her subsequent book Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America.

  9. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Ms Daisy:

    I have, just a couple years ago, and loved it. (Bright-Sided is on my Amazon wishlist.)

    I’d always been uncomfortable and creeped out by the whole pink-robes-and-spa-treatment surrounding my annual mammograms, but reading that, I clearly saw those subtle messages that bothered me so. The idea that even the possibility of having breast cancer is so unfeminine that you must counteract it with childlike hyper-femininity is disturbing on many levels.

    One thing that stuck with me after reading it was her feeling of no longer being Barbara after the cancer was diagnosed, and that was true in my BIL’s case. He was no longer a husband and father of two, soccer coach, assistant manager at his store, etc. He was just “Stage IV glioblastoma.”

    At one appt, with a new oncologist, that was even how the nurse introduced him to the doctor: “This is your 11:30, the glioblastoma.”

  10. says

    Yeah… sometimes the “People First” language gets a little clunky, and I don’t really care if someone refers to me as “a depressive” instead of “a person with depression,” but that kind of callousness illustrates the need for PF language.

  11. David Marjanović says

    is so unfeminine

    WTF?

    “This is your 11:30, the glioblastoma.”

    …Fascinating what a difference a definite article makes. Imagine how this would sound:

    “This is your 11:30. Glioblastoma.”

  12. dannysichel says

    I should point out, Holly Warland did get muscular dystrophy for a reason… and that reason is an inherited genetic disorder involving absent or misformed sarcoglycan proteins.

    It’s a subtle but important distinction: everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t mean it happens for a purpose.