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Jan 18 2013

The godbots descend on the bad news of my heart attack

Now that the word is out that I probably had a heart attack last month, my email runneth over. Most of them are dear friends and family members wishing me the best, a few with questions asking about morbid details, what did it feel like, what’s the prognosis, do I need anything, etc. But there’s been one threatening me with eternal hellfire, a few telling me this is God-eh reaching out to me, and one trumpeting it as God’s punishment, basically for being a progressive and supporting Obamacare. Selected excerpts below:

Steven, God is reaching out to you right now! Don’t turn him away in your hour of need!

There was no hour of need, there was an evening or two of moderate pain in the pit of my stomach that responded to antacids and acid blockers, narcotic pain killers took care of the rest. It didn’t even hurt that bad, I’ve had way worse hours of need from an upset stomach and a bad case of diarrhea, that’s the freaky thing.

History is full of Jesus miracles, healing bliness and cancer. Why, do you have to lose, take the chance, just pray!!

What about the thousands of children who die from cancer every year? Did they get outprayed by the handful of alleged miracle kids? This was diagnosed by professionals trained in medical science with a talent for teasing out subtle electrical and imaging signs made possible by stunning advances in technology, combined with centuries of work by thousands of researchers leading to a track record of almost 100% success treating the kind of condition I probably have. I’ll stick with them, thank you.

Your (sic) going to sit there and say you never thought of God through this whole thing?

I can honestly say, yes, he, she, or it never crossed my mind as a source of comfort, healing, or an entity to blame.

Last but not least:

Fucking dombas, is this what happened under socialiazed medicine you’d be dead. You dumbass are going to kill a bunch of people because your socialism busllhit! I’ll be happy for your dumbass you don’t deserve to live.

Actually, this wouldn’t have killed me at all. I never went to the ER and didn’t get into see my PCP for several days afterward, by which time the real danger had almost certainly passed. The only dumbass thing I did was not going to the ER and the reason I made that decision was because of the giant copay it would have cost me under my private insurance and because of the third world attendance policy of my private employer that provides that insurance.

That being said, there were a few people who wrote in identifying themselves as religious and telling me they were happy to hear I’m likely to skate away from this unscathed, without any implied threats or back handed compliments(And I’d like to add that input from kind hearted theists is more than welcome and I urge my skeptical readers to treat them with hospitality should they engage in debate here). For those and others, thank you for the thoughts, they mean a lot to me!

28 comments

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  1. 1
    Arkady

    Ah, the evils of ‘social healthcare’. Which, this month, when my sister had a regrowth of a spinal tumour causing problems with her hands, scheduled top-level neurosurgery at a top London teaching hospital within 3 days of the scan and less than a week after the symptoms started. Given that this was her second such operation, and thus would probably have been uninsurable in the USA pre-Obamacare, just how broke would my middle class family (with retired parents) be right now?

    (Of course, they then completely messed up the discharge from the hospital. Not everything is great under the NHS, but having to organise a trip home in a comfortable car 2 days earlier than expected with less than 8 hours notice sure beats having to worry about being able to afford the surgery in the first place…)

    Hope your procedures go well Stephen, my thoughts are with you.

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    of moderate pain in the pit of my stomach that responded to antacids and acid blockers

    That was Jesus reaching out to you. Because of recent budget cuts, they’ve had to scale back on the power and glory of divine sendings. This is a public service message.
    Thank you for your attention, The Mgt.

  3. 3
    davidct

    When people are ignorant about their own religion, it comes as no surprise that they have no clue as to how bad our current healthcare “system” actually is. The comments show consistently just how self centered christian thinking is.

    Sorry that you have discovered you are less healthy than you may have thought. Best wishes for you recovery.

  4. 4
    glodson

    I have to ask, but what’s a dombas?

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    what’s a dombas

    It’s a kind of drum, I think. Or is that a doombek?

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    It’s gotta be a drum. Because then you can say, “his dombas solo was awe-inspiringly beautiful” with a straight face.

  7. 7
    IslandBrewer

    Stephen, now is not the time to maintain your denial of the divine! Please, I beg you, open your heart to the one true faith!

    If you pray diligently and sincerely, with an open heart, the great LORD will come unto you, and devour you quickly and painlessly, putting you out of your misery.

    If you continue to deny Lord Cthulhu’s existence, your demise will be slow and painful.

    In his name,
    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

  8. 8
    A Hermit

    Canada’s “socialized” medicine was there for my father’s heart attack. And his lymphoma. And mom’s cancer. They’re both in their 80′s and still going strong as a result…and it was all payed for by their public insurance, no co-pays, no possibility of being denied for “pre-existing conditions”, no worries about increasing premiums, no hidden costs, no worries except getting better.

    To be fair they probably prayed too, but I’m giving the credit to the excellent care they received…

  9. 9
    glodson

    As, found it. Dombås is a village in Norway. An odd thing to call another person.

  10. 10
    hexidecima

    “Steven, God is reaching out to you right now! Don’t turn him away in your hour of need!”

    always great to have Christians make their god out to be a Mafia don, who is just breaking your kneecaps in order to “Get your attention”. what blithering idiots.

  11. 11
    grumpyoldfart

    Your (sic) going to sit there and say you never thought of God through this whole thing?

    The chances that I will call on god for help during an emergency is exactly the same as the chance that a theist will call on Tinker Bell. It just won’t happen.

  12. 12
    nomennescio

    I’m glad to hear that you’re doing alright. Best wishes for your future health, though I won’t be asking any magic beings to keep an eye on you – doctors do a far better job.

  13. 13
    Steven Rowlinson

    Glad to hear you are doing well!

    Christians really don’t get the whole ‘non belief’ thing do they? They assume that because they rely on a fictional character as an emotional crutch everyone else must secretly do so.

    That being said, young Skywalker always helps with a stubbed toe and I hear Gandalfs’ good for lost car keys.

    All the best mate & keep up the good work.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    Yikes. Glad you’re ok.

  15. 15
    Skip White

    Interesting. Assuming that’s all from the same person, I like how they’re all holy roller when talking about God and Jesus and miracles and whatnot, but then when the subject changes to The Kenyan’s evil liberal socialist healthcare plan, suddenly someone needs to fill the swear jar. I’ll help the fucking asshole. There’s my 10 cents.

  16. 16
    Randomfactor

    Steven, God is reaching out to you right now!

    Nah, never mind, it was just the pain meds. Try Demerol, my late wife saw kittens climbing up the curtains of her hospital room with that shit.

  17. 17
    catlover

    Yikes! A heart attack! Hope your recovery continues to go well.
    Thank Science for all those great doctors and researchers whose
    work allowed you to recover well. So sorry about the ingorami who
    have wished you ill.

  18. 18
    godlesspanther

    “Dombas” is a meditation mantra.

    Try it. Sit in the lotus position, close your eyes, and chant…

    dombas, dombas, dombas…

  19. 19
    Karen Locke

    May you be blessed by the Universe (or the FSM, or whatever gives out blessings) and feel well soon. You have a whole readership out here rooting for you!!!

  20. 20
    sc_5b5039dd39eec895ccc71934d4e6783f

    Skip White @ #15

    Assuming that’s all from the same person

    Nope, as Stephen said:

    But there’s been one threatening me with eternal hellfire, a few telling me this is God-eh reaching out to me, and one trumpeting it as God’s punishment, basically for being a progressive and supporting Obamacare.

    Multiple g’bots.

  21. 21
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Because a product you hard-sell to the vulnerable with threats of torture has to be good!

  22. 22
    neuralobserver

    (And I’d like to add that input from kind hearted theists is more than welcome and I urge my skeptical readers to treat them with hospitality should they engage in debate here). For those and others, thank you for the thoughts, they mean a lot to me!

    Just a quick comment: despite the angst many of the religious can generate for us with their absurdity and naivete at times, kudos to you for being broad-minded, generous and respectful to them as people (at least those deserving of respect) with independent ideas and views, even if those ideas and views are not always well thought out or well examined. I believe another blogger on this site and his acolytes might do well to take a page from your playbook on this point.

    And wishing you full recovery from any damage and better days ahead.
    (Also, appreciate your reports on astronomical and cosmological news items.)

  23. 23
    left0ver1under

    glodson (#4)

    I have to ask, but what’s a dombas?

    It’s another word for moran.

    http://lwtc247.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/get-a-brain-morans.jpg

  24. 24
    davidmc

    Ignorant godbothering fuckstains.
    Me mum was ill with an infection for the last month, the last two weeks she has been recovering in a NHS hospital, as soon as they can organise some home care in the next few days, to come in 3 times a day to help her (and me), in her home, for the next 6 weeks until she is, hopefully, fully recovered. A walking aid, and a bed rail, plus anything else she might need. And we wont have to pay a bean, apart from what has been paid into the system during her working career. That is socialised medicine, fucking dombases(sic).

    Get well soon Ste.

  25. 25
    fractalheretic

    I remember taking a course in witnessing (proselytizing) where they actually told us to look for “those who are hurting or in crisis” because they’ll be more receptive to the gospel. It’s just like how predators target the weak members of a herd.

  26. 26
    Holms

    According to wiki, Dombas is a town in Norway. I didn’t know your god-botherers were so worldly! Not sure how that sentence makes sense though; maybe he’s saying you;re fat enough to count as an entire town?!

  27. 27
    Suido

    All the best Stephen.

  28. 28
    sorenkongstad

    I live in Denmark were we have universal healthcare.

    It is far from perfect, but still.

    My aunt has crippling arthritis, and has had it for most of her life. She’s had most of her bones in her hands and feet removed and replaced. She’s had most of her teeth fall out because of the chemo for her arthritis, and she got the dental work paid for. Besides that she’s had cancer in the throat, and had breast cancer.

    The price she paid for medical treatment for these misfortunes is mostly 0- She has had some expenses for medicine she’s bought herself, but even here most of her medicine is covered.

    A Co worker of mine has Chrons disease, and has treatments monthly in the hospital. He pays nothing for this.

    A neighbour of mine has a severe case of hemophilia. His medication, which basically keeps him alive, costs in the area of 1 million USD a year, which he pays nothing for.

    My daughter has a chromosomal abnormality, and has been diagnosed, and is receiving therapy, besides being under observation for her sight. Besides that she fell and broke a foot last fall. After the cast was removed she broke her ankle, and the cast made a pressure wound, which had to be surgically cleaned, under full narcosis. While under, one of her lungs collapsed, and a second team of medical professionals had to assist, and chest x-rays were indicated.

    To date our cost for all this treatment has been OTC pain medication, and to rounds of antibiotics, totalling about 50 dollars. And by the way, all leave from work for her treatments and recovery, has been covered either by the mandated payed leave for your child first day of sickness, or by the extra leave that the unions have made very common in Denmark, which basically allows one extra week of vacation a year.

    Now, cancer, arthritis, etc. is a shitty thing to get, and you just don’t know when or where it will come. But one thing I am fairly sure about is that getting sick will not bankrupt me because of medical bills. If I lose my job because of illness it’s another problem.

    I cannot really imagine how it is to live in the US, and to have to fear being sick, not just because of the risk to your mind or body, but because your insurance might not cover, and you might go bankrupt.

    I’ve heard people in the US say they were lucky that their insurance paid most of a multi million dollar treatment, and they just had to pay USD 50.000 themselves. That’s a steep price for getting sick!

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