Monday, November 14, 2005

Strep Throat > Faith

Last Thursday I came down with Strep Throat. If you’ve ever had it before, you know how painful it is. I was in such discomfort, that I had to ask my Mom to drive me to the emergency room so I could get treatment. In fact, I haven’t driven my beloved Mustang in almost a week, and boy do I miss her! The rumbling of the V-8, the smooth shifting 5-speed, the surge of torque that pushes you deep into the leather seat…

Where was I? Oh yeah, Strep Throat! Sorry, these medications tend to make me a bit out of it. But I contend that an atheist on strong medications and suffering from Strep Throat, such as myself, is not as “out of it” as a healthy, sober, person of faith.

Why do I say this? Well, on the way back from the hospital, my Mom told me a story about how, when she was 15 years old, she acquired Strep Throat herself. Now before I continue with this story, I must give you a little background on her parents (my Grandparents). They are very loving, yet very religious people. My Mother’s parents are, in fact, the people who indoctrinated me into Christianity when I was about 4 years old. What 4 year old wouldn’t believe everything their kind and loving Grandparents told them?

Anyway, back to the story. My Mom acquired Strep Throat at age 15. What did her parents do at the onset of my Mom’s illness? They prayed. They had the local preacher visit. They prayed some more. They had the local preacher visit again. They had her anointed. They had the whole congregation pray for her repeatedly. Did I mention that a whole lot of people were praying and anointing and exercising the power of their faith?

Well, my Mom continued to suffer from Strep Throat for over a month! Consider that in my case, I went to the hospital after 3 days of symptoms, and after my antibiotics treatment, I am expected to be fully functional by Wednesday. Assuming that I do recover by Wednesday as the Doctor told me, I will have had a total of 7 days of downtime, and it would have been less had I decided to go to the hospital sooner (which I should have).

My Mom suffered from Strep Throat for over a month because her parents never took her to see a Doctor. The preacher, the congregation, and all those prayers and anointments couldn’t do what a bottle full of pills could do. Obviously, Strep Throat kicked the absolute shit out of their faith. Strep Throat 1, Faith 0.

What is Strep Throat? It is a bacterium that infects your throat. It is a purely material entity. And what are antibiotics? A purely material medicine designed to fight the infection. And what is faith? Belief without logical proof or material evidence. When you look at the cases of both my Mom and myself, faith was the big time loser.

Nowadays, my Grandparents sing a slightly different tune. Of course they are still very religious, but today they would take a sick child or relative to the hospital instead of pray for them. They have definitely learned their lesson. And as a result of their “education,” they most definitely have less faith today than they did back then. Of course, my Grandparents will insist to my face that while today they would take someone to the hospital, they still have “just as much” faith as they did before. They, of course, are wrong about that; they are in denial. Either they lost faith in the power of prayer for healing their sick children, or their faith in prayer is now trumped by their knowledge of medicine. Either way, their faith is necessarily compromised. If it wasn’t, then they would still subscribe to the faith healing method.

Faith will never heal anything. Faith will never perform as well as anything material. In fact, the only time faith ever does perform, is when it creates a placebo effect, which is material anyway. So here we are full circle: faith just doesn’t perform.

Faith is the only leg that the afterlife has to stand on. Logical proof and material evidence are the only legs that anti-afterlifers like myself have to stand on. And from the stories presented above, its pretty clear which legs are the safer ones to stand on.

Anything supported by faith is, in fact, not supported at all. Using the (powerless) power of faith won’t cure you of illness, nor will it make the afterlife, or God, exist.

14 comments:

Francois Tremblay said...

Sure, but will we see this fight on pay-per-view ?

Aaron Kinney said...

I heard the cost is prohibitive.

BlackSun said...

Hey, Aaron, sorry to hear about your strep throat. Nice post, though. Interesting thing is that 4 years ago when I started Black Sun Journal, I got the idea while laying there with strep throat. So in my life as yours, strep throat 1, faith 0.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey Blacksun, thats a crazy coincidence! I suppose that in situations like that, you got extra time to create big ideas in your head. :)

UberKuh said...

Forgive me but I initially read this as Deep Throat > Faith. Aw yeah! *cue the disco music*

Jehovah said...

As the Lord your God, I'm very sorry to hear that the strep throat with which I so righteously afflicted has not had its intended purpose. Do you think I go around smiting and plaguing for the hell of it? I do it for your benefit, kid -- if it doesn't lead to faith, well then Moidammit if I haven't been wasting my precious time. Anyway, there's no point in you being sick and smearing my precious name, so here's a cure I cooked up a little while back to deal with leprosy. It's good for strep throat too, and don't let no secular humanist doctor tell you otherwise. I am the Lord thy God, after all, and I'd think I know what's best.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil. And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest's, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy: And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand: And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD. And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering: And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

Now, I realize that lot's of young people these days are uninsured, and can't afford decent prescriptions like turtledoves and hyssop and lambs, so here's what to do if you're broke:

And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil; And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering. And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD. And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand: And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD: And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering: And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD. And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD. This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.

Now, I don't know whether you live by yourself or not -- I may be the omniscient God of all wisdom and knowledge, but I don't like to snoop on people. But if you do have roomates, you may want to clean out your crib with the following sure-fire tricks:

And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession; And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house: Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house: And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall; Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days: And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house; Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city: And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place: And they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other morter, and shall plaister the house. And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plaistered; Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house; it is unclean. And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the morter of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place. Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even. And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes. And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plaistered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed. And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water: And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times: And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet: But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.

Got all that? I hope you're taking notes. One little slip-up and you'll be sitting in the baptismal pool all week until you're clean again. Remember, this takes care of strep, but it also works for other aches and unsightly blemishes. This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall, And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house, And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot: To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy. Yup.

If you need a hardcopy, you should be able to find this prescription in chapter 14 of Leviticus, the book I personally had the most fun writing. The next chapter is on issues of the flesh and discharges of the seed of copulation. If you're having problems in that area, please consult the manual.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey Jehovah, thanx for dropping in and giving me the 411 on the 911. I guess you ARE real!!!! :-O

LBBP said...

Aaron: Weird, I too got Strep on Thursday after my trip to Dallas left me exhausted from too little sleep. I too went into the doctor on Saturday, mine was bad enough that they gave me an antibiotics shot, a steroids shot, and the regular antibiotic pills. If my beliefs were not rooted in the natural I might think that someone was putting a hex on atheist bloggers to try and shut us up.

I am impressed with your post. I know how I felt on Monday and I was in no mood to blog. Once again tenacity prevails.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey thanx Lbbp. I cant believe we got Strep Throat at the same time!

Yes they also shot me in the ass, but I didnt want to mention that in the blog post to save the readers from the visual LOL.

Boy, the signs sure are odd. Maybe Pat Robertson got God to curse all the atheists with a throat infection so that we cant preach our atheism anymore. But it looks like keyboards foiled his plan!

Delta said...

It's so ridiculous that today we have to make the argument that believing something doesn't make it real. It's 2005 and it doesn't appear we've come all that far.

I Am said...

I love how you say your mom "acquired" strep throat. It sounds like she went out and bought it.

Announcer: "Collect 'em all! Trade 'em with your friends!"

Boy: "I got Meningitis!"

Girl: "I got Polio!"

I have a sick mind.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey I AM!

Well you may have a sick mind, but at least you dont have a sick throat! This shit sucks, lemme tell you! ;)

BEAST said...

Well, take kind, my fellow high priest.

In case you do not know, I wrote a similar article on my blog:

http://cyclops686.blogspot.com/2005/06/fraudulent-cures-of-21st-century.html

Although this was a little bit connected with MLM, it is still quite relevant.

Take Care and Get well
The Beast

Anonymous said...

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...

Fine if you don't believe (have faith) that God can heal you, but you must know that He Is Real!!

Read Acts Chapter 2 and begin to come to know Him for yourself...He Is Real and Greatly To Be Praised!!

Be Blessed :)