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Keep your prayers to yourself, Nurse

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on February 3, 2009

A nurse on a home visit decided to offer her services as a personal intermediary to a deity and pray for her patient. The patient objected and complained to the health organization — after all, the patient may not like her nasty bronze age god, and may feel put upon that a presumed professional is proposing to waste her time on chanted magic spells. It’s also a matter of courtesy: when I’m teaching, I don’t hector my students on matters outside the course content, like atheism, and when I’m being treated by a nurse or doctor, I expect them to leave irrelevant superstitions out of the examining room.


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2 Responses

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  1. ShAheen said, on February 4, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Oh please, it wasn’t like she was chanting some magic incantation on the patient without permission. She simply asked if the patient wanted any prayer. The patient declined respectfully. Sounds like a non-story to me. Even I can see that this just makes us skeptic out to be fearful of prayer or something. Or that maybe, God is real and then we will lose our argument. There’s much better stuff to post than this insignificant one.

  2. Skepdude said, on February 4, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    How do you know what she was or wasn’t doing? All you have is her word. She claims she asked, but how do you know that she didn’t insist or that she didn’t already start praying. Of course she’s gonna say whatever will make her look better. Don’t we all do that to get out of trouble? People don’t usually complain when someone offers to do something for them. It can happen but not usually. And an administrator doesn’t usually suspend an employee based on one complaint. It can happen, but not usually. You seem a little too eager to believe here version of the story.

    And how is a prayer different from a magic chant? Isn’t that a bit of a double standard? Oh the prayer is ok but the chant is unacceptable?

    And if you really think we’re scared of prayers then you’re not getting the point of this. We can’t be scared of prayers, they’re just words to an imaginary daddy. What we object to is the idea that the religious should have the right to impose such things on others as matter of fact. We don’t have to respect that. We don’t have to bestow undue respect on someone’s beliefs if they don’t bestow enough respect on our own to leave us alone.

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