When religion is thrown at you b/c you have cancer. What to do?

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Koukla's picture
When religion is thrown at you b/c you have cancer. What to do?

Hello my fellow atheists, this is my first time on here.
Any of you have cancer? I was diagnosed with Stage IV in May 2015. Initially, I thought it was kind of Christians, Evangelists and Muslims to offer me their mumbo-jumbo and include me in their prayers. It has reached a point where I want to bash their heads in with a steel bat! They give all credit to their god! Apparently I've survived so far thanks to god's intervention. Basically, it had nothing to do with my medical team or my own will to fight. I can't take it anymore! They believe they're right and why do they assume it's OK to keep spewing that junk at me? I even had my mom's friend visit me at the hospital and she practically gave a sermon right then and there! I find it so offensive even if they mean well.
I've joined a couple of very helpful cancer groups and forums. There are so many patients who pray, offer their prayers and always include god in their posts! I don't want to help them, I don't want to be part of their discussion. Isn't that terrible of me? I don't care who they are until they insert their religion.
On a different note, I was outside the operating room and before being wheeled in, one of my surgeons assured me that I had great surgeons working on me and the "rest is up to god". What? I was so shocked, I wanted to jump off the stretcher and run. Let me add that she's been a great doctor but that god comment really threw me off.
How do I react to these people? I was raised in a christian home but it just didn't make any sense to me. My parents are believers but they do not impose their views on me.

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Big George's picture
How 'bout asking them if they

How 'bout asking them if they would mind sacrificing a goat for you while they were at it .......

MCDennis's picture
Blasphemy. You obviously

Blasphemy. You obviously have the wrong religion. You have to sacrifice a duck, not a goat. Killing a goat does nothing... Nothing. Ducks are magic

…6"As for the live duck, he shall take it together with the cedar wood and the scarlet string and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the live duck in the blood of the duck that was slain over the running water. 7"He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live duck go free over the open field. 8"The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe in water and be clean. Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days. Leviticus 14 6-8 All praise the duck

Sky Pilot's picture


No wonder I haven't been getting any positive results, I've been using buzzards instead of ducks. Where can I get some mallards?

Koukla's picture
Hey Big George, perhaps that

Hey Big George, perhaps that kind of comment would take them aback and shut them up!

algebe's picture
Hello Koukla:

Hello Koukla:

I'd put a charitable interpretation on your surgeon's comment about the rest being up to god. By "god" she probably meant luck, or unknown variables, or some such. I've met a few surgeons who believed in god, but they all thought they were it. I certainly wouldn't get in a fight with a surgeon just before going into the OR. My heart surgeon was a real comedian who cracked lots of unfunny jokes, but I was careful to laugh at each one because I wanted him in a positive mood when he was working on me ;).

As for the Christians offering unsolicited prayers and sermons, you should tell them to go forth and multiply as crudely and harshly as possible. If they're really Christians, they'll forgive you (LOL). They are disregarding your feelings to make themselves feel good. I like Jack Nicholson's response in "As Good as it Gets".


Koukla's picture
Algebe, I remember that scene

Algebe, I remember that scene well, it stuck with me always.

Sheldon's picture
Sorry to hear you've been ill

Sorry to hear you've been ill, I hope your prognosis is good. As to your question you have every right to tell people intruding into your life against your wishes to desist, and in any language you see fit. It's a crass intrusion at any time, but during a serious illness it's unconscionable, sadly they see such evangelical proselytising as both a duty and right, and the less principled theists see an emotionally draining experience like a serious illness as too good to miss. Tell them you're not interested, and would appreciate it if they didn't mention religion to you or in front of you as you don't believe in a deity. If they are crass and inconsiderate enough to persist after that you're free to use any vernacular you think fit.

One thing though, do you think your doctor's comment about the rest being in god's hands 'might' have been meant in a metaphorical sense? Similar to when someone sneezes and we find ourselves saying bless you without thinking?

Hope you get well soon anyway.

Koukla's picture
Hi Sheldon, I believe the

Hi Sheldon, I believe the surgeon actually meant that the whole team would do their best but ultimately it was her god's decision whether or not I'd come out of it. She's Romanian and I've yet to meet one who's not religious. That's the only time she's mentioned religion and I'm glad of it.
I know a pharmacist who told me that as much as she believes in science, she believes in god more. I just can't digest that. She's so smart and yet.......

CyberLN's picture
Hey Koukla, welcome to AR.

Hey Koukla, welcome to AR. Went through the same thing when I was dealing with it. I simply told them that my medical team were the heroes and that their gawd-talk made me uncomfortable and they needed to stop with it around me. It usually worked. I also had a couple of folks who acted as ‘bouncers’ and would do that for me when my energy was too low to do it for myself. Have you anyone who would be willing to act as such on your behalf?

Tin-Man's picture
Hey, Koukla! I would be

Hey, Koukla! I would be honored to be your bouncer and "religion deflector". Running interference is a favorite pasttime of mine. *Big Grin* Get well soon!

Koukla's picture
Hi CyberLN, I tried that on

Hi CyberLN, I tried that on one of my neighbors who is a social worker. I made the assumption that he's educated, intelligent and open-minded. He dropped off a card by my door, full of kind words and offering to help with anything. Then, the god stuff jumped at me from the page. I couldn't believe it! I was so disappointed. Anyways, when I saw him and thanked him for his gesture (I mean he did take the time to fill 2 pages of a card), he wasted no time with his god talk and I said "actually, it was me and my medical team who did all the work". He just all-knowingly said "not without god". Thankfully it was my turn to get off the elevator but what nerve! So this is one guy who has no respect whatsoever.

carolelaine's picture
I'm sorry you are sick and

I'm sorry you are sick and hope that you're doctors have you on the best treatment plan for you. I don't get offended if someone says that they are going to pray for me. If they want to waste their time that's their problem. I do have a problem with people telling me that if I prayed or I went to church "god" would solve all my problems. You have every right to tell people that you don't wanted to have a prayer group or sermon in your presence, and if they persist, you have every right to have them removed. As for your surgeon, If you will be seeing her again and you have a good relationship you might want to let your views be know and ask that god not be brought up with you. Good luck and stay positive!

Koukla's picture
Thanks everyone! I got a real

Thanks everyone! I got a real chuckle reading your replies :) I don't know why I feel I have to be polite, it's crazy! I'm almost 47 yrs old and I should be able to put a stop to their nonsense. Honestly, I have so much pent up emotion that I'm scared of my possible reactions. Maybe I do need a bouncer....my boyfriend is very protective but he can't always be there. I think next time I'll politely stop them and then if they don't stop, just walk away. I have a friend who used to be "normal", he's been a born-again for over a decade now and I rile myself up so badly before the few times I see him, imagining where the conversation will go and what stupidity he will say but so far he's been OK.
Thank you for your well wishes. I've been off of chemo for 6 months now, the longest since this all began over 2 years ago. One of my drs said "it can get bad very quickly" so I appreciate every moment I have.
I expect I'll be in touch again as there's no shortage of religious freaks!

Tin-Man's picture
@Koukla Re: "...no shortage

@Koukla Re: "...no shortage of religious freaks..."

Hey, girl, invite a few of them to this forum. If they are brave enough to poke their heads in here, I'm pretty sure we can handle them for you. *chuckle*

Koukla's picture
Now THAT I'd love to see!

Now THAT I'd love to see!

Tin-Man's picture
Well, I try to keep my axe

Well, I try to keep my axe sharp, and I'm always looking for a rotten tree to fell. TIMMM-BERRRRRR....!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Right behind ya Rusty...ermm

Right behind ya Rusty...ermm TM old pal.

Good fortune to you Koukla. If TM falls over his feet I'll step up!

Tin-Man's picture
Thanks for the back-up, Old

Thanks for the back-up, Old Man. Oh, and I got a set of new-fangled fancy hi-tech non-skid soles for the bottom of my feet for Christmas, so I don't slip and trip nearly as much now. *Big Smile*

Sushisnake's picture

" Isn't that terrible of me?"
HELL NO! Christ on a bike, Koukla! I've lost loved ones to cancer, and If I was you, I'd be so fucking furious, I'd be biting the heads off whippets! I've got things to do. I would NOT respond well to being told I have little time to do them. I would be enraged. And hearing guff about it being God's Will would make me ballistic! What do they mean it's God's Will? It's God's Will I have to suffer this pain and grief and loss and have the people I love dearly suffer it, too? Bullshit! The only thing that would anger me more is being told I must keep fighting, I must keep a positive attitude- like positive thinking will affect my prognosis. Like allowing myself to grieve for myself and my loved ones lets the side down somehow. Like curing cancer is mind over matter. What a load of snake oil! What does someone with terminal cancer get if they lose the battle? A participation award saying " Could have tried harder"?

What's happening to you is not "God's Will", it's evidence that there is no god and evolution fucks up, and the sooner we can get that through everyone's heads, the sooner science will come up with effective, life saving treatments and vaccines, because things like stem cell treatment won't be taboo any more. Research won't be ham strung by this ridiculous, religious human life-is-sacred-because-souls claptrap. Next time someone tells you it's god's will, bite them. Hard. I can't think of an uglier, nastier insult to throw at someone in your shoes than it's god's will and the faithful don't even realise it IS an insult! They think they're offering comfort, ffs!

I'll leave you with the thoughts of the Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews, on the God of Cancer. Enjoy.


Koukla's picture
Hi Sushisnake, thanks for

Hi Sushisnake, thanks for sharing the link to Seth Andrews. I love how he quotes bible verses to strengthen his arguments.
I'm sorry you've lost loved ones to cancer. There is no sense to make of it.
I've heard it all and I certainly want to rip into these ignorami but I have a strange problem. I have a soft voice and a gentle face, and unless I swear and act aggressively, the jesus freaks think they can continue making an argument. I will not make a fool of myself by ranting and raving, and swearing (which will make me sound like I don't have the vocabulary to make my point) so I choose to be polite and walk away; however, I will then quickly make a call to my mom and boyfriend and vent until I'm near tears from anger.

Sushisnake's picture
Why is it the world respects

Why is it the world respects a man's right to be assertive - polite yet firm - but a woman's not so much? No. We have shout aggressively to get the same result.

Seriously, we atheists need to address unwanted intrusions by the faithful into our personal space at the State, Federal and UN level. Freedom of religious belief is a basic human right. Freedom of non-belief needs to be, too. If we had equality before the law, your well meaning persecutors' actions would be illegal. They can't harass you sexually, but they can harass you religiously. It's wrong.

bigbill's picture
Well my heart goes out to you

Well my heart goes out to you in your fight with cancer, I think like you mentioned that those people meant well. Tell me it sounds like you blame god for your situation. Do you? And if so why? There`s some things we just don`t know concerning life in general and about cancer. So please don`t become bitter at people or God both have tried to comfort you. love billy

Koukla's picture
Oh wow! AB, where does it

Oh wow! AB, where does it sound like I blame anybody? I can't blame any god b/c I don't believe in any. I am not bitter, in fact, I've been very lucky in this journey no matter how it ends. Thank you for your concern but no religion and no god has any place in my life.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Ignore him mate, he is a

Ignore him mate, he is a troll.

You keep on getting better/surviving.

Koukla's picture
Thanks, Old man who sho....

Thanks, Old man who sho.... Still learning the ropes on this site.

Tin-Man's picture
@AB/DC Re: Koukla

@AB/DC Re: Koukla

Agnost, back the fuck off, dude! Not cool! It's one thing to spout your nonsense around about some of the other topics on this site, but keep your schizophrenic bi-polar bullshit away from here. I have tolerated a bunch of your crap on here, but I will NOT tolerate your taking petty jabs at somebody with a seriously legit problem/illness. Koukla may be too nice and polite to say it, but I'm not. Keep your lame-ass comments to yourself, and fuck off you little piss-ant.

Sushisnake's picture
Why did you do that, AB? What

Why did you do that, AB? What is WRONG with you?! Is it stupidity? Spite? Arrogance? Why did you do that? You are indeed an agnostic - you don’t know if atheists deserve common decency or not, do you? They sure as hell don't deserve equality, do they? You''re asked to extend the courtesy of the same freedom of belief to us as you enjoy, and you can't do it, can you? No. You have to mouth your empty pious platitudes.

"To me it sounds like you blame god" FFS! Why don't you go away and pray? My theological understanding is your petty little God needs x amount of petitioners grovelling at His feet, swearing eternal obedience, before He'll lift a finger, but He's never bothered to tell us how many x is, so hop to it like a good little serf. Maybe your signature is the last one He needs on the petition to give Himself permission to act..

algebe's picture
@Agnostic believer: "There`s

@Agnostic believer: "There`s some things we just don`t know concerning life in general and about cancer."

That's true. There are many things we don't know, but there's nothing we can't know if you god fantasists will stay out of the way and stop bleating about your offended religious sensitivities. It makes me weep to think how much medical progress has been slowed and obstructed by the senseless demands of religionists. I also weep for all the people who've suffered and died needlessly because they trusted faith healing over science.

Priests and preachers should stay out of hospitals unless they're organ donors.

Sheldon's picture
" Tell me it sounds like you

" Tell me it sounds like you blame god for your situation. "

Koukla "Hello my fellow atheists,"

Sigh, do read his post properly. Also what has your post got to do with theists proselytising people who don't want it, but are in a physically and emotionally vulnerable position because they are ill? Who cares if they mean well, it's crass and inconsiderate.

Of course no deity is to blame for cancer, because no deity exists, but if an omnipotent deity existed and had created everything then it would axiomatically be responsible for everything it created. Are you saying the deity you choose to believe in can't cure cancer? Why do Christians bother praying for it to do this then? If you believe it can cure cancer, but it does nothing then it would be evil.

mykcob4's picture

Oh, billy shut the fuck up! Damn you're an idiot. Fucking christians condescending to a person dealing with cancer is inappropriate and downright shameful. Prayer is nothing more than a show. It is utter bullshit.
Not wanting people to use you so they can make a fucking display is NOT BEING BITTER! You're an idiot!


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