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Main Discussion Zone => Why Won't God Heal Amputees? => Topic started by: Anfauglir on November 13, 2011, 03:29:10 AM

Title: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on November 13, 2011, 03:29:10 AM
I'd like to tell you all about my family.  Specifically, my mother, father, and sister.  All three of them good Christians, good people.  Regular churchgoers, charitable....nice people.

My sister got married a few years ago, to a guy from the church, and soon after was pregnant.  Twins.  On the day they were born, there were big complications.  Everyone at the church prayed for them.

The next day, she died.  I'm not sure she even got the chance to hold her babies.

The husband moved away, and soon after remarried - either a lady vicar or lay preacher, I can't recall.  With two sets of grandparents in their own family, there was no room for my mum and dad.  Pretty soon they were cut off from my sister's children.

They took it all very badly, and its likely this double whammy was what set off my mother's Alzheimers.  Over the last couple years she has got worse, to the stage now where she looks at me and will say "I really wish I'd had children - I never did, you know".

Last Monday my father went into hospital, complications with his medicines.  On about 20 pills a day for various things, he wasn't right since my sister's death, except it hit him physically, and his health deteriorated over the last couple years.  Caring for my mum took it out of him as well, but he hid her illness from me.  Only this summer, when he had the first of four hospital stays and mum stayed with us was it clear how bad she'd got.  I started getting social services involved, but the wheels grind slowly.  This latest visit, they found a great respite care home while he is in hospital - she needs someone around her all the time now.  My wife and I have to both work, we can't do it.

My dad....again, I'm sure everyone was praying for him.  Yesterday morning he died, basically just worn out.  He was 75.  It all happened very fast - between the hospital calling to say "better come today" and calling to say "he's gone" was about 45 minutes.  I was sorting out childcare and my wife was on her way back from work with the car. 

My mum doesn't know yet.  Tomorrow I have to collect her and tell her and take her to the Chapel of Rest to see him.  With her Alzheimer's, it may well be that she hears that her husband of 45+ years is dead, over and over again as she forgets, and asks for him, and has the news broken again.

My sister, my mother, my father.  All good Christians, all good people, with their church praying for them all.

Life stinks.  I am so, so glad that there is no god.  Because a god that would do all that.....

That's all.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: One Above All on November 13, 2011, 03:39:32 AM
I have nothing to say that can help with what you have to do, but I wish you the best of luck.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Nick on November 13, 2011, 04:59:35 AM
What is that old saying?, "God does not give us more than we can bear".  Always thought that was bs.

Life sure seems to give people a lot to deal with.  Caring for parents as they get older is one.  We, in the West, dont seem to do a very good job of that.  IM sure it is going to get worse as health care becomes more and more expensive and out of reach.

Take one step at a time.  Sounds like you are doing as best as you can with the situation.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jetson on November 13, 2011, 08:42:41 AM
Sorry to hear this news Anfauglir.  Seems like your handling as well as possible under the circumstances.  We can be good listeners, if nothing else.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: ungod on November 13, 2011, 09:50:37 AM
Hope things get better for you when all this is over.
Funny how at such times, we don't seem to hear from the "Great Designer" crowd, or about Jesus' love, or God's goodness....
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Graybeard on November 13, 2011, 10:19:38 AM
The pointlessness of religion... my commiserations...
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: curiousgirl on November 13, 2011, 10:52:25 AM
Anfauglir, I'm so sorry for your loss.

If God were real, I would want to bitch slap him for screwing things up so much.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kin hell on November 13, 2011, 10:59:10 AM
Ah mate    hard hard reality      I am with Lucifer in that without being able to share your burden in real terms, and without a god to make effect-less prayer to, I am left hoping that you may find the most easeful path through what you are dealing with.

The image of your mother's possible repeating nightmare is haunting.

 
Performing all the necessary tasks to the best of your abilities for the most achievable "good" outcome, is perhaps life's own best panacea, but being loaded up with life's ambush random cruelty is very very hard.

  I wish you all well.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on November 13, 2011, 04:20:59 PM
I'm so very, very sorry for your losses.  :(

And on a practical note ... I have a cousin who is director of an Alzeimer care facility. They are finding that it's much more humane to lie, yes, lie, to alzeimer's patients about death and other losses. If she forgets the loss, and asks for him, simply say that he'll be there later. Or some other simple thing. To make her revisit his death over and over and over again is, they're finding, not only a waste of time, but cruel. Much better for her to remain calm and happy I think. My father was quite senile in his final years, and we found it much kinder to be vague and not try to update him on things he wouldn't remember anyway. They just caused sadness in him, even if only briefly before he forgot again.

Hugs to you and your family.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on November 13, 2011, 05:13:01 PM
Thanks all for your thoughts - its much appreciated.

Traveler, I understand your point about lying.  I'm likely going to be doing that in the future, but I think at least this once I have to tell her, so she can come and see him one last time face to face.  Then again in a couple weeks for the funeral.  And then...I don't know.  I suspect this will be the last straw and she'll just withdraw from the world completely.  Her temporary care home is half an hour away, so I also need to organise one thats a lot nearer us.

Thanks again for letting me vent - its helpful to set it all down.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: voodoo child on November 13, 2011, 09:54:31 PM
if it means anything at all.. well, you know.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: catdance62 on November 13, 2011, 09:59:05 PM
I'm very sorry you had to go through all that. Tough stuff all at once. :(
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: screwtape on November 14, 2011, 10:11:46 AM
That's all.

That really stinks.  I'm with you, brother.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on November 14, 2011, 12:32:02 PM
my sympathies, Anfauglir.

and Christians wonder why atheists just shake our heads when they claim that prayer does anything.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: shnozzola on November 14, 2011, 06:44:32 PM
Life stinks.  I am so, so glad that there is no god.  Because a god that would do all that.....
That's all.
And on a practical note ... I have a cousin who is director of an Alzeimer care facility. They are finding that it's much more humane to lie, yes, lie, to alzeimer's patients about death and other losses...... Hugs to you and your family.
Ditto hugs to your family.  Hold each other tight.  My wife works with alzeimers patients and tells them, "yes, in the morning your husband or wife will be here to pick you up, knowing that the lie will help them sleep soundly.  One woman told my wife, "The kids said they were taking me to the mountains, and I've had just about enough of the mountains."  She's had many children who are unknown by their parents thank here for her caring and constant help with their parents who are faded away at best, and violent at worst.   

Nothing we can say helps  - we'll all be there or know somebody, all hoping for good care.  However, life doesn't always stink, Anfauglir.    Your parents and sister have good friends, and that is what is important.  My sister is battling breast cancer, and we can't let it get us down.  As crazy as it sounds - life, as unimportant as it is, is too important and short to feel bad for long.  How old is your mom, man?  Give her a kiss for all of us and savor the knowledge that we care.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jtp56 on November 14, 2011, 08:53:31 PM
Sorry for you loss.  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Fiji on November 15, 2011, 03:16:37 AM
I'm sorry for your loss, Anfauglir.

The one thing I remember from Dempsey And Makepeace, aeons ago on aunty Beeb ... "Life's hard, then you die."
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on November 15, 2011, 05:34:44 AM
Last night I had the joy of - firstly - telling my mum the news at the home, and then of being with her when we viewed his body.  Her, me, my wife, all in a bit of a mess.

Thanks once again to everyone for all the support.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Gnu Ordure on November 15, 2011, 04:37:38 PM
Hi Anf,

Sorry to hear about your father (and your sister as well - that must have been awful for your folks - and for you, of course).

Quote
Life stinks.
If you're hurting now because your father is gone, then that's good, Anf. It means that your love for each other was real and meaningful and valuable.

Grief is the price of love. If one doesn't want to ever pay that price, then don't love anyone. Simple. But who wants to live in a world without love?



May I make an observation, Anf? I sense from your OP that you're feeling angry. This is a natural reaction to any deep loss - a fundamental, childlike feeling of "It's not fair". Which it isn't.   

Some people in this situation want to find somebody or something to be angry at. So they blame the doctors, or social services, or the drunk driver, or the government, or their relatives. And if they're not careful, they get stuck in a fight for years for 'justice' or 'revenge' - as if that would take their pain away.

So don't bother looking for scapegoats, Anf. That's a waste of time.

I hope you don't mind me saying that. I'm trying to help.

Best wishes,

Gnu.

PS Sorry about your mum, as well. My mother had Alzheimer's for her last five years, as I think you know. I'd be happy to share my experience of her treatment under the NHS, and of how it was for us personally; but you probably know that the progress of dementias are unpredictable, so you have to take it day by day.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on November 15, 2011, 05:06:26 PM
Holy shit, An... I had no idea you had that kind of mess on your plate.

<brohug>

I'm bad with condolences. Real talk, ain't no way I can empathize with what you're going through. Not really. I can try to imagine, and it's fucking horrible, but there are so many little side things that empathy can't fit into it's scope... I mean planning funerals and dealing with estates and adapting to loss and all that...

That's a lot of weight for any set of shoulders my man, and I wish I could shift my own personal planet a little to the left and maybe help you carry some.

Good luck homey. Try and keep yer head up. What's that shit from the Crow? "It can't rain all the time."? Yeah. Words of wisdom.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: wright on November 15, 2011, 05:23:34 PM
My sympathies for what they're worth, Anfauglir.

My paternal grandfather's body outlasted his mind by over a year. Though he had good care and was as in good spirits as could be expected, his senility was wrenching to all of us who had known and loved him.

All I can think to say is, don't be ashamed to lean on people who offer you support and whom you know you can trust. There is no shame in taking sincerely given comfort when overwhelmed with life's shit.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on November 15, 2011, 05:26:48 PM
Sorry to hear all that. We are dealing with the aging/dying parent situation as well. My husband's dad went last year and his mom, who moved in with us,  is declining now. The dementia is a real bummer-- it seems more humane if they go quickly rather than hang on after they lose the personality--so much for the eternal soul.

Remember to do some nice things for yourself and your wife. Take comfort in doing the right thing to the best of your ability and being a good son. That will stay with you.

God does not seem to care any more about his devoted flock than he does about us unbelievers.True words-- if there was a god in charge of this sh!t, he would not be worth worship.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on November 15, 2011, 05:29:40 PM
Anfauglir, I am sorry to hear about your losses. I think it takes a great deal of courage to go through what you have, I'm sure it's been difficult. May your persevere on your journey to healing and acceptance.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Azdgari on November 16, 2011, 11:34:25 AM
My sincerest sympathies, Anf.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: fishjie on November 16, 2011, 02:19:51 PM
Condolences to you for your loss.   

Oh and what a crappy thing for your brother in law to do.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on November 17, 2011, 08:37:22 AM
Thanks once again to everyone - you've made me cry, in a good way.

@Gnu - funnily enough, I'm not finding myself angry at all, apart from an unspecific general dissatisfaction with the universe as a whole. 

I've never liked things that stop.  I hate it when my favourite TV series' end, for example.  Theoretically, I should be a prime candidate for religion, as the idea of an afterlife should appeal to me.

Getting old is rubbish.  (can't use the real word, I'm on work PC!)  Your body breaking down, your mind going, no longer being able to do the things you've loved all your life.....  it's a callous and heartless system.  Exactly what I would expect from an impersonal universe.

What I'm not looking forward to is the funeral.  For his sake, for mum's sake, it'll happen at his local church.  Worst bit is I'm making all the funeral arrangements, having to book and organise and discuss things that I have no belief in. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Avascar on November 20, 2011, 01:02:57 PM
Hopefully you'll be able to move on, right?

Look at the bright side! *can't find a bright side other than your alive*
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on November 20, 2011, 02:30:51 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your sister and parents. Till death do us part applies to the person you marry, but offspring are offspring and they should know their family (unless they are abusive). I find it immoral for your ex-BIL to not visit with the grandkids. Kinda cruel, actually.


Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on November 21, 2011, 02:12:14 PM
I've never liked things that stop.  I hate it when my favourite TV series' end, for example.  Theoretically, I should be a prime candidate for religion, as the idea of an afterlife should appeal to me.

Getting old is rubbish.  (can't use the real word, I'm on work PC!)  Your body breaking down, your mind going, no longer being able to do the things you've loved all your life.....  it's a callous and heartless system.  Exactly what I would expect from an impersonal universe.

isn't that the pathetic painful truth.  I have to have one of my cats euthanized today.  And I'm screaming inside about how fucking unfair it is and crying my eyes out of course :'(.  But I know it's the right thing to do because there's nothing else that can be done.   The univrse might not care but I do.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jynnan tonnix on November 21, 2011, 08:15:22 PM
Aww...sorry to hear about your kitty Velkyn. It's always a horrible decision to make, even when you know it's the right one,

And Anfauglir, all condolences and whatever comfort you can glean from e-messages at great distance from a person you don't even know. So much for you to deal with.

You often have a way of putting into words just what I am thinking, and have always been one of my favorite posters. Hang in there!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 01, 2011, 09:43:01 PM
To Mr. Anfauglir:

After reading your post, i cannot help but express my heartfelt condolences of what you're going through. However, reading your post, it appears that all your family members are believer in God, except you. And if you haven't noticed, they've all either gone to a better world or jus simply living well into old age. As for you my friend, you are bearing the punishment. Could be that you are not a believer and God is dealing with pretty nicely if you ask me. God bless.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Historicity on December 01, 2011, 10:17:53 PM
However, reading your post... And if you haven't noticed, they've all either gone to a better world or jus simply living well into old age. As for you my friend, you are bearing the punishment.

Quote from: Anflaugir
On about 20 pills a day for various things, he wasn't right since my sister's death, except it hit him physically, and his health deteriorated over the last couple years.  Caring for my mum took it out of him as well, but he hid her illness from me.

The evidence is that you did not read.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 01, 2011, 10:21:34 PM
either way his dad is gone and he's left with the miserable things to face. God will be merciful if you have faith if not He land upon your head all the miseries there is just as he did with Satan whom he created. If he can punish Satan with FIRE what makes you think he won't punish those little humans who defy HIM. Fear God or you'll face the brunt of His meriless wrath just as he did to the JEWS. Don't underestimate his wrath or confuse His love for He is JUST!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Historicity on December 01, 2011, 11:17:12 PM
God will be merciful if you have faith
Well, God wasn't.

The evidence is that you did not read.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 01, 2011, 11:20:57 PM
If you have faith, you'll know how to take care of your health. You cannot have faith and drink and eat stakes, pork, junk food all the time and be merry. Jesus was the Son of God and he didn't live like a rich person.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Historicity on December 01, 2011, 11:35:40 PM
If you have faith, you'll know how to take care of your health. You cannot have faith and drink and eat stakes, pork, junk food all the time and be merry. Jesus was the Son of God and he didn't live like a rich person.

Completely irrelevant and off topic, that is a string of non sequiturs.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Mr. Blackwell on December 01, 2011, 11:48:26 PM
Fear God or you'll face the brunt of His meriless wrath just as he did to the JEWS. Don't underestimate his wrath or confuse His love for He is JUST!

We are like spiders in the hand of an angry God.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on December 02, 2011, 12:03:16 AM
Fear God or you'll face the brunt of His meriless wrath just as he did to the JEWS. Don't underestimate his wrath or confuse His love for He is JUST!

But you said God endorse fellowship only BUT not religion (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20782.msg460268.html#msg460268), so what happened to fellowship ... only?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 02, 2011, 12:06:23 AM
what we are doing now is fellowship but in a rather simple way. We are talking about God whether debating or trying to find a common ground about Him. But the fellowship He wrote about in the Bible can be anybody or everybody. Fellowship is when people who believe in God come together to share His words and praising Him. Not like religion where everything is mandated and has heiriarchies. Fellowship can be as little as 3 people but with FAITH.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on December 02, 2011, 12:13:47 AM
Using the LHC to split that neutrino?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 02, 2011, 12:18:55 AM
CERN needs to keep coming up with shit or they'll be all out of work. How many years has it been since they say they're close to discovering nuclear fusion, 60? LOL! The fools they make out of you!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on December 02, 2011, 07:21:38 AM
God will be merciful if you have faith if not He land upon your head all the miseries there is

Now go back and read my first post.  You'd be hard-pushed to find a family with more faith than mine.  My sister had loads, my father had loads, my mother had loads.  And despite that, on their heads were landed all the miseries there could be.

I can see why you would want to believe that they weren't good enough Christians.  How you would want to claim that their faith simply wasn't good enough.

But what - I have to say - amuses me the most about the good and loving Christian you are, is that you felt okay to pop in at a stressful time of my life, and intimate that - somehow - its all my fault.  That because I am an unbeliever, somehow all the misery heaped on my family is god teaching me a lesson.  I wonder.....on that basis, is my dad in heaven looking down at me, and at mum, and complimenting god on his benevolence?

Well, anyway.....thanks for the compassion - I'm sure Jesus is pleased with what you've said here.

- - - - -

For the people who truly care, the updates.  Funeral went off as well as these things can do on Monday.  Mum was basically in and out - when she was in the moment, she was devastated, other times she wasn't quite sure who we were there for.  I'm torn as to whether its a good or a bad thing - good because a lot of the time she doesn't "get it".  Bad because I can see it comes upon her as a fresh realisation over and over again.

One bit of good news though - on speaking to their lawyer, he told me that a few years back they both set up Powers of Attorney for me, so I don't have to go through all the form-filling and red tape that would be required if I tried to set one up from scratch now. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on December 02, 2011, 07:35:00 AM
CERN needs to keep coming up with shit or they'll be all out of work. How many years has it been since they say they're close to discovering nuclear fusion, 60? LOL! The fools they make out of you!

You missed the point entirely, or that was the poorest deflection I've heard in quite some time.


Or both.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on December 02, 2011, 07:45:15 AM
...For the people who truly care, the updates...

Hugs in the form of a +1, and continued sympathy for all that you're going through.

As for the interuption in this thread. Some people are heartless SOBs with no sense of shame for what they do.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 02, 2011, 08:52:06 AM
To Mr. Anfauglir:

After reading your post, i cannot help but express my heartfelt condolences of what you're going through. However, reading your post, it appears that all your family members are believer in God, except you. And if you haven't noticed, they've all either gone to a better world or jus simply living well into old age. As for you my friend, you are bearing the punishment. Could be that you are not a believer and God is dealing with pretty nicely if you ask me. God bless.

So Lance, one has to wonder.... since Jesus suffered and died on the cross (allegedly) did he not have enough faith to save him? What about Mother Teresa? Not enough faith to save her?

Your comments here are totally insensitive, uncalled for, and serve as a clear demonstration as to why so many of us have realized that religion is nothing more than a fear tactic that prey's on people's insecurities in an attempt to manipulate and control their actions and thoughts.

You addition of "God Bless" at the end of your ignorant statement is a slap in the face, kicking someone when they are done. Nice job representing Jesus, asshole. Isn't it odd how the only person on here who has something negative to contribute to someone who has experienced major losses in their life is a Christian? Imagine that. Are you part of the Westboro Baptist Church or something?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on December 02, 2011, 10:07:57 AM
If you have faith, you'll know how to take care of your health. You cannot have faith and drink and eat stakes, pork, junk food all the time and be merry. Jesus was the Son of God and he didn't live like a rich person.

Lmao... Wut?? You mean the guy who supposedly had GOLD and SPICES brought to him the DAY HE WAS BORN? You mean the guy who supposedly lived his life with a dozen yes-men and hangers-on following him around, ready to do his every bidding? You think your precious zombie on a stick ever had to go hungry (not including self-induced rich-boy style fasting of course)? The douchebag had women WASHING HIS FEET WITH THEIR HAIR for the love of Zeus.

Yeah. He lived like a rich person. I understand that might be hard to notice with your head so far up your ass though.

Oh, and by the way, nice move there, using somebody's personal tragedy to try to slip in the dick of your disgusting little cult. You are one fucked up human being, Sparky. Go drink your kool-aid and shut the f**k up. Thanks! Oh, and Hail Satan n' Junk!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on December 02, 2011, 10:10:27 AM
either way his dad is gone and he's left with the miserable things to face. God will be merciful if you have faith if not He land upon your head all the miseries there is just as he did with Satan whom he created. If he can punish Satan with FIRE what makes you think he won't punish those little humans who defy HIM. Fear God or you'll face the brunt of His meriless wrath just as he did to the JEWS. Don't underestimate his wrath or confuse His love for He is JUST!

what a hateful nasty person this person is. I'm so glad I've ceased being a Christian, just from this one "Good Christiantm" alone.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 02, 2011, 10:29:41 AM
If you have faith, you'll know how to take care of your health. You cannot have faith and drink and eat stakes, pork, junk food all the time and be merry. Jesus was the Son of God and he didn't live like a rich person.

Lmao... Wut?? You mean the guy who supposedly had GOLD and SPICES brought to him the DAY HE WAS BORN? You mean the guy who supposedly lived his life with a dozen yes-men and hangers-on following him around, ready to do his every bidding? You think your precious zombie on a stick ever had to go hungry (not including self-induced rich-boy style fasting of course)? The douchebag had women WASHING HIS FEET WITH THEIR HAIR for the love of Zeus.

Yeah. He lived like a rich person. I understand that might be hard to notice with your head so far up your ass though.

Oh, and by the way, nice move there, using somebody's personal tragedy to try to slip in the dick of your disgusting little cult. You are one fucked up human being, Sparky. Go drink your kool-aid and shut the f**k up. Thanks! Oh, and Hail Satan n' Junk!

Ha! That's a good point about Jesus. I mean, it's not like the guy was super deprived, and we already know (sarcasm) that he can take a small amount of food and make it go a long way, change water into wine, catch an ass-load of fish, and (allegedly, though he never did) move mountains, so how could he ever really be lacking? Anyone who can make whatever the hell they want happen can hardly be considered not to live like a rich person, especially, as you pointed out, if they have groupies and prostitutes following them around. Hell, Jesus was a rock star!

Also, a very nice job not only pointing out Lance's poor logic, but ripping Lance apart for being a total douche-bag.


Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on December 02, 2011, 02:49:39 PM
<bows> Why thank you. Thank you very much. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on December 02, 2011, 05:01:08 PM
Fear God or you'll face the brunt of His meriless wrath just as he did to the JEWS. Don't underestimate his wrath or confuse His love for He is JUST!

But you said God endorse fellowship only BUT not religion (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20782.msg460268.html#msg460268), so what happened to fellowship ... only?

I think the approriately named Lance, as in pus-filled boil, is a bit confused himself.

He does not realize that non-believers who live in more secular places like northern Europe and Japan have far better lives than the religious people who live in the most godly places on earth. You can't get much more god than in the Middle East, the US south, the poor countries of Latin America.

What is god heaping on whose head again? Oh, yeah, faithful slaves and devout poor people are supposed to wait for their reward in heaven while the rich people live it up here. If your life on earth is good, you don't have to wait until you die to get enough to eat and have your kids survive infancy.

And BTW, nice attempt at slapping the OP while he is down and trying to stick god in there somewhere. Christian compassion at its best. &) >:(
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 04, 2011, 06:17:49 PM
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kin hell on December 04, 2011, 06:34:43 PM
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!

Lance
ignoring your thin, subjectless and  begrudged apology .......three things

1. This is not the right thread for any of your xian indoctrination.
2. This is an atheist forum, it is absolutely presumptuous of you to present yourself as "here to explain god's side".
You are just another gullible believer who willingly betrayed your logical capability by adopting the idiocy of faith.
3. You do not love us all.

Now go make your own thread elsewhere.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 04, 2011, 06:46:53 PM
that's a directive Kin Hell? You'll be banned before u know it. slow down and let me present my case. How can u know the truth when u isolate those whom u disagree with. I know God but I don't ignore atheist.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: monkeymind on December 04, 2011, 06:48:46 PM
that's a directive Kin Hell? You'll be banned before u know it. slow down and let me present my case. How can u know the truth when u isolate those whom u disagree with. I know God but I don't ignore atheist.

He is just telling you that you need to stay on topic in this thread or make your own. Please take time to read the rules of the forum.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 04, 2011, 07:07:55 PM
He is just telling you that you need to stay on topic in this thread or make your own. Please take time to read the rules of the forum.

I have taken the liberty of doing this for Lance, as he seems reluctant to express his views in an appropriate thread. Lance, please feel free to answer any and all inquiries at http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20811.0.html (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,20811.0.html)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Lance on December 04, 2011, 07:10:03 PM
thanks kaziglu but i've already started a thread in order to keep with forum's norm. btw - mark twain is one of my favorite authors.  ;D
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 04, 2011, 07:17:13 PM
thanks kaziglu but i've already started a thread in order to keep with forum's norm. btw - mark twain is one of my favorite authors.  ;D

Would you be willing to humor me and answer those questions anyways?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on December 05, 2011, 09:48:25 AM
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!

how fun, a Christain who claims he loves us and now wants to apologize after showing just how hateful he is.  Darn, got caught again in the arrogant delusion that people would agree with him and not calling him on his actions. 

Pity that this god can't get any people to "explain" his side except the ignorant and the nasty.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jaimehlers on December 05, 2011, 10:06:49 AM
My sympathies, Anfauglir.  It's never pleasant to deal with a death in the family, and far less pleasant to deal with several within a relatively short span of time.  I can't even say something like "they're still with you as long as you remember them" to try to help you feel better, because that's not enough and it'll never be enough to fill the holes I'm sure they left.  Still, it's really the most compassionate thing I can think of to say.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Tykster on December 05, 2011, 10:07:28 AM
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!

My bolding.

When will you learn compassion toward your fellow man?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on December 06, 2011, 08:25:46 AM
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!
My bolding.
When will you learn compassion toward your fellow man?

For those not already aware, Lance has been muted.  It seems that despite his wish for meaningful and respectful dialogue he has been unable to keep to his own standards.  You'd have thought that someone here to explain his god's side, someone filled with god's love, he'd have been able to make a better job of it.  Ah well.

- - - - -

Continued thanks for all the good wishes in this thread.  They HAVE made things easier to bear.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: One Above All on December 06, 2011, 08:27:41 AM
Continued thanks for all the good wishes in this thread.  They HAVE made things easier to bear.

I think I speak for everyone when I say:
Glad to hear it. :)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: monkeymind on December 06, 2011, 08:49:36 AM
I read your OP, and felt it deeply. In some way, you may have helped me prepare for the inevitable pain I will soon experience with the loss of my own parents.

Thank you for telling your story.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on December 15, 2011, 05:38:26 AM
I wonder....am I being a hypocrite?  I'll explain.

In looking for a new care home for my mum nearer where I live, I used the internet to get a short list of homes that scored 3 stars out of 3.  I then went round to visit them.

(Side note: some of the ones I looked at made me think "if this is a 3, how terrible must a 1 be?")

Anyhoo....I visited 6 in the end.  4 pretty grotty.  1 superb, but simply too expensive.  And 1 that is affordable, with caring staff, great menu, lots of activities and outings, large and comfortable rooms.

And run by the Salvation Army.

Now I know that my mum will like that, as she's always been a a regular churchgoer and will enjoy the Christian attitude and regular services held there.  But where the "hypocrite" bit comes in is this: I like the idea of it being run by the Sally Army because I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation! 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on December 15, 2011, 05:58:51 AM
I don't see a problem with it. They are essentially running a business and providing a service, so if they provide a good service, so be it. If your mom actually likes the Christian attitude, then all the better.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kaziglu bey on December 15, 2011, 08:05:11 AM
I wonder....am I being a hypocrite?  I'll explain.

In looking for a new care home for my mum nearer where I live, I used the internet to get a short list of homes that scored 3 stars out of 3.  I then went round to visit them.

(Side note: some of the ones I looked at made me think "if this is a 3, how terrible must a 1 be?")

Anyhoo....I visited 6 in the end.  4 pretty grotty.  1 superb, but simply too expensive.  And 1 that is affordable, with caring staff, great menu, lots of activities and outings, large and comfortable rooms.

And run by the Salvation Army.

Now I know that my mum will like that, as she's always been a a regular churchgoer and will enjoy the Christian attitude and regular services held there.  But where the "hypocrite" bit comes in is this: I like the idea of it being run by the Sally Army because I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation!

I think that it is an interesting assertion that she will receive better treatment at the Salvation Army home than a secular institution. I suppose this is why you are feeling like a hypocrite? Certainly religion is not ALL bad. It actually does inspire some people to be more caring and nurturing of others. I don't think that it would be necessarily hypocritical to take advantage of a service that can (A meet the needs of your mother B) has a clean supportive environment and C) actually gives you a positive impression. This especially since it will actually be catered to some of the activities that your mother enjoys and a belief system that she shares. I can understand that feeling of cringing repulsion with actually voluntarily choosing to be involved in a religious organization. But if it is out there and is the service is a good match, I say go for it. While I also do not agree with all of the ideologies of Sal's Army, and their track record is probably not without blemish, they actually do a lot of good (at leasst I know they do in my community). Food distribution, counseling and referral services, Salvation Army stores, rehab programs, homeless shelters, etc. they do it all. If I were to utilize a Christian service, I would be happy to see that they are actually doing the kinds of stuff Jesus wanted them to do.

I faced a similar (though admittedly far less important) decision when my son wanted to join Boy Scouts. Though both his mom and I are not in agreement with all of the ideas of Boy Scouts, and in some cases rather against, we ultimately decided to let him do it. If my son ends up adopting any negative ideas or prejudice as a result of his involvement in Scouts, then I would consider it a great failure of mine for not teaching him. Fortunately I won't let that happen. The benefits for my son will likely outweigh the deficits. Also, if I feel that he is having a bad message thrust upon him, it is my job to intervene to correct the situation, and withdraw him from scouts if necessary. Similarly, if you were to find that the Salvation army is NOT the best match for your mom, you could always find a more suitable alternative. It's not really a lifelong commitment, is it?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: screwtape on December 15, 2011, 09:21:35 AM
I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation!

I think the part DD would probably take issue with it this part:
I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

Why do you think that?  It seems to me it could be left over[1]or cultural bias.

And goddammit, why isn't there a Humanist Army?
 1. if you were a believer
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Iamrational on December 15, 2011, 10:02:21 AM
Each one of the 6 places you visited had an equal chance to win your business.

Regardless of what faith they support or none at all, they put their best foot forward. You saw what they had to offer and picked the place that showed you all the most caring attitude on top of decent living conditions. They so happened to be faith based. This isn't a preschool situation where the opportunity to avoid indoctrination can be avoided.

It doesn't sound in any way like you went hunting for a Baptist home. What happened is you looked around and saw that those people seemed to care about their customers. Simply better management, not philosophy. A secular company could adopt the same caring attitude, but in this case they just did not do it. Take the expensive place for instance. They may be secular. It could be that they charge a lot for their product and they take pride in it. They could have seen their competition and they know what they have to rise above. They could have said if they are going to charge the top dollar in that market they had better match it with top dollar service. So philosophy doesn't play a role.

No regrets though. This is a decision you have to sleep with and you will not sleep well if you are second guessing the living conditions. The last thing you need right now is more stress, or regrets. Take care and I hope you can find some enjoyment amidst these tough circumstances.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on December 15, 2011, 10:24:09 AM
with the SA, I always wonder, are they caring or do they know they have a brand to protect?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Gnu Ordure on December 15, 2011, 10:48:59 AM
Quote
am I being a hypocrite?
I don't think so Anf, because you're not making the decision for yourself but on behalf of your mum. So the decision should be made according to her principles, not yours. And of course she's the one who's going to live there, not you.

As long as you're happy that the Home is well-run and good value, and that your mum will be most comfortable there, then that's the best choice for her.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: wright on December 15, 2011, 04:42:00 PM
Thanks for continuing to share this with us, Anfauglir. No, I don't see hypocrisy here. As Gnu and others have said, your criteria is what's best for your mother. In this, I see selflessness and devotion trumping your discomfort at being associated with a religiously-founded institution.

This is a testament to your strength of character in a difficult time. My mother is now in her early 70s; though she's still very hale (skis, leads hiking trips in California, England, Nepal), the writing is on the wall. I hope to do as well as you have, when it comes time for my sister and I to make similar decisions.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on December 16, 2011, 09:00:43 AM
I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

Why do you think that?  It seems to me it could be left over[1]or cultural bias.
 1. if you were a believer
I think that it is an interesting assertion that she will receive better treatment at the Salvation Army home than a secular institution.

Thanks guys - until I read these responses I didn't challenge myself as to my thinking.  Yes, why DID I assume that the secular (or, to be fairer, the "undeclared" homes) wouldn't "care" as much as a religious one?

It IS cultural bias, I think.  And I guess it just shows how far atheists really have to go for acceptance if even "one of us" can think "well, religious is better....." without realising it.

- - - - -

One of the homes on my shortlist I rejected before I even got inside.  I turned up and rang the bell.  After a few minutes, through the slightly frosted glass, I saw an old lady with walking frame come to the door and start trying to open it.  Clearly she was a resident, and was getting quite distressed that she couldn't get the door open for me.  I stood for a minute or so, then decided that if they (a) didn't answer the doorbell, and more importantly (b) nobody was coming to see what a distressed resident was doing trying to get out, then that was NOT somewhere I wanted my mum.

I keep saying my mum....obviously she is, but in a very real way my mum has already gone.  She still knows my name, but has no idea who I am to her most of the time.  She'll hug my children, then look me in the eye and say "I never had children of my own, you know".  Almost everything that made her who so is is gone, though sometimes you can see a spark of who she was coming through.  I guess there will be a day when that last little spark is gone for good, and that's when she'll "die" for me. 

I can understand why there comes a time when the children simply stop visiting their parents in care homes, because they simply aren't "there" any more.  Better perhaps to remember the person they were rather than be reminded of the person they've become?  Speaking to a friend of my father's, whose mother went the same way, he said that over time the care home became her "family", and there came a point when she simply didn't want to go out with the strangers who came to see her - she wanted to stay in the home with the people she saw all the time.

I keep using this thread to "think aloud"!  Good therapy, methinks.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on December 16, 2011, 12:46:27 PM
...in a very real way my mum has already gone...

Yes, I know this feeling. It happened to my grandmother, and then to my father. And they do become more familiar with the "now" of the home, feeling more comfortable there, and safer. It's less confusing to them. I found that my dad would be more likely to recognise us during christmas. We'd gather at a christmas tree in the home and open gifts, and even up until a year or so before he died, he seemed to know my mom, brother and I. He didn't recognise my sister in law or their kids, though sometimes he thought their son was actually my brother.

Anyway. I think she'll be fine, and as happy as its possible for her to be.

Hugs and best of luck to you. This is not an experience I'd wish on anyone.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on December 16, 2011, 03:05:31 PM
We are going through some of this with my mother in law, who is dying of cancer. She lives with us and is slowly fading. It may be a year, or six months, or three months, who knows? She is a piece of work, always has been, but I have decided to be the Chinese daughter in law. What Nana wants, she gets, because that is the right thing to do.

Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene. I told her of course she could put it up. It was some kitschy china figurines. I am surprised that she thought I would say no-- atheists don't generally object to other people doing religious stuff. We just don't want people to expect us to do it, and we don't want to have it forced on us.

My father in law died exactly a year ago. He was in great pain and did not know us at the end. I don't get the "extend life at all costs" attitude of some religious people. There is nothing dignified or sacred about death when the last days are so awful for everyone. I think people who have not been there think that people die like they do on tv and in movies, with all these tender moments and wise last words. "Listen, my son...." It ain't like that at all.

Get all your tender moments and last words of wisdom from your elderly relatives and friends while they are really with us. If you wait until they are actually dying, it will be too late.  :( 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on December 16, 2011, 03:14:38 PM
...Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene...

Silghtly off topic, but ... sometimes I wish I weren't so allergic to religious displays. I've seen some gorgeous nativity scenes, and would have bought them if they didn't carry so much baggage for me. My favorite was in a primitive style, carved from wood. I think it was carved in one of the African countries. It was truly a stunning work, in my opinion. This year I'm actually challenging myself to have some small christian artwork (in the form of a meditation deck of madonna and angel images that an online friend is giving me). I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Perhaps that's a sign of maturity on my part.  ;)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on December 16, 2011, 03:38:56 PM
Ugh. Alzheimer's and the like is just the WORST man. Happened to my grandfather on his way out; guy was a Colonel in the Air Force during WWII - won the distinguished flying cross n' shit... And his life ended with him on his back waving his arms around at invisible butterflies all mush-mouthed, not recognizing his own kids or his own reflection.

Fuck, it was bad. Nature can be one brutal bitch. I mean, once you lose your mind, you lose yourself... And after that happens... what's left?  :-\

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on December 16, 2011, 03:50:56 PM
Ugh. Alzheimer's and the like is just the WORST man. Happened to my grandfather on his way out; guy was a Colonel in the Air Force during WWII - won the distinguished flying cross n' shit... And his life ended with him on his back waving his arms around at invisible butterflies all mush-mouthed, not recognizing his own kids or his own reflection.

Fuck, it was bad. Nature can be one brutal bitch. I mean, once you lose your mind, you lose yourself... And after that happens... what's left?  :-\

C'mon, Ray-Ray. Your abuelito's immortal soul was still the kickass Air force fighter....or maybe his soul was the ten year old version of him....or maybe it was the butterfly guy after all.  :?

I agree that once you lose your mental faculties, it's game over. Usually, because of god's loving eternal plan, that happens long before your body gives out. So we end up drooling and fighting, in diapers and in pain and on morphine, with nobody home. Why is this awfulness treated as sacred? When the day comes that I don't know who Terry Pratchett and Eddie Izzard are, pull my plug, 'cause I ain't there no more. 8)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on December 16, 2011, 04:43:05 PM
Well, thanks for the pep-talk my little Partridge in a Pear Tree.  ;)

So... My grandpa was still all awesome n' stuff... Only secretly shackled inside a 90 pound, 92 year old pasty, sweaty, drooling, pooping, shaking body... Because of a Gawd's rightous plan.

Hmm. That's fascinating. Well, I know *I* learned a valuable lesson. That lesson being that, you know... That's one marvelously shitty way to die! And I suppose with all the ass-wiping and sponge-bathing, it gave the orderlies something to do... And I'm sure my grandpa REALLY made a lasting impression on them amongst the thousands of other invalids they've worked with over the years!

<gasp> You're right my little Turtle Dove! I see now how my grandfather's loss of self and unimaginable loss of dignity has had an ultimately wide-reaching effect on the myriad of people who saw him such a state! It really made a difference! How could I have been so blind, when it CLEARLY was part of a great and wise plan!

Well halle-fucking-luljah. I have seeeeeeeeen the light!

Ohhhhh, that god. <wags finger at sky> You sure are a crafty one, you!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on December 17, 2011, 01:28:55 AM
Even if there were nothing else, for me dementia would be the single piece of evidence I needed that there is no god.

No good and loving god, anyways. 

And frankly, if there IS a god that thought dementia would be a good thing to create, then I want fuck all to do with that cunt.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: RaymondKHessel on December 19, 2011, 09:04:21 AM
Amen!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on December 19, 2011, 02:32:36 PM
...Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene...

Silghtly off topic, but ... sometimes I wish I weren't so allergic to religious displays. I've seen some gorgeous nativity scenes, and would have bought them if they didn't carry so much baggage for me. My favorite was in a primitive style, carved from wood. I think it was carved in one of the African countries. It was truly a stunning work, in my opinion. This year I'm actually challenging myself to have some small christian artwork (in the form of a meditation deck of madonna and angel images that an online friend is giving me). I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Perhaps that's a sign of maturity on my part.  ;)

Religion has inspired some incredible art and music and literature. The Messiah is a fantastic piece of music and one of the best things about Xmas, IMHO. Paradise Lost was one of the most memorable things I read in college, and is even more impressive when you know that Milton was blind and dictated the whole thing to his aides. Look at religious architecture-- cathedrals, temples, pyramids and mosques-- some of the most beautiful examples of construction ever. 

Just because the people who made this stuff thought they were guided by magical invisible supernatural beings[1] doesn't make the artistic endeavor any less.

Modern-day artists talk about going into a trance or the zone. Science says it is the right side of the brain taking over. Whatever works. What is cool and truly inspirational is that all of this amazing art was produced by us lowly flawed humans, a few steps removed from ape-like creatures, but reaching for the heavens with no magic, ghosts or spirits needed.
 1. and some were voice-hearing tony stark raving nucking futs
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on January 10, 2012, 11:28:49 AM
Just a couple postcripts for anyone who's still following.....

I got my mum in to the new home, near where we live, on the Friday before Christmas.  She loves it there, and she's being well looked after.  Her state pension, teachers pension, widows pension, attendance allowance, and the interest on her half of the sale of the house, will effectively mean she can live there forever, so that's another worry out of the way.  I can get in to see her a couple times a week, and although she thinks I'm her cousin, we still have some nice visits.

So that's the good part.

The bad part is I've spent the last 3 weekends at the house, dealing with my dad's stuff because he is gone, and dealing with my mum's stuff because its as if she is gone.  So that's pretty stressful for starters.

But what made me sad, and then angry, is the sheer volume of Bibles and other Christian books and pamphlets and leaflets and placemats and whatnot all scattered around.  So many of them on the theme of how much god loves us all, and how we should rely on him, and how he will help us through.  And I compared that to how low their quality of life must have been over the last couple of years, how it wore my dad out, and I wished that - rather than praying - he'd told someone who could have actually helped.  Just so much waste, such a ratty ending to a life spent in the service of others (did I mention that they were both Cub Scout leaders from their 20s until they physically couldn't do it any more?).

All the god-books have gone in the skip, and they're now off to be landfill.  The house will be sold on Wednesday, and that'll be that.

Oh, one final thing I can't recall if I mentioned or not.  The guy who stopped them seeing their daughters grandchildren....I wrote to him to say there was a bequest for the twins, but in light of the letters from him basically saying "I don't want any more contact", asked if he wished to refuse the bequest?  He - a True Christian - sent back a two page letter telling me it was all my dad's fault, what a bad and stubborn and prideful man he was (all in a letter to his son less than a month after his death, remember).......at the end of which he said he would take the money so that at least some good would come to the twins from their grandfather.....

So I guess y'all will excuse me if for a few weeks I'm a little less tolerant of Good Christian FolkTM and their tales of a loving and kind god than I would normally be.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on January 10, 2012, 11:39:17 AM
glad to hear your mom's doing well and enjoys where she is. 

and can definitely empatheize with the dealing with the stuff especially when it's full of bible crap.   I have a whole farm to look foward to emptying someday, but hopefully much less religious nonsense. :P

and of course the theist asshole would do exactly that.  Sad but expected.   I will, though, enjoy your wit and intellect perhaps being loosed full force on "good Christian folktm" for awhile
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Tykster on January 10, 2012, 01:26:17 PM
So many of them on the theme of how much god loves us all, and how we should rely on him, and how he will help us through.  [snip] ....So I guess y'all will excuse me if for a few weeks I'm a little less tolerant of Good Christian FolkTM and their tales of a loving and kind god than I would normally be.

You have my sympathies Anfauglir...

Recently a good friend of mine has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer ( 48 years old ). He's riddled with it and basically been given 6 months tops. He's a god fearing chap, but that has never been an issue between us, but because of this, he has fellow god-fearing friends, this gets tiresome on hospital visits.

There was a pastor in there one time prattling on about the Lord's love blah, blah, blah...When he was exiting he promised that next time he'll bring some olive oil in to anoint him ( WTF?). My inner dialogue was screaming, "Yeah, and I'll bring in some Voodoo chicken bones and a Magic 8 Ball!"

My friend knows about my attitude towards religion and gods etc. so I dare say that my "normal" conversations with him about life etc. are quite refreshing because I'm not invoking God TM every 5 minutes. But trust it to the only ( I suspect ) atheist in his life to have the wherewithal to smuggle in some glorious THC to help his situation.... ( so sue me, he has zero appetite without it )
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: screwtape on January 10, 2012, 01:48:35 PM
^Are all his god-believing[1] friends talking to him as if he's going on an extended trip to a tropical paradise?  Are they all jealous he gets to meet baby jesus already?  Do they speak as if they are happy for him?  As if terminal cancer is actually good news?  Shouldn't they be high-fiving over this?  This is the moment they ostensibly are all looking forward to.

If not, they are liars and hypocrites.
 1. asshole
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on January 10, 2012, 02:03:38 PM
My friend knows about my attitude towards religion and gods etc. so I dare say that my "normal" conversations with him about life etc. are quite refreshing because I'm not invoking God TM every 5 minutes. But trust it to the only ( I suspect ) atheist in his life to have the wherewithal to smuggle in some glorious THC to help his situation.... ( so sue me, he has zero appetite without it )

I hope to have friends like you in that situation, Tyk.   :)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on January 10, 2012, 03:58:21 PM
My ma-in-law came back from the cancer doctor's with a big jug of oxycodone syrup. Rarely (never?) have I seen so much narcotic in one place. If we lived in Florida, we would have to bar the doors to keep Rush Limbaugh from breaking in. I am tempted to ask her if she would like it served in a shot glass, on the rocks. Whoo-hoo!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: velkyn on January 10, 2012, 04:04:31 PM
My ma-in-law came back from the cancer doctor's with a big jug of oxycodone syrup. Rarely (never?) have I seen so much narcotic in one place. If we lived in Florida, we would have to bar the doors to keep Rush Limbaugh from breaking in. I am tempted to ask her if she would like it served in a shot glass, on the rocks. Whoo-hoo!

wow.  ;D  but on the serious side, people have been known to try to steal drugs they know are in houses( and get shot by a gal who asked permission from the 911 operator: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57352344-504083/okla-teen-mom-asks-911-for-permission-fatally-shoots-intruder-on-new-years-eve/)
I once was given a large bottle of scopolamine syrup for mysterious pains.  Intersting stuff, didn't notice any truth serum effects.   8)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kin hell on January 10, 2012, 05:19:06 PM
Just a couple postcripts for anyone who's still following.....

I got my mum in to the new home, near where we live, on the Friday before Christmas.  She loves it there, and she's being well looked after.  Her state pension, teachers pension, widows pension, attendance allowance, and the interest on her half of the sale of the house, will effectively mean she can live there forever, so that's another worry out of the way.  I can get in to see her a couple times a week, and although she thinks I'm her cousin, we still have some nice visits.

So that's the good part.

Good news to hear.

Actually that post should've been titled "the good, the bad and the ugly"  :)

The bad and the ugly sure take some living with (cue grinding of teeth), but their effects too shall pass...

...........best wishes mate

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on January 10, 2012, 07:33:49 PM
Oh, one final thing I can't recall if I mentioned or not.  The guy who stopped them seeing their daughters grandchildren....I wrote to him to say there was a bequest for the twins, but in light of the letters from him basically saying "I don't want any more contact", asked if he wished to refuse the bequest?  He - a True Christian - sent back a two page letter telling me it was all my dad's fault, what a bad and stubborn and prideful man he was (all in a letter to his son less than a month after his death, remember).......at the end of which he said he would take the money so that at least some good would come to the twins from their grandfather.....

With the money you send to the twins, I would send a letter including a few bible verses that the asshole violated, especially the part where you are supposed to honor your mother and father (which includes all mothers and fathers). I would tell him that while we can't choose our family and we don't always like what they do, they are the only family members we have and unless their actions are damaging or unforgivable, we should still honor them with some level of attention and assistance. If that means bringing the grandkids to see the grandparents once a month while he sits his ass in the car listening to the radio, then so be it. Assuming the bequest was in the form of cash (not registered or real property) and, therefore, otherwise untraceable, you at least honored your father's request by giving money to his grandchildren. Too bad the asshole couldn't have returned the favor with a little bit of grace, appreciation and understanding while the grandfather was alive. Tell him to remember that fact when he becomes old, cranky and unlikeable. It's called turning the other cheek, based on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew), which is basic Christian doctrine. Or, he could just continue to be an egotistic asshole and reap what he sows (Galatians).
 
Mind you, I have a way of expressing myself, especially in writing, that doesn't include casual language like "asshole", so that after reading more eloquent language that is equally caustic and derisive the reader will normally think "why didn't the guy just call me an asshole?"

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on January 10, 2012, 07:47:46 PM
My ma-in-law came back from the cancer doctor's with a big jug of oxycodone syrup. Rarely (never?) have I seen so much narcotic in one place. If we lived in Florida, we would have to bar the doors to keep Rush Limbaugh from breaking in. I am tempted to ask her if she would like it served in a shot glass, on the rocks. Whoo-hoo!

wow.  ;D  but on the serious side, people have been known to try to steal drugs they know are in houses ...

Some of whom are those who provided or delivered such drugs. When I worked as a health insurance claim rep (quite some time ago), I got into an argument with a home health care agency that was providing hospice care to our insured. They sent us a bill for delivery of over $20,000 worth of morphine the day before the insured died (a 60-day supply to a hospice patient in month 6 is a bit optimistic, isn't it?). I asked them for a deduction for the return of the sealed (unused) morphine doses and they said there weren't any. I told them that was bullshit -- either they have a drug dealer in their employ who confiscated a controlled substance or they are submitting a fraudulent bill. No matter which it was, we weren't gonna pay the bill. They never called back to challenge me further and they didn't get any money from us.

Beware of a large quantity of pain medication in the house. It's dangerous for more reasons than consumption.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on January 11, 2012, 06:14:58 AM
With the money you send to the twins, I would send a letter including a few bible verses that the asshole violated, especially the part where you are supposed to honor your mother and father (which includes all mothers and fathers)......

This I like - I did consider thanking him for the Christian compassion he showed in his last letter to me.....and the end of the day though, I just couldn't be bothered. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Tykster on January 11, 2012, 11:29:43 AM
My ma-in-law came back from the cancer doctor's with a big jug of oxycodone syrup. Rarely (never?) have I seen so much narcotic in one place. If we lived in Florida, we would have to bar the doors to keep Rush Limbaugh from breaking in. I am tempted to ask her if she would like it served in a shot glass, on the rocks. Whoo-hoo!

I've had some of this stuff, it works a treat :)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on August 28, 2012, 04:29:06 AM
Yeah, I know I'm necromancing....but it saves having to go over all the background again.

9 months along, and my mother's dementia has progressed quite a bit.  She still recognises me as someone she knows when I visit, but usually as her cousin.  One rather nasty time, it was as someone she fancied as a boyfriend.  She's lost all memory of the rest of the family, and seems to be now living in her 20s: talks often about what she does with her parents (dead some 50 years now), and refers to herself by her maiden name (2 marriages and about 60 years ago now).

The other day, we were looking at a bird flying in the garden.  Stuck for conversation, and wanting to get her brain started, I said "what do you think it would be like if we could fly?  Do you think we would fly to the shops, or do you think we'd be too lazy and still go by car?"

Her response was "oh, I used to be able to fly you know.  I don't any more though".  Not a joke, or a legpull, this was completely serious.

So that is the extent to which she is gone.  Her mobility has also plummetted, and she now shuffles along where only a year ago she would be strolling along with no worries.  Unfortunately, the home she is in has told me that because she needs more one-to-one constant care, I need to look for somewhere else.  She needs someone with an eye on her all the time, because little things can set her off and she will shout and kick, and it is upsetting the other residents.  They simpyl don't have the levels of staff available to have someone there to distract her before it goes off.  They're very nice about it - no rush - but I've got to go through all the searching for homes again.

I said before I could see why people stop visiting, and to be honest I don't think I'm far off that point now.  Last week I stood across the road for several minutes before I could force myself into crossing and going in.  I know that in an hour I am going to see her again (I go every Tuesday in my lunchbreak) and am dreading it.  To the extent that I am thinking about homes further away rather than nearer so that I have an "excuse" not to visit as often.

She isn't my mother any more.  She still looks the same, but the person inside is someone I have no knowledge of or connection with - sometimes disturbingly so.

Being totally honest, I' just waiting - and in fact hoping - that she will soon die.  Selfishly, yes, for me, to take this dark cloud away, but also for her.  She spend so much of her time now in a world that she doesn't understand and can't connect with - she basically is unable to read anymore, and can't grasp the words to hold a conversation, even if she had a common frame of reference to work with.  Often she is sad, or scared, or bewildered, more so now than she is happy.

That's all.  Thanks again for letting me vent.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Bereft_of_Faith on August 28, 2012, 05:51:49 AM
Very very difficult.  I don't know if anyone can quantify how bad it is for your mum, but it is getting increasingly bad for you.  I'm sorry you have to go through this.  This kind of thing can be agonizing. 

The only thought that has ever brought me any solace is that although one may be suffering, suffering is a nearly universal condition for everyone, sooner or later.  When we struggle and suffer, we are participating in one of the defining characteristics of life.  To say the least, it isn't much, but...

My thoughts are with you -BoF
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on August 28, 2012, 09:52:49 AM
I'm so very, very sorry. We lost my dad to dementia, and the last year or so was very, very difficult. We were lucky, in a way, that his health had deteriorated enough that he was wheelchair-ridden, so at least wandering off wasn't an issue. Once he slipped into "final stage" he died within a week or two of that, for which we were all very grateful. It has to be one of the least dignified ways to get old.

For what its worth, we watched my grandmother go through it too. My mom and dad were both VERY adamant that if it happened to them we were to put them in a home and do what WE needed to to get through it. And that they would NOT want to live long past the point where they were lost and confused. My dad was a math and science teacher. To watch him lose all that he was is difficult to think about, even now, a half dozen years later.

Hugs to you, and I do think you should do what you need to do for you. She doesn't know you're there, and she will not remember that you've been there. As long as there are people taking good care of her, visits are for you, at this point, not for her.

I don't know what else to say, but I'm here if you want to talk about it or have questions, via PM or on the forum.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on August 28, 2012, 10:34:35 AM
Anfauglir, I am so sorry that your mother is gone, and that the fragments of who she was reside inside of her frail body. 

My advice would be to continue to take your lunch breaks on Tuesdays.  It is such a small chunk of time out of your week, even though it takes a disproportionate amount of your mental and emotional energy.  Try to imagine how exhausted she was when you woke her up squealing for those 2 AM feedings.  Imagine those long-forgotten sleepless nights in which she sat vigil by you monitoring your scary fever.  Neither of you has any memory of those events now.  But YOU know they happened.

Sit vigil by the shell of the person she was, as a way of honoring the person she was. 

When her body dies, I suspect that you will be glad that you gave all that you had to give. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: screwtape on August 28, 2012, 10:44:58 AM
I saw a documentary on Alzheimers and dementia, on HBO I think.  One woman was interviewed who lost her husband to Alzheimers said early on in their relationship they promised each other to not put the other in nursing home.  It made it so hard for her with feelings of guilt and betrayal when she had to put him in a home because there was no way she could care for him. 

Those kinds of promises are so counter productive and selfish.  I made my wife promise to put me in a home if I need it and to not feel guilty.  If that is what needs to happen, I do not want her to feel guilty over it.

She started to pack a suitcase for me right away.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on August 28, 2012, 02:00:51 PM
^^^How old are you again? :?

This is a timely necro, because we are in the process of moving Nana in a home. She has been living with us the past two years since Papa died. And the cancer is slowly taking its toll on her. She may have six more months, maybe longer. Who knows? At least she is still coherent and can get around, but she is in a lot of pain.

My own father, always a difficult person, wandered off until he had his foot amputated (for diabetes, not to keep him from wandering!) and then was argumentative and irrational until the end. Although that was not any different from when he was younger. &)

I don't want to end up like some of the patients I have seen in nursing homes, sitting in wheelchairs, staring at the tv, waiting to die. And that is the best scenario. Dementia, wandering off, removing clothes, being incontinent, being incoherent, being frightened and confused all the time. Not fun for anyone. When there is nothing that brings you any joy anymore, and you are just in pain and don't even know why, when there is nothing left of your personality, what is the point?

I am haunted by what my daughter, age 13, said as we watched her beloved birder Papa in his last few weeks: incoherent from the morphine; fighting to get out of bed to care for his beloved birds, although unable to stand or walk; using a diaper; legs weeping fluid that soaked the bed sheets; exhausting all of us as we took turns sitting with him; holding him up when he insisted on standing; trying to keep him calm; wearing Nana down as she tried to be with him round the clock. And costing a lot of money for the nursing care besides.

"Papa's not happy. He's ready to go be with his birds. Why can't we just give him a pill?"

Why indeed. What is sacred about life at that point? When I get there, I want a pill before my relatives run out of money or exhaust themselves into illness.

Hang in there Anfauglir. We are with you. :(


 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on August 28, 2012, 02:24:29 PM
..."Papa's not happy. He's ready to go be with his birds. Why can't we just give him a pill?" ...

I know, right? We'd be considered cruel if we made a pet live through that, but if its a person we can't. Unbelievable. For what its worth, Washington state has a "Death With Dignity" law. If one is terminal with six months or less to live, one has the right to a life-ending prescription.

An article from 2009 ...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-01-washington-assisted_N.htm
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on August 28, 2012, 02:39:12 PM
I voted in favor of that law. Problem is with the six-month diagnosis. Nana had six months to live when she was diagnosed with the cancer at age 84. But you can't tell how long you will live. She decided (wisely, I thought) not to do chemo and to only do pain management and hospice. That was two years ago. No treatment, people. She wakes up every morning wondering why she is not dead.

We have convinced her, with difficulty, to spend all her money in the time she has left to enjoy herself. We took her to Montreal and to Hawaii; she has gone to Ireland and we all went to the east coast to see where she was born and to meet the few childhood friends she has left. (One woman, Miss Anna, weighs 74 pounds fully clothed. I have never seen an adult that tiny who was not Asian.) We just took her to the new Meryl Streep sex movie and she laughed her a$$ off.

So, she was not ready for the end when she was diagnosed. Now, who knows?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on August 28, 2012, 03:20:23 PM
I agree about the six months. Its a start in the right direction though.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on August 28, 2012, 04:12:27 PM


We have convinced her, with difficulty, to spend all her money in the time she has left to enjoy herself. We took her to Montreal and to Hawaii; she has gone to Ireland and we all went to the east coast to see where she was born and to meet the few childhood friends she has left. (One woman, Miss Anna, weighs 74 pounds fully clothed. I have never seen an adult that tiny who was not Asian.) We just took her to the new Meryl Streep sex movie and she laughed her a$$ off.

So, she was not ready for the end when she was diagnosed. Now, who knows?

These are the gifts we all dream of giving loved ones during their last years of life.  Both of my parents died in recent years, and although their deaths were not as painful as Anfauglir's mother's deterioration, I did not have the opportunity to share the end with either of them in such a way. 

My sweet father's went into the hospital for cancer surgery with an excellent prognosis, and the understanding that he would be home in two days after which he might need radiation or maybe chemo.   But the surgery uncovered more cancer than expected, and a pre-existing condition created serious complications after surgery, and he didn't leave the hospital for months, at which point, we did in-home hospice care, which lasted just one short week. 

My boisterous mom died suddenly of a heart attack.  She had had a couple of mini strokes, but the doctors said she would be fine.  She had lost her ability to write with her hand, but she could type on a computer.  Her last day of life we met with a social worker to talk about getting control of her hand back, and starting physical therapy.  And then we went to a lecture on Middle Eastern politics.  She turned down a card game with friends that evening, and said she didn't want the wine that I had bought until she cleared it with her doctor.  And I woke up in her home to find her dead.    I was in the middle of the process of adopting my daughter, and my mom was running around with pictures of her and showing all of her friends her granddaughter, and bragging as if she had given birth to the child herself.  We were scheduled to travel to Guatemala later that month.  She never met my little girl.  But she loved her. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on August 28, 2012, 04:44:31 PM
I said before I could see why people stop visiting, and to be honest I don't think I'm far off that point now.  Last week I stood across the road for several minutes before I could force myself into crossing and going in.  I know that in an hour I am going to see her again (I go every Tuesday in my lunchbreak) and am dreading it.  To the extent that I am thinking about homes further away rather than nearer so that I have an "excuse" not to visit as often.

She isn't my mother any more.  She still looks the same, but the person inside is someone I have no knowledge of or connection with - sometimes disturbingly so.

Being totally honest, I' just waiting - and in fact hoping - that she will soon die.  Selfishly, yes, for me, to take this dark cloud away, but also for her.  She spend so much of her time now in a world that she doesn't understand and can't connect with - she basically is unable to read anymore, and can't grasp the words to hold a conversation, even if she had a common frame of reference to work with.  Often she is sad, or scared, or bewildered, more so now than she is happy.

Don't feel bad. There is no worse death than one from dementia, but it the condition rarely affects the afflicted -- it always affects the caregivers. At her stage of dementia, reverting to earlier and earlier times, I don't think aspiration of food is far off and that is a common cause of death for those with dementia. That is how one of my aunts with dementia passed; the other had a heart attack.

While visiting your mother can be disheartening, to say the least, you could still visit and help the staff with all the patients, not just your mother. Whether it is to serve food, help them take a walk or play a simple game like word association (in which the outcome is entirely irrelevant) or knocking around a beach ball, those who provide help to everyone at the home would likely enjoy some help and some contact with people who don't take care of patients every day. If you know how to sing or play a guitar or piano, then go provide them some entertainment. That would make you feel less guilty because you are helping your mother, even if indirectly, and you could spend your time productively by helping the staff.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: shnozzola on August 28, 2012, 04:59:03 PM
  Last week I stood across the road for several minutes before I could force myself into crossing and going in.  I know that in an hour I am going to see her again (I go every Tuesday in my lunchbreak) and am dreading it.  To the extent that I am thinking about homes further away rather than nearer so that I have an "excuse" not to visit as often.

She isn't my mother any more.  She still looks the same, but the person inside is someone I have no knowledge of or connection with - sometimes disturbingly so.

My heart goes out to you, man - you don't know how much.  Many of us are not far away from having our parents go through that.  My wife is a nurse at a retirement home.  She gets so angry at the pressure necessary by the home to move on to the next patient.  She sits in the room of an Amish lady right now with dementia when she has a minute.  At her stage of dementia, my wife and the woman "hunt" eggs together at the woman's farm.  As long as my wife "lives" with her patient in the past they can have a good converstion about all kinds of things - but the time given is really the most important.  It takes special caring nurses to do it.  I'm very proud of her.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Traveler on August 28, 2012, 05:20:15 PM
Whatever you do, or do not do, is ok. I agree with Chronos when he says that this affects the family, rather than the afflicted. Please try not to feel guilty. Everything you are feeling is common and natural for people who are going through this experience. When my father died, we all felt that he'd really died a long time ago. Its just that his body finally caught up to reality.

Do what you need to. Do what you want to. Remember her for who she was. And please don't feel guilty. Its ok, whatever you decide about visiting, and whatever feelings you're having about the experience.

Dementia sucks.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on August 29, 2012, 03:42:23 AM
Thank you all - you've all made me cry, but that's okay, its the right sort.  Thank you.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on August 29, 2012, 05:36:35 PM
We moved a bunch of stuff into Nana's new place last night. It is just one room but nice as far as that goes. Bright, airy, on the fourth floor with big windows looking out at the town. After we got her stuff in, she turned to me and said, "I will be sleeping here, but will still be spending most of my days with you all at the house." What? Why are we moving her, then?

I have vowed not to argue with her about anything, not even when she yelled at me for being lazy--after a week where I gave her an enema, helped her with her bath, drove her to the emergency room, woke up at 2am to fetch her back home, while teaching a full load of classes, driving a busy 15 year old around, coping with an overworked, stessed out husband and dealing with two dogs, one who eats poop and barfs it onto the carpet.

I am exhausted.  :P
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Zankuu on August 29, 2012, 06:20:19 PM
Anf, I just stumbled across this thread. My condolences for your sister and father. And I can relate to the pain you're dealing with concerning your mom. My uncle on my father's side and grandmother from my mom's side both have Alzheimer's. My uncle is currently a stage 4-5 (I happen to work for the geriatric psychiatrist where he is seen). I'm uncertain where my grandmother is in the process but she isn't nearly as bad off.

And Anf, don't feel guilty and beat yourself up for not wanting to visit. It's completely normal and there are many healthy reasons to lower the frequency of visits, for both of you. My PM box is always open. I wish you the best.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on August 29, 2012, 06:37:04 PM
We moved a bunch of stuff into Nana's new place last night. It is just one room but nice as far as that goes. Bright, airy, on the fourth floor with big windows looking out at the town. After we got her stuff in, she turned to me and said, "I will be sleeping here, but will still be spending most of my days with you all at the house." What? Why are we moving her, then?

I have vowed not to argue with her about anything, not even when she yelled at me for being lazy--after a week where I gave her an enema, helped her with her bath, drove her to the emergency room, woke up at 2am to fetch her back home, while teaching a full load of classes, driving a busy 15 year old around, coping with an overworked, stessed out husband and dealing with two dogs, one who eats poop and barfs it onto the carpet.

I am exhausted.  :P

Get the rest that you need.  Let her settle in.  Visit.  Call.  Give yourself the time and space to heal up. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on August 29, 2012, 06:56:47 PM
^^^Thanks. I am not at the breaking point yet. &)

I just got aggravated because the assisted living place she is moving into costs like 3000 a month, and she still wants to stay most of the day at our house? Why move, then? Just to give away money and then have us take care of her all day anyway? Who is going to drive her back and forth when she gets fed up with wherever she is at the time? Whatev.   :P

(She just yelled at me to put the towels into the dryer. I already hung them outside on the line, using my automatic environmentally green solar dryer. Let me go take my pills..... :angel:)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on February 07, 2013, 10:39:23 AM
This morning, I attended an assessment on my mother in her home.

She cries for her mummy and daddy, often for hours at a time.
When she gets upset or frustrated - which is often - she will shout at other residents, kick at doors, hit herself.
If she enters a room and turns the wrong way, she can end up staring at the wall and crying because she doesn't know how to get out of that situation.
She will stand at a door andscream and bang on it, because she cannot work out how to open it.
She hallucinates.
She is doubly incontinent.
She cannot communicate her needs, for the toilet, for food anddrink, nothing.

But her physical health is good - because she is in a good home, well cared for, she could well live for many, many years - with every day a misery of confusion and fear and sadness for her.

For those who haven't read the whole thread, this is a woman who all her life tried to be a good Christian, a primary schoolteacher, a cub instructor.

There are a number of reasons I do not believe in the Christian god.  This is the reason why I would spit in his eye and tell him to go to hell.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: EV on February 07, 2013, 02:36:38 PM
For those who haven't read the whole thread, this is a woman who all her life tried to be a good Christian, a primary schoolteacher, a cub instructor.

There are a number of reasons I do not believe in the Christian god.  This is the reason why I would spit in his eye and tell him to go to hell.

Anfauglir, I really feel for you. To watch a parent go through that is incredibly saddening, disturbing and painful. Don't forget that we all stand behind you.

For what it's worth, I volunteered in a specialist care for mental degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's and Dementia in a rest home for two years. I used to bring my Viola in or my iPod and speakers to play Bach and other classical music to the residents. Music affects the brain differently to speech, and Dementia doesn't always affect the part of the brain that comprehends music.

Have you tried or thought about music therapy? You can practise it yourself, just bring in an mp3 player or walkman with anything you remember being some of her favourite music on it into the home, and try to play some to her.

I had some remarkable results, particularly one woman who according to staff, had not said a word or move of her own volition in a year, who upon hearing the music looked up, hummed along, then stood up. She looked directly at me and beamed from ear to ear, then said "Thank you". The nurses were absolutely shocked.

It could be worth a try, studies have shown it can reduce confusion, disorientation and aggression. Below is an example of its use, although not similar to your case.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZQf0p73QM

Let me know if it's something you'd like to try, and if you do if it works at all. (The old man with the music is indeed an old Christian, and does talk about God at one point, thought I'd warn you)
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on February 07, 2013, 04:49:37 PM
Yes, Anfauglir, it does not get better. And screw any god who does this to people.

Nana is still around, although slowly deteriorating. We took her car away a few months ago after a scary fender bender. She has become confused, paranoid and angry a lot of the time. She thinks the staff are out to get her, and makes lists of all the things the facility is doing wrong. She swears that a week goes by and nobody visits or cares for her.  (We see her every few days.) She loses her phone constantly, in one room, and can't keep track of what day it is.

She is in a diaper and pulls out her catheter. Her legs have sores but she won't let anyone take care of them (because the staff is out to get her). She has stopped eating, only drinking juice for the past week or two. She is also refusing all medication (because the staff is out to get her). That included the anti-anxiety pills that make it easier to deal with her. This could go on for months.

Sigh.

I don't want that kind of behavior to be how my family remembers me. Before I get to that point, waaay before I get to that point, I want a full gas tank, a closed garage and some cool music on the radio to play me out. :-\
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on February 08, 2013, 05:52:38 AM
She is also refusing all medication (because the staff is out to get her). That included the anti-anxiety pills that make it easier to deal with her. This could go on for months. 

Same with my mum.  About half the time she simply won't take them at all.  Other times she will accept them, but pouch in a cheek and spit them out afterwards.  Some medications can be crumbled, and the staff are very good at giving them to her in a jam sandwich, say, but there are many they can't.  It's a vicious circle.

I don't want that kind of behavior to be how my family remembers me. Before I get to that point, waaay before I get to that point, I want a full gas tank, a closed garage and some cool music on the radio to play me out. :-\

Likewise.  I'm tending towards pills though, I think - something that I can do in my bed, something not too messy for those who come after.  Ideally, of course, I would want the option to have it done prefesionally in hospital so I have a chance to say a personal goodbye, then have a drip turned so I fall asleep and just never wake up.

Not for decades, I hope - but when I realise I'm getting to that point, I want to be able to make that decision myself before I go too far.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on February 08, 2013, 04:41:31 PM
I hear ya.

Yesterday Nana decided she wanted to be taken out to Friday lunch at dim sum, even though she is not eating anything. Well, my husband made the arrangements, then this morning at 7am she called and said she had changed her mind, she wanted to go to the big garden show downtown instead.

This was going to be way more complicated than just getting her to a nearby Chinese restaurant for an hour or two. The garden show is nearly an hour away and the trip would take up most of the day, plus getting a wheelchair for her, lots of pushing her around, her getting tired out and aggravated, dealing with the bathroom, etc.

I thought about who we were dealing with (having had more experience with crazy parents) and told my husband to make sure there really was a garden show before changing his work schedule around, etc. He checked online and found out that the garden show is in two weeks. &)

Dim sum it is!

BTW She is evidently taking at least some of her medications again-- the pain must have gotten too much and overcame the paranoia.:P
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Heisenburger on May 06, 2013, 02:25:42 PM
Man this all hits home. My dad's mind is going, and his coping mechanism is complete hyper-religion. He's become a hermit, sitting at his desk all day, reading the bible and christian books. He wants me to order him "The Bible Code" but I don't want him trapped in that bullshit as well.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on May 07, 2013, 02:45:59 AM
Welcome to the site, Heisenberger.  I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

Actually, mid to advanced dementia is one of the few times when I can see religion as a good thing.  The person is no longer someone who affects society, so most of the negative things religion can do are removed from possibility.  But in a world where everything is scary, it can give comfort to feel that there is someone always there looking out for you.

That said - certainly in my mum's case - her memory of her faith seems to have gone with most of her other memories.  So now, in the time when faith would comfort her the most, her disease has taken it from her. 

If there is a god, I'd spit in his eye for that, if for nothing else.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Heisenburger on May 07, 2013, 01:37:42 PM
Thanks for the welcome. That is a great point. Right now, he still has that keeping him going. It never struck me that his memory of religion could go. Under any other circumstance, I would be happy if he lost religion.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on May 07, 2013, 04:04:49 PM
Yet another piece of evidence against a caring, loving god....for devout elderly people to lose even their knowledge about god and their religious beliefs as their brains deteriorate. >:(

Update, Nana is still around, although less so. We took her out for her 87th birthday. She is more confused than ever, although she has become more compliant about the medication.  She keeps losing her phone, so she sneaks out and buys a new cell and/or home phone every few weeks or so. She has bought 6 or 7 phones so far this year, and we collect them and return them or use them at home. Not counting the one she washed in the washer. Last time I visited, she was planning on getting a new phone.... &)

Plus she had lost her room keys. Nobody can find them. At least the facility where she lives is secure and the staff is trustworthy. :P
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on May 07, 2013, 05:03:26 PM
Man this all hits home. My dad's mind is going, and his coping mechanism is complete hyper-religion. He's become a hermit, sitting at his desk all day, reading the bible and christian books. He wants me to order him "The Bible Code" but I don't want him trapped in that bullshit as well.

I'm sorry.  Welcome to the forum.  May you find support, distraction, and stimulating conversations here. 


Update, Nana is still around, although less so. We took her out for her 87th birthday. She is more confused than ever, although she has become more compliant about the medication.  She keeps losing her phone, so she sneaks out and buys a new cell and/or home phone every few weeks or so. She has bought 6 or 7 phones so far this year, and we collect them and return them or use them at home. Not counting the one she washed in the washer. Last time I visited, she was planning on getting a new phone.... &)

Plus she had lost her room keys. Nobody can find them. At least the facility where she lives is secure and the staff is trustworthy. :P

Poor Nana.  I'm really glad you found a place that you feel good about.  The phone obsession is so poignant.  Almost a metaphor for controlling her human connections and her communication.  But she can't quite do it. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on May 07, 2013, 09:47:59 PM
^^^It's definitely about trying to control her environment as the paranoia and confusion take over. If she can communicate, then she's not so trapped, right? But she is trapped in a world that is getting smaller. She can't operate her computer anymore and keeps telling us that it is broken and needs to go to the shop. She keeps changing her passwords and forgets them again. I can't imagine how frustrating her life is these days.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on May 08, 2013, 03:22:47 AM
Yesterday I visited mum - she was as bad as I've ever seen her. 

She was pointing towards the TV in the corner of the day room, and either was totally convinced it was real or was hallucinating, worried that the people on there were running into the road.
She was crying for her father, "I want my daddy".
She gets stuck on words - she'll say things like "and we all went to the shops, the shops, the shops (starts to sing) we all went to the shops, the shops, to the shops", repeating the same phrase a dozen or more times.
She thinks I am her late husband, and will often say things like "I love you the best, I want to go to bed with you", which is not something you want to hear from your mother.
She's also doubly incontinent, just to add to the joys of this disease.

She's in a good home, and they see to her physical needs and give her cuddles and reassurance....but she is like a little child in a foreign land.  She can't read, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't understand what people say to her, she can't make her needs known.  Even on a good day, she spends a lot of time just being frightened because she doesn't understand, on a bad day.....

Take every opportunity you can to be with your Nana, Nogodsforme.  I hope it takes a long time to happen to her, but its taken less than a year for my mum to go from someone who recognises me and can talk to me to someone who there is nothing left of the woman she once was.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on May 08, 2013, 07:12:12 PM
A disease that a god of love could never force one to endure. A god of hate, however ...

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on May 08, 2013, 09:47:27 PM
A disease that a god of love could never force one to endure. A god of hate, however ...

Yep. Senile dementia, the gift that keeps on taking. >:( :'(
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on May 11, 2013, 03:58:34 PM
Yesterday I visited mum - she was as bad as I've ever seen her. 

She was pointing towards the TV in the corner of the day room, and either was totally convinced it was real or was hallucinating, worried that the people on there were running into the road.
She was crying for her father, "I want my daddy".
She gets stuck on words - she'll say things like "and we all went to the shops, the shops, the shops (starts to sing) we all went to the shops, the shops, to the shops", repeating the same phrase a dozen or more times.
She thinks I am her late husband, and will often say things like "I love you the best, I want to go to bed with you", which is not something you want to hear from your mother.
She's also doubly incontinent, just to add to the joys of this disease.

She's in a good home, and they see to her physical needs and give her cuddles and reassurance....but she is like a little child in a foreign land.  She can't read, she doesn't know where she is, she doesn't understand what people say to her, she can't make her needs known.  Even on a good day, she spends a lot of time just being frightened because she doesn't understand, on a bad day.....

Take every opportunity you can to be with your Nana, Nogodsforme.  I hope it takes a long time to happen to her, but its taken less than a year for my mum to go from someone who recognises me and can talk to me to someone who there is nothing left of the woman she once was.

I'm glad that she is in a home where her needs are being met, as much as they can be.  It must be so painful to watch her fear and confusion.  You have the luxury of the memories that she does not.  Remember the good times.  Even the bad ones.  Remember the woman she was. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: tapdancingcow on May 15, 2013, 12:09:09 AM
Oh, Anfauglir. I'm so sorry you are going through such a heartbreaking time.  Both my parents are dead.  My mother died of lung cancer but had a stroke twelve years prior to the cancer. Her mind was  jumbled up from the stroke and the cancer just added more pain to the situation.

It has taken me six years to remember my mom the way she was before her stroke and cancer.  Better memories of her younger days came back in little tiny moments.  The fun memories of her finally added up  and out weighed the sick memories.  But it took a long time.  When she died I remember it as almost a relief  because she was out of pain but then my father was all alone.   He died five years after my mother. 

When my father died (he was an atheist) my two brothers and I sat on our back porch  and told funny stories about him and all the great times we had growing up.  We got a little drunk.  Well..... my brothers got totally smashed.  We talked til two in the morning.  Then we took his ashes and mixed them with my mothers ashes and scattered them in a beautiful river my dad used to fish in. 

Again, I'm so sorry you're having to witness such personal devastation.

Tapdancer

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kin hell on May 15, 2013, 03:04:45 AM
Anfauglir  without meaning to be insensitive at all, your mother's plight (and thus yours by inheritance and filial duty/love) is terrible, ...for both of you.

I wanted to ask, if it was legal, would you euthanise her?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on May 15, 2013, 03:08:05 AM
Thanks tap.

As I've said before, my mother went a long time ago - I reckon the last time I saw her was late Spring/early Summer last year, and even that was just a glimpse.  Since then I've been visiting someone else.

One of the social workers/counsellors that was involved said something that I think is very true.  "Having a loved one with dementia is like a grieving process that can't move on - you've lost the person you loved but you can't get closure because they are still there". 

I just really hope that if I ever start to see signs of it in myself, the laws on assisted suicide in this country will have changed enough so that I can be helped to go peacefully in hospital rather than having to do it all myself at home for my family to find, and/or have them help and risk getting jailed for it.   :(
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on May 15, 2013, 03:17:36 AM
I wanted to ask, if it was legal, would you euthanise her?

Spooky - I'd written my reply to tap before I saw you'd posted this!

The answer is yes, I would.

She has no real quality of life left to her now.  The vast majority of the time she is scared and miserable and confused, its very rare that she is happy.  She cannot enjoy any of the things that she once loved - crosswords, jigsaws, she cannot even follow a TV show (she thinks it is all real and happening outside a window).  She wants her mummy and daddy all the time, gone some 40 or 50 years ago.  I'm crying now. 

I honestly and truly believe that if the woman she once was could see the woman she is now, she would agree with me.  She wouldn't want to carry on in misery.  Its not so much the physical aspects as the mental - she's not living, she is existing.  A lot of the time she is actively miserable.  A lot of the time she is simply vacant.  Very very rarely there is a flash of happiness.

So yes - I would. 

From an atheist/humanist perspective.....this is The One Life We All Have, and while most of the time I would say "well, things might get better - let's hang on one more day and see what happens", there is NO prospect of that happening.  She will only get worse, and more unhappy, as time goes on.  There IS no life left that she leads.

And from a theist point of view?  If I end her life, she will be reunited with her parents and her husband and her daughter.  No more misery, no more fear, and her brain will be restored.  In her circumstances, I cannot see any reason why a believer would not stand right behind me on this one.  And frankly, there is no loving god who would not likewise be saying to me "yes - that is the right thing to do".

So yes - I would.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: kin hell on May 15, 2013, 07:42:25 AM
I agree wholeheartedly Anf, for myself, I have been researching painless non-messy methods (nitrogen asphyxiation leads the pole)  no fucker's gonna tell me I haven't the right to choose my exit when and however I want it.  Please note this is a long term awareness, not a short term intent.

I feel for you bloke given this world's stupid fears dressed up as morality, I have no way to help but to offer moral support
earthling to distressed earthling.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on May 15, 2013, 10:07:21 AM
Anfauglir - My heart breaks for you.  I lost both of my parents too young, and I often imagine that I wish they were alive - at any cost.  But your mom is gone.   I am so sorry. 

May there be moments in her days in which she smiles, even briefly, and when she dies, may this sad time in her life fade from the forefront of your memory, and may the woman that she was occupy your thoughts and stories. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on July 03, 2013, 06:56:41 PM
Update, or downdate I suppose.

My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.
She was 87.

She was a difficult patient for the assisted living facility and hospice people, very demanding and never content. They still did a wonderful job, always kind and caring with her.

The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: wright on July 03, 2013, 10:45:50 PM
The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P

Another aspect of Christian privilege, I suppose. It will take at least a few more generations, even assuming favorable conditions, to significantly change popular assumptions like that.

Sorry for your loss, nogodsforme. It would seem your friend gave good advice; I'm not sure I would have had the strength your husband showed in that situation.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on July 04, 2013, 03:33:28 AM
My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.

I'm so sorry for your loss, nogods.  But she is no longer in pain, and you got to say farewell.  Sometimes that's the best we can hope for.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Quesi on July 04, 2013, 09:27:36 AM
Update, or downdate I suppose.

My MIL died on this past Sunday at midnight.

She fell on Saturday and I told my husband that was often a sign of the end.  He and daughter then visited her after church and she barely knew them. She was in so much pain, she kept saying, "Why can't I go, why can't I go?"

We have a friend who works with terminal cancer patients and she said families need to give the dying person permission to die, so they stop holding on. So my husband said that it was okay for her to go.

And that very night she died.
She was 87.

She was a difficult patient for the assisted living facility and hospice people, very demanding and never content. They still did a wonderful job, always kind and caring with her.

The one thing that annoys me a bit is that the facility decorated the announcement of her death with crosses and praying hands and other religious imagery. Why assume that was what she would have wanted? In all the years I knew her, she never went to church and expressed no religious beliefs other than a kind of generic knee-jerk "Easter and Christmas" Christianity.  :P

May you and your family remember the woman that she was before she became the "difficult patient,"  and not let the difficulties of recent years overshadow the rest of her life. 

You have all given so much of yourself during her decline.  I wish you comfort as you contemplate her life and her accomplishments, and her legacy. 

Sorry about the crosses.  What kind of service will you have?  I honestly found a lot of comfort in planning the services for each of my parents.  For both there were the photos of a lifetime of family and adventures.  For my dad, we displayed his art.  I actually blew up some correspondence that he had had with Bertrand Russell, and displayed it.  For my mom, I pulled out her 1930's typewriter, that her parents had bought used when she was a kid, and displayed it next to her laptop.  She had done some journalism in her retirement, and it seemed appropriate.

I hope that you and your husband find ways to honor your mother in law.  And find comfort in knowing that you all did everything you could. 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 03:29:07 AM
The next day, she died.  I'm not sure she even got the chance to hold her babies.
...
My dad....again, I'm sure everyone was praying for him.  Yesterday morning he died, basically just worn out.  He was 75.  It all happened very fast - between the hospital calling to say "better come today" and calling to say "he's gone" was about 45 minutes.
...
My sister, my mother, my father.  All good Christians, all good people, with their church praying for them all.

Life stinks.  I am so, so glad that there is no god.  Because a god that would do all that.....

That's all.

Deep and humble condolences in times of such difficulty. If I could, I'd just walk up to you and give you a bear hug for about five minutes straight. Please take no offense at my editing down of your post in the quoted lines above.

I would like to share what I consider to be one of the most important things I ever learned in law school. It concerns causation, an issue that as you might guess is very important in any lawsuit. Typically it is taught in the torts and criminal law courses.

There are two types of causation. The labels most often ascribed are: (1) actual cause; and (2) proximate cause. (Sometimes actual cause is referred to as factual cause, cause in fact, or but-for cause, and sometimes proximate cause is referred to as legal cause, in case you've heard those phrases elsewhere, but I will stick with actual cause and proximate cause here.)

Actual cause is a very easy test to meet: would the harm have occurred were it not for some prior conduct of the defendant? Many, many things are actual causes of harm. If my parents never conceived me, I would not be typing this post. Therefore, their conduct is an actual cause of this post. Relatively few cases revolve around actual cause. To the best of my knowledge, they usually involve whether a particular chemical or prescription drug is ever physically or chemically capable of producing particular physiological results.

Proximate cause is therefore usually where the squabbles are whenever causation is at issue. It is basically a limiting device on actual cause, attempting to decide at what point legal liability should attach and at what point the defendant's conduct is too tenuously or remotely connected to the plaintiff's/victim's harm for liability to still be appropriate. Different courts (and I am speaking entirely from a common-law perspective here, by the way) have devised different tests to determine whether proximate cause exists. Without trying to generalize too much, they ultimately boil down to a question of whether it is really fair to consider the defendant's conduct to be the cause of the harm that the plaintiff/victim suffered.

Here, in your situation, and in the tragic situations of any of us, I would say - as a Christian - it is entirely reasonable to ascribe any and all earthly suffering to God (now here's the caveat) but only to the extent of what I've just described as actual cause. If, as the Bible describes, God created Lucifer/Satan and all demons (collectively, for convenience, I will simply refer to Satan) knowing in advance that Satan would rebel, and if God created Adam/Eve knowing they'd plunge the world into a fallen state for millenia, then God is the actual cause of everything that Satan and mankind have ever done, including all evil and tragedy, because none of us would be here doing anything if it weren't for him.

However, it does not stand to reason that God can rightfully be described as the proximate cause. He did not directly kill your sister or dad. Granted, he most certainly allowed it to happen. But that does not mean that he wanted it to happen or couldn't have prevented their deaths. After all, God did not want Satan to rebel or Adam/Eve to fall. But he seems to have established "rules of the game" so to speak, which he will not violate the vast majority of the time.

Death exists because this is a fallen world, not the world as God intended it. Someday, it will be restored. And there will be no more sadness or death. I urge you not to blend actual cause and proximate cause. I urge you not to become irreversibly bitter towards God or even the concept of a God. I know these sentiments will likely fall on deaf ears on a site like this, but I'm here to say it as tenderly yet resolutely as I know how: God exists, and you shouldn't let even the most emotionally traumatic moments in your life persuade you that he doesn't love you, care about you, and want to spend all of eternity with you, blessing you with abundant joy, indeed rejoined with your dad and sister once again.

Again, I am deeply saddened by the passing of your dad and sister, even though I obviously never knew them personally. It would be an enormous trial for anyone in your shoes. My maternal grandmother has dementia, and she's in a pitiful state currently. God is allowing it. God also allowed diabetes to take my paternal grandfather and cancer to take my paternal grandfather. Is God an actual cause of my grandma's dementia, and was he an actual cause of my grandfathers' deaths? Sure. But I'm not angry with God, because he's not the proximate cause. Nor did such things cause me to no longer believe God exists. It simply shows the fallen state of humanity, which someday will come to a close.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and I sincerely hope you are able to emotionally cope more and more each day that passes. I submit to you each and every sentence I've typed in this post with the utmost respect and brotherly love for you as is in me and with as much humility as I could try to muster through the impersonal veil of written words.

Very truly,
Jeff
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on October 02, 2013, 07:11:15 AM
Deep and humble condolences in times of such difficulty. If I could, I'd just walk up to you and give you a bear hug for about five minutes straight. Please take no offense at my editing down of your post in the quoted lines above.

None taken, IDK - and thank you for your thoughts.

(Yahweh) did not directly kill your sister or dad. Granted, he most certainly allowed it to happen. But that does not mean that he wanted it to happen or couldn't have prevented their deaths. After all, God did not want Satan to rebel or Adam/Eve to fall. But he seems to have established "rules of the game" so to speak, which he will not violate the vast majority of the time.

And unfortunately, at that point your argument falls apart, as you intimate that - sometimes - Yahweh DOES intervene.  And that's where the "rules of the game" argument falls apart.

A god that set up the rules, and then NEVER intervenes, is fair enough.  It could have no claim to goodness, or love, but it would indeed be acceptable.

But the Christian god is not that hands-off non-interventionist deist god.  Its holy book is riddled with stories of how that god took a very definite and interventionist stance in the world, over and over again.  Indeed, there is an argument that the bulk of the book is very much that.

Further to that (and I don't know your personal stance on this), but the majority of Christians are very much of the opinion that their god continues to intervene, on a regular basis.  Believe that your god answers prayers?  Then you believe in a god that can and will intervene, can and will break the rules of the game.

Which makes Yahweh quite definitely the proximate cause of their deaths, because (in my sisters case) there were very definite prayers being said on her behalf, that he specifically chose to ignore.  A being that has the ability to act, is requested to act, and has a record of acting, is a very definite proximate cause.  He is as responsible as would have been a doctor with the skills to operate, but who stood by and ignored the pleas to do anything....who the day before, and the day after, had operated on others.  So, very definitely, Yahweh is the proximate cause.....unless your claim is that he does and has NEVER intervened.

Death exists because this is a fallen world, not the world as God intended it. Someday, it will be restored. And there will be no more sadness or death. I urge you not to blend actual cause and proximate cause.

And is very definitely the actual cause.  "Someday" you say.  Is your god not all powerful?  Is he not all loving?  Then "someday" can and should have been "yesterday".  "Someday" implies the will and the ability to do something……but just can't be bothered for the moment.  So all actual cause (in a similar way to the above) becomes proximate cause, in every case.

My maternal grandmother has dementia, and she's in a pitiful state currently. God is allowing it.

Yes.  On a daily basis.  Proximate cause, no matter how you wish to deny it.

God exists, and you shouldn't let even the most emotionally traumatic moments in your life persuade you that he doesn't love you, care about you, and want to spend all of eternity with you, blessing you with abundant joy, indeed rejoined with your dad and sister once again.

Please don't cheapen words like love and care in this way.  I had, and have, many real friends and family you demonstrated their love and care on a regular basis.  Who actually do and did things for me to see me through, even when it was a strain on their time and on more tangible resources.  This "god" you claim loves me, cares about me, has infinite resource and no barriers to demonstrating that resource - and chose to do nothing, as he continues, day by day, to do nothing to show that love and care.

So I repeat - don't cheapen the efforts of those who DO, by claiming that some creature who does nothing is displaying the same behaviours, because it demonstrably isn't so.

You read my account, and - despite as you say not knowing me or my family - showed the compassion to offer your condolences and best wishes for the future, and for that I thank you.  You demonstrated your care.  And I ask you this: if you had NOT posted, had NOT made contact to show your feelings, how would I know that you cared?  Would I not be entirely justified in assuming that you didn't give a toss?

Perhaps more importantly, what would it say about your true feelings if you'd hadn't posted your thoughts?  Could you really be said to "care" if you hadn't even bothered to spend a few minutes making contact?  Like I said before - your god allegedly has infinite resource and power…..and he hasn't done a damn thing.  That tells me all I need to know about how much he "cares".

As I said way back, I am delighted your god doesn't exist.  Because if he did, he is arguably the most evil thing there could possibly be.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 01:43:20 PM
You are of course correct that the Bible purports to record many instances of intervention by God. And so naturally my position is not that deistic one that God never intervenes. He sometimes does.

My position is what's known as dispensationalism: God has dealt and interacted with humanity in different ways at different times in history. Just before John the Baptist showed up on the scene, the Israelites appear to have had a period of about 400 years of seeming silence from God, during which time he was not directly intervening as he had in the times of Moses, Elijah, etc. It seems to me that we are in a similar period of historical silence from God, and my eschatology is such that he will begin to intervene more directly again soon.

If you want to know why God might choose to interact with humanity differently at different times in history, I have no idea. It's just his prerogative.

Since you brought up the requested-to-act argument, I would also like to humbly submit yet another very important concept I learned in law school: ordinarily, people are under no duty to rescue others in peril. There are exceptions, but the general rule would not impose liability in the following hypothetical for example. Michael Phelps, an obviously excellent swimmer, is walking by a pond one day in which a child is drowning and calling out for help. Phelps is not responsible for the child being in the water, but he's helped other drowning kids in the past. He didn't throw this particular child into the water or in any other way cause the child to be there. Phelps ignores this particular child's plea and keeps walking. The child drowns. The child's parents sue Phelps. The vast majority of American jurisdictions would find Phelps not liable, because he had no duty to act. Phelps is not the proximate cause.

But wouldn't Phelps rightfully be considered an enormous ass even if he escapes legal consequences? Pretty much. So what's different between God not answering prayers for healing and the Phelps analogy.

God is omniscient and allows things that we consider tragic because they are not objectively bad in the grand scheme of things. Sooner or later, some way or another, your dad and sister both would have died. Likewise, if my grandpa didn't die of diabetes, he would have died of something else eventually. If my other grandpa didn't die of cancer, he would have died of something else eventually. It might have been a few more years in the cases of my grandpas, and it might have been a few more decades in the case of your sister, but what's that compared to eternity? It's infinitesimally small, immeasurable really. Again, I know that sounds very harsh, but it's still true.

When I say "someday," of course my God is omnipotent. (But he's not all-loving, side note. I have no idea why people claim God is all-loving when the Bible specifically says he hates things. There is no Bible verse that says God is all-loving.) So of course "someday" could have been "yesterday." It's not that he can't be bothered at the moment but that he's waiting for everyone who will be saved to be saved. If the Second Coming of Christ occurred, for example, in the Dark Ages, then neither you nor I nor anyone we personally know would have ever lived. There have been millions, perhaps billions of people since the Dark Ages come to be saved. And so the evil that exists in the world is outweighed by those souls that have been saved, because it increases the number of people in heaven. This frankly has nothing to do with actual and proximate cause, and I would again humbly urge you not to conflate them.

Your ultimate reaction seems to stem from God's inaction. That is, you seem to be most hostile to the idea of God because if he exists he hasn't done enough to ease or reverse the suffering you and your family have endured. Again I say death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks. But bodily death isn't the end, according to Scripture. Your dad and sister now live in perfect bodies, and they will never suffer again.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Jag on October 02, 2013, 02:04:54 PM
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 02:13:17 PM
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.

I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on October 02, 2013, 03:22:04 PM
So, it is possible for god to save people from dying, then, but he chooses not to in the vast majority of cases. Parents begging god to save their sick children, kids begging god to save their parents,  distraught friends, husbands, wives begging god to save their loved ones. And god says, what? "Not yet." "Not now." "Not today."
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: neopagan on October 02, 2013, 03:27:42 PM
I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.

God used up his power on these two?

Who are you counting, btw?  I count three... gotta add jeezus, since all he had was a crappy easter weekend then floated up to heaven.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: ParkingPlaces on October 02, 2013, 04:00:19 PM
idontknow

First of all, understand that most of us atheists talk in derogatory terms about your god when in fact we are making fun of what christians believe. We don't actually believe he is being a meany. He doesn't exist.

People dying is perfectly natural. And since nature, and not a god, is the cause, all sorts of things can go bad. Naturally. Diabetes, cancer, dementia, etc. None of these actually confuse us, or me at least. Because we understand that there are a wide range of fates awaiting us. So many ways to die.

If there is a god, this is the future he planned for us. So if he actually is real, he would have a hard time getting any worshipping out of me anyway. If all he does is sit back and watch things that he could easily prevent, then screw him.

I wouldn't want to spend an eternity with him or any other deity. Sandra Bullock included. Eternity is of no interest to me. Life is interesting, but not fascinating. I've enjoyed this one I've lived, but if there is another one after this, and I have to play by a bunch of stupid rules, I prefer real live death, so to speak. With nothing to follow. And whatever it is, if it is supposed to last an eternity, then screw that. I don't understand the appeal.

Well, except to those who are afraid to die. Those that cannot accept, or won't accept, that not everything in life is all rosy.

So the fact that you can't explain everything your god does, and are being open about it (others have come here with a bit more insight into the situation, if you believed them), doesn't free you from the silliness of religion. Beliefs of that sort are not necessary. Gods are not necessary. And believing that they do exist when they don't, and allowing the harm that such beliefs bring upon the planet, is criminal. IMHO.



Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jynnan tonnix on October 02, 2013, 04:12:37 PM
I kind of get what you are saying, IDK, as far as god not intervening to save someone, since, as you say, we will all die of something, someday.

But the very least he could do, it seems, is to at least alleviate some of the agony which comes with many causes of death.

You say the Bible never claims that god is all-loving, and does, indeed, state he actually hates some things. Fair enough. But the verses about the sparrows and lillies of the field do imply that he knows each of us down to every hair on our heads and cares for the least of us.

I also get the notion that a life devoid of any sorrow would not be a good thing, and that we learn by enduring the bad along with enjoying the good, but what of people who endure lifelong agony?  I don't believe that if all the dreadful suffering were eliminated from the world, people would come to view something like a hangnail as excruciating and unbearable pain.

But we DO see unbearable trials in this world.What of children who starve to death slowly, never knowing the satisfaction of a real meal? Those who die torturous, prolonged deaths? Their families, watching the suffering and not being able to do a thing about it?  All these people, praying, trusting in god, yet ultimately gaining nothing, and, in many cases, losing their faith over it?

And if they lose their faith, is salvation lost as well? Are they now headed for everlasting torment on top of what they suffered in their earthly life?

God may not swoop down to save every loved one who is dying, but why would he allow the level of suffering which so often comes with it?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 04:49:08 PM
So, it is possible for god to save people from dying, then, but he chooses not to in the vast majority of cases. Parents begging god to save their sick children, kids begging god to save their parents,  distraught friends, husbands, wives begging god to save their loved ones. And god says, what? "Not yet." "Not now." "Not today."
With God all things are possible, so yes, he could save everyone from dying, but he chooses not to in, for all practical purposes, all cases. This is one of the "rules of the game" that accompanies the fall of man. God designed Adam and Even to live forever, but they ushered in death for all of mankind by eating the forbidden fruit. We all must therefore deal with death as a result of our fallen nature. (Except for Enoch and Elijah for some reason, but that's why I said for all practical purposes above.) What's more important, I think, to recognize is that physical death isn't the end anyway, so it shouldn't sadden us that God doesn't save everyone from physically dying. Those souls still exist somewhere.

God used up his power on these two?
Who are you counting, btw?  I count three... gotta add jeezus, since all he had was a crappy easter weekend then floated up to heaven.
No, again, he could save everyone from dying (see above for the same argument). I'm counting Enoch and Elijah, as mentioned above. Jesus is recorded as physically dying, obviously, and then resurrecting. But he did die first.
...
If there is a god, this is the future he planned for us. So if he actually is real, he would have a hard time getting any worshipping out of me anyway. If all he does is sit back and watch things that he could easily prevent, then screw him.
...
I don't understand the appeal.
No, God didn't plan this future for us. As mentioned above, he designed us to live forever, but we willfully rebelled and fell. So now we're in a fallen state. He didn't want us to abuse our free will like that and live this way (in which we grow old and die).

Your understanding of the appeal (or lack thereof) of an afterlife obviously does not determine whether an afterlife exists.

...
But the very least he could do, it seems, is to at least alleviate some of the agony which comes with many causes of death.
...
But the verses about the sparrows and lillies of the field do imply that he knows each of us down to every hair on our heads and cares for the least of us.
...
ut what of people who endure lifelong agony?
...
But we DO see unbearable trials in this world.
...
And if they lose their faith, is salvation lost as well? Are they now headed for everlasting torment on top of what they suffered in their earthly life?
...
Of course, God could do a lot of things, including alleviating suffering. That boils down to the whole point of the site and my user name: I have no idea why God does some things and refrains from doing other things. It doesn't bother me in the least. It's kind of like when my parents would have a petty argument, and my mom would turn to me in frustration over something my dad may have done or failed to do and ask "Why does Dad [fill in the blank]?!" I would also have to say, "I have no idea why he does anything. You'd have to ask him."

Yes, God is omniscient, so he knows all the sparrows and lilies. He also knows the hairs on our heads, etc. That doesn't mean he's all-loving.

Again, I don't know why God presently allows lifelong agony and unbearable trials any more than I know why he allowed Job to endure so much suffering, for example. But he allowed it, and he's omniscient and wise, and I trust him.

Only God knows if a person is saved or lost. And only God knows if hell really is a place of everlasting torment (and if so what type of torment).
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: neopagan on October 02, 2013, 04:57:20 PM
God used up his power on these two?
Who are you counting, btw?  I count three... gotta add jeezus, since all he had was a crappy easter weekend then floated up to heaven.
No, again, he could save everyone from dying (see above for the same argument). I'm counting Enoch and Elijah, as mentioned above. Jesus is recorded as physically dying, obviously, and then resurrecting. But he did die first.

If someone immortal gives their life for you and comes back to life a few hours later... what kind of sacrifice was that?  Can't be both alive and a sacrifice... pick one.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 05:13:19 PM
If someone immortal gives their life for you and comes back to life a few hours later... what kind of sacrifice was that?  Can't be both alive and a sacrifice... pick one.

False dichotomy. We all have souls and will continue to live after physical death anyway. Jesus was obviously a special case as an example of things to come, so he rose first, and many others rose with him. Not only did Jesus die, he also voluntarily took the punishments leading up to and including the flogging and crucifixion, even though he didn't deserve them, and even though they occurred before his physical death.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on October 02, 2013, 05:29:33 PM
He doesn't exist.

... but if he did, let's go ahead and argue over the location of chairs ...

But the very least he could do ...

... the very least ... which he has never chosen to do ...
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 02, 2013, 05:30:47 PM

Jesus was obviously a special case as an example of things to come, so he rose first, and many others rose with him.

According to both the OT and NT Jesus did not rise first. Apparently it was not uncommon. Don't you know your bible?


On a more practical note, since this thread deals with dementia, it might be useful to know that learning languages reduces the effects of dementia and it has been recommended that all children learn languages in school. When someone in your family retires, get them onto learning languages as a hobby. It should help them and everyone around them.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 05:36:57 PM
According to both the OT and NT Jesus did not rise first. Apparently it was not uncommon. Don't you know your bible?

On a more practical note, since this thread deals with dementia, it might be useful to know that learning languages reduces the effects of dementia and it has been recommended that all children learn languages in school. When someone in your family retires, get them onto learning languages as a hobby. It should help them and everyone around them.

In what sense are you using the term rising then, might I ask? Jesus led the captives from their captivity, and that is the sense in which I am using it.

That's cool, I didn't know that before. Spanish and Italian were always my favorite classes in school. I still strive to improve both to this day. Maybe someday I'll have the time to start learning French and Portuguese too!
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on October 02, 2013, 05:44:53 PM
BTW my MIL's funeral service is this weekend. I am sure it will be fine, but if someone tries to inject any religion into it, I will be pissed. The woman was not religious!

When I die, I swear I will come back and haunt anyone who does any religious crap at my funeral. I will specifically become a restless spirit to do it. If I get the chance, I will make that very clear before I die, so the religious folks will know they are on notice for the hauntin'.  :angel:
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 02, 2013, 05:50:48 PM
According to both the OT and NT Jesus did not rise first. Apparently it was not uncommon. Don't you know your bible?

On a more practical note, since this thread deals with dementia, it might be useful to know that learning languages reduces the effects of dementia and it has been recommended that all children learn languages in school. When someone in your family retires, get them onto learning languages as a hobby. It should help them and everyone around them.

In what sense are you using the term rising then, might I ask? Jesus led the captives from their captivity, and that is the sense in which I am using it.

That's cool, I didn't know that before. Spanish and Italian were always my favorite classes in school. I still strive to improve both to this day. Maybe someday I'll have the time to start learning French and Portuguese too!

I was using the term "rise" in the usual sense of allegedly dead then allegedly alive.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 06:12:52 PM
BTW my MIL's funeral service is this weekend. I am sure it will be fine, but if someone tries to inject any religion into it, I will be pissed. The woman was not religious!

When I die, I swear I will come back and haunt anyone who does any religious crap at my funeral. I will specifically become a restless spirit to do it. If I get the chance, I will make that very clear before I die, so the religious folks will know they are on notice for the hauntin'.  :angel:

Sorry for your loss. Unless you hated her. Just kidding (I hope). I'm as Christian as they come (I think), and funerals are usually really weird. Frankly, according to the Bible anyway, there's nothing they could do to change her eternal fate anyway. What's done is done.

And I know you're probably only speaking in jest, but do you believe in an afterlife or not?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: ParkingPlaces on October 02, 2013, 06:50:24 PM
...
If there is a god, this is the future he planned for us. So if he actually is real, he would have a hard time getting any worshipping out of me anyway. If all he does is sit back and watch things that he could easily prevent, then screw him.
...
I don't understand the appeal.
No, God didn't plan this future for us. As mentioned above, he designed us to live forever, but we willfully rebelled and fell. So now we're in a fallen state. He didn't want us to abuse our free will like that and live this way (in which we grow old and die).

Your understanding of the appeal (or lack thereof) of an afterlife obviously does not determine whether an afterlife exists.



Let me get this straight. He didn't plan our future, but he designed us to live forever, which means he planned our future, but we rebelled, something no decent, self-respecting omnipotent being could ever foresee, and then he decided to be peeved at each and every one of us rather than just the two naïve waifs that he couldn't explain things to very well in the first place. And he places incredible import on free will, and no importance to anything else, like pain, suffering, misunderstandings, squabbles, jaywalking, etc.

The free will thing is so cute. First he condemns us to a life of sin because of something someone else did, then he gets all excited about free will, something that is apparently hard for a sinner to deal with, since most of us are so busy disobeying the ten commandments and stuff. Every day, for instance, I get up and go over to my neighbors house and covet it. But I can't help myself. I was  born this way. Except I have free will. But not free will not be be born a sinner. Though there is a get out of jail card I could use, if I didn't mind lying to myself about what is true. Luckily, said get out of jail card is not necessary, because there is no real way to be saved, since the guy doesn't exist int he first place.

And the guy not existing in the first place is exactly why my feeling on the issue are moot. There is no afterlife, so no matter what I want for a dead me in the future, I can't have it. Unless I want nothing. Then I'll be okay. But you're right. Even if I wanted a wonderful afterlife, it wouldn't' matter, because whatever is, is. Or, in this case, whatever isn't , isn't.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Chronos on October 02, 2013, 07:51:04 PM
When I die, I swear I will come back and haunt anyone who does any religious crap at my funeral.

I have thought about putting in my will that copies of The God Delusion should be placed in the hands of anyone attending the funeral, and require that my favorite parts be read aloud.

I can be crotchety like that.

Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on October 02, 2013, 07:58:18 PM
BTW my MIL's funeral service is this weekend. I am sure it will be fine, but if someone tries to inject any religion into it, I will be pissed. The woman was not religious!

When I die, I swear I will come back and haunt anyone who does any religious crap at my funeral. I will specifically become a restless spirit to do it. If I get the chance, I will make that very clear before I die, so the religious folks will know they are on notice for the hauntin'.  :angel:

Sorry for your loss. Unless you hated her. Just kidding (I hope). I'm as Christian as they come (I think), and funerals are usually really weird. Frankly, according to the Bible anyway, there's nothing they could do to change her eternal fate anyway. What's done is done.

And I know you're probably only speaking in jest, but do you believe in an afterlife or not?

No, I don't believe in any afterlife, because there is no evidence of it. Dead, as far as anyone can demonstrate, is dead.  And I don't mean, he was in a coma and then revived, or her heart stopped for five minutes and was then started up again by paramedics. I mean brain flat-lined, heart not functioning, not breathing, all systems no, dead parrot dead. Recycled into elements, that's all she wrote. Nobody comes back after that. :angel:
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: neopagan on October 02, 2013, 08:09:43 PM
If someone immortal gives their life for you and comes back to life a few hours later... what kind of sacrifice was that?  Can't be both alive and a sacrifice... pick one.

False dichotomy. We all have souls and will continue to live after physical death anyway. Jesus was obviously a special case as an example of things to come, so he rose first, and many others rose with him. Not only did Jesus die, he also voluntarily took the punishments leading up to and including the flogging and crucifixion, even though he didn't deserve them, and even though they occurred before his physical death.

If he was still dead... sacrificed.  If he's alive, not a sacrifice.  What's the false dichotomy - the appeal to magic was left out? Ok, you got me...  Can you tell me where my soul is, btw?  Is it in my uvula?
Look, I was a xian for 35 years, so I know the stories, you don't need to preach to me - just present the facts as you see them - I'm well aware JC had a rough weekend, although nothing like some who have died tragic, painful deaths (even those crucified). 
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 02, 2013, 08:47:11 PM
No, I don't believe in any afterlife, because there is no evidence of it. Dead, as far as anyone can demonstrate, is dead.  And I don't mean, he was in a coma and then revived, or her heart stopped for five minutes and was then started up again by paramedics. I mean brain flat-lined, heart not functioning, not breathing, all systems no, dead parrot dead. Recycled into elements, that's all she wrote. Nobody comes back after that. :angel:
There is evidence. You just don't believe the evidence.

If he was still dead... sacrificed.  If he's alive, not a sacrifice.  What's the false dichotomy - the appeal to magic was left out? Ok, you got me...  Can you tell me where my soul is, btw?  Is it in my uvula?
Look, I was a xian for 35 years, so I know the stories, you don't need to preach to me - just present the facts as you see them - I'm well aware JC had a rough weekend, although nothing like some who have died tragic, painful deaths (even those crucified).
He suffered and died = sacrifice. Not that hard really.

Let me get this straight. He didn't plan our future, but he designed us to live forever, which means he planned our future, but we rebelled, something no decent, self-respecting omnipotent being could ever foresee...
[H]e condemns us to a life of sin because of something someone else did...
He planed a future for us. He didn't plan this one. This is not the one he wanted for us. The one he planned was much better. In fact, it was perfect. This is the one we chose for ourselves. He did know in advance it would happen this way, but he saw fit to create us anyway.

He didn't condemn us to a life of sin. We condemned ourselves. No one is sinless. You've sinned. I've sinned. We've all sinned.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Jag on October 02, 2013, 09:05:17 PM
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.

I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.

Oh, so you did miss the point.

Let's try again - you are "talking out both side of your mouth". Are you familiar with that phrase? I certainly hope so because you are doing it all over this forum, and it's going to catch up with you sooner or later. I'm seeing it in every discussion you are participating in.

idontknow is a fine screen name - but you sure are making a lot of claims for someone who chose that name to represent him or herself.

And you never addressed my question.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jynnan tonnix on October 02, 2013, 09:09:26 PM

There is evidence. You just don't believe the evidence.


Not sure what sort of evidence you are talking about, and I'd be interested to hear what you consider compelling.

Personally, though, while I generally tend to subscribe more to the "dead is dead" camp, there are times that I feel more drawn toward the "afterlife" side...and during those times, the philosophy which resonates far more strongly with me is that of reincarnation.

Neither the heaven/hell side nor the reincarnation side has anything like irrefutable evidence to back up their ideas, but whereas all we have from people who claim near death experiences are anecdotal "visions", there are some pretty darn compelling stories from those who claim to have been reborn which, though none so far has actually been clear and correct enough in every detail to provide actual proof, do offer some fairly amazing coincidences.

Of course, coincidence, bias, expectation, etc, all have a huge impact on how any event is perceived, but at least when you are dealing with reincarnation stories, you have actual, concrete, testable details to focus on. You can lay out all the coincidences, all the hits and misses, and make a decision as to whether you believe based on those. Near death experiences, on the other hand, don't typically give us anything other than the same type of bright light/feeling of peace/seeing loved ones who have already passed which the mind is probably already programmed with. Hardly surprising. Oh, and by the way, the experiences of those who have a completely different expectation of the afterlife is apt to have more imagery that THEY are familiar with. So which is the true vision? One? Both? Neither?

So, basically, what sort of evidence ARE you talking about here? And what makes it better than evidence for any number of other beliefs?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 03, 2013, 12:01:08 AM
Not sure what sort of evidence you are talking about, and I'd be interested to hear what you consider compelling.
...
Neither the heaven/hell side nor the reincarnation side has anything like irrefutable [emphasis added] evidence to back up their ideas...
Oh, and by the way, the experiences of those who have a completely different expectation of the afterlife is apt to have more imagery that THEY are familiar with. So which is the true vision? One? Both? Neither?

So, basically, what sort of evidence ARE you talking about here? And what makes it better than evidence for any number of other beliefs?
The Bible is evidence. Testimonies of Christians is evidence. The existence of an orderly world and universe is evidence. In law we'd say it's an issue of credibility not admissibility. I added the emphasis to the word irrefutable in your post because this is a recurring theme I've noticed among people with whom I've had similar discussions. Don't conflate evidence and conclusive proof. They are not the same thing, nor need they be.

If you're asking for irrefutable evidence, I can't give you any, just like you can't give me irrefutable evidence that God does not exist. You can give me evidence in the form of arguments presented on this site and elsewhere generally pertaining to the problem of evil, etc. And I can give you evidence in the form of historical writings and intelligent design in nature and personal accounts of many thousands of people who claim to have had direct revelations, visions, dreams, etc. In both situations, you and I are basically the juries of our own lives. We chose which stories, which evidence, to believe.

So I would kindly ask you to reconsider what you meant to say when you said evidence and then when you said irrefutable evidence.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: idontknow on October 03, 2013, 12:21:10 AM
If God is the creator of all that exists, he most certainly IS the proximate cause.

And I gotta say, for someone with a law degree I'm quite surprised to read this, written by you: death exists because we as mankind are fallen. That's one of those rules of the game God almost never breaks.

Either he intervenes or he doesn't. Either he follows the rules or he doesn't. And if he sometimes doesn't, which you indicate is the case with that remark, then what is the purpose of rules in the first place, if they can be ignored at will - regardless of who is doing the ignoring?

That's some fancy double-think you got going on there in that remark.

I say it that way because the Bible records two people who did not physically die.

Oh, so you did miss the point.

Let's try again - you are "talking out both side of your mouth". Are you familiar with that phrase? I certainly hope so because you are doing it all over this forum, and it's going to catch up with you sooner or later. I'm seeing it in every discussion you are participating in.

idontknow is a fine screen name - but you sure are making a lot of claims for someone who chose that name to represent him or herself.

And you never addressed my question.

Let me try to unpack the above quote, as it goes back and forth quite a bit. I apologize if I failed to address your question. It is never my intent to intentionally sidestep a question. Just so we're clear, the question is: why does God create rules if he's going to break them every now and then? Right?

My first answer, which I think is not at all inconsistent with what I've been saying elsewhere on this site, is indeed reflected in my user name: I rarely know why God does anything or fails to do something. We can sit here asking why questions all day long, and whatever you or I say will often be mere speculation unless, at least from my point of view, the Bible specifically says why for a particular act or omission by God. Having gotten that preface out of the way, I trust you to understand why it is not talking out of both sides of my mouth to go ahead and speculate anyways. I find it an interesting topic of discussion, and so do many posters on this site apparently. I am not here to badmouth anyone or convert anyone, only to contribute my point of view to the discussion. A lot of the time, that will necessarily involve speculation. If you want to refer to my speculation as me making "claims" that will "catch up with me," well, I don't think you'll be any more satisfied with this post than any of my others. I just think that's a funny spin you're putting on it.

Rules, whether divine or man made, sometimes have exceptions. That's just a part of life, and God operates in a similar manner, according to the Bible. That doesn't mean we toss out all the rules because there are exceptions. It doesn't mean the rules serve no purpose because there are exceptions. Considering there have been billions of people in this world, two people that God allowed to bypass bodily death is a pretty infinitesimally small percentage. This is not one of those rules where the exception is really overtaking the rule and becoming the rule.

To recap on this point: the general rule is that everyone dies. There have been two exceptions to that rule. The rule is still incredibly strong and will in all likelihood apply to everyone alive today.

The same principle applies to divine intervention (this part comes from my dispensationalist beliefs): the general rule is that God does not intervene physically in the world, but there have been several historical eras of human history in which he intervened more frequently and more noticeably. The current era appears to be one of mostly nonintervention. Another era of intervention is coming in the future, though, according to the Bible, with the Rapture, Great Tribulation, Second Coming of Christ, and Millennial Reign all yet to take place.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 03, 2013, 12:56:00 AM
To recap on this point: the general rule is that everyone dies. There have been two exceptions to that rule. The rule is still incredibly strong and will in all likelihood apply to everyone alive today.

There is no such "exceptions" of human death, every human, ever, will die eventually, it is inevitable.

The same principle applies to divine intervention (this part comes from my dispensationalist beliefs): the general rule is that God does not intervene physically in the world, but there have been several historical eras of human history in which he intervened more frequently and more noticeably.

Why the hell does he not intervene physically?
The fact that he does not intervene, even to do good things makes him seem *gosh*, non existent.

Rules, whether divine or man made, sometimes have exceptions. That's just a part of life, and God operates in a similar manner, according to the Bible. That doesn't mean we toss out all the rules because there are exceptions. It doesn't mean the rules serve no purpose because there are exceptions. Considering there have been billions of people in this world, two people that God allowed to bypass bodily death is a pretty infinitesimally small percentage. This is not one of those rules where the exception is really overtaking the rule and becoming the rule.

Sure, in life there is exceptions...
But there is also things that are literally impossible to do, as in 0/1 chance of doing so.
Cheating death is one of them.

Even the water hydra, in its immortal glory, dies eventually.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on October 03, 2013, 03:06:49 AM
What a lot of evasion.  I really must commend you on your abilities.  First off, you completely ignored this entire section:


God exists, and you shouldn't let even the most emotionally traumatic moments in your life persuade you that he doesn't love you, care about you, and want to spend all of eternity with you, blessing you with abundant joy, indeed rejoined with your dad and sister once again.

Please don't cheapen words like love and care in this way.  I had, and have, many real friends and family you demonstrated their love and care on a regular basis.  Who actually do and did things for me to see me through, even when it was a strain on their time and on more tangible resources.  This "god" you claim loves me, cares about me, has infinite resource and no barriers to demonstrating that resource - and chose to do nothing, as he continues, day by day, to do nothing to show that love and care.

So I repeat - don't cheapen the efforts of those who DO, by claiming that some creature who does nothing is displaying the same behaviours, because it demonstrably isn't so.

Now lets look at the other twists you've had to use.

If you want to know why God might choose to interact with humanity differently at different times in history, I have no idea

No idea.  Okay.

Then you proceed to tell us exactly why.  That "two sides of the mouth" thing.

God is omniscient and allows things that we consider tragic because they are not objectively bad in the grand scheme of things…… he's waiting for everyone who will be saved to be saved.

On to the next piece of foolishness.

(in my sisters case) there were very definite prayers being said on her behalf, that he specifically chose to ignore.  A being that has the ability to act, is requested to act, and has a record of acting, is a very definite proximate cause.  He is as responsible as would have been a doctor with the skills to operate, but who stood by and ignored the pleas to do anything....who the day before, and the day after, had operated on others.  So, very definitely, Yahweh is the proximate cause.

The vast majority of American jurisdictions would find Phelps not liable, because he had no duty to act. Phelps is not the proximate cause.  But wouldn't Phelps rightfully be considered an enormous ass even if he escapes legal consequences? Pretty much.  Sooner or later, some way or another, your dad and sister both would have died the child would still have drowned.

Good point.  If we consider Phelps to be an enormous ass, then we must consider Yahweh to be just as big an ass, because your point is "we all die anyway, which is a Good Thing".  So in your little scenario, we must applaud Phelps for his inaction, as he sped that child to heaven.

The enormous asses, in your screwed up world, are the nurses and firefighters, the people who intervene when they see people getting beaten, the organisations who ship food to the starving, ANYONE who takes action to prolong life.  Because everyone dies anyway, and death is good (provided you've chosen the correct mythology).

Sorry IDK - you can't say Phelps is an ass, and let Yahweh off the hook - and if Yahweh is good for not acting, then firefighters and nurses are swine.

Okay….next piece of dribble:

But bodily death isn't the end, according to Scripture. Your dad and sister now live in perfect bodies, and they will never suffer again.

Ah, I see.  So Yahweh ensures that Christians always die when they are in life-threatening situations.  Thanks for clearing that up.  By that logic, the best thing I can do for Christians would be to shoot them in the head - after all, they will die anyway, right?  This life is " infinitesimally small, immeasurable really".  Send me your address, I'll come help you on to the next life - this one is pretty pointless, as you say.

More nonsense:

It's not that he can't be bothered at the moment but that he's waiting for everyone who will be saved to be saved. If the Second Coming of Christ occurred, for example, in the Dark Ages, then neither you nor I nor anyone we personally know would have ever lived. There have been millions, perhaps billions of people since the Dark Ages come to be saved. And so the evil that exists in the world is outweighed by those souls that have been saved, because it increases the number of people in heaven.

So….what are you saying?  There are a whole load of souls floating around somewhere waiting to be born, and god can't sort the world out because he has to wait to see how those souls will turn out?  That HAS to be the case - that there is a finite number of souls - otherwise we'll just keep on reproducing and god will keep pinching out more souls to plop into the bodies.  An endless possibility of souls means this world will forever be a place of evil.

So "limited souls" then.  But here's the rub: not every soul gets the same chance in life.  The soul dumped into a Bible Belt body in a good Christian family gets a far better chance of salvation then the one dumped into a poor Muslim family in Iran.  "Don't conflate the plan with proximate cause", you bleat - but, again, your god IS the proximate cause.  By deciding where to plop all those souls, he effectively decided which get saved, and which do not.

Your theology is a mess, quite frankly, I'm not surprised you dodge points like this:

My maternal grandmother has dementia, and she's in a pitiful state currently. God is allowing it.

Yes.  On a daily basis.  Proximate cause, no matter how you wish to deny it.

Your grandmother, my mother.  Every day, your god thinks "hmm….call them home to the inevitable glory than awaits them, or let them live to suffer another day of fear and anguish?"  And every day, he decided to let them suffer a bit more.  Praise god.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on October 03, 2013, 03:08:12 AM
Your ultimate reaction seems to stem from God's inaction. That is, you seem to be most hostile to the idea of God because if he exists he hasn't done enough to ease or reverse the suffering you and your family have endured.

Yeah, that's right.  I only care about my own family.  You sleep easier thinking that.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: jynnan tonnix on October 03, 2013, 06:18:50 AM
If you're asking for irrefutable evidence, I can't give you any, just like you can't give me irrefutable evidence that God does not exist. You can give me evidence in the form of arguments presented on this site and elsewhere generally pertaining to the problem of evil, etc. And I can give you evidence in the form of historical writings and intelligent design in nature and personal accounts of many thousands of people who claim to have had direct revelations, visions, dreams, etc. In both situations, you and I are basically the juries of our own lives. We chose which stories, which evidence, to believe.

So I would kindly ask you to reconsider what you meant to say when you said evidence and then when you said irrefutable evidence.

Well, yes. That's really all any of us can do, I guess. And you are right about the irrefutable thing; one can't prove a negative, and neither can anyone prove an alternate scenario to the Christian one when it comes to an afterlife, so we really are stuck with weighing the evidence and making a decision from there.

But given that, and the fact that any evidence for Christianity specifically being the "answer" is tenuous at best, and dependent on highly subjective interpretation and emotion, it would seem the height of arrogance for any hypothetical supreme being to punish anyone for coming to the wrong conclusion when it would be the work of less than a moment for him to offer actual evidence. I don't buy the faith vs free will argument on why he can't, as there is nothing which forces anyone to worship something just because they have proof it exists.

And, as I said before, the anecdotal evidence for reincarnation seems stronger to me than that for heaven, since there are more verifiable things involved. Not saying I believe in that; there are still way too many holes in that theory as well, and "dead is dead" really seems to make the most sense, given all we know...but it certainly strikes me as more reasonable than Christianity's "once shot at getting it right, then eternal bliss or eternal torture" scenario.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: screwtape on October 03, 2013, 07:42:21 AM
He planed a future for us. He didn't plan this one. This is not the one he wanted for us. The one he planned was much better. In fact, it was perfect. This is the one we chose for ourselves. He did know in advance it would happen this way, but he saw fit to create us anyway.

So god's will was not done.  Huh. Imagine that.  How is that possible?

And what kind of a god wants things one way and then makes them to turn out another?  Why would he make things knowing it would result in tremendous suffering and a substantial portion of his creation being tortured forever?

that's fucked up.  It also makes no sense at all.

He didn't condemn us to a life of sin. We condemned ourselves.

No "we" didn't.  Exactly how did you condemn yourself?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Jag on October 03, 2013, 09:13:45 AM
@idontknow in reply 162 - thank you for responding. I'm sorry that you think the "spin" I'm putting on your words is "funny", but it what I observed, and commented on. It appears that I am not the only one who sees it given the responses that followed your reply. And as I predicted, it caught up with you - do you understand what I was referring to now?

You state that you don't know then you proceed to tell us what you just said you don't know. Don't misunderstand my interest, you're not being cyber-stalked so much as you are posting a lot, and newbies tend to get a lot of attention here. I noticed a lot of your posts in threads I'm following yesterday, and simply wanted to point out this ongoing habit you seem to have.

Best of luck - you are under no obligation to agree with anyone here but that goes both ways. Work on the double-think stuff and these conversations will be much more productive, for all parties involved.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Hatter23 on October 03, 2013, 09:17:41 AM
If someone immortal gives their life for you and comes back to life a few hours later... what kind of sacrifice was that?  Can't be both alive and a sacrifice... pick one.

False dichotomy. We all have souls and will continue to live after physical death anyway. Jesus was obviously a special case as an example of things to come, so he rose first, and many others rose with him. Not only did Jesus die, he also voluntarily took the punishments leading up to and including the flogging and crucifixion, even though he didn't deserve them, and even though they occurred before his physical death.

So he had a crappy three day weekend for your sins.

Big whup.

Sacrifice yes. Minor compared to every Allied Soldier who fought in World War II. Even the ones who didn't die or were injured had it a lot worse than a crappy three day weekend.



Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 03, 2013, 09:21:04 AM
Heck, he knew he would not die anyway, so his sacrifice is as bad as myself dying for someone...then coming back to life because im apparently omnipotent...
Better than that, i died for something that i caused in the first place, and i knew it was going to happen because i know everything.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Hatter23 on October 03, 2013, 09:21:59 AM
I don't buy the faith vs free will argument on why he can't, as there is nothing which forces anyone to worship something just because they have proof it exists.


Even the mythological stories in the Bible itself have people not following the rules after experiencing unambiguous miracle first hand.

So, there is no merit in the freewill requires a hidden god argument. It doesn't even hold up in their own silly stories.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 04, 2013, 05:08:58 PM

If you're asking for irrefutable evidence, I can't give you any, just like you can't give me irrefutable evidence that God does not exist.

That depends on your definition of god. If you mean the god of Jesus as defined by the OT, then yes there is a huge amount of irrefutable evidence that he does not exist. Your reaction to the evidence would be emotional, to turn off your brain to avoid it, and conjure up fantasy reasons to deny it.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: nogodsforme on October 04, 2013, 07:04:24 PM
It is amusing how people have to shrink down their god's powers to almost nothing, while at the same time claiming that he created the entire universe....Ya see, god is not actually omnipotent, and he is not really perfect. 

A god would not even have to be perfectly good or all-powerful. He only has to be a bit more powerful than humans and basically nice, like Superman. He would not have to help everyone in all circumstances. He could just help his own believers, or just babies and children. People would still b!tch and moan about him, but at least everyone would know for a fact that he was real. then everyone would be able to decide whether a partial god like that was worthy of worship or not.

A god that claims to be good and powerful, but does nothing to help when his believers are suffering and in trouble might as well be bad and helpless.  Or might as well be non-existent.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: hardlife on January 29, 2014, 02:48:58 PM
Hi Anfauglir,

It's been over 2 years since your original post. I hope you found some peace since then. I was wondering did you ever find anything at all that helped ease your situation? We know that asking in prayer is totally worthless. Sometimes prayer almost seems like a guarantee you won't get what you asked for. I know when my parents died how difficult it was. I felt like I was in survival mode just trying to endure everything day by day.

In a crisis situation, what can one do? It can be a dire health situation, a foreclosure, something where if you don't find an answer right away it is end of story for you or someone close to you. Has anyone reading this found anything that can pragmatically help turn around a critical situation for the better? Anything at all?
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: G-Roll on January 29, 2014, 03:49:16 PM
Quote
In a crisis situation, what can one do? It can be a dire health situation, a foreclosure, something where if you don't find an answer right away it is end of story for you or someone close to you. Has anyone reading this found anything that can pragmatically help turn around a critical situation for the better? Anything at all?
I don’t understand what you are asking for. A magic dance to make problems go away? I don’t know of any way to avoid the death of myself or of loved ones. If I did I wouldn’t be a selfish prick and keep that info all to myself... I promise.

Quote
I know when my parents died how difficult it was. I felt like I was in survival mode just trying to endure everything day by day.
It sounds as if you have found your answer seeming you are still with us after dropping into survival mode. Many are faced with problems/tragedies that they can't endure, and they don’t. Not that they were weak or feeble. Certainty not the individuals who I have known that took their own lives.
My "answer" is that there is no answer as to how to avoid drowning when life suffocates you. You survive and do whatever it is you need to do day by day. As you stated you survive.
I don’t want to sound cold or uncaring as I hope all is well with you and your post is a curious inquiry rather than you are inflicted with one of life's many cruel jokes. Yet realistically other than drugs and hugs I got nothing for you. If not for music I wouldn’t be here, I find a release in it.. However I know there are times when that won't work either.

Best of luck to you if you need it. If you find the magic dance to lift the sometimes crushing weight of life be sure to let us all know.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Jag on January 29, 2014, 04:21:10 PM
Hi Anfauglir,

In a crisis situation, what can one do? It can be a dire health situation, a foreclosure, something where if you don't find an answer right away it is end of story for you or someone close to you. Has anyone reading this found anything that can pragmatically help turn around a critical situation for the better? Anything at all?

You didn't disclose anything concrete - a specific issue you might have in mind - in your post, so it's hard to be certain of what you are really asking. I'll take a stab at it anyway, but the answer is going to be pretty non-specific without more information.

If you are faced with a real world problem, of the general sort you described, the first go-to in my personal toolbox is always to get as much information specific to the problem I'm facing as I can. This could be either research or talking to one or more people who have expertise or experience in whatever I'm addressing. Then I take whatever information I have obtained and look for practical ways to apply it.

There are countless resources available to help with the kind of problems you mentioned, but I would endorse actual human beings first and foremost. There are support groups for pretty much anything you can imagine (and probably many things you can't), counselors, advocates, mediators, social workers, internet groups, friends, family, neighbors, teachers, and professionals. Real people, who care either about you personally or humankind on general, who are ideally suited to help with any problem you might be trying to address - an internet search would be a good place to start if friends and family are not an option. Without more information, it's impossible to give you specific suggestions or even opinions. Tell us what you are talking about and you'll likely get better answers.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Anfauglir on January 30, 2014, 04:03:44 AM
I'd agree with Jag.  Seek information, seek assistance - and talk about it.  Not to god, or to yourself - those CAN be good to get things straight in your head - but to someone else physically there, who can sympathise and give advice.

The biggest help for me came when social services and the NHS finally did the Healthcare Assessment, and then recommended the right home for her needs.  Before that, it was all down to me to find somewhere, and I simply didn't have the tools.  I could look at homes, and probably get a fair idea, but without knowing all the info on medication and care and the practicalities of her 24 hour needs, I likely wouldn't get the best fit.

How do I cope?  By knowing that I've managed to get her into the best home in the area for her needs, where she is looked after and safe and happy in the moment.  And to be honest, having done that, to try to put it all out of my mind as much as possible.  "I've done all I can do, I can do no more", to paraphrase popeye.   Making sure that I go out and do stuff that I enjoy, not feeling guilty.

An update for those who have been following.  Last week was the yearly "renewal assessment" for the continuing funding, where we go through continenence, psychological state, medication, behaviour, etc.  Sitting around a table in the care home for an hour were the NHS assessor, the care home manager, me, and my mum, talking in great detail about how bad her behaviour could be, and how ill she was.  In that hour, I don't think she once registered that she was the one being talked about.  And not once did she recognise who I was.

And that, bizarrely, is the think that has made it easiest.  Previously, although she was mostly gone, there were still bits there - she knew she knew me, but not where from.  Now the last bit of my mum has gone, which actually makes it a whole lot easier to visit, because there are no more tears and unhappiness when its time to go.
Title: Re: My Christian Family
Post by: Boots on January 30, 2014, 02:36:19 PM
In my experience, everything jag and anfauglir said.  Add into that: break the problem into manageable chunks.  A crisis can seem--well, BE--overwhelming if you take a 10,000 foot view.  But if you say "Ok, what is the first step I have to accomplish?" and DO that first step, you can belay panic and affect positive change in the situation.  This should allow you to then formulate a 2nd step, etc.

I'm reminded of South Park: "WHat would Brian Boytano do if he were here right now??  He'd make a plan and follow through, that's what Brian Boytano'd do!!"