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Preview: Comments on Surgeonsblog: Bless the Child?

Comments on Surgeonsblog: Bless the Child?

Updated: 2018-01-17T22:17:24.382-08:00


Great article. Great writer. Great person.


Great article. Great writer. Great person.

"And if there's a God it stands to reason...


"And if there's a God it stands to reason that there's a Satan. Why don't people ever seem to blame him for anything?"

Um, doesn't it say in the bible that Satan can't do a damn thing unless God gives him permission to? Maybe it's time to actually read that thing, ya think?

At any rate, thank you so much for writing this, I can't believe someone else is saying this so effectively. I'm not necessarily against the concept of the Christian god but this isn't something godly - it's just like you said, child abuse, pure and simple. Poor kid. :(

anonymous: first of all, I never "condemned&q...


anonymous: first of all, I never "condemned" the love they gave the child. I reacted to the pressure put on her by the praying for cure, and her asking god to forgive her for not going to prayer circles.

Second, I delete comments that promote businesses: in this case, the writer's cashing in on the story.


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

PS: your "projecting much" opener was we...


PS: your "projecting much" opener was weird, since I was just quoting back, with only a slight change, the opening line of the previous anonymous comment. Yours? Hard to tell when anonymi haven't the courtesy to identify. If it was yours, you have a short memory. If it wasn't yours, you need to read more carefully. But we already knew that.

What a bunch of whiny self-pity. For starters, I s...


What a bunch of whiny self-pity. For starters, I suggest you re-read my entire post, possibly after taking some sort of sedative. Note what I said about the positive aspects of faith. Note that I'm not attacking faith, but a particular iteration thereof, the kind that leads a dying child to say "I'm sorry, God." Which was the point of the post. It wasn't even, assuming you can read it, against prayer, per se.It's only in recent years that I've felt like speaking up. I have no problem with people of faith who need it to get through a tough life, and who manage to keep it to themselves. It's sad, in my opinion, that they can't enjoy the world without magical thinking; but as a private matter it does not harm.It's when faith has entered the public arena to the extent that there are school boards foisting creationism on us, which makes us dumber, which affects me, as a citizen of the US which is competing with the rest of the world.It's when presidents think their god is telling them to invade other countries, which led to countless deaths and has nearly destroyed our country.It's when people fly into buildings in the name of their god.It's when religionists pray for the death of our president. We know prayer doesn't work, of course; but we do know there are plenty of crazies out there who, hearing that, would be happy to carry out what that idiot thinks is god's work. Right? Haven't we seen plenty of it? In Kansas, for example?It's when the anti-science aspects of religion slop over into health care. Or when it makes people make religious arguments against anthropogenic climate change.It's when our politicians make their faith a selling point. When religionists are forcing their views on the rest of us that the rest of us have a right -- a need and a duty -- to push back.You see it as attack. I see it as defense. You find it necessary to resort to the tired and off-point "nazi" trope. I find it useful to point out the inherent contradictions in certain beliefs: such as the idea that gods respond to prayers. Or that the world is we see it is compatible with the idea of a god that is all knowing, all powerful, involved to the point of answering prayers, and loving.If people believe things that are patently false -- that the earth is 6000 years old, for example -- they ought to expect other people to point out the wrongness. Because, as in the examples above, such thinking endangers us all.If people, intentionally or not, put a guilt trip on a dying child, it deserves comment. (And I realize it was a subtle point, to which most religionist commenters responded defensively, without taking the time to think or to read carefully. But deep reflection, of course, is not really part of the deal.)Take the time to read my post with understanding of what I was saying. And slog through the comments to find my responses.And see if you EVER see me use the words to describe the faithful that you ascribe to atheists. Nor, if you were to read Dawkins, or Harris, for example, would you find them doing so. Making arguments, pointing out flawed thinking: what is wrong with that? And, if you were to read them, you'd find a similar thread: it's because of the extent to which religious thought has begun to endanger us all that they write. None has a problem with private faith (other than the general concept that we're better off facing reality) and certainly not spirituality; it's that, as the world gets more and more dangerous, people are resorting to magical thinking rather than facing our problems.Finally, this: this post (a year old, by the way) is on a small little blog in a tiny corner of the blogosphere. I express opinions sometimes. Last I looked, I have that right. You also have the right not to read them. I think it's time you exercised it.[...]

Nice "projecting" there, doc. Who creat...


Nice "projecting" there, doc.Who created this blog -me, or you? You wrote a blog, and uploaded it to the world-wide-web, that clearly attacks the faithful, by viciously bashing a family, and their terminally ill daughter, for leaning on their faith after they had, first, exhausted all medical treatment possibilities, as their family was going through an enormously emotional, and enormously tragic time. You have no shame... but you then try to turn it all around and project it onto us, that we -the faithful, are the ones attacking you, the Atheists.No, quite the opposite. We are defending ourselves. You Atheists are the ones on the offense.Your blog is posted on the Internet -not for the purpose of "debate", or for "awareness". It was posted as an attack on the faithful, hidden behind the seemingly harmless guise of "debate", and of "making people aware".Did you become a medical doctor to help people? Then why trash, attack -and risk hurting, that family while they were down? You didn't have to mention that family by name to talk about your Atheism.You can be an Atheist -I really don't care. My problem with Atheists is not that you don't believe that there is a God. My problem with Atheists is that you attack the faithful.We, the faithful, are busy minding our own business, practicing our faith. However; you Atheists are the dog with no bone, so you -instead, chew the furniture of the faithful.You Atheists are on the offense and you are militant. You don't use a tire iron to attack us -rather; you attack in a passive-aggressive way, as seen by your blog, and the faithful are sick and tired of the attacks.You atheists are constantly nipping at the heels of the faithful. Don't agree? Go to the You-Tube web site and see how many Atheist videos that are uploaded, there.One Atheist video author even has an animated image of a ninja warrior posted next to his videos. That's a strong hint that he is obviously looking for a fight. He knows that his videos are attacking the faithful.See how many Atheists comment on those videos, by verbally attacking the faithful. Usually, the words that they use to attack the offended faithful, are; "dumb"; "asshole"; "moron"; "dumb-fuck"; "uneducated"; illogical"; "go fuck your mother"; etc...Atheists are not interested in debating. They're interested in attacking.You Atheists are militant. You're on the offense. For you Atheists, the Internet is now being used as your grass-roots medium to channel your agenda for offensively attacking the faithful.Look: Highly educated engineers designed the ovens, used to cremate millions of murdered Jews, in Nazi concentration camps.Highly educated Nazi medical doctors performed ghastly, excruciatingly painful and cruel, medical experiments on millions of Jewish children, without even using anesthesia -in Nazi concentration camps.So I'm suspicious of Atheists' self-proclaimed "educated intelligence", and "logic".Go ahead and believe that there is no God. I really don't care. I do care, however, when you Atheists attack the faithful.Stop attacking the faithful.Just knock it off.I don't see you attacking a Muslim, by name, within your blog, probably because you're afraid that he'd find you and cut your head off in two seconds, if you did.However; you Atheists see us "peaceful" Catholics, and Christians as "easy-pickin's".It's "safe" to attack us, so it's "open-season" on us.I'm not apologizing to Atheists, for my faith. You Atheists should, however, apologize for your attacks on the faithful.I have faith and you don't. I'll believe in God and you'll believe in your "logic". I'll continue to practice my faith[...]

Anonymous: Why do you faithful feel the strong n...



Why do you faithful feel the strong need to smugly defend yourselves via attacking the atheists?

Sid Viscous; Why do you Atheists feel the strong n...


Sid Viscous; Why do you Atheists feel the strong need to smugly defend yourselves via attacking the faithful?

You are spiritually vacant...Hollow. You believe in nothing -religiously speaking, so how can you defend "nothing"? Why would you defend "nothing"?

Where does it get you? Does it recruit new Atheists for you?

We, the faithful, have The Holy Bible, which we believe is the word of God. We have something to defend.

Where's your Atheist "bible"? Oh that's right... I forgot -You don't have one...

And don't tell me that your "bible" is; logic, science, intelligence, and common sense -as if the faithful have been duped into believing in a Santa Claus, called "God".

No, you Atheists are way too smart to fall for that old lie, again, right? You are certainly much smarter than those faithful fools.

You Atheists play that same old tired rhetoric card, all of the time, as if to say -in contrast to you -that the faithful are illogical, stupid, and naive.

There are former Atheists (who have more formal education than you) who have converted to being believers in God.

Are they, all of a sudden -stupid, and illogical? -Or, are you just a small minded idiot, who has obviously been scarred by some traumatic childhood experience, to the point where you feel the need to rant and bash the faithful, on your blog?

"Gloria asked for forgiveness because she felt she...


"Gloria asked for forgiveness because she felt she hadn't done enough yet in her life."

Yeah, right. Then who needs forgiveness? We need to forgive God (if he were deserving of it) for putting this little girl through all that suffering, and making her feel guilty on top of everything else. It's simply nonsense. I'm sorry she was brought up to feel that way. She needs no forgiving. If he existed, it would be god who did.

I understand how hard it is to rationalize the suffering of a child with a supposedly loving and all powerful god, and at some level I admire your struggle. At some point, however, one needs to change the explanations in the face of the facts. What I am trying to "discredit" is the entirely inconsistent belief system, not the girl, who never got old enough to see the falsity.

"Sid"... you really don't understand what's happen...


"Sid"... you really don't understand what's happened. I saw this page over a year ago and I was sickened. I won't try to make you take my opinion on what you've said, but I will show you my side at the least:

Gloria asked for forgiveness because she felt she hadn't done enough yet in her life. And if you were terminally ill that age, you wouldn't consider your life very long. I don't believe I've done enough in my life yet either.

I hope you weren't saying that this was in any way negligence on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Strauss. Because they put Gloria through countless days - years - of treatments, and the pain and effects of each all fell short. So when they saw the cancer beginning to consume her body further, they didn't wish to add to that pain.

And at that point, you could say that they simply "let go". But that's only half of it. They "let God". And regardless of whether you believe in God, a god, a spirit, a higher power, etc, you have to believe in something. And she did. She made the most of her life, being selfless the entire time. I still remember her name, her words the week before she died:

"Help us to rise up, in a new way" She was referring to her final battle with cancer, of leaving her body, the Earth. For us, she was referring to changing for the better, realizing that there is hope, that a young girl can utter more mature words than a 30-year-old to speak some truth.

My main point in leaving this comment to you is this:
By saying this, you're almost trying to discredit what this determined, selfless young girl did in the final months of her life. And by any standards, that's cruel.

Perhaps if you'd ever open your eyes and at least examine our position here... you might partially understand why we believe what we believe. Determination overcame the Nazis. Love was Ghandi's weapon. Hope was South Africa's defeat of apartheid. Faith was Gloria's victory that may not seem like a gain to you, but she lived her life to her fullest.

anonymous # zillion: as I've said a zillion times,...


anonymous # zillion: as I've said a zillion times, the title of the article in the paper about which I was writing was "Forgive me, God..." Beyond that, I've said everything I have to say at this point, in the post, and in many responses to comments like this. Read them all. Or not.

Sid. As a family friend of the Strauss family, I a...



As a family friend of the Strauss family, I attended those prayer services, and at no point did Gloria or her family ask God for the direct healing and cure of her cancer. In fact, Gloria would pray for everything and everyone around her, and never mentioned herself in her prayers. Gloria came to terms of her illness a long time ago, and she understood fully what was happening to her. She never blamed herself for "not praying enough" or "not meeting God's prayer quota" as you have strongly suggested.

There was also at no point in time anything that could be associated with "child abuse" Gloria was simply an amazing child who loved her family and showed significant amounts of grace in such a difficult time. For her that grace came from prayer and her religion. If prayer made her that amazing child who showed wisdom beyond her years, then who are you to pick that apart.

anonymous:It seems you missed a point, just as you...



It seems you missed a point, just as you say some commenters did. My point, for the umpteenth time, was that the family was setting the child up for blaming herself for the failure of cure. It was never that they were praying for cure, per se. It was that they were forcing her to attend prayer circles, etc, etc, when she felt too ill. As I said, it was the title of the particular article that put me over the edge: "Forgive me God..." What a sad thing for a dying child to believe. She needs forgiveness for failing to do whatever it is that she and her family think god wants her to do.

In insisting that if she just believed hard enough everything would be fine, they (unintentionally, I assume) implied that if she wasn't cured, it would be because she failed to believe enough. THAT'S the issue. THAT'S what I called child abuse. They went way past the time when, for the child's sake, they should have simply given her comfort and freed her from demands and expectations that were doomed to fail.

And THAT, very specifically, is why I mentioned the Strauss family.

You did briefly note that the Struass family did n...


You did briefly note that the Struass family did not only rely on prayer, however I still read many comments on here that attack the family for not treating the child.

I would just like to underline the fact that the family tried every single treatment that was possible. The prayers they were asking for were not simply trying to "demand" God to save her. The prayers provided support and hope for the family. I was a student of Mr. Strauss, and a family friend. They did everything in their power to help their daughter; treatment and prayer.

I understand the point of your article, and once again I acknowledge that you are not saying the Struass did not treat their child. Since it does not apply to the Strauss family, then why even mention them. I find it disturbing that an educated man such as yourself couldn't find a more tactful way of expressing your opinion.

Thank you for that, Doctor. If only they were all ...


Thank you for that, Doctor. If only they were all like you...


cathauto: there can be no greater tragedy or heart...


cathauto: there can be no greater tragedy or heartbreak. I see a beautiful child on your website. It doesn't erase the horror; but I'm glad to see you've found happiness.

I'm a bit late to this but just read from your cur...


I'm a bit late to this but just read from your current post (actually not so current: 2/24/08 "Funnyman"... I had it starred in my google reader).

I had a child 9 years ago who had holoprosencephaly. As a believer in god (at that time) I prayed every single day of my pregnancy for a healthy child, with no apparent reason to think I would not have one. When my daughter was born we were (obviously) devastated and just utterly heartbroken, to say the least. My reason for recalling this sad story is because my husband and I cried over her crib in the hospital, our tears falling onto her face and into her mouth, and I just believed that an all-loving god would grant this prayer... She lived for 6 short weeks and died on my (yes, my) birthday. I remember going to the doctor for my 6 week check-up post delivery and the nurse looked at my chart and said "God don't give you more than you can handle". I never went back to that clinic.

Full disclosure: I am an atheist now but didn't convert (or should I say de-convert) until around 3 years ago. That is another story, steeped in logic and reasoning.

If faith healing works why have we never seen an a...


If faith healing works why have we never seen an amputee healed or a child born without a limb healed?

Hello Dr.I can't tell you how much I appreciated w...


Hello Dr.

I can't tell you how much I appreciated what you have written re: Gloria Strauss. As a local of the Seattle area, I have read each installment in this series with a sense of disgust. I was unsure what exactly it was about it that bothered me (other than the fact that I'm an atheist and the entire baloney prayer aspect made me ill)... You put to words what were only random and scattered thoughts of my own. While I weep for this little girls family and their loss, the circus like atmosphere... the almost cult like fascination with her.... left me shaking my head after ever reading.

No, anonymous, I won't. But you are quite free not...


No, anonymous, I won't. But you are quite free not to read them. And, as someone who's cared for people with deadly illness for over thirty years, I'd say I'm pretty well qualified to judge the power of all sorts of modalities, including prayer.

Next time, focus on a topic that you have a better...


Next time, focus on a topic that you have a better understanding of. Your commentary on whether or not prayer is helpful in a situation like this couldn't be further from the truth. Who are you to judge the power of prayer? Until you've taken even one step in the shoes of someone like Gloria or her family, kindly keep your comments to yourself.

anonymous: re-read my post. I didn't suggest that ...


anonymous: re-read my post. I didn't suggest that at all. A little better reading would become you.

Sid,Today I attended Gloria's funeral. You imply t...


Today I attended Gloria's funeral. You imply the Strauss Family just prayed and withheld medical treatment. You are totally wrong. They did everything they could, all treatments failed. Yes they also prayed. We all did.
They are a wonderful family in our community I suggest you talk about what you fully know the facts about. A little more compassion would become you.

It's clear from the articles and from comments her...


It's clear from the articles and from comments here that Gloria was a special and wonderful child. It's horribly sad; and her bravery is deeply touching.