Reading Scripture to a Patient (from an Atheist) - page 2

by julianp

4,189 Views | 23 Comments

So I managed to break my own rule without thinking about it until halfway through. I have a resident who is a JW (Jehovah's Witness). He's tried to talk to me about god several times but I just brush it off. I've been DF'd... Read More


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    Personally, I am so tired of all of the cultural stuff that is shoved down our throats. I had to take a semester class in school about the importance of transcultural nursing. At work, I have to do all kinds of things for people that are different cultures and religions from mine, and I must act respectful of them. Muslim women not wanting men to do their care. Jewish people not wanting to "work" on the Sabbath. Finding interpreters to ensure those that never bothered to learn English get good medical care in an English-speaking country. Making sure everyone gets their correct diets (Kosher! Halal! Vegitarian! No meat on Friday!). Watching people of certain cultures torture their terminal/elderly family because it is not in their culture to accept "DNR". It is overwhelming.

    BUT I do it, and don't mind, because I respect the diversity of humankind. I don't laugh at the beliefs of others, even when I really don't understand. (Even willing to admit that MY belief system may be strange or incorrect to others!)

    Even if the guy was trying to convert you (and how do you know this if you have never discussed your religious beliefs with him?), reading a measly paragraph does not sound like such a big deal to me.
    tenjuna, HopefulLPN83, and kabfighter like this.
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    There is past history from this patient trying to just "talk about jehovah" with me. Having grown up JW I full well know how the religion operates. Being raised in a cult can give you a unique perspective. As I already stated the issue hasn't come up again. That may be because I read it like I was reading the Hobbit; only with less interest. I guess I should have prefaced my story with the past history as well.

    As for Michigangirl, I find humanity fascinating. Religion included. I don't particularly mind working around a patients beliefs because they are already here in a vulnerable state. Employees are a different thing altogether. I compare a nurse who gets Sundays off because of 'church' to be no different than the smokers who want longer and more often breaks because they smoke.
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    Quote from Michigangirl
    Even if the guy was trying to convert you (and how do you know this if you have never discussed your religious beliefs with him?), reading a measly paragraph does not sound like such a big deal to me.
    There was a situation near my community recently of a holiday nativity scene that was set up in front of city hall. A group of atheists protested the set up being on government property. Now I don't quite understand how this nativity scene threatens the beliefs of the atheists (or any other non-Christian group). However, what gives me the authority to say what they should or should not find offensive? Perhaps they were just protesting to make a stink. On the other hand, they might have been protesting because they were deeply offended by this display. It have no right to say what was their true motive for protesting. In the same way, I don't think you have the right to say that it was or was not a big deal for the OP to read a religious passage knowing the attempt to convert her.
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    I don't know any atheist who gets upset by a nativity scene. The only reason it gets protested is because if it's on government property it is seen as a government endorsement of one religion. My example I always use is how many Christians would protest if City Hall had a Yule tree with Pentagram decorations? I have yet to see any atheist group protest religious symbols on private property.

    And, Atheism is a lack of belief in god. That's it.

    Also, I'm a male nurse.
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    Quote from psu_213
    There was a situation near my community recently of a holiday nativity scene that was set up in front of city hall. A group of atheists protested the set up being on government property. Now I don't quite understand how this nativity scene threatens the beliefs of the atheists (or any other non-Christian group). However, what gives me the authority to say what they should or should not find offensive? Perhaps they were just protesting to make a stink. On the other hand, they might have been protesting because they were deeply offended by this display. It have no right to say what was their true motive for protesting. In the same way, I don't think you have the right to say that it was or was not a big deal for the OP to read a religious passage knowing the attempt to convert her.
    In this country Government and Religion are supposed to be separate. Religious Displays of any type of Government property are problematic. (And I consider myself a Christian, but I'm all for separation of Church and State. I would be offended by a Manger Scene on Government property. I do enjoy my Neighbors scene each year....that is the difference.
    julianp likes this.
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    Derailing my own topic. I absolutely LOVE Saucony shoes. I will not buy any other shoe for running or every day wear. Sorry, just noticed the username.
    Meriwhen and sauconyrunner like this.
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    Oh Me too. My only issue is with the mirages, they seem to wear out more quickly than my Mizunos...those carbon blown soles lasted forever...
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    Quote from julianp
    There is past history from this patient trying to just "talk about jehovah" with me. Having grown up JW I full well know how the religion operates. Being raised in a cult can give you a unique perspective. As I already stated the issue hasn't come up again. That may be because I read it like I was reading the Hobbit; only with less interest. I guess I should have prefaced my story with the past history as well.

    As for Michigangirl, I find humanity fascinating. Religion included. I don't particularly mind working around a patients beliefs because they are already here in a vulnerable state. Employees are a different thing altogether. I compare a nurse who gets Sundays off because of 'church' to be no different than the smokers who want longer and more often breaks because they smoke.
    Most of my reply was tongue-in-cheek, as I'm sure you guessed. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed trying to keep everyone happy!

    I was thinking of your situation that maybe you were projecting your past experience and expectations on this patient. You were probably right! I'm just wondering why you think he was trying to convert you if you never discussed religion with him, or is that just standard behavior?

    Anyway, I think you handled it well. I would read a paragraph, but that's about it. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal.

    I agree with you on the employee thing. I have to work every other weekend. If I want to celebrate a Christian holiday and it falls on my weekend, I either have to request to take it off (and only 2 nurses on the floor can have vacation days overlap) or switch with someone else. Other people may want it off to celebrate with their families even though it has no religious meaning to them whatsoever. It is really had just going to church on Sunday when you work midnights, but that's the way it is. I think it is fair enough.

    But there is a Jewish nurse on our unit who never worked a sabbath. She is exempt from working Friday night to Saturday night forever.
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    1) would you read him the paper? I don't believe half of that either
    2) can family/friends or church members be asked to come in periodically for the reading?

    BTW, I think you were kind to go thru with it and hold your thoughts to yourself
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    Quote from psu_213
    Just wondering...what about the situation made you think he was trying to proselytize to you? (I'm not being skeptical of your view of the situation...I'm just curious).
    It's what JW's live to do. My Mom and grandparents are lifelong JW's. I'm an Atheist but grew up going to meetings and such as a child until my teenage years, so I've got a pretty good knowledge of that religion. Their belief is that, in order for this world to end, they have to preach to every single person on Earth.


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