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

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... Read More

  1. by   julianp
    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.
  2. by   sauconyrunner
    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.
  3. by   julianp
    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.
  4. by   sauconyrunner
    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...
  5. by   NightOwl0624
    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.
  6. by   classicdame
    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
  7. by   brainkandy87
    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.
  8. by   OCNRN63
    If it pains you to read it to him, then tell him you don't have the time right then and there and ask someone else to do it. If he knew your background, he wouldn't want you reading to him anyway since it would be uncomfortable for the both of you. Have some spine and either suck it up and do it or get someone else to.

    It never fails to amaze me how this religion is bashed fairly frequently. There are innumerable threads about how horrible JW are.FWIW, they are no more a cult than Mormons, Lutherans, Mennonites, etc.
  9. by   Inori
    Its an awkward position to suddenly need to confront our personal spiritual hangups while trying to do the right thing and help the patient. Once in my clinical rotations I had a patient, extremely ill, no family in the US, and dying. One day after I finished cleaning her up and changed of bedding the patient gripped my arm and asked with tear filled eyes and a shaky voice, "could I pray for her?"

    I was in a dilemma, what do i do? how do you pray with or for someone when one doesn't regularly pray and cannot remember what the words were. I couldn't run off and look for my professor to ask her what and how to pray and nor could i convert to a devout believer on the spot and I did not want to lie to a dying person. I told her the truth that I told her that I was not particularly religious, didn't know the words, rarely prayed but would she like me to sit with her for a few minuets. I sat with her quietly, each left to our own thoughts, I was thinking is this ok? wow this isn't something school prepare me for, I was the least qualified person in the building to be doing this, what else can I do to ease her suffering. Then after I ashed her if she would like a priest come visit her because hospitals can get access to those. She did. I told her nurse and also followed up on it after lunch, they had sent for a priest to visit the same day. Later I stopped by her room to say good bye she thanked she was crying me and that it meant a lot to her that i prayed with her. You see to her me just sitting with her was praying and me I well sat with her and did alot of thinking about all sorts of stuff and tried to do my best to ease her suffering the only way i knew how.

    I keep my own beliefs to myself and could care less if another thinks that I should convert or not. If its something that clearly gives a patient peace by hearing their scriptures and I have a few minuets whats the harm. I get sermons yelled at me by street preachers all the time does that make me a convert?
    Last edit by Inori on Aug 30, '12
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    I'm just wondering where you folks all work that you have time to read scripture to the patient every day? I don't! We do have customer service representatives and CNAs who have time for that sort of thing. There are also chaplains we can call. And if the patient is asking for evangelical purposes, I have absolutely no time for that!

    That said, the Bible is interesting from a historical standpoint, even if you're an atheist or agnostic. I'm sure that scripture from other religions would be interesting as well, and IF I had the time and IF the patient were incapable of reading it himself, I'd probably go along with it.

    Proselytizing? I have no time for that, whether it be a patient, colleague or visitor.
  11. by   englishgeek
    I am a longtime Christian. If a Muslim handed the Qur'an to me and asked me to read it, and I KNEW he/she was doing it for the sole purpose of getting me to convert...I would do it, and hopefully I would have enough respect for this person to not be holding back laughter. That is, as Ruby pointed out, if I had time...