Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adding Insult To Injury (or, adding abuse to grief)

(Every word of this is true.)

A friend of mine, some thirty years ago,
The eldest son, a farming family’s pride,
Was gone from school, about a month or so
Before we heard the truth—the boy had died.

He’d fallen from a tractor in a field,
Though whether he was dead first, we don’t know;
The coroner’s exam? Too late to yield
An answer; there was nothing it could show.

His parents tried to cure the boy with prayer--
They brought him home, and put their son to bed.
Devout and faithful, hope turned to despair;
It broke their hearts, admitting he was dead.

Their church—to whom they turn when times are rough—
Blamed them, and said they had not prayed enough.

(This is one of the reasons I care.)


voodooKobra said...

That's terrible, but that's reality.

Anonymous said...

Oh man. It may be reality, but it F#$*&^ WELL SHOULDN'T BE.

It still gets me, however you tell it. And I am reminded of it, nearly every time I discuss religion with those who condemn the religious as 'idiots, fools, gullible' or worse, say that skepticism will lead naturally to atheism.

I guess I don't want us to lose our hearts in the process...

Melissa Gay Art said...

Wow... I am speechless. That is so sad!

Cuttlefish said...

oddly enough, what is bothering me right now is that I cannot remember his name. For some reason, that really saddens me. I remember his sister was named Sarah; I had a real crush on her. He had a younger brother too, who was also my friend; the younger brother was going to be the first in the family ever to go to college, until my friend died. The younger brother understood that it would now be his duty, as it was to be his brother's, to stay and take over the running of the farm.

Brother and sister both kept going to school for the month while their brother, my friend, lay dead in his bed. They simply did not talk about it; I am sure they must have been asked where he was. Perhaps they just said he was sick... it was 30 and a bit years ago, so details are fuzzy.

This was a good family. Nobody deserves something like this, but it is particularly hard when the family is this good, and so reliant on their faith, and their church takes their devotion and uses it to crucify them.

Podblack, you know that I am absolutely of the belief that one can be a skeptic and be religious. Skepticism is a process, not a result; the results you get from critical thinking will (and must) depend on the available evidence. This family was doing what they fully believed was right. They were not stupid; they were not gullible; they were not bad. They were fed lies, from people who had earned their trust.

And dammit, he deserves for me to remember his name.

Melissa Gay Art said...

Absolutely heartbreaking.

george.w said...

Very moving.

"And dammit, he deserves for me to remember his name."

If it is any comfort: you remember his context, his person, and his feelings and the feelings of his parents and family. And you remember what the church did and why it was important. Not that a name doesn't matter, but you remembered the stuff that matters most.