On Religious Right Grave-Robbers

I realize this is the season for Christmas trees, candy canes and presents, not for jack-o’-lanterns, black cats and witches, but I can’t help pointing out that a rotting ghoul has crawled out of its grave and is sitting around leering at us. Unfortunately this isn’t the kind of creature that goes away if you politely ignore it, so a little house-cleaning is, I think, in order.

You may have heard that Elizabeth Edwards died recently after deciding to forego further treatment for metastatic breast cancer. By all accounts, she came to terms with her illness and departed life peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. She’s not the ghoul I was referring to, of course. No, that dubious honor belongs to a right-wing blogger who took issue with Edwards’ final statement on Facebook just a day before her passing:

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human.

But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.

Who could take issue with that simple, beautiful statement? Well, apparently, this guy could. His objection? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it – Elizabeth Edwards didn’t spend her last days crying out to an imaginary god to save her life!

Clearly Elizabeth Edwards wants to put her faith in something, be it hope or strength or anything. But not God. I wonder if it’s just bitterness… Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn’t find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I’ve been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.

Elizabeth Edwards herself, though she claimed membership in the Methodist church, was more of a deist – as in this 2007 interview where she explained that she did believe in a god, just not one who answers prayers. But this wasn’t enough for this shambling, decaying right-wing zombie, who demands that everyone groan their assent to the same dead creed he himself subscribes to. His tactic of preying at others’ funerals reminds me of nothing so much as his fellow bloodsucking undead, Fred Phelps – who, for the record, also attempted to protest Edwards’ death, although he attracted only a handful of the like-minded and they never got closer than a few blocks away.

Hearing right-wing ghouls sneer about how we freethinkers will come to Jesus at the end of our lives is nothing new. But what is new is that they’re now getting upset at people who refuse to conform to their stereotypes, going so far as to petulantly lash out at the dead and dying. Christopher Hitchens, for another example, despite having advanced and likely incurable cancer, is behaving with equanimity and is even continuing to publicly debate religious apologists – something that must enrage them no end, as they were probably rubbing their hands with anticipation for a last-minute conversion. And in our media-oversaturated era, fabricating a deathbed conversion story is no longer as easy as it once was.

Like the ghouls and revenants of myth, these people feed on suffering and death for their own sustenance. To see atheists and other nonbelievers dying peacefully and without fear denies them the food they’ve grown accustomed to, so it’s no wonder they’re upset. Worse, from their perspective, is the thought that this trend of courage might catch on! One day, perhaps sometime in the not-so-distant future, we might have a whole society of humanists who face death without the need for religious consolation – and what would these circling carrion-eaters do then?

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Katie M

    You know what’s ironic? Seems that a lot of Christians, in the last few weeks of their lives, tend to start trying treatment after treatment, fighting to stay alive. If their heaven is so great compared to Earth, why do they fight death so hard?

  • Jeff

    Katie – because, for all of their assertions about the depth of their faith, they’re terrified of death. This is the reason they cling to faith so desperately.

    Of course this guy is upset. How dare she not use her last few moments to validate his beliefs? Didn’t she know God put her on this earth to do just that, so that Douglas wouldn’t have to confront his own nagging doubt?

    I am somewhat heartened that the overwhelming majority of comments (some of them from Christians) beneath that post are negative, and the mere handful of positive ones are from Christian wackjobs who are just glad he’s defending the faith. F*cking losers. What really bothers me is that he’s a Political Science professor. Although it is at a community college (http://histpolsci.lbcc.edu/deptpages/douglas.cfm), there are young people who have to listen to this bullshit. I’m going to send an email with a link to the blog post to the head of his department.

  • Jeff

    After 133 comments – most critical and contemptuous of Douglas and his views – he’s disabled the comment function. How dare these people disagree with him!

    I emailed his department head, and set him a link to the article. I’ll be curious to see what kind of reply, if any, I receive.

  • Dan

    Are we sure this guy isn’t just the (slightly) more literate side of Fred Phelps? The good news is his public showing of the cruel side of religious delusion.

  • Ryan

    Guys like this are why I left the church in the first place and started thinking over the god question for myself (full disclosure: Still not done thinking, but leaning toward atheism; and I’m pretty sure if there is a god, he’s nothing like the vindictive tyrant of Judeo-Christian tradition).

    So much for the religion of love and peace. Religious-right wingnuts never fail to disgust me with their absolute lack of shame, or their tendency to twist everything into some ridiculous example of how society is going to hell. How does Elizabeth Edwards’ final statement suffer for lacking specific reference to Jesus? How can any rational human read her words and not find her courage and dignity inspiring? I personally don’t care if she was a deist, a born-again Christian, or a worshipper of Marduk — she showed real grace and class with that statement. How heartless do you have to be to sully it with your own political agenda?

  • Ryan

    Jeff:

    After 133 comments – most critical and contemptuous of Douglas and his views – he’s disabled the comment function. How dare these people disagree with him!

    Don’t you love that? These guys make blustery moral pronouncements like they’re handing wisdom down from Sinai (probably because they think that’s exactly what they are doing), but they turn into fragile porcelain mice if you try to level any criticism at them. Loud-mouthed, belligerent fragile porcelain mice, but fragile porcelain mice nonetheless.

  • Peter

    Yep the coward has disabled further comments.

    Looks like they’ve moved on from lying about deathbed conversions to attacking dying deists. Class, real class.

  • Alex

    Therapeutic monotheistic deism

  • Brock

    Frankly, I love Ebon’s characterization of this guy as a zombie. It perfectly describes him and his attitude towards his corpse-god. As for Elizabeth Edwards, I hope that I am able eventually to face death with half the equanimity she showed.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    Ebon, the guy who ranted about Elizabeth Edwards made an ass out of himself a couple of month ago when he posted about someone at a rally holdings a sign “Sasquatch Isreal”. The guy ends up ranting that the young man holding up the sign was attacking Israel as a myth and invents all these motivations about the sign holder’s intentions, until someone pointed out to him that the sign actually read “Sasquatch Is Real”. He had to do a mea culpa, but still had the temerity to insist his original points stood.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Wow. Talk about a “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” scenario.

    If non-believers (or deists) were to wail and gnash our teeth at the meaninglessness of life in the face of the finality of death, that would certainly be taken as a clear sign of our nihilism.

    But when we face both life and death with a strong sense of hope and purpose, love and gratitude, connection with others and the treasuring of life and the desire to do good right up to the last… and we do it without God? A clear sign of our nihilism.

    m-/

    (That’s my emoticon for “facepalm.”)

  • Ryan

    Ebon, the guy who ranted about Elizabeth Edwards made an ass out of himself a couple of month ago when he posted about someone at a rally holdings a sign “Sasquatch Isreal”.

    I read about that one too, I think on Pharyngula. I still maintain that “Sasquatch Israel” would make a great name for an action hero.

  • Jeff

    Well, I heard back from Eugene Goss, Douglas’ dept. head. Firstly, here is the email I sent him:

    Dear Dr. Goss,

    I’m writing to call to your attention this recent blog post authored by Donald Douglas: http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/elizabeth-edwards-parting-statement.html , in which he attacks a dying woman simply for not validating his religious beliefs (as well as for what I’m sure is, in Douglas’ mind, a greater crime – being a “liberal”). I’m sure you’re aware of the blog’s existence, and you may even share Prof. Douglas’ political views, however, I wanted you to see this article. Obviously, Douglas is entitled to his opinion, and you have no authority to dictate his behavior outside of the classroom, but I felt you should be made aware, as it illustrates the character of someone who is representing your department, and influencing the young people entrusted to you for their educations.

    I find it somewhat encouraging, at least, that the vast majority of the 133 comments (to date) beneath the article are critical and contemptuous of Douglas and his statements – and a fair number of them appear to be from Christians.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Here is his reply:

    I have not read the post and I do not intend to. You are right when you say that I have no authority to dictate an instructor’s behavior outside of the classroom. I am sorry that you feel the need to extend a political argument on the web into one of the participant’s workplaces.

    To which I replied:

    This is not a political argument at all. It’s a matter of decency and human dignity, and it speaks to character. I think it’s utterly relevant, for the reasons I gave you, and I’m sorry you disagree.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work.

  • Ryan

    Jeff:

    Wow. That’s a pretty dismissive and insulting response from Goss, considering your e-mail to him was perfectly civil. Discouraging, to say the least.

  • Jeff

    Yes, what a tool, eh? And that bit about it being a “political argument” – he’s the head of a Political Science department, and he can’t distinguish the difference. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

    I’ve an inclination to forward this to the Dean, but it’s a community college, and it’ll probably just be more of the same. No wonder the Europeans laugh at us.

  • 2-D Man

    Jeff, decency and dignity are political issues. You can’t expect everyone to go around being all nice to each other, like liberals. Power-hungry psychopaths deserve some respect too.

  • Ryan

    Power-hungry psychopaths deserve some respect too.

    As a power-hungry psychopath, I resent your attempt to conflate my people with religious wingnuts.

  • Em

    What kind of person sees someone dying peacefully and wants to make it more terrifying and stressful? Never mind, I’m sure we could all list names. It still boggles my mind.

  • Ryan

    What kind of person sees someone dying peacefully and wants to make it more terrifying and stressful?

    The kind who can’t bear to believe anyone could die peacefully without subscribing to a narrow set of beliefs. But you’re right, it is mind-boggling. The sheer callousness is overwhelming.

  • http://politicalgames.posterous.com themann1086

    Oh, that guy. Yeah, he’s infamous around the net for being a nutcase. For some fun, search the Lawyers Guns & Money blog for him to see the posts where they poke him with a stick. Hilarity ensues.

  • Jeff

    Oh, that guy. Yeah, he’s infamous around the net for being a nutcase.

    I’d never heard of him before. If he’s that infamous, you’d think his dept. head would be aware of it, and would have a prepared email to send out when someone complains. Or just ignore it. But to send a reply like that? It’s childish and pathetic, really.

  • Dan

    His dept head is not “Doctor” Goss, it’s Mister Goss, who has been in the dept for 20 years and lists himself as ABD, which is all but dissertation, meaning that he’s likely a failure in his doctoral studies. Unfortunately, the hiring standards in community colleges vary widely and many of them wind up with the washouts who couldn’t make it elsewhere. So the irony in his reply was probably not intentional on his part; he’s just clueless. The scary thing is that Douglas teaches American government and politics.

  • Alex Siyer

    Comment #15 by: Jeff

    No wonder the Europeans laugh at us.

    Yes but, No country is free from being a source laughable material. There is always something…

  • http://daylightatheism.org J. James

    2-D man, are you implying that conservative men such as myself can’t be civil? : ] Because we GOP folks will civil and decency your society into a collapsing, radioactive waste. Kidding, of course. :) We Republicans are icons at controlling our insatiable hunger for pure carnage and brown people’s babies, if only to keep up appearances.

  • http://GodlessPoetry.blogspot.com Zietlos

    Ahhh… That sucks about the letter… You should try to get it Pharyngulated, he can ignore one letter, (who can’t?), but send out a few hundred emails from unique addresses remarking on a general level (without mentioning “liberal”, might have been your error) displeasure in the general actions of the faculty? With a reference that you will be sending a follow-up letter to some college-ranking magazine (I’m sure they exist in the States too, right?), and finish it with a “no reply necessary, I just wanted to let you know my plan of action”. You can toss in a “I feel that this man’s conduct, as a professional in your employ, could be reflective of your own views in certain circumstances whether or not this is case in fact, and continued indirect support can be reflected badly upon your institution in general”.

    Take away options. No replynecessary, no action requested, no denial possible. And do send a letter describing the sort of thing lecturers there “teach their students” to aforementioned magazine. Tweet it in the news stations tweet feeds, let the entire world know this college hires, well, for lack of a better word, evil people.

  • http://toomuchhorrorfiction.blogspot.com/ Will E.

    I live in Raleigh and while I was out of town during Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral, going by my Facebook page, lots of people I know personally went down there to counter-protest. Raleigh is (mostly) an extremely liberal and atheist-friendly town, so the Phelps gang wouldn’t have stood a chance, even if they had gotten nearby.

  • TEP

    I’m sure this Donald Douglas fellow might be feeling pretty confident of his Christianity right now, but just wait until he’s on his deathbed. We’ll see then if he comes running back to Apollo . . .

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    One day, perhaps sometime in the not-so-distant future, we might have a whole society of humanists who face death without the need for religious consolation…

    Elizabeth Edwards gave all of us – humanists, deists, theists, whatever – a fine example of how to die gracefully and bravely. If I can face my own death with 1/10 as much class as she displayed, I’ll be doing very well.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    In all fairness, while Douglas is obviously a verminous, bile-spewing moron, he hasn’t expressed his opinion in a way directly relating to his job (unlike, say, Mike Adams), so I don’t see a reason to write to his employer. Let’s not emulate the Christians who try to get people fired for saying things they disagree with!

  • Jeff

    Ebon, I disagree, for the reasons I mentioned in the email I sent to his dept. head. This is a man who influences the development of young people.

    Anyway, I wasn’t trying to get him fired. I just wanted to embarrass him, and for there to be a complaint against him, in case something more egregious comes up in future. Of course, I wasn’t expecting his boss to be as much of a dickhead as he is!

  • http://GodlessPoetry.blogspot.com Zietlos

    I’m with Jeff on this one, sorry Ebon. Whatever else, not getting him fired, but he should have scrutiny to ensure he isn’t doing the wrong stuff. We know he isn’t burning crosses on the students, but if he’s trying to burn them on his mind, that’s not great either.

  • http://prinzler@calpoly.edu Paul

    As an atheist and college professor, I don’t want my dept. head criticizing me for atheist blogging because he, as a Christian (I’m speaking hypothetically here, I don’t know the religious persuasion of my dept. head), thinks that I am doing my students’ development a great disservice, or that I’m influencing them wrongly. Such an approach can work against atheists, too.

    As a professor, I consider myself to be hired to do a job – to teach my subject. I’m not responsible for my students’ development broadly: I”m only responsible for their success in my classes and, for the majors in my department, for their success after their degree (going on to grad school, getting a job in my field, etc.).

    What I do outside of the classroom, not directly related to my duties, is my own business. Because so many activities can be seen to have a political dimension, questionable activities need to be directly related to a poly sci professor’s duties, and not just have any political implications.

    I am not a poly sci professor.

  • Jeff

    Paul,

    Should you be subject to criticism by your superior for blogging about atheism? Of course not. Should your employer be made aware if you attack a dying woman for not being an atheist? Yes. As I said, it speaks to character – and is made even more relevant by the fact that you (like Douglas) influence young people.

    I didn’t tell on him because I didn’t like what he said; I did it because he’s a hateful, destructive jerk.

    Academic freedom means you have the freedom to express your opinion. It doesn’t mean you have the freedom to be an indiscriminate asshole, without consequence.

  • Douglas Kirk

    I have to side with Ebon and Paul on this one. Whatever you want to say about character, a world where somebody’s job can come into question just because they happen to be an asshole is not a world in which I would want to live. Especially when the jerkery is associated with religion.

    I don’t see how that doesn’t open the door for discrimination based on the employer’s beliefs

  • http://prinzler@calpoly.edu Paul

    Jeff,

    I would be laughed out of the room if, during a periodic review of teacher A, I brought up that A, on good evidence, was confirmed to be an asshole at his church (or soccer league, or chess club, whatever) and yet was perfectly appropriate at all time with the students – not an asshole with the students – and that this was somehow relevant to our review of the person’s ability to do his job.

    I’m not evaluated during my periodic reviews on my character, and with good reason. The only possible exception might be if my character made me unable to work with others. But, even then, it’s not the character itself that is the problem, the problem is my behavior within the workplace. If the character does not manifest itself with students or colleagues, it’s not a problem. If it does manifest itself with the students or colleagues, it’s the manifestation, not the character, that’s the problem.

  • Jeff

    I don’t want to argue about it, but I feel this crosses a line.

  • Wednesday

    Jeff –

    We’ve seen over and over again that religious extremists insist that being an atheist means you have poor character, that saying “I don’t believe in Jesus” is hateful, that an atheist group visibly and civilly participating in a Christmas parade was disgusting. How many times has visible atheism been basically treated as obscene, something that “children shouldn’t have to see”? For people who hold these views, simply being “out” as an atheist is hateful, awful behavior.

    If we insist that someone being a jackass on the internet ought to face consequences for off-the-job behavior that include potentially losing his job, especially if we insist that when his hatefulness is intimately tied up with religious views, then we open ourselves up to losing our jobs as well, simply for not hiding our atheism.

    Oh, sure, you can say that we’d be protected by federal labor laws in countries like the US, but… go take a look at any academic job listing website for US jobs. It shouldn’t take you too long to find advertisements for positions at schools that require a statement of faith (sometimes even Christian faith), or signing a lifestyle covenant. Some of these also claim to be Equal Opportunity Employers.

    So even if you disagree that there’s an ethical problem with firing someone for being perceived as a jackass on the internet, I hope you recognize the logistical one: that _we_ are much more likely to be hurt by such a policy than the genuine jackasses.

    Now, if he was being given some sort of honor based on character and/or contributions to society, then by all means, let his actions on the internet be taken into account.

  • Paul

    Jeff, I can appreciate your feeling like a line was crossed. I actually agree with you. A line was crossed. We just disagree about exactly where that line is with regard to a professor and his dean.

  • gamba

    I’d been following this up for weeks now and am simply compelled to say i envy your combinations. Every comment i read on this blog makes sense to me. I wonder when this could spread to my country(Nigeria). Am enjoying it…….

  • http://prinzler@calpoly.edu Paul

    One last analogy: Bill Clinton clearly, I think everyone would agree, crossed a very big line with Monica Lewinsky. He committed a very serious moral lapse, and doing so in the White House was, how shall we say . . . . idiotic! But, in my opinion, it did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Similarly, in the case in the OP, we have idiotic behavior that does not rise to the level of having an impact on one’s job.

  • http://politicalgames.posterous.com themann1086

    His political writings on his blog, on the other hand…

    I kid, but only a little. His grasp on politics is about as solid as his grasp on the ethics of attacking a recently-dead woman for not being religious enough.

  • Jeff

    I’ll say one more thing that I should have said before. He shouldn’t be fired, but he should be monitored, or a few of his students should be interviewed to see if he’s expressing such views in class. If he is – then it becomes relevant to his job.

    Again, if a student complained, and they took it even a bit more seriously than they would have otherwise because I also complained, I’d consider it a good day’s work. Of course, that won’t happen, because his superior is, apparently, also a moron.

  • http://prinzler@calpoly.edu Paul

    I agree mostly, Jeff. If I was his superior, I would have a raised eyebrow, and I’d be aware about this possibility of something inappropriate manifesting itself in a class. I’m not sure I’d do anything different, I’d just be on heightened awareness.

  • Eurekus

    With my beautiful wife being a Christian I’ve always thought I’d end up ‘converting’ for her peace of mind on my distant deathbed. But when I think of the vultures who’d be in a state of euphoria over this, I think quite differently. With people acting like this guy, or I guess just him acting like a Christian, my future ‘conversion’ seems all the more unlikely. Such bottom of the barrel human behaviour another Christian exhibits.

  • Jeff

    I’m not sure I’d do anything different, I’d just be on heightened awareness.

    That was my motivation.

  • Eurekus

    I thought I’d mention this, more ‘bottom of the barrel’ Christian behaviour. I was threatened with an eternally burning hell for refusing to ‘believe’ without empirical evidence. Aren’t Christians just so nice? They are so pious and caring. Of course, when I mentioned the empirical evidence of the Lenski experiments, to prove evolution, it was brushed aside like I never mentioned it at all.
    Perhaps we need a post about the many famous atheists whom have been threatened with the same? It’ll be another highlight of Christian loveliness.

  • Demonhype

    Gotta love the xian nuts, always insisting that it’s the world’s duty to uphold and confirm their own religious prejudices. Elizabeth Edwards went with a lot of class and dignity, but this guy just wants to see her fall sobbing fearfully before The Jebus in terror, just so he can continue to confirm his bias. There’s something particularly nauseating about that sort of person.

    “Family, friends, and faith in the power of resilience and hope”. That is a wonderful sentiment to keep in mind.

    @Katie M

    “You know what’s ironic? Seems that a lot of Christians, in the last few weeks of their lives, tend to start trying treatment after treatment, fighting to stay alive. If their heaven is so great compared to Earth, why do they fight death so hard?”

    A tiny bit OT, but your reminder of the realities of this situation reminded me of this bit at the end of a Sherlock Holmes story entitled “The Adventure of the Creeping Man”, which had something to do with someone selling a quack remedy for a deadly disease that actually caused more harm than it purportedly healed. At the end he says “There is danger there–a very real danger to humanity. Consider, Watson, that the material, the sensual, the worldly would all prolong their worthless lives. The spiritual would not avoid the call to something higher. It would be the survival of the least fit. What sort of cesspool may not our poor world become?”

    Interestingly enough, he decides that this guy is “not spiritual” because he tried a desperate measure to cure himself of a disease, therefore he must be non-religious–yet during the story there is no reference made to whether this sick man was religious, church-going or anything. He assumes that “something higher” must, by necessity, be something post-death and that without an afterlife belief one cannot aspire to “something higher”. And then he links an unwillingness to let go in the face of a fatal disease to evolutionary fitness–possibly one of the weirdest ideas I’ve ever heard. And even more interestingly (as you mentioned), the actual evidence (once someone actually decided to collect it) shows otherwise–that the more religious tend to go to the most extreme lengths to prolong their lives every second that is possible, while the less religious –> atheistic tend to let go with grace and dignity.

    So much for Sherlock Holmes, huh? :)

    Like i said, it’s a little OT, but when you said that it reminded me of this, and while all the wooist turds * in the middle of Sherlock Holmes stories irritate me, this one pissed me off big-time and I wanted to share it. It really is an insidious little meme of ugly woo-ism that has perpetuated unchallenged for too long–kudos to Edwards and even Hitchens for defying such ugly little claims. And there is nothing quite so disgusting as someone using another person’s misfortune or malady–or that person’s potential fear or desperation in the face of it–to prop up their own cheesy beliefs. I couldn’t imagine throwing a temper tantrum if Hitch, for example, had a deathbed conversion. He has no obligation to anyone but himself on that. I’d be disappointed, I’d be disgusted if it was brought about by Christianists preying on him should his mind go (and I’d probably say so), but I sure wouldn’t be pitching the fit the above-mentioned douchebag is.

    *I hate mystery stories generally, and Sherlock Holmes stories are my one exception. But despite all the logical Egon-Spengler-ness of Holmes, you still saw some woo-ist ideas creeping in. Such as a comment in one story about how inherently necessary faith is as he stares at a pretty flower, or this one (the blue carbuncle one?) where he estimates the intelligence of someone he’s never met by the size of his hat, because apparently a large hat = a large head = a large brain = high intelligence. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that you can’t estimate the intelligence of individual humans by the size of their brains. So that really does sound suspiciously like phrenology to me.

  • Demonhype

    Crap. So much for me. :)

    I probably should have re-read that prior to posting. The guy wasn’t dying–he was trying to get younger so he could woo a younger woman, and was taking some quack remedy as a Fountain of Youth elixir. Got it mixed up in my head somehow.

    Of course, that makes that little turd at the end of the story even more absurd and irrelevant, since there is no reason whatsoever that “having spiritual beliefs” has a damn thing to do with “trying to get some”, or that those who are religious are less likely to want or try to get some than someone who is non-religious–or that the only reason someone might want to be young again is if they don’t have spiritual beliefs, or that a religious person by definition would be fine with getting old and have no desire to regain their youth. That’s probably why I got it mixed up in my memory.

    Either way, it pissed me off.