A Rebuttal to the ‘No Atheist Nurses’ Article

Remember that article by Christina Feist-Heilmeier about how there were no atheist nurses? You all tore that article to shreds rather easily….

Now, the same website has published a rebuttal by Air Force Captain Howard Grantham. This one actually gets it right:

The second advantage of atheism has afforded me is that it places responsibility for the welfare of humanity in the hands of the only force capable of providing for that welfare: humanity itself. It is not coincidence that the secularization of the Western world in the 20th century coincided with substantial increases in length and overall quality of life, from reduction in disease to extended average lifespan. So much of what we do is based on the findings of secular research and acceptance of evolution and natural selection, including antibiotic therapy for drug-resistant bacteria or vaccine development to combat viral disease. To receive the benefits of these developments, or to administer them, while clinging to outdated and obsolete mythology and wishful thinking is to live a split life, torn between the desire to hold to unexplained mysteries and the value of adhering to proven medical techniques.

The author of the original “no atheist nurses” article chimes in throughout the comment section… but never once apologizes for her ignorance or acknowledges that, yes, there are atheist nurses and they are also fully capable of handling their duties. She’s incapable of accepting the fact that she’s wrong even though the evidence is right there staring back at her. Sounds like her indoctrination into the faith is complete.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “She’s incapable of accepting the fact that she’s wrong even though the evidence is right there staring back at her. Sounds like her indoctrination into the faith is complete.

    It’s either indoctrination, or it’s the backfire effect at work. She certainly isn’t the only one affected by it, this phenomenon can be found all over the place.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

       Great info PsiCop, thank you.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Sounds also like Dunning-Kruger to me. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Annie-Chartrand/744670211 Annie Chartrand

    As an atheist nurse (& a darn great one), I just roll my eyes at ignorance.

    • bismarket

       & roll your sleeves up & get on with it i would expect?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Posted By: Chris Feist-Heilmeier on 3 19, 2012

    With all due respect, you’d think adults could agree to disagree. What I am seeing is a burgeoning hatred for the sacred in our culture. Hostility is being used in an attempt to silence others. People of faith need to defend what they know is precious. When I took my officers’ oath, I was pleased and proud to say, “So help me God” because it it the same God who our founders revered. Aside from the Holy Bible, America possesses some of the most important documents that ever existed in all of world history. These include the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. By the grace of God, I am still willing to die in their defense.

    • Glow-Orb

      Therefore there are no atheist nurses?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I’ll die for your right to disagree with me, but please disagree in silence.

    • Anonymous

      Poe

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      I especially like the way Ms Feist-Heilmeier conflates God, the Bible, and our founding documents. To her they’re all expressions of the same thing … her own religion … and she cannot separate them any more.

      Who says there are no Christocrats in the US?

  • vagrant

    She actually comes across as a little bit unhinged.  She displays an almost complete lack of historical understanding (unsurprising) and attempts to dredge up discounted or irrelevant proof of this being a xian nation.

  • Gwen

    As an Looong time (ICU)Registered Nurse (we are known in the profession as dinosaurs), and an atheist for an even looonger time, she had no idea what the heck she is talking about.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I’m not sure why but the word “heck” makes me laugh when I read it.

  • Ggsillars

    The rigidity of a mind under the influence of an ideology–in this case, a religious ideology–is absolutely stunning.

  • Gwen

    Wow, she dug deep into the crazy. If a patient asks me to pray for/with them, I ask them which chaplin the would like me to call. It is not a part of my job to pray, nor is it a part of my belief system. I wonder what one of them would do if I agreed, then pulled out a Quran, or some other prayer book! LOL the look of horror would be priceless, but it would be a cruel thing to do to an extremely ill person. I just call a chaplin. I have never had a patient or family give me a problem with that.

    • Brian Pansky

       This is good because they probably realize it is your role to do other things and the chaplain’s role to fulfill that particular request.

  • Coyotenose

    On top of her original column’s glaring ignorance, Feist-Heilmeier managed to come across as deceptive, judgmental, jingoistic and self-important in her comments replying to the rebuttal. Real piece of work, that one.

  • http://twitter.com/NontheistCentra Nontheist Central

    Do people not understand how silly they make themselves look?  She’s probably apologized to god so she’s A-OK now.  Why apologize to anyone else when the great creator has already forgiven you?  People like that, to use the great Santorum quote, “make me wanna throw up”.

  • Ellie

    A finally manicured middle finger for that ignorant cow, sincerely from an atheist who put her life on hold for 2,5 years and underwent a special course just to take care of her dying grandmother (rapidly growing osteophytes digging into spinal cord, tetraplegic for most of that time) when the deeply catholic part of the family came to visit once a week and never even took a step near the IVs, adult diapers or any part of the decomposing bodily tissues. That included two of the three children and all of siblings (some still young and fit, grandma was one of seven children).

    Before someone asks: yeah, some parts of our HS system sucks big hairy testes and somebody had to make up for that. Good thing the atheist minority does exist in that compassionate and self-sacrificing catholic nation of ours, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Sweet/1280927267 James Sweet

    What a piece of work.  All she needs to say is, “Hey, I guess I was wrong about there being no atheist nurses.  I still feel that my faith helps me immensely in my work and I stand by that part of my article, but I apologize to those I offended by dismissing the value of what they do as well.”

    But I guess she thinks that atheists actually do just suck and so acknowledging that we do stuff too would be a bridge too far.  Man that pisses me off…

    “There are no Christian nurses…”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

       why bother training as a nurse when you can just pray? ;)

  • Gunstargreen

    I like that the author of the original article says they should agree to disagree when her article was incredibly discriminatory and her comments on this one are as well.

    That’s not what agreeing to disagree means, Chris.

  • Anonymous-Sam

    My significant other is an atheist nurse, and contrary to Internet rumor from trolls religious and not, this person is real. XD

  • chris

    There are most certainly atheist nurses, though, for professional reasons, a number of them choose to keep their atheism to themselves. I would welcome any atheist nurses, atheists, and anyone else interested to visit my Facebook community page at https://www.facebook.com/theatheistnurse . Recently I’ve also decided to start blogging. I am in the process of starting a blog and I’d invite you to keep an eye open at my blog at http://theatheistnurse.blogspot.com


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