Ask Richard: Atheist with Terminal Cancer Faces Several Decisions

Dear Richard,

Two days ago, I was diagnosed with brain cancer for the 3rd time in 14 years. To make a long story short, my cancer has evolved from a grade II Astrocytoma, to the most aggressive form, grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme. Glioblastoma is incurable and I probably won’t survive past 15 months.

My family is Lutheran and very conservative. Both of my parents disapprove of gay people, atheists, and non-Christians, so telling them I’m atheist on top of my recent diagnosis, and eldest sister’s recent death will absolutely crush them. Now that the rest of my family has been told of my fate, the ‘I will pray for you’ s and the constant church visits are non-stop. My parents are trying to push herbal treatments on me now and they are trying to get me into the Burzynski Clinic, which is a gigantic scam towards cancer patients. They are also trying to plan a trip to someplace like Hawaii, but I don’t exactly want that. My also atheist brother is trying to help me with everything, but he is scared that he will probably tip off my parents about us.

I need help with a lot of things:

. Should I or should I not tell them about my atheism?
. Should I start college this fall?
. How should I ask for a non-church, non-Lutheran funeral?
. Should I tell the rest of my family?
. Should I accept treatment (survival without treatment is 3-4 months)
. How am I supposed to die with grace?

The last one is most important to me. I don’t want to die with medicines constantly being shoved into my mouth and trips all around the world. I just want to spend time with my family like I normally would: Sitting together around a dinner table, making each other laugh and making google eyes at my brother while we’re supposed to be at church.

Thank you for everything,
The Cancer Chick

Dear Cancer Chick,

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Appeals Court Rejects American Atheists’ Lawsuit Against Giant Cross Display in 9/11 Museum

More than a year ago, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts tossed out American Atheists’ lawsuit against the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and its display of a 17-foot-tall steel beam cross.

If you need some background, AA had sued because they felt the museum was supposed to honor the victims of the tragedy — and we all know atheists, non-Christians, and Christians died in the tragedy.

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A Quiverfull Mother Rejected Her Faith, Got a Divorce, and Wrote All About It in a Book That’s Free on Kindle Today

Kaleesha Williams used to be fully invested in the quiverfull movement. A mother of seven children, she home-schooled her kids, taught them Young Earth Creationism — you get the idea.

Two years ago, she left the faith, divorced her husband, and began a new life as a Humanist.

How on earth did that happen?

You can read about her journey in a new book called Free to Be: How I Went From Unhappily Married Conservative Bible Believer to Happily Divorced Atheistic Humanist in One Year and Several Complicated Steps. Today only, that book is free on Kindle:



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British Politician Claims That We Can Find Answers in Astrology

This is a guest post written by Andy Wasley. Andy is a freelance writer based in London.

“There is no logic in attacking something that has a proven track record,” said David Tredinnick this week. Tredinnick (below) is a fairly low-ranking Conservative member of the British Parliament, and a member of Parliament’s Health and Science & Technology Committees. You’d be forgiven for assuming he might have been talking about stem cell research, nanotechnology, or micro-satellite constellations. He was talking about constellations, yes, but in a very different way.



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Sam Harris Offers His Take on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

Sam Harris offers his take on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in a way that is sure to upset everyone who has an opinion on it:



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