Suicidal lesbian Marine Corps vet seeks help, gets Jesus instead

Esther Garatie a veteran of the Marine CorpsEsther Garatie is a hero to our nation, serving in the Marine Corps in war-time. She also happens to be a lesbian.

But that shouldn’t matter. Not when she checks into a Dallas-area VA hospital for treatment for severe depression – including suicidal thoughts. She wanted help, and was brave enough to actually ask for it.

She had been battling PTSD-like symptoms before she even received her Honorable Discharge. Rather than help, an evangelical Christian nurse took it upon herself to preach about Esther’s life of sin. Esther left the VA Hospital absolutely determined to kill herself because of this.

Luckily, Esther is still with us. This is one of the most depressing things I’ve seen in a while. You can read Esther Garatie’s heart-wrenching full statement at the Dallas Voice. But here are some extremely prescient selections:

You look like one of those ‘types’

I included information about my medical discharge injuries, while serving active duty, and that I was suffering from severe depression and possibly PTSD.    I heard my name called, “Esther.”  I got up and walked toward the voice of the woman, who barely looked at me, and called me “Sir.”  I followed her into her office and before I sat down, politely said, “Actually, it’s Ma’am….  My name is Esther.”  She sat down and looked at me, and her first question to me was, “Are you a Lesbian?”  I honestly stopped for a moment in shock, not knowing what to say.  Nowhere on the form, I had just filled out, did it ask me anything about my sexual orientation.  I was so confused!  I answered honestly, “Yes, I am gay.”

I could see why this question might be entirely relevant to psychological treatment. Perhaps the asking Nurse was a lesbian veteran, hoping to show ‘there’s hope’ by example – a “keep your chin up” of sorts. Perhaps they’ve run into a lot of veterans who have been dealing with an entire career’s worth of stress associated with maintaining a lie (‘she’ becomes ‘he’, military balls, sneaking around, hiding… what if you mess up just once?)

But as a first question? Red flag.

But check out where the conversation immediately went from there.

Quite an opportunist, this Evangelist seeks vulnerability

At this point I wasn’t really sure what to think.  She then began to ask me about my depression and anxiety, and I became very emotional. This was why I was there, because my depression had gotten so bad that I had had horrible thoughts of suicide previously, and knew that I needed professional psychological help.  Her second question to me was, “Have you asked God into your heart?  Have you been saved by Jesus Christ?”  This is when I realized that I was no longer a United States veteran in her eyes, I was just a homosexual.

Amazing. Shocking. Nurse should be fired right there and her medical certifications should all be revoked. No question about it.

But what answer was the nurse expecting?

The fact is, I was raised in a Non-Denominational church for most of my life, and consider myself to have a very personal relationship with God.  I was saved, baptized, twice actually. The first time I was a child and it was my parent’s decision, so I asked to be baptized again when I became a teenager and was able to make that decision for myself, and ask Jesus, again, into my heart.

Esther Garatie already is a Christian. And the type of Christian known as a ‘born-again’, just like the nurse.

Please forgive the short Mea Culpa here.

I’m from Dallas. I was a born-again, attending various non-denominational churches. So part of me really feels almost guilty about this. I was genuinely concerned that all of my friends were going to hell, and I must have converted dozens of them, “Saving” or “Witnessing” them.

Perhaps Esther experienced discrimination growing up, but it seems extremely odd that it wasn’t mentioned. I’m only saying this because I certainly believed that homosexuality was a sin, as did every other True Christian that I associated with. It would seem impossible for Esther to have been an ‘out’ lesbian in this religious demographic.

I even remember a mentor of mine, Terry Cox, was fired from his job for saying something along the lines of “gay = sin” to a gay man he worked with. I remember all of us saying “That’s bullcrap!” And then getting into discussions about having to fund their sinful disease (AIDS). We then also blamed the blasphemous left-wing nuts for allowing this or that item on the ‘gay agenda’ to make it into law. I was 12 years old, and nothing being discussed would have lifted an eyebrow as to whether or not such talk was appropriate.

But now that I’ve left religion far behind, I still feel guilty about all of those I converted. How many did they convert? How many of them ran into someone like Esther Garatie needing real help? How many of them will have gay children?

I know it’s illogical to think such things, but I do. I choose to harness that shame and guilt into a driving force. But these stories rip me up inside.

Esther Garatie is a hero, and she did not deserve this. Her religion had nothing to do with her depression, suicidal thoughts, or PTSD symptoms. All she wanted was professional psychological treatment. She never asked the VA for religious treatment, which they do offer.

Quite possibly the most offensive instance of Lying for Jesus I’ve ever detected.

She continually pointed at her office door, the one all I wanted to do was run out of, and she said, “When you walk out this door, you need to pray and ask God for whatever his purpose is for your life, for him to show you, and bring you to his light.”  Ironically, this is something close to what I have prayed for every single day, since I left the military service, and had just prayed for that morning.   I had been praying for whatever God’s will was for my life, for him to show me the way and use my life to best service Him and His message.  This is the moment when she told me that “…maybe God’s plan for your life is to choose to return to the light, and then you could ‘help’ your friends, who are still in darkness and going to Hell, back to the light.  When I started practicing medicine there was actually a diagnosis for homosexuality, but they’ve gotten rid of that now, since Obama.” 

Aside from being extremely offensive, the nurse’s statement doesn’t even make sense. Unless she is both very old and very young at the same time. Homosexuality has not been ‘treated’ by psychologists in several decades. The repeal of DADT is months old… What a bizarre thing to lie about in order to take a pot-shot at the Commander In Chief.

This nurse actually thought that Esther Garatie was not only a pamphlet away from being fixed… she thought that Esther would be just as enthusiastic as her about telling her lesbian friends the ‘good news’ about escaping an eternity of torture.

What a psychopath.

She needs to be FIRED. Sign the petition that Esther’s friend started. Every signature sends an email to this Nurse’s bosses (and their bosses) calling for the Firing of Nurse Pandithurai.

—-UPDATE 6Nov2011, 3 hours after posting—-

For unknown reasons facebook is now detecting this post as ‘offensive content’ because people reported it as such. For now, I’m advising those trying to spread the word to do this:

1: copy and paste the URL of this post into your Facebook post. No idea why this works, but it has the same effect as if you had hit ‘share’.

2: use a different button… Reddit is pretty awesome, and if you use twitter that works too.

Edit: just learned that it’s now affecting all of my posts, not just this one. FFS trolls.

—UPDATE 2 20Nov2011, 2 weeks after posting —

Nurse Nanci Pandithurai, the nurse responsible for this insanity has just been suspended from seeing patients. 

The Dallas VA Hospital is keeping her on secretarial duties only until the investigation is complete. Why this took so long is not known. As a result of this post you are reading right now, over 6000 emails were generated demanding action taken.

How much blood is already on this woman’s hands?

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About Justin Griffith
  • Donna

    Signed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003111803379 mollysmithe

      The core of atheism exposed as a lie: http://goo.gl/mqObr

      • Anonymous

        Since when was Evolution the core of Atheism?

        FFS.

      • Reasongal

        Since when does a a**hole with an anger problem and no understanding of or respect for any science whatsoever get credit for defining atheism, evolution, or anything else? He doesn’t make sense, just rants endlessly. He seems to have psychiatric issues, honestly.

        • Alex

          Yeah, and he comes off as a misogynist douche as well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.child christopherchild

        That blog is a load of bullshit. Sorry, but evolution (which has been around a fraction of the time atheism has) is verifiable and observable. Choose to disbelieve at your own peril.

      • andrea

        All that is exposed here is the ignorance of a Christian. Congratulations, Molly.

  • Gordon

    I’ve signed the petition with my facebook so it is on my wall.

    That nurse needs to have her licence taken away!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heathalvarez heathalvarez

    Signed!

  • Mr.Kosta

    Signed. No one shouldh ave to put up with this crap, much less someone who has been in a war, for fuck’s sake.

  • http://www.cosmicsnark.com Cosmic Snark

    Signed. I get so sick of god-botherers and their hate.

  • Jen

    As a nursing student, I am appalled. Nurses generally get a lot of science education, and should be able to disengage religious beliefs from scientific ones. The good ones can. All should be able to in order to get a license. A CNA gets told this repeatedly during the quick 15 week course. You do NOT bring your religion into the clinical setting.

    FAIL.

    The “nurse” needs to got back to school. After she gets fired.

    • Justin Griffith

      Well put.

      The VA has apparently decided to investigate this. They are now ‘looking for evidence to substantiate’.

      I hope that’s not code word for: “no proof found, but yeah that would be messed up! Too bad about that proof… girl should have brought a voice recorder… oh well”

      • Heather

        Substantive evidence might be seeing if there are other complaints about her, seeing if other people treated will step forward, and interviewing co-workers to see if this would be in or out of character. If she has a publicly open facebook they can see the nature of her facebook posts. Who knows, maybe the nurse will admit to it. After all, it is a sin to deny Jesus and deny the work that you do in his name.

        Long story short, there are a number of actual investigative techniques that they can use. As long as the investigators are not biased there is a good chance it will be a real investigation.

    • N.E.

      You are correct Jen. RN’s and above (CNS, NP, etc) receive alot of science. Too bad some seem to forget that science once they graduate. I only say RN and above because not all LPN programs require any science or very little and CNA’s (who are not nurses though called that often) do not get any science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yovonnea yovonneaallyouneedtoknowistheinitial

    Thank you so much for spreading the word about this! I’ve passed it on as well and signed the petition.

  • Jane

    First she should be fired, second she should be sued and the VA administration also for using taxpayers money in a govy building to preach personal beliefs. I am not surprised what-so-ever with this happening in a govy funded office. They are above the law….whether we like it or not. It costs thousands and thousands to sue so they get away with it unless you are lucky enough to have the money to do so. IMO it is sexual harassment/discrimination but the law is not clear enough to battle this.

    • Heather

      Jane, your statment, “I am not surprised what-so-ever with this happening in a govy funded office. They are above the law….whether we like it or not” is absolutely unfounded. I am a government employee, and we are absolutely not encouraged to judge or harass anyone based on Title VII of the CRA, other laws, or other differences, such as sexual orientation. Your assumptions are almost as bad as those of the nurse. Do not assume for one second that every government employee is conservative, ignorant, or hell-bent on converting people into Christianity. We have procedures for filing formal and informal complaints for such behavior. Do some research before you lump all of us together.

  • Angry Voter

    Almost all convicted rapists in the US are theists.

    Almost all convicted murderers in the US are theists.

    Almost all convicted child molesters in the US are theists.

    Look it up and see for yourself.

    Theism is mental illness and should be treated as such.

    • Jared

      Saying that theist is the reason for anything is absurd, people who are crazy are crazy and pointing out something that is almost gauranteed considering there are more theist than atheist just shows how “looking for someone to blame” you are

    • DBV

      I’m an athiest as well, but uh… Almost all PEOPLE in the US are theists. http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

      And next time instead of saying “look it up”, if you really want to make it easy for someone to get this supposed data, just post a link. While you may indeed be correct, you make yourself sound like an asshat.

      • Ugly American

        When you post a link or even 10 links people claim it’s a specially chosen links. When they look it up on their own it’s more convincing to them. The idea is not that you blindly accept my post but that you learn to look up the facts for yourself.

        Theism is mental illness and bad for society because it teaches people they are not really responsible for the state of the world (it’s part of god’s plan that children stave, I deserve a new SUV) or even their own actions (the devil made you cheat on your taxes, it’s understandable). Those are foundations of sociopathy and several other forms of mental illness.

        If you look, you will see that atheists are far under represented in all crimes and far over represented in Nobel prizes and patents.

    • Reasongal

      I am an atheist as well, but I believe anyone can and should perform their jobs professionally; those who choose to ignore the code required of their profession are dangerous; what other guidelines has this “nurse” ignored or altered? Her religion should not and I believe does not require her to be unprofessional, as there are many christians who do their jobs with unbiased caring and skill – however, if the military tolerates and even cultivates this type of uberreligious bullying, they are throwing aside the true calling of services of all branches of our military and crippling the system’s ability to serve rather than abuse.

      I think this unstable person’s prior work history may also bring some important facts about her “out of the darkness.” They need to open THAT door.

    • jamey

      You know those people who blame everything on “the gays” and atheists? Congratulations, you’re the atheist version of those people. Same rhetoric, same position. Different side of the same coin. You’re not helping.

      • Carley

        Couldn’t have said it better.

      • IX

        No, I’m sorry, it’s you who’s not helping, all the people who get fed up with this bullshit from the Religious crazies, regardless of atheist or whatever you DO BELIEVE (doesn’t matter what you chose) so long as you can manage to function at your job and basic life, is exactly what’s needed. The examples of Jehovah’s witnesses and Scientologists denying people care in later comments are exactly the same sort of thing this “nurse” did, and is both harmful to patients and outright illegal behavior given the location and setting.

        This “Nurse” was unable to function in her job from a legal and moral standpoint because her crazy was getting in the way of getting someone else the help they needed.

        ANYONE, bringing ANY SORT of attention to this sort of thing so long as they can manage to not get crazy themselves is needed. What’s not needed is the ignorant claiming that this sort of story is same shit-different side, because it’s not, there isn’t even proper sides because while everyone who hasn’t gone off the deep end in their religion or lack there-of can stand together, the religious crazies are all over the place.

        Or maybe you’d like to be told to chew on some bark and pray harder to Odin for healing when you stop by the hospital after an accident at work involving you losing your right (or left, whichever one you like more) hand. Oh, they also get to sermonize to you how if you’d been more faithful to the old pantheon you wouldn’t have been sinful enough for your hand to have been chopped off anyways.

        The types of problems the vet is experiencing is the sort of stuff that modern medicine is getting to the level of understanding and refined treatment that we aren’t that far from it being take one of these pills each day and visit this group for emotional venting each week, yet instead of real medicine and help, the vet received harassment and was told they were going to Hell because their sexual orientation actually matched the prejudgment that “nurse” had made based only on her looks. This is what the issue is, why does it become acceptable to deny someone real medical help, for problems we understand and can treat, all because the person who can get you help has decided that some invisible sky man doesn’t like your life style and judges that your known and understood medical problems are really just issues your having with your own sinful life. Can you see how saying to a suicidal person “Your unhappy because you’re leading a sinful” instead of “Here’s an antidepressant known to fix your type of depression” or is it just too complex of a point for you to put your finger on it, and thus leaves you just able to make the claim that the people who try to expose and fix this stuff are “not helping” and just the same stuff on the other side of the coin.

        I’ll even simplify down to a coin visualization for you, just to help make it easy to understand, like the bullet points for everyone above Dilberts boss who need bullet points to remind them of things like how “air is good,” anyways…

        Even if it is the different side of the same coin, every flip of that coin still is going to have the right side and the wrong side if you call it and flip it, or a right answer and a wrong answer. Harassing someone using your religious beliefs is rarely right, but when you are in a medical caregiver position it IS NEVER RIGHT, and ALMOST ALWAYS if not ALWAYS ILLEGAL.

        • RS

          Granted, most Bible-thumpers can go over the top, but can you honestly lump the rest of the theists that don’t care what your sexual orientation is with them? I myself am a theist and found that you categorized me with a bunch of judgmental people, making it quite offensive. You had plenty of good points, I acknowledge that, but please don’t bash in the heads of those who actually use logic before they bring God into the mix. I’m not trying to be holier-than-thou, I despise that mindset. If you begin to think about it, ever since atheists began complaining about theists, they began judging them before they even begin to meet them, or hear what their views on life are. Or there are some people who had started out as Christians, one thing happens, one mishap of a person who wasn’t thinking, and they turn their backs on religion altogether. I’m not saying that religion is necessary to be happy, but why try to convince us what we believe is wrong if we are happy as we are, trying to fulfill what we believe the goal in life is. Isn’t that exactly what you say you despise? You say we try to force you to convert, to look at the world through our eyes, to forget what you’ve done and start again, but isn’t that exactly what you are doing when you try to use ‘numbers’ to tell us we are wrong? I am a Non-Denominational Born-Again Christian, who does not base my views of people on what their sexual orientations are, nor what their pasts have been. Have a God-Blessed day.

          • IX

            Browser error killed my typed out post so here’s some bullet points.

            -My first few sentences specify my post is at the religious crazies, and how regardless of ALL OUR beliefs, the nutter people out there in positions where they can harm and/or cause the death of another person because their religious crazy getting in the way need to be brought to light and removed from their positions of trust and power.

            -In reference to our mistakes I like the quote “Time flows like a river and those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes.” As an example, the Holocaust and its deniers. I think that given enough time, with the deniers getting enough control and whatnot that we can reach the point no one knows/remembers/believes it happened, and I strongly believe that the day that happens will be around the time someone else steps up with some smooth political moves and starts a new world war with their own ethnic cleansing against XYZ group that wronged them in the past. Why mention this in this way? Because while a religiously nuts nurse verbally abusing a patient is nothing compared to the widespread executions from before, the people who say it’s either not an issue, say the nurse was in the moral right, or attack the people who bring this to light as being just as bad are flat out wrong. Beyond any other thoughts on the subject (feel free to think more, just take this one idea to fruition first) where does it stop if we do go along the deny/ignore/forget path? Do we stop at just harassing them (LGBT people in this case) when they need medical help? How about on the street? Should we make them wear special little tags or patches so everyone can see them marked out? Do we round them up at some point, made easy by the markings they must now wear?

            -I’m not some wanna-be super-scientist, peering through a haze of bong-smoke preaching religion is bad because it caused ____ war, or such-and-such. No, my only real points to be made from the prior post if you really boil it down is that A). religious crazies do this shit and get away with it under the defense of “this is just how my faith makes me act” or something like that which is bullshit because you still made the choice to break the law and harm someone else in the name of your faith, and B). the people who defend the religious crazies or attack those who bring them to light are making the problem worse. What’s to say that this nurse hasn’t already caused the deaths of other patients put into her care because her religious beliefs got in the way of her doing her job, how high of a body count do we need (jamey, looking at you for an answer on this one specifically) of people who should have lived before it’s time to make known that this shit happens and people are dying painful deaths from treatable issues specifically because there are religious crazies out there who have people defending them like this and working to bury evidence of wrongdoing? Do we need 1000 dead people, 10000, more? Less? I think even having this story exist is too much, much less the fact that it means somewhere out there is a nurse who can feel good about herself and sleep well at night after using her own extreme take on faith to verbally harass someone instead of giving medical care. I shudder to think about what other harm this “nurse” has caused as well as all the other crazies who perform their roles as caregivers and other lifesaving jobs based more on the morals written down by some guy in a tent a few thousand years ago than on actual science and medical knowledge. While religious I’d rather have my x-rays, MRIs, and pills from A-to-Z than some doctor telling me that the bible says I need to spin in a circle 3 times a night before making sure I spend a good hour in prayer to save my body and soul.

            I leave you with “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles… If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink… He who rejoices at calamity shall not go unpunished.” [Prov. 24:17; 25:21; 17:5] and the open question of, if you’re not supposed to be happy when bad stuff happens to your enemy, in fact you’re supposed to wine and dine them if they need it, how then can it ever be right to give a fire and brimstone sermon to someone who came in needing medical help and how can anyone defend someone else who does such things to others.

            Ok, not the best bullets, but hey, it’s my list and I’ll write it my way.

          • Aquaria

            Y=Granted, most Bible-thumpers can go over the top, but can you honestly lump the rest of the theists that don’t care what your sexual orientation is with them?

            Tell you what, skippy, get your fellow godbots to quit lumping us all together when claiming we’re immoral, that we’re satanists, that we’re all communists, that we’re evil, and all the other bullshit lies that theistic nitwits tell us about us, and then you can ask that.

            You’re asking us to respect scumbags when what matters to 99.999999% of you nutcases is sticking with other people who believe in your slacker emo piece of shit deity, rather than for decency.

            We’re sick of you fools asking for everyone to distinguish between you when it is the rare one of you who will refrain from lumping atheists into bigoted figment of your deluded imaginations, much less do anything to stop your fellow jesus-humpers from lumping us all together.

            It starts with you, cupcake. Stop standing by and doing nothing when we’re trashed, or you’re just as much part of the problem as this bigot scumbag nurse. You can’t be surprised when people lump all of you together, when it’s fucking RARE for any of you assholes are just as bad as her because you stand by and DO NOTHING when we’re trashed right in front of you.

            That’s what you don’t get.

            Shut up.

        • Misunderstanding?

          I think he was referring to Angry Voter, not the story in itself. Angry Voter was saying that MOST rapists, child molesters, etc. are theists. So, obviously, blame the theists.

          I think. I hope so, anyway.

          • Who?!

            To IX… If that is your basic point to all that writing lol…yes you are right. It is wrong to do that when someone needs help like that woman did. There is a time for things like that (ministering that is, and my view of what she did was in no way ministering). When you are entrusted with people’s care is not the time unless asked. As a Christian, I do not defend her actions. She has made her bed…and she alone must lie in it.

            To Aquaria… I really don’t understand where your hatred is coming from, but in my opinion…it’s toxic and the people here do not deserve it.

            I give everyone a chance, regardless if they believe what I believe or not. So this –

            “Tell you what, skippy, get your fellow godbots to quit lumping us all together when claiming we’re immoral, that we’re satanists, that we’re all communists, that we’re evil, and all the other bullshit lies that theistic nitwits tell us about us, and then you can ask that”

            - certainly does NOT IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM apply to all of us “godbots!” You quite simply do not believe what we believe. Period. It doesn’t make you any less human.

            “sticking with other people who believe”

            Wow…with people like you out there, why wouldn’t we “nutcases” want to just spread our wings and feel the hate pouring over us!?!?

            I know people who teach and minister in the inner cities of St. Louis, horrible neighborhoods. They are constantly bombarded with hatred. Some are able to stand that kind of hate because they aren’t ashamed and they know that we have no right to judge these people’s circumstances.

            But many many people have new lives because of what they do. Not just new lives with God…but new lives with jobs, mended relationships, they are able to pay their bills without selling drugs or robbing others. They are becoming better mothers and fathers to their children. They are becoming better sons and daughters and taking care of their responsibilities. Christian or non-Christian, Theist or Athiest…that is working for the better of the world. That is what we as Christians are intended to do…not in the way that nurse did!

            Maybe it’s that I’ve never seen any of my fellow Christians (meaning the church I attend, the study groups I meet with, etc…after all I can’t know every single person on earth who claims to be a Christian) be so hateful towards any person before. So hateful (as you are in your posts, Aquarius) as to call them all those things without knowing anything about them. Not to athiests, not to homosexuals, not to any human being whatsoever.

  • The Jack

    Signed.

    I sincerely hope this petition works.

    If (or more optimistically, when) it works, please post an update on Reddit, will ya? I want to see the results.

    All support for Esther and anyone in similar situations, all over the world.

  • adnanjaved

    Thanks for writing about this story. I just wanted to point out that what the nurse was likely referring to when she stated the thing about Obama (erroneously, of course) was that the DSM (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders), which is published by the American Psychiatrist Association, only recently eliminated homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

    Of course, when the DSM-I was published in 1954, homosexuality was listed as a mental disease. It stopped being a disease in the 1970s, around the time of the DSM-III, but even the DSM-IV, published in 1994, and 2000 listed it as “gender identity disorder”. Only within the last year so has the DSM-V come out, in which homosexuality is no longer listed any kind of disease or disorder. It really has nothing to do with Obama, it is simply the ASA’s decision to not diagnose or treat homosexuality as a mental disorder because there is no scientific evidence associating it with any known pathology.

    So her statement wasn’t about “don’t ask don’t tell” it was about the recent change in the official Psychiatrist position. Which of course has nothing to do with Obama whatsoever.

    • Justin Griffith

      Fascinating. Thank you very much for that clarification. American Psychiatric Association and the DSM lists were precisely the type of information I was looking for in my lay-man’s query.

      Though admittedly, there’s still plenty of wiggle room for interpretation. I’m still pretty sure that she thought Obama had everything to do with her supposedly new-found inability to misdiagnose a normal human condition.

    • Ringo

      Gender Identity Disorder is not a diagnosis of homosexuality, it is a diagnosis of transsexuality, and I believe it is still in the DSM.

      • Heather

        Psych major here with a minor in sexuality studies and doing my thesis on transsexuality and gender expression. Gender Identity Disorder is still in DSM-V. What the previous poster may be referring to was gender dysphoria (or discomfort with the gender norms of your sex and a lack of adherence to gender norms) in children which is often seen as a precursor to homosexuality. This is still treated by some psychologists/psychiatrists using reparative therapy (much to the outrage of members of the GLBTQ community) in which the child is trained how to act like the appropriate gender and rewarded when they do and punished when they don’t. They still usually turn out gay and when they are adults they act however they want. It’s a very interesting topic if you want to google more.

    • AJ

      I have to wonder where you’re getting your information – DSM-V won’t be published until May 2013, and homosexuality was removed as a disorder after DSM-III. in IV and IV-TR, the only place you could shoehorn homosexuality (but it is not explicitly listed) is in the category of sexual disorder NOS.

      • http://neverthoughttoquestion@hotmail.com Bryan B

        Also, The DSM-V does not have a very good history. It has been wrong many times. Won’t find a professional who uses it alone to diagnose anyone. The DSM-V is a guide and nothing else.

        • AJ

          the only history the DSM-V has is that it’s been delayed for years because the people working on it are having difficulty coming to agreement on many things (see http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/200912/american-psychiatry-is-facing-civil-war-over-its-diagnostic-manual).

          perhaps you’re referring to the DSM generally, in saying that “it’s been wrong many times”? (also a position i have some problems with; i think that rather than being “wrong,” the DSM has reflected the prevailing theories of the times in which each edition has been published. those theories change and evolve, which is why new editions and text revisions are released.)

    • N.E.

      Just as others have stated the DSM-V has NOT come out yet. We are still working on it. It is now in the research stages and those of us doing that research have not finished as of yet. In fact the research (and testing) stage just started this year.

      As far as the disorder listed a version of it is still listed in the DSM-V however even in the DSM-III, IV and IV-TR it is NOT about homosexuality. In fact it was made very specific in any training that it had nothing to do with homosexuality. It has to do with those who do not “identify” with their stated sex. And then the treatment is to assist in this identity, helping with acceptance as well as utilizing the science we have now to determine if there are hormonal or genetic reasons. And even if there a no known scientific/medical reason it still does not dismiss that this identity incongruence is inaccurate. The treatment is NOT to tell them they are wrong and “act” their correct sex.

      Ok that is short and there is far more information. It is still in the DSM-V but with more criteria. The difficulty with the DSM-V and why it has not come out yet is the difficulty in making sure the wording and criteria to each diagnosis is substantiated and has as much scientific support (evidenced based) as possible.

      Even when the DSM-II was around the homosexual diagnosis was taught to be when a person was having conflict with who they are, and treatment assistance in acceptance.

      The DSM-V is an attempt to have even more evidence based diagnostics so to create better treatment. Because it is THE diagnostic tool of psychology and psychiatry. Those who work in this understand that just because it is a diagnosis doesn’t always mean it is a disease…think on this the ICD-10 still lists Pregnancy as a diagnosis and I don’t think many would consider it a medical disease or even disorder.

      But then that is why it takes (or should take) a lot of training to understand and utilize these tools.

      Main point is this nurse had no idea what she was talking about and apparently had forgotten all of her/his training. If this was a Psychiatric NP then she needs to not only be turned into the Board of Nursing but also to ANCC to have her/his certification reviewed.

  • John

    I pray God forgives you all. She did nothing wrong. She has every right to express her religious opinion just like how you can express your atheism.

    • http://www.facebook.com/osiris3231 walterwarren

      Are you kidding? A nurse is NEVER supposed to interject her own religion upon a patient, be they atheist, Christian, Muslim, or any of the other countless religions out there. What this nurse did borders on a hate crime and you seem to approve of it.

      There is a big difference between what is discussed by us on here and the nurse preaching her religion to Ms. Garatie, who herself is a Christian. We are not doing it in a professional capacity. Sgt. Griffith, along with every other atheist, agnostic, or otherwise affiliated member of this blog, are doing so with our constitutional right to free speech. I’ll never say that the nurse doesn’t also possess this right, but not in the professional capacity that she has chosen. As has been said before, race, religion, sexual orientation should have no bearing on the level of treatment that a patient should receive from the VA or any hospital or doctor for that matter.

      • G

        Atheism is the lack of religion, so why are you listing it as a religion?

        • Misunderstanding?

          “A nurse is NEVER supposed to interject her own religion upon a patient, be they atheist, Christian, Muslim, or any of the other countless religions out there.” – Can be viewed/read as saying that a nurse should not interject HER own religion upon a patient, be the PATIENT atheist, Christian, Muslim, or any of the other countless religions out there.

          Also, if not, black is still considered a “color”, as well as the “absence of color”.

          • http://www.facebook.com/osiris3231 walterwarren

            @Misunderstanding?

            I guess the name says it all…

            No. It’s meant exactly how I wrote it. The nurse should never push her religion on anyone in her professional capacity.

            And where is this “color” thing coming from? I’m pretty sure that “Race” covers that, but I’ll stand corrected if I’m proven wrong. I did forget gender however.

        • http://www.facebook.com/osiris3231 walterwarren

          @G

          You’re absolutely right. in my haste to respond quickly, I used the wrong wording for that . It should have been Belief(s), not religion. Thank you for pointing that out. I used “religion” in the reply to John only b/c Ms. Garatie is in fact herself a theist, but the best word for it is beliefs.

          • Misunderstanding?

            Ah, well, it’s still nitpicking and bypassing the entire point. I’m somewhere between agnostic and a theist myself…I just dislike organized religion and could never pick “one religion” to put all of my faith into as they are all stories (be they in the end, true or false). Such different stories, at that. I do think that there is more out there than what a true atheist would claim.

            I just like believing in what I believe, while keeping an open mind for other people’s beliefs and faiths. Maybe there is a one true God, up in his gigantic heaven who brings judgment on his people. But, in the same vein, maybe there isn’t. It, in my opinion, is NOT for a person to dictate to anyone else what they should believe. It is up to the individual, and it’s neigh impossible to discern who is right or not. There is no proof of God that I know of, but we do not have proof that he does NOT exist either.

            TL:DR – People believe what they believe. Let them.

          • Wolf

            @Walterwarren – I think Misunderstanding’s mention of black being a color and an absense of color was directed @ G’s mentioning that Atheism is the ‘absense of religion’. I don’t think he was mentioning it regarding race but as an actual color. I think he was saying that, black is both a color and the absense of color so Atheism is both a religion and an absense of religion. That’s what I took him to mean…could be wrong.

    • Heather

      As someone who is training in suicide intervention I can tell you that what she did was very dangerous. She was also acting in a health professional role and being governed under the best practices standards outlined by the military and governing bodies for nurses. Both state that this scenario was not an appropriate time to tell someone they are going to hell when they are asking for psychological help.

      If she was not working and in her own private time, her expression of her beliefs would be different. However, in this case, what she did was incredibly harmful and she should have known better than to endanger the life of her patient like that.

    • Justin Griffith

      Not a single bit of what she did was moral, ethical, or legal. She basically was going to let this girl kill herself.

      Also: Esther Garatie is a Christian lesbian.

      Esther’s friend that started the petition to get the Christian Nurse fired is also a Christian.

      Imagine if a Jehovah’s Witness worked at a life-saving blood bank, but refused to fill any orders because of religious convictions.

      Imagine if a Scientologist worked at Mental Health clinic and refused to help suicidal veterans.

      Imagine if “Scientologist” was replaced by “evangelical Christian”. Oh wait that happened.

      • Jess

        Actually, I’m the friend who started the petition. I am NOT a Christian, and I’m not entirely sure how people have begun assuming that I am. I’m a Reform Jew who is largely agnostic in belief. My father is a Rabbi, my sister is a Rabbi…trust me, I am very much not a Christian.

        • McMutton

          They might’ve been thrown off by the article’s author saying that they were, methinks.

        • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

          @Jess How is Esther doing? The statement on the Dallas Voice kind of ends abruptly, and I was wondering what she did when she left. Has she been able to get actual professional help? I hope she’s doing better. Is there anything we can do for her (in addition to signing your petition)?

        • Justin Griffith

          My mistake – I thought I had read that somewhere. Anyway, seriously thank you for saving Esther’s life. You are the hero that the nurse should have been. It’s an incredible story so thank you for getting the word out.

          Please contact me jgriffith@rockbeyondbelief.com We’d love to interview you and Esther in the very near future.

          FYI – I’m active duty (Army) currently deployed, also from Dallas and a former born-again like the Nurse (now an atheist). Eagerly awaiting contact!

          • Jess

            Hey, Justin,

            Sent you an email last night to the address you included here. Just wanted to drop a quick comment here to tell you to check your spam filters, since I haven’t heard anything back yet! If you just haven’t had a chance to respond…then I apologize, and please ignore the stalking :o)

            Jess

  • Stephanie

    Actually, John, she did not have any right tapping into the vulnerability of a PTSD suffering Marine veteran. Medical professionals are supposed to help, not hurt by expressing negative opinions about their patients life and/or lifestyle. Theists (a group which I am also part of) need to understand that anything we believe in and cannot prove is a THEORY, and NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES THIS THEORY. God didn’t put you on this Earth to judge your brothers and sisters. If that nurse wants to “express her religious opinion” she should get a damn blog.

    • http://www.facebook.com/osiris3231 walterwarren

      I agree 100%, but then the investigation into her misconduct would be short and sweet and she wouldn’t want to lose her job, as much as she deserves it.

    • Steve

      If by “theory” you mean “guess”, then yes. If you mean “scientific theory”, then “Hell no!”

  • Otrame

    John

    She did nothing wrong? She failed to do her job. She, in fact, made the situation worse because of her inability to see beyond her prejudice to a woman in pain in need of help. She didn’t give a single damn about her. She just wanted Brownie Points with a diety. She failed to do her job and if the poor woman had killed herself I think she would have felt nothing but smug satisfaction that it proved being gay was a mental disorder.

    As for her right to express her religious belief, how would you feel if your daughter, for what ever reason, was feeling suicidal and went to a clinic, where a nurse told her that the only way she could feel better was to submit to the will of Allah? You might think that the nurse has no business “expressing her religious beliefs” on her employer’s time to the active detriment of what she was hired to do. Would you support the right of the Muslim nurse to behave in this way?

    In the mean time Jesus can add to his list: ” I was hungry and you didn’t feed me, I was thirsty and you didn’t give me water, I needed help and you took it upon yourself to preach at me instead of, you know, getting me an appointment with a doctor to get my depression treated.”

  • Red

    Suicide makes you go to hell, for rejecting God’s gift to you. By treating this poor woman the way she did, the nurse nearly shoved her off the path of light to God’s arms, straight into the waiting fires of hell.

    I don’t believe in god or anything now (I was raised Catholic), but this nurse’s actions were horrible, from any point of view.

  • http://angieantitheist.wordpress.com Angie the Anti-Theist

    I know this isn’t the main point of your story, but it’s what hit close to home for me.

    “I know it’s illogical to think such things, but I do. I choose to harness that shame and guilt into a driving force.”

    I feel the same way about faith healing, the harm I promoted when I was a believer.

  • http://n/a Sergey

    As a service member myself, I am absolutely appalled by this story. If I ever need help, I definitely wouldn’t want the moral convictions of somebody else interfering with my care.

    Also, copy/paste the url to your facebook to share it, this not only gets around the apparent content blocking fb is doing from all the ‘offensive’ reporting, but also prevents you from letting yet another application have access to your private information.

  • kichimi

    Just posted on my Facebook Wall, worked fine. I found this article deeply upsetting and very unsettling. It makes me glad to know that this doensn’t happen and isn’t nearly as acceptable in the UK.

  • Bess

    Makes me so angry! Signed

  • http://irenaspergjika.com/ Irena

    To seek help especially mental help is very hard to do because many people think they will be criticized and looked at differently. Once someone seeks mental help they should be respected no matter what their sexual orientation is or what their believes are etc. Again, when someone seeks mental help, respect them and help them.

  • pillbug88

    i hate to point out the obvious, but the woman went to the hospital with suicidal intentions. she may have left “more determined to kill herself”, but she didn’t.

    so i would humbly like to suggest that, regardless of the events that occurred at the VA, the sequence of events was this:

    1. suicidal person seeks help

    2. suicidal person receives help

    3. suicidal person does not commit suicide

    is that not a success? apparently now she even has a will to fight. i dunno. just sayin.

    • Jess

      Under no reasonable definition is what the nurse provided anything resembling “help.” You’re right that Esther didn’t kill herself, and I can tell you WHY she didn’t. It was NOT because of that horrific excuse for a Nurse Practitioner. It was because she had the presence of mind to get in touch with a friend who is a soon-to-be graduate of Tulane School of Social Work and the daughter of a clergyman. That friend was me, and I had the instincts to realize based on an amibiguous text message that something was horribly wrong.

      Let me suggest an alternate version of events.

      1. Depressed veteran with suicidal ideation goes to VA seeking help.

      2. Veteran receives three-hour-long maniacal, hateful religious rant.

      3. Veteran leaves VA and uses her last scrap of will to text message a friend who is a mental health professional with significant religious experience.

      4. Friend happens to have phone on her, happens to sense that something is VERY wrong, calls Veteran.

      5. Friend spends hours on phone with Veteran attempting to undo some of the damage that maniacal Nurse Practitioner has done. Manages to prevent Veteran from utilizing a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

      6. Veteran subsequently experiences an increase in post-traumatic symptomatology

      7. Friend works ass off to try to find competent, respectful mental healthcare for Veteran, and starts pitching a serious fit to anyone who will listen about how Veteran was mistreated.

      8. Veteran continues to fight to make it through each and every day, and manages to do so by force of will and the support of the people who love her–DESPITE what maniacal NP did to her. NOT because of it.

      I think that’s what you meant to say.

      • Jolène

        I am so blown away. You are a hero and some random Canadian girl (being me) is very sincerely applauding you. I am so glad you are you, and I’m sure Esther is, too.

      • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

        Oops. I ought to have read the rest of the comments before asking my question. Thanks. And thank you so much for saving Esther’s life. Because that’s what you did.

        • Jess

          Thank YOU, Ibis3. As I told Esther on the phone last night “If by some chance I was to be hit by a mack truck and killed today, I think I could go satisfied that my life had purpose, since I was able to be there for you that day.”

          Esther is one of the most bar-none GOOD people I know. She is kind-hearted, courageous, funny, intelligent, thoughtful, generous, and she loves her country deeply. So deeply that she was willing to put her life on the line to serve it. To be perfectly honest, if what happened to Esther had happened to a giant dickhead of a Veteran, it would STILL be a travesty, and I would still have done everything in my power to see to it that the nurse could never do it again. But the fact that it happened to someone as genuinely GOOD as Esther breaks my heart and makes my blood boil. Everyone on this planet deserves better treatment–but Esther, especially, deserves SO much better. She’s given so much for her country, and in return she has been condemned and persecuted. This is NOT the first time she’s been treated in a horrific way by the VA–and her experiences in the USMC weren’t exactly a picnic either.

          If this is how America treats Esther…quite frankly, we don’t deserve her.

  • Jeenia

    I tried re-posting this but I get a message saying it’s been reported as abusive by fb users. I dislike people that report stuff they don’t agree with. I am glad I am Buddhist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500909618 ashleehenry

    The fact that there even needs to be a petition signed makes me sick. I posted the link directly to my status since I couldn’t just share it. And am sharing it on Tumblr, as well.

  • Tina Davis

    Remove this nurse from “counseling” vulnerable veterans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YawningDog kategarrenson

    Shared on FB, twitter, digg, etc.

  • elpaco7

    I can’t believe what some people will do. I am agnostic in belief. I have no problem with religion as long as they keep it to themselves. But stories like this remind me that religion only makes the ignorant more ignorant.

  • http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/ Avicenna

    http://www.cmf.org.uk/publications/content.asp?context=article&id=1296

    This is part of the article that many of her supporters seem to bandy around. There is apparently a big drive to get doctors and nurses to witness to their patients.

    • AJ

      what in the nether hells…

      i have deep problems with chaplains approaching me in the hospital. if a DOCTOR tried to “witness” to me, violence would likely ensue, simply as an autonomic nerve response.

    • Stephen

      A quick note on how to add to an argument: be careful of the sources used. Regardless of reputation or content, I’d think twice before posting an article from the Christian Medical Fellowship. If the article came from the Every Group Medical Fellowship, then you’d have something, but not here.

  • FormerlyNavy

    Well, I am seriously glad that woman was NOT my nurse when I was brought to the hospital after an attempt. Obviously, attempt did not work, but that’s besides the point.

    What this woman did was very wrong. Esther did not come seeking religious affirmation, but help for depression. Kudos to Jess for being there for her in her time of need.

  • Eve

    Outrageous

  • http://www.facebook.com/austinmullings19 austinmullings

    I agree that what the Nurse did was wrong. I mean seriously, it was actually contradictory to what the Bible says. Her own Messiah (Jesus) didn’t even condemn people that were considered sinners. He condemned only the highly religious (Pharisees).

    But at the same time, two wrongs don’t make a right. Because she made a mistake (a cruel one in my opinion), I can’t say that hurting her back would make the situation better but only cause more damage. I have no doubt that she has be spoken to and even scolded for her actions. So she clearly would not do it again in that environment, I can’t go out of my way to cause MORE harm.

    Also, all sin is the same. So that homosexual vet may have been pursuing sinful behavior, but as John says, “We are all sinners”. I wish the Nurse would have shown the grace she was commanded to give and not judge like it says in Luke 6:37. Someone should have a word with her, than politely fart in her general direction.

    • Mike

      Somehow, its okay that this women nearly drove another human being to suicide? This nurse spoke with conviction, she thought she was doing the absolute morally correct thing–and she clearly wasn’t. You’re, I mean, jesus christ, you’re saying that you’re absolutely certain that she’s had a stern talking to and she won’t do it again? Because why?

      I know you don’t actually have any say in the decision, but the woman had someone come to her for help, help she’s been uniquely trained to give and she failed so miserably the woman walked out of the hospital ready to kill herself. The nurse’s job was to treat depression and PTSD. The job she did was so wrong and bad that she deserves to get fired. It would be a good thing if she got fired. She didn’t make an accidental mistake. She deliberately told a woman that she was living in sin and darkness when the other woman was at the darkest hour of her life. Not only is it repulsive, its unprofessional and in extreme poor taste.

      Some people don’t believe in your bible, your god or your sin and those people have a right to live their lives. We’re not talking about a christian hospital (although this sort of behavior would be equally repulsive there) we’re talking a VA hospital paid for with secular, government money.

    • Aquaria

      And then Christians wonder why so many of us are so appalled by them.

      You are so naive and willfully stupid that you seriously think a slap on the wrist will change this disgusting excuse for a human being. You don’t get that this nurse is so poisoned by your hateful delusion that it’s made her think that NOTHING–not people, not professional standards, not the Constitution or not even basic human decency–NOTHING–matters more than the hateful toxic delusion she wallows in.

      That’s not something that can get fixed by a “stern talk.” That only gets fixed by getting HER mental help for being so lost to a toxic delusion.

      That’s what you don’t get.

    • Who?!

      To austinmullings… I agree. And there are consequences for everything. I’m sure she was given what she deserved based on her authorities’ decisions. We are not her authorities.

      To Mike… While I don’t think what this nurse did was okay at all, there are many other situations where people drive other human beings to suicide, depression, etc. Even cases of athiests towards Christians. But it is this instance where it is wrong and “repulsive.” Many people (Christian and non) do lots of disgusting, repulsive things to other people. It sucks! Yes, you can live your lives without the Bible or our God. But we also have the right to live with our Bible and our God. Presecution on either side will do no good…but only cause unnecessary fires.

      In addition… I am happily naive. I am not ashamed to say it. I have made mistakes in the past based on it, but also learned from it. But naive does not = stupid. I choose to think the best of people unless they prove to me otherwise. Is that such a “toxic, disgusting” trait to have?! Maybe if more people saw the good in others rather than automatically thinking they’re evil, we would all be a little better off!

  • Chelsey Babe

    Really? That’s just wrong, and it gives religion a bad name. It’s people like that really make ALL christians look like hypocrites. Im a believer in christ, and a huge gay rights/equality supporter. I am penacostal and go to church every sunday but i know im not perfect and i expect no one else to be either, and i feel like this whole matter should not have been an issue at all. This was a veteran of OUR military seeking help for something she didnt have control over and her sexuality should not have mattered at all. I have a gay couple that goes to my church and the pastor and everyone at the church knows about it and guess what, none of us care. We love them both the same as the straight person sitting next to them. I think that’s how the whole world should be.

  • Jaime

    This is why Stalin should’ve won

  • beanie

    It is very sad and unfortunate what this veteran endured. I am very glad she is still with us. I lost a bi-friend in a murder-suicide while I was in the service. She did not seek help, unfortunately. Was it b/c she was afraid of losing her vet benes by coming out? Who knows? Esther’s experiences show that government organizations need more cultural-sensitivity training. Atheists and secular Humanists being recognized on-base and as chaplains is a great 1st step to educate people that we live in a secular world and not everyone thinks the same.

    I would think that protocol for any hospital with patients who have indicated thoughts of self-harm are to have a psych tech with the patient while waiting for the on-call specialist, more than likely not an RN. That patient would then be evaluated by a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. Any person trained in psych work would not be imposing their religious beliefs on the patient. My boss felt like he could not even put up one of his/her many little buddah statues on his/her shelf lest he/she influence a patient in any way.

    We had a policy of acceptance of homosexuals where I worked, which is congruent with our teachings in our respective disciplines – social work, psychology and psychiatry- even though it was not accepted in the military at that time. We could not openly admit that nor could patients. Don’t ask. Don’t tell. kept folks from getting kicked out of the military back then. Noone ever told me and I never asked – but you just knew.

    Gender Identity D/O is not the same as being homosexual nor specifically transexual. It was a conflict with the gender a person was assigned at birth. It had nothing to do with being gay. Not all transgendered persons are in conflict with their identity. At least that’s how I read it in the DSM-IV. For example, we had a transgendered person talk publically about her story in my psychology of sexuality class. Basically Tatiana’s body produced more female hormones than male. Yet She was born with a penis and felt more female. So, parents and society are expecting this “boy” to act like a boy. I don’t think Tatiana had a problem being Tatiana but I imagine some folks who were born like her did due to the hostilities, especially in some subcultures who don’t accept this. This can cause great dissonance to act against your true nature (in her case being female). The manifestations of expression of this dissonance can (not always) be detriamental in some cases. I think this is what the DSM-IV was getting at with this label.

  • Pingback: Things everyone knows and are probably wrong about part one « iamnotthejudge

  • amazonfeet

    Anyone who tangles with a vet has, as we say in the south, done tore with me. There is a Facebook page defending this idiot nurse, and I went on and read her the riot act. My dad is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, having survived the Tet Offensive and is affected by Agent Orange. No one messes with him or ANT vet on my watch.

    • amazonfeet

      ANT* sb ANY

  • amazonfeet

    Jess, my dad is a Vietnam vet…gets VA care…I emailed the facility where this nurse works and complained, Thank you for being such a good friend to Esther, and give her a bunch of hugs for us and let her know she has tons of support out here…

    • Jess

      I sure will, amazonfeet (love the username, btw) and thank you so much for your support!

  • Chuck Clark

    Semper Fi Marine… don’t let the assholes get you down. I became a Marine in 1965, and I’m one Marine that doesn’t care about your sexual preferences. Get the help you need from people that care about you and helping you heal. They’re out there for sure.

    Again, Semper Fi… that lasts forever if you share the feeling and have the guts. Don’t give up.

  • rey

    I feel for the nurse. I’m sure she was well meaning about her intentions. Many people may not agree with what she did, but in light of how the world view today about God, surely she needs no applaud from people. Important thing is the nurse did what God want’s her to tell the person irregardless of how the marine responded. The approval of God is more important than the approval of men both here in the land of mortals and in the life to come

    • Matt Penfold

      It is not the job of a medical professional to push their religious beliefs onto others. To do so is highly unethical. Esther Garatie was seeking medical help for her depression, not religious counselling. The nurse failed to offer the treatment Garatie needed.

    • Friendly

      The approval of God is more important than the approval of men both here in the land of mortals and in the life to come

      So if a public school teacher beats your kid half to death because the Bible says “spare the rod and spoil the child”, that’s OK, because the approval of God is what’s important, right?

      And if a doctor at a VA hospital refuses to authorize the transfusion that would keep you alive because the Bible says “the life is in the blood”, hey, God’s approval makes it all right, yes?

      And if a policeman patrolling the park sees a woman laying out tarot cards and shoots her dead because the Bible says “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, that’s fine because he’s doing his duty for the Almighty, correct?

      I’d like to live in a country where tax-funded public employees do their jobs and treat people like fellow human beings instead of treating them like lowly heathens to score points with their deity, thank you very much.

    • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

      rey: how, exactly, do you know God wanted that nurse to behave as she did? Given that it’s an all-powerful God we’re talkikng about, not just her mom, I think we have to be VERY careful declaring what God wants; don’t you?

    • Steve

      So your god wanted her to push her even closer to suicide? You people are sick. No wonder you created such a fucked up god

  • Mrs.R.

    It must be pointed out (if it hasn’t already) that not all Christians are like that. It should be very evident that there are “bad apples” in all religions/groups/etc. And that those “bad apples” do NOT represent the majority.

    • Friendly

      I say this as a former Christian:

      No, not all Christians behave like this nurse.

      But in the USA, if you encounter someone who is supposed to be performing their professional duties but who persists in interacting with you on a religious rather than a professional basis, chances are pretty good that that person is an evangelical Christian.

    • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

      Okay…so when are the majority going to form a united front to stop the minority from making their religion look like the Stoopidest Religion on Earth?

      • Mrs.R.

        Some are trying. Ignorant and misguided views of our beliefs and of us often get in the way of any efforts we put out though. But others simply understand that is not how God intended religion to look like and move on. The Bible is not about fighting…it’s about love. And that’s why many of us don’t “form a united front” and fight.

        • Steve

          If you don’t do anything, you are complicit in their actions.

          Sorry, but you don’t get to say “these aren’t real Christians” and disassociate yourself from them. No. You own them.

          • Mrs. R.

            No, I don’t own them or their actions. I own MY actions as a Christian. I am only responsible for MY actions. I can try to sway other’s actions, but at the end of the day it is of their OWN free will what actions they have taken.

            Should we also own those “Christians” who say “God told them to kill their families?” Somehow, I don’t think God intends for us to be judged by OTHER’S actions. God judges us on OUR OWN actions.

          • Steve

            Then do something against them. Speak out against them. Of course that doesn’t happen. Somehow all Christians do is say they don’t agree with them, but then they just stand by. At best, some try some kind of “dialogue”, but never outright confrontation.

            The fact is that radical Christians need the moderates to provide the theological foundation. Your kind of mythology and superstition is widely accepted, which gives them the ground to stand on. All you do is enable them

          • Mrs.R.

            You don’t think people have tried to speak out against them? Our society doesn’t take too kindly to that usually. And even if we try to give them any type of foundation, they are still dead set on their own views…much like you are now…regardless of anything we would have to say. Where do you think all the different denominations came from?! Some are so set to the point of petty jabs…much like you are now.

            And again, the Bible teaches love, not fighting and confrontation. Neither of those will do anyone any good, nor will they give reason for anyone to even consider changing their thinking!

            I am not going to start a religious debate with you, because that looks exactly where this is headed. I am merely saying that that nurse in question from above is not the “be all, end all” to Christian behavior. She is but one among many, and her actions do not reflect the whole!

    • Aquaria

      Do their actions and beliefs change what the Bible says? No. Do their actions and beliefs change what I believe about the majority of Christians or the Bible? Not in the least.

      They have not hijacked our religion, no…our relationship with God. They have hijacked YOUR VIEW of our relationship with God. Why should I worry about that? If God wants you to see something, he will show it to you. It is not my place to force anything that is not yet meant to be.

      You know what, cupcake?

      Nobody cares if you think someone else doesn’t have the proper relationship with your genocidal scumbag in the sky. To atheists, your blather about a genocidal scumbag in the sky is just as evidence-free as theirs. You might as well be rattling away about Santa, or the imaginary lace on the Emperor’s new clothes or how the invisible green dragon under your bed.

      You both make the same amount of sense: NONE.

      In fact, you’re not any different from them. Being proud of believing in nonsense is not a virtue. Worse, bragging about how much better you are for believing what you think is a better version of nonsense to promote yourself as some kind of moral superior is, quite frankly, appalling.

      You should be ashamed of even trying to sell that kind of buffoonery here.

  • N.E.

    Not only does this nurse need to be fired but also turned into the Board of Nursing. I am curious as to what level of nursing this person is. I don’t see it mentioned in the article above.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    You don’t think people have tried to speak out against them? Our society doesn’t take too kindly to that usually.

    What are you moderates worried about, Mrs. R. — getting crucified or something?

    The fact that so many moderates are (according to you at least) worried about the consequences of standing up to the extremists, kinda proves our point that you’ve let the extremists hijack your religion; and that they, not you, are more representative of “what Christians believe.”

    • Mrs.R.

      I don’t know why you think we’re worried. It seems that those who don’t believe what we believe are the ones worried more than us.

      There is no consequence for us. We will not be judged for their actions, only ours. There is no reason that we should be afraid to stand up. But it’s useless to worry about these things. Do their actions and beliefs change what the Bible says? No. Do their actions and beliefs change what I believe about the majority of Christians or the Bible? Not in the least.

      They have not hijacked our religion, no…our relationship with God. They have hijacked YOUR VIEW of our relationship with God. Why should I worry about that? If God wants you to see something, he will show it to you. It is not my place to force anything that is not yet meant to be.

      Nor was it that nurse’s place to judge that woman.

      • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

        We will not be judged for their actions, only ours.

        Yeah, and your actions consist of standing idly by while others misused your God’s name to spread lies and hurt innocent people; and then insisting that you didn’t have to do the right thing when you had the chance because your God doesn’t really want his people to follow his teachings; and that your own comfort was more important to your God than your actions.

        • Mrs.R.

          First, when there is something that can be done in a godly way, yes…it will be done. In this case…both women’s names would probably be dragged through the mud! Why hurt both when you could have hurt neither?

          Second, when did I say God doesn’t want people to follow his teachings? The Bible is not about starting fights and confronting every single person who wrongs us. If we were to do that, we’d be fighting all our lives. In fact the Bible says to love your enemies. Pray for them and their safety even.

          Last, it has nothing to do with my comfort. It is about his very teachings. Actions will only go so far. When you can’t act in a godly way, take no action rather than act in a way that hurts.

          There are picketers everywhere that are against the God I believe in. I saw some just this past weekend. While I could have confronted them in love, it would have lead to either them hurting me or me acting in a way that I didn’t intend or want to act. Neither side would have benefited at all.

          But like I said, I’m not going to get into a religious debate. I’m simply saying that there are those who take it too far. Like with everything…alchohol, weed, sports, etc.

          • Aquaria

            The Bible is not about starting fights and confronting every single person who wrongs us. If we were to do that, we’d be fighting all our lives.

            That dog won’t hunt, cupcake. Two thousand years’ worth of evidence shows Christians doing more than their share of fighting with everyone else and even each other, in the name of their religion. In fact, it’s tough to find anyone Christians haven’t openly and willfully sought conflict with to the point of committing the vilest acts, up to and including torture, murder and genocide.

            Maybe you need to study some history. Or disengage from your fantasy world and look at what’s going on around you. This incident isn’t unusual. It’s been–what–a few hours since we’ve had evidence of one of you starting shit with someone over your delusion? Are you paying attention at all?

            In fact the Bible says to love your enemies.

            It also says to kill them. Repeatedly. Or, worse, be indifferent to or delight in them being tortured for eternity. I had a stalker whose “love” wasn’t so twisted and sick.

            Pray for them and their safety even.

            What self-serving rubbish. All you’re doing is talking to air so that you can feel better about doing nothing. If you’re really concerned, get off your ass and do something to protect and defend people. Otherwise, you’re just a preening poseur.

            Did you seriously think that anybody here would be impressed with that pathetic excuse for doing nothing while serving your own ego?

        • Aquaria

          First, when there is something that can be done in a godly way, yes…it will be done.

          According to your delusion, your genocidal scumbag deity created everything. That means the scumbag created evil. That makes evil the godly way. Sorry, but that’s what happens when you try to con everyone into thinking your deity is responsible for everything. He gets to be responsible for everything, too. So either admit your genocidal BFF isn’t all-powerful. Or deal with having it be all-powerful. And genocidal.

          In this case…both women’s names would probably be dragged through the mud! Why hurt both when you could have hurt neither?

          Why didn’t your bigoted fellow traveler think of that before hurting someone who came to her for help? Why didn’t she think of her career, rather than her adherence to a Bronze Age delusion?

          Did you think this through at all?

          • Mrs.R.

            It is evident that you don’t understand what the Bible and what Christianity is intended to say and be.

            As I said, I’m not going to get into a religious debate. I am not ashamed of what (who) I believe in, and feel no need to defend it to you. You’re obviously set in your thinking. But I would encourage you to do some research for yourself…from the Bible and other resources…science, history, other religions, etc. You, like many other people in our society, don’t realize that you’re completely mistaken on a lot of what you “understand” about God, Christianity, and the Bible. But you can only find out for yourself. I can’t force you.

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  • Steve
  • leah

    You can’t really blame her actions on Christianity, as many of you are. There are going to be assholes in every belief system. The veteran believed and prayed herself. This should more be about poor treatment, and discrimination, and breaking nurse codes than about the background the nurse is coming from.

  • Dana

    Signed.

    My partner has a chronic intestinal disease and he used to go to Mercy hospital in Portland, Maine years ago when there was still nurses there (its now much more corporate and the nuns don’t visit much anymore), whenever he was very ill. They probably knew he was gay, but they never preached and never tried to “convert” him when they came to visit. They asked how he was feeling, chatted with him and asked him if he needed anything…They treated him with respect and compassion.

    I’m not saying all nuns are like this, but the nuns that visited my partner were kind and respectful.

    To me, that’s how Christians should be.

  • Juan B. Elizondo

    You are a brave Marine Ms. Esther Garatie and just like you we (others), have been there and express our feelings and not be heard and send on our own way.

    Depression, Anxiety Attacks guide a person to Suicidal and Homocidal and the PTSD will be there for ever.

    I went throught this for almos a year and was not aware of this the VA/WBAMC send me home without medications and/or not placed in the Suicidal floor for check-up and follow-up some one asked questions, have no idea don’t remember; ever since not too trusting in the VA.

    About God and Religion; that’s another story we believe in God but Religion is something else. Believ in your God and your self; in the field as Marines we also beleave in our weapons/your fellow Marine next to you and staying alive.

    Please wirte if you like and we can talk to each other it helps ease the pain physical and mentally.

    Your Fellow Marine Juan B. Elizondo


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