As I have written about before, neurosurgery for Parkinson’s Disease saved my life which I have the greatest gratitude. Tuesday, I had my second Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) battery replacement surgery. DBS Surgery is a pacemaker for the Dopamine centers of the brain. I had the initial system implanted 6.5 years ago. My most current battery had dwindled over the last year, and I didn’t understand how much function I lost over a good six months until I had the battery replaced on June 7-12-2023. Breathing, swallowing, talking, moving, and walking are so much better now than they were two days ago. Soon after the battery was replaced, I realized how badly I felt previously. When breathing and swallowing are affected, it can be life-debilitating to life-threatening.
Having my battery replaced again helped reemphasize the importance of following science. When I say following science, I mean following the consensus of medical professionals who are experts in their fields. These experts didn’t go through years of medical school and residency to become ignorant. They went through years of medical school, residency, and even a specialty to treat conditions and save lives in their field. Even though I have some issues with “Big Pharma” and not enough study and action for curable treatments instead of the treatment of symptoms, dismissing and even rejecting science is downright deadly. Even worse, when this anti-science attitude is forced on laity by the hierarchy and other right-winged laity, it can and does endanger lives and their families.
Thousands of American lives could have been saved if it weren’t for the anti-science attitudes of thousands which predominantly came out of parts of the white conservative church in all branches of Christianity. There seems to be a deliberate attempt to deny science and history in some parts of the Church. Watching how other countries followed science and handled the COVID crisis placed the United States to shame, such as Japan. Japan never had a lockdown, but they wore masks, did contact tracing, and became vaccinated which meant following science. In a dense country of 126.5 million in Japan, there were 74, 954 deaths. In the United States, out of 326. 7 million Americans total, there have been 1,132, 206 deaths. It was anticipated that less than half of the American deaths should have occurred, but due to the anti-science mindset in trad and other fundamentalist communities, we have over a million dead Americans.
Second, historical revisionism and historical denial are costing lives. It’s so hard to believe that we are in the outer rim of a fascist state right now due to historical revisionism and allowing history to repeat itself. Right-winged clergy forced laity to vote Republican in order usher in fascism. As I have stated before, I admire the steps Germany and the German Catholic Church have taken to prevent a repeat of the Holocaust. Holocaust denial and diminishment are illegal in Germany while the United States parades the Confederate Flag out of historical denial. There is one reason for this. Large parts of the Boomer and Generation X (my generation) refuse to face up to our Country’s Original Sin of racism.
I get called “woke” all the time by the Religious Right/Catholic Right because they mean it as an insult. I tell them “thank you” because the real definition of “woke” is the featured picture, that I have awakened to societal injustices. And in the cases I have mentioned, lives are at stake.