Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sacred Smoke

I just read something that I found surprising and, in some ways, stunning. It was an article about how patients should feel comfortable seeking out doctors who share their religious views. There was nothing mentioned about the doctors' knowledge or skills; I assume those are considered a "given." But their religious beliefs could have a bearing on a patient's outcome. Right. Well, OK, it's possible; especially if some highly religious doctors tend to administer poisons to their not-so-religious patients.

I can't quite fathom how someone could put more conviction in the power of a physician's religious beliefs than in his or her medical training and skill and intellect.

My astonishment is, no doubt, due in part to my own view of religion as bizarre fantasy. I try not to let others' religious beliefs color my perceptions of people, but I'm not always successful. For example, Sarah Palin's magical thinking is not funny, it's deeply disturbing in someone who is potentially so close to a position of unearned and overwhelming power. I don't want God to be on our side, and I don't want to be on God's side; I want to avoid the fucking war in the first place!

My car, the Bastard with 172,000+ miles on it, is still rolling along. The next time I take it to a garage, maybe I should insist on a mechanic who will set old tires alight so my car can bask in the sacred smoke that will give it a long, long life.


Kathy Rogers said...

Maybe you need some kind of shaman mechanic?

And I need to find an atheist doctor?

bee said...

c'mon, people vote based on what the candidate their pastor picks. that's even scarier. at least with a doctor, the the decision affects just themselves, but their vote affects everyone else.