Sunday, May 27, 2007
EMS & Atheists
I am sure that most would agree that one of the most stressful things that could happen at work would be to spend the day with nothing but supervisors. Thursday I was the only EMT Basic on shift and there were many medics and Shift Supervisors as well as the Operations Director.
Well, the first tones went out around 8:00 AM and we were off! Went to a private home to care for a patient and were off to the hospital. It is after the run that my story picks up. Part of my training and getting off the probationary status is that I must pass certain tests and benchmarks. Driving is a very important part. I must drive back from the hospitals 3 times and show that I can maneuver on the expressway and make all the right moves and use all the correct equipment. All along this is with a supervisor in the seat next to me and another one in the back.
I was nervous AND it was our older ambulance, so it is not as comfortable and modern as the newest ones. I did not have time to really adjust the seat and mirrors as much as I would have liked. I was following the Directors cues and making all the correct turns etc. Then as we are driving along a neighborhood stretch there is a school zone with signs flashing, so I slowed down to 20. Not hard is this huge and heavy truck that has very little "get -up-and-go".
He tells me that I need to get in to the left lane to prepare to get on the expressway. As I check the mirror I see that there is a school bus coming up behind me and he tells me to remember my size and getting over. As I signal and begin the move I also see, out of the corner of my eye, a big playground ball bouncing into the street from the direction of the school. Director begins to say,"Watch out for that...." and then there is a big BOOM indicating that I had blown up the ball, but cleared the bus. I said, "Well, at least there wasn't a kid attached". Luckily the playground had a big fence. Although I had visions of all these little kids crying at the fence because I had flattened their only ball. Probably scarred for life.
Got on the X-way and hit 60-65 and made it back to station and even backed it in properly. Gave him the evaluation paperwork and I hope he has it filled out and in my box when I return on Wednesday. I know, after overhearing his phone call with our Medical Director, that they would like to hurry and get me "uncovered" off the probationary status because they need me to be able to drive and count as a real person.
Now on to other news..... I had previously heard about an atheist and author Christopher Hitchens on a morning chat show after Jerry Falwell passed away. I don't usually pay much attention to these folks because they usually are griping about the Pledge of Allegiance or the word God on our money and other misc. The reason that I bring it up today is because of an article in the Faith section of our Saturday paper. The article was about many new books that have been written, by atheists, and how today's political climate may be a big reason for this.
The idea seems to be that there is much greater open resentment about religion in today's political climate. The writer states that," Militant, theists writers are making an all-out assault on religious faith and reaching the top of the best seller list, a sign of widespread resentment over the influence of religion in the world among nonbelievers". Christopher Hitchens' book is titled God Is Not Great:How Religion Poisons Everything. Now, this is not a book that I will probably ever read, but I have to admit that it is an excellent title and probably has some merit. I mean, how many evil things are done or have been done in the name of God and / or religion. Religion, or people thinking that they are doing things on the side of religion have probably ruined many lives.
Hitchens goes on to say," There are a lot of people, in this country in particular, who are fed up with endless lectures by bogus clerics and endless bullying." I could not agree more. Even if one is a Christian how could you not find truth in that statement? Bad behavior in the name of religion is behind some of the most dangerous global conflicts and terrorist attacks in the United States, London and Madrid according to the atheists. As Hitchen states," Religion kills." Well he makes a good point. I can not argue with that.
The article , by Associated Press writer Rachel Zoll, contends that liberal outrage over the policies of Bush maybe partly fueling the sale of books of this type. Although she does point out that Hitchens famously supported the invasion of Iraq. Christian Smith, a sociologist of religion at the University of Notre Dame says, "There is this general sense that evangelicals have really gained a lot of power in the United States and the Bush administration seems to represent that in some significant ways." I have to agree. The fact that Bush considers himself "born again" bothers me because I think I was born okay the first time. I have no problem with a leader being a religious or Christian person, but I do have a problem when they let it control their work. I do not like all the ultra-conservative religious types that hang around and sway the policies etc. that govern this country. I may not think abortion is a good choice, but it should still be a choice that no one can govern. Personal choice with a person and what they personally believe. The same for gay unions. Why should a religious institution or organization be able to sway the things that they do not believe in or care for.
I do not consider myself a non-believer, although I think that they are right to protest the way the conservative religious groups are inserting their influence. It gives religion a bad name.