Sunday, March 18, 2012

a.k.a. AKA (but not Iko Iko!) Get it?

Answer: also known as Above Knee Amputee. And I'm not here to set anyone's flag on fire but to mention that it's A-Week.

"A" is for the last demographic (I almost wrote demongraphic: Freud much, Liz?) that it's OK to shy away from, ridicule, fear, or vote against for president.  (And most political offices.)  I called myself an agnostic for a while, and also a humanist (which I still am) but last year I stopped beating around the bush. 

The idea of an intelligent higher power that cares about, controls, or has any effect on my life whatsoever is repugnant to me. If there was ever a child test case who lived to tell the story, it's me. My family and church bet my life and limb (left leg) on their belief in the power of "God."

It didn't work.

Beyond the wrenching image of a child suffering bedridden with a bone disease with no painkillers, antibiotics or medical attention of any kind for a year, beyond the questions of parental criminal neglect and lack of intervention by local agencies, beyond the state law which permitted this treatment in the first place, no god came to my rescue.

Got it? 

Christians of all stripes still argue with me. They tell me my parents should have known enough not to rely on prayer alone. They tell me we studied the wrong religion, implying we prayed in the wrong way to the wrong god. They tell me (grudgingly, but they say it) that I didn't have enough faith or understanding. I was thirteen at the time. Then they say, "But you survived! That was the miracle!"

It was not a miracle. That time was horrible. It was horrible for a very long time after. It's still horrible some days, and it's been 37 years. I was not healed. I prayed and suffered, endured obediently and survived. I tried to find the combination of thoughts, knowledge and understanding that would stop the pain, maybe even instantly. Does this sound like a form of...torture?

I was left with a wrecked leg, a fractured way of thinking and the deadened eyes of  a child soldier. Mine was a perfect storm of unfortunate events. But it goes on every day. (So-called "spiritual treatment" of children that allows parents to reject medical attention is legal today in 38 states.)

I have reasons for believing in the incredible power of human beings to survive and overcome horrific odds. I have reasons for refusing to attribute cause and effect, free-will or destiny, to a god. I have reasons that many people can respect, no matter what they believe. Please do me a favor. Before you judge the next atheist you meet, walk a mile in her shoes. Walk a mile on her legs. If she has two legs. 

Jockomo feena nay. AKA!  Happy A-Week.


  1. Amen!! ;) I didn't realize we had our own week though...I have to look into this!

    1. Check out It's also on

      The pastafarians...who love the Flying Spaghetti Monster...say Ramen. :-)