i'm not a very religious person.
when my dad died, if anyone would have tried to tell me that it was god's will or something--which, i don't think anyone did--i would not hve been comforted by it. this is not to say that i don't believe in god, it just means that i'm selfish and i like to make my own plans.
that said, this morning i came across the headline story in the detroit free press, announcing that a seven year old girl from the area, maddie, had finally succumbed to a devastating bone cancer.
those of us who read the paper around these parts have been following her story for the past year, when her father was first told she probably wouldn't make it.
her mother had died of an apparently unrelated illness when maddie was three, so you can imagine how devastating this must have been for her poor father.
early this summer, maddie appeared to be recovering, and she even returned to school for a few days at the beginning of this year. but i guess things took a drastic turn for the worse, and she ended up dying one of those horrible, drawn-out cancer deaths that we all hope to avoid for ourselves and our loved ones.
i'm going to ask you to visit her story in the paper today, not because i want to make you depressed, but because i am so infuriated by what someone posted after it. (at the free press online, you can leave comments after articles).
even with the briefest glance at this story, one can see how deeply faithful maddie's father was, trying to ease her fear--and, at times, severe panic--at the thought of dying by explaining to her his vision of what it would be like.
he comforted her with the thought that her mother and her friends who she had lost in the cancer ward would be there waiting for her when she left her body.
and then someone--the very first person to comment, in fact--left a harsh criticism of this man's faith, instead of words of comfort.
the person's exact words were "If Jesus wanted to show his "love" he could have saved the child - give the religious crap a rest."
now, i can certainly understand the sentiment behind this statement.
if something happened to my mother, or my sister, i would not care that they were maybe with jesus. i would only be pissed that they weren't here, with me.
and i think that's because faith requires strength. a strength which i lack, most of the time.
still, it seems to me that it's a terrible day when someone leaves a comment like this after reading this kind of story.
few of us can actually imagine the pain that this man's life has become--first losing his wife, and then his daughter.
he has found a way--through his faith--to keep going somehow.
even if we can't agree about the nature of faith, can't we agree that it's a good thing that he has his?
does it seem like the right thing to do, to make such a hateful and negative statement at a time like this?
so, mister/miss/mrs. leaver-of-hate-mail, because not only can you not respect the belief system's of others, but you also feel compelled to throw hatred in the face of a man suffering the worse sort of grief, you have been awarded the stupid ass-hat of the week award. and it's only monday! that takes real ass-hat-ness.
i hope you're proud of yourself.
*and also know that i say this with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.
~i should add now that i went back to the site, and the comment of hate in question has been removed. which brings up a whole new slew of questioning. but, anyway, the ass-hat who originally posted it is still out there somewhere, and is, indeed, still an ass-hat.~