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Scientifically proven to benefit humanity
April 15, 2007 8:40 AM   Subscribe

What are you doing on May 3rd? Atheist Volunteers, in conjunction with The Rational Response Squad, want you to spend National Day of Prayer (or is the the National Day of Reason?)donating blood and signing up to be an organ donor. How are other people commemorating NDOP? Christians will be exercising their right to freedom of worship, the Presidential Prayer Team will be doing what their name implies, Bush will probably do what he did last year, and Larry Flint will be praying for the death of Bill O'Reilly.
posted by arcticwoman (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Posted now to give you enough time to book a blood donation appointment, if you so choose. Non-atheists can donate blood too, of course.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:41 AM on April 15, 2007


What do you do if you are atheist but squeamish?
posted by DU at 8:52 AM on April 15, 2007


Some years ago, my Dad was in the hospital due to an ulcer and other issues. Long story short, they used nine pints of blood on him before he was stabilized. This gave my dad a few years of life, a few more sunsets, a few more hugs from family members, for which my whole family was thankful. After he passed away, I vowed to give back that nine pints of blood.

I've only gone twice. The second time I went early in the morning and had neglected to eat breakfast cuz I was in a hurry. Very dumb move, which has left me with an irrational fear of giving blood.

That event wouldn't repeat itself if I were smart enough to swing by a Denny's on the way there, but ...if you've never given blood on an empty stomach, it's kinda hard to explain. It's double plus unfun. I started getting the shakes and cold sweats. The guy wrapped my head in a towel and did some other stuff I don't remember, which helped me through it. Then the juice and crackers afterwards. I felt like an idiot. He got his pint, and when the room stopped spinning I got to my car. I can't bring myself to go back yet.

EAT before you go, and you'll be fine. I still owe the Red Cross seven pints.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:58 AM on April 15, 2007


great idea, but if it really was reason-based, i wouldn't still be banned from donating. /quibble
posted by amberglow at 9:02 AM on April 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


I couldn't get in. I clicked on the "Go" button, but it didn't work. It seems the scientific testing didn't include testing with JavaScript off. Then I tried the alternate entry method of prayer, and that didn't seem to work either, even with JavaScript on.
posted by scottreynen at 9:06 AM on April 15, 2007


What do you do if you are atheist but squeamish?
Suck it up!

Seriously, unless you have an actual deep and debilitating psychological problem with respect to this, it's not so bad. Just don't look; it feels like a pinprick for a moment.

And you get a cookie and some orange juice.
posted by Flunkie at 9:07 AM on April 15, 2007


"..unless you have an actual deep and debilitating psychological problem .."

Well I do, and even I admit that's not a suitable excuse. Just suck it up. Stop by Denny's on the way.

Being a Christian or being an aetheist ain't a good excuse either way. Just does it cuz you got blood you don't need and there's other people who will need it.

...unless you're JW. I've had friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses who have tried to explain their position to me. I don't understand it, but I respect their right to their beliefs. even tho i know they're wrong. shh! don't tell them! They think they'll be the only ones there. shh! let them think that.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:37 AM on April 15, 2007


I'm so scared of needles that I can't watch House or CSI and I almost fainted when I took my niece to get her ears pierced but I manage to give blood three times a year. I used to give six times a year but now I give double red cells so I can only give every four months. Just don't look at the needle. I've probably given forty times by now and I never look at the needle.
posted by octothorpe at 10:17 AM on April 15, 2007


JWs believe that blood is sacred and abstain from fiddling around with it (putting it in their bodies), based on the rules laid out in Acts 15. (15:29)

This is an interesting issue and has raised some very serious ethical concerns for pediatric surgeons (a close friend of mine is a chaplain at a large hospital in Chicago and we were discussing this in class the other day). Apparently, however, the practice is punished by shunning, and most JWs don't really practice shunning anymore, especially for children. I suppose they could shun the doctor, but I doubt it would really have much affect on them.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:48 AM on April 15, 2007


It looks like it's still too early to sign up online to give blood on the 3rd, but I'm gonna try again in a few days. I might even be able to talk my partner into giving as well, despite his squeamishness.
posted by luftmensch at 11:01 AM on April 15, 2007


What's the prayer to blood ratio if you want to make a difference, but only want to do one?
posted by Balisong at 11:22 AM on April 15, 2007


Flynt
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on April 15, 2007


If you're doing it in reaction to theists, they can still claim credit. And not the "God made you do it" sort of wishy-washy hocus pocus credit.
posted by Eideteker at 12:04 PM on April 15, 2007


it feels like a pinprick for a moment

There'll be no more aa-aa-aagh
Though you may feel a little sick.


Unless you swing by Denny's first, of course.


Sorry.
posted by Grangousier at 12:06 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Larry Flint better be careful. That little stunt could backfire. That would not be a prayer, that would be a curse, and the Bible teaches that sometimes those backfire. Literally.

(For those of you who don't remember, he and Ruth Carter Stapleton used to have religious discussions at our local country club, and during that time claimed to have a conversion experience.)
posted by konolia at 12:40 PM on April 15, 2007


Being a Christian or being an atheist ain't a good excuse either way. Just does it cuz you got blood you don't need and there's other people who will need it.

Hear, hear. Also, if you smoke a cig right after, it feels like you're paragliding with Jesus.

Or Richard Dawkins.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2007


Larry Flint better be careful.

Flynt.
posted by quonsar at 1:22 PM on April 15, 2007


i used to really like richard dawkins on family feud.
posted by quonsar at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2007


Larry Flint better be careful. That little stunt could backfire. That would not be a prayer, that would be a curse, and the Bible teaches that sometimes those backfire.
Well, it also teaches us that sometimes work extremely well, and even blatantly evilly in revenge for a trivial slight.

And frankly, the Bible teaches us a lot of idiotic things.
posted by Flunkie at 2:24 PM on April 15, 2007


IF you are an OT prophet (one who literally is God's mouthpiece) you can get away with that sort of thing. Since he did it in God's name ( apparently at His behest) and was not specific, God chose to send the bears to the young men (they were actually young men, not children) to make a pretty severe point.

Don't mess with prophets.
posted by konolia at 2:51 PM on April 15, 2007


DAWSON
posted by ZachsMind at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2007


I have to say, as an atheist, I found the atheistvolunteers site obnoxious. I mean, they're right, but they don't have to be such pricks about it.

As for Jehovah's Witnesses and other groups that forbid medical care, I've got no problem with adults harming themselves in that way. But you don't have the right to harm non-consenting third parties, and I'll argue that if children can't give meaningful consent for sex (and I agree, they can't) then they can't give meaningful conent to die for the superstitions of their parents. Once a child reaches the age of consent, I'll argue that its their right to suicide by refusing medical care.

konolia If you think that a fictional being that petty is worth worshiping that's your business. I disagree, but its your right to worship the fictitious, childish, mean, and otherwise dispiciable, being of your choice.
posted by sotonohito at 3:14 PM on April 15, 2007


OMFG! I'm stuck giving a speech on that day. oy vey. is that a way to celebrate the NoP?
posted by infini at 3:30 PM on April 15, 2007


they were actually young men, not children
  1. According to who?
  2. So what?
posted by Flunkie at 3:32 PM on April 15, 2007


The last time I tried to donate blood, I was rejected because I was too fat (I was nowhere near my peak weight, and less than I am today, but they didn't want to take the risk of... heck, I don't know, it was a one-day blood drive at my workplace and they didn't have all the emergency equipment they usually have at the permanent facilities, I guess, so anybody who looked like they might not be totally healthy got turned away... I just don't know). I give a small sample for various blood tests several times a year, and my veins are often uncooperative. (Personal record: fifth stab before they could get a minimal sample out... maybe THAT was what the blood bankers were afraid of)

Anyway, since I firmly believe in the power-LESS-ness of Prayer, I think I am going to spend the National Day of Prayer offering prayers for things I really really do NOT want. (So if any of you MeFites want me praying for you, you have the next two weeks to totally piss me off).

Which raises the highly-charged question: What's the difference between the Power of Prayer and "The Secret's" Law of Attraction?
posted by wendell at 4:22 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


But what if you're in the many categories of people who aren't allowed to donate blood, like, you know, the English.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:15 PM on April 15, 2007


I wish that I'd learned about this at least 8 weeks beforehand, rather than 3... because I donated just a week ago. Ah well - probably for the best that I simply keep donating every 56ish days instead of trying to fiddle with my schedule to donate on a particular symbolic day...

Next year, though, maybe.
posted by DataPacRat at 6:22 PM on April 15, 2007


Larry Flint better be careful. That little stunt could backfire. That would not be a prayer, that would be a curse, and the Bible teaches that sometimes those backfire. Literally.

To be honest, I'd be OK with it working and I'd be OK with it backfiring, too. Talk about two guys I'd just as soon do without.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:19 PM on April 15, 2007


the Power of Prayer and "The Secret's" Law of Attraction?

Nothing.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:21 PM on April 15, 2007


I think if you already give regularly every sixty days or so, the idea of donating on a specific day doesn't apply to you DataPacRat.

It's like, most sales aren't intended for people who already habitually go to that store. A store puts stuff on sale to try and encourage people who don't normally shop there to start regularly shopping there. Clothing stores for example, or most stores in malls, or car dealerships. Except for grocery stores. They seem to put stuff on sale randomly. I haven't figured that one out.

Stuff like this is to remind people like me who procrastinated until we forgot about it. But hey, I'm overweight so maybe they wouldn't want me now. I should probably get in shape before I go. Of course, I'll put off doing that until I forget again. I blame senility at forty.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:45 PM on April 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


What do you do if you are atheist but squeamish?

As I understand it, you live for a brief time and then die, and that's about the extent of it.
posted by whir at 8:56 PM on April 15, 2007


Atheist's Wager
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on April 15, 2007


I'm not allowed to give blood because of mad cow. Just like Denny Crane.
posted by homunculus at 9:57 PM on April 15, 2007


The last time I tried to donate blood, I was rejected because I was too fat (I was nowhere near my peak weight, and less than I am today, but they didn't want to take the risk of... heck, I don't know...

They were probably trying to conserve cookies.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:38 PM on April 16, 2007


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