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So, what do you do?
As a firefighter in SwFl, the Bible belt.. Ugh... We had an incident with one of our guys going down. Severe cardiac emergency... He was rushed to the hospital and is in ICU..
While we were all there, the asst. Chief hard a Chaplin from another Dept to come over for the family.. while there was about 30 is in a waiting room.. He wanted use to join hands and pray. Needless to say..I was not for that.. But went along for the sake of the family, respect for his wife and daughter... He tried to talk to us after and I just said thanks but no thanks...
What would you do?

By SWFL683
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12 comments

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8

I would have done the same thing. There are times to speak your mind and there are times to just play along. You did the right thing.

indirect76 Level 7 June 23, 2018

I agree completely.

6

Hello brother! I am a firefighter here in Burlington and I share your pain. The fire service likes to smear the holy stuff about and it can become nauseating at times. It is always uncomfortable all the people who want to bless us and say we are doing God's work. It upsets me at times. Most of the time I try to ignore it, but when they start to lay the holy roller shit on a bad call, I want to cry because no one is really dealing with the issue or the call, they are stroking their egos with prayers. In my opinion that is why we have a suicide problem in the fire service. But to answer your question, I play along for the most part because making waves in that regard causes trouble here.

BFD301IAFF Level 3 June 23, 2018
4

If it gave comfort to the family I'd have gone along. That is not the hill I want to die on.

3

I think you handled it the best way possible. Honoring the family tradition, then bowing out gracefully before going any further.

LB67 Level 7 June 22, 2018
3

It's really awful to be put in those situations. I am very resentful whenever
I'm in one of those positions, and I can't walk away.
Personally, I don't believe there should be chaplains at all, including the military.
I think it violates the Non-Establishment Clause.
So tired of the blatant, and incorrect, assumption that everyone is delusional with
their god crap. It really sucks being stuck in one of those situations.
I understand why you went along with the hand-holding and prayer.
I hope your fellow fire fighter pulls through and recovers.

KKGator Level 9 June 22, 2018
2

I would have done the same, nicely decline.

2

You did the right thing, I think, It wasn't the time to risk giving offence

2

I think concern for the family should have highest priority. Also, I think the chaplains in the Bible Belt often don't expect there to be nonbelievers to be in the group; so, although I think these should be confronted in no uncertain terms, I think in the ER with a life on the line and the family present in not the place to do it (unless the family members should be unbelievers, too). My respect for the way you handled it.

Wallace Level 6 June 22, 2018
1

What if this man was atheist?

This is so disrespectful. Religion should not take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Some people carry organ donor cards on them, to communicate their wishes, should they die.

Do people need to carry similar cards.. "If I should die, please respect my atheism and offer me a non religious funeral".

1

My opinion is that you did the right thing.

1

I think that's about the best reaction really. You're there for moral support and that's just what you did. And your reaction of "thanks but no thanks", spit on. You respected his belief but stood up for your own and avoided what could have turned into a sketchy situation. Kudos to you.

Eric84 Level 4 June 22, 2018
0

The same. Our personal belief or non-belief doesn't need to impact upon another's.We are not so grand as to assume our personal position requires any special dispensation. Taking part in another's ritual is both gracious and life affirming. Unless anyone thinks differently?

Geoffrey51 Level 8 June 23, 2018
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