Monday, March 29, 2010

Angry Atheists Would Be Much Less So if You'd Stop Forwarding Us Stupid Shit

Apparently, [redacted] thought I needed a good vomit, because she sent me this email forwarded to her by a concerned Christian relative. She gets at least 3 of these sorts of emails a day, and that's not including the emails that her coworkers pass around. Angry atheists are angry for a reason: your imaginary friend is seriously clogging up our inboxes.


Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas . this entire email is written in simple SVO* sentences. One right after the other right after the other . . .

She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips.. She was a patient of Dr. Will Phillips, perhaps? Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. unlike most doctors who see patients as bees. His favorite patient was Edith Burns. Shakespeare's corpse is one more SVO sentence away from rising from his grave to enact vengeance upon us all.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her. Nope. The more complex sentences aren't any better. This is so clunky and awkward. I can't decide if it was written by a child or for a child. Edith Burns totally unnecessary to continually restate the last name. We've only had two names in this story so far, we don't need surnames to keep track of them all. had a habit of introducing herself in this way: "Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved. Really? Anywhere she goes, that's what she does? What a rude bitch! Seriously, she doesn't give a shit why anyone else is at the doctor- you know, they might be sick or something- she doesn't care what anyone else might be interested in, it's all Easter, all the time. Yeesh. And particularly wierd around Christmas.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office his office, someone else's office, what? and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. no last name? Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. when? 5 years ago? 20? today? specificity is helpful, people. Edith began by saying, "My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" now that i think about it, that's a wierd question. it's like asking if you believe in Saturday. I decorate eggs, too. Beverly said, "Why yes I do."

Edith said, "Well, what do you believe about Easter?" ah ha! some acknowledgement that Easter, like many other things, exists as a cultural phenomenon even if you don't believe the religious stories. Beverly said, "Well, it's all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up." because Beverly is 5. Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally Beverly told her to leave her alone and wait for the doctor . . . led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. that's for Catholics, who know about Jesus, but are all going to hell anyway.

Dr. Phillips said, " Beverly , don't call Edith into the office quite yet. the way this is written, Dr. Phillips said this immediately after Beverly was converted, but I don't think that's the case. Ibelieve there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room. which i at first took to mean either the UPS guy had shown up or someone was having a baby in the waiting room. After being called back in the doctor's office apparently, (a) the doctor knew exactly how long to wait, and (b) has no problem making everyone else for the rest of the day late so that Edith can proselytize. oh, and what about the delivery, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, "Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?" the primary cause of sadness in today's world.

Dr. Phillips said gently, "Edith, I'm the doctor and you're the patient" what does that even mean? you need 8 years of medical school to tell if someone looks sad or not? With a heavy heart he said, "Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you're not going to live very long." really? the lab report said all that? that's amazing. it's also amazing that a primary care physician is diagnosing and staging cancer rather than an oncologist. i guess that's the power of Jesus!

Edith said, "Why Will Phillips, shame on you. shame on you for practicing outside your specialty! Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I'm going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. oh, Edith is suicidal. poor dear. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!" ticket to . . . Easter?

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, "What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!" and what a terrible doctor Phillips is. no treatment at all? no specialist? nothing? Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. why? she's dying of apparently untreatable cancer. and she's happy about it. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. what an odd detail. especially since we have no idea when the beginning
of the story took place.

On the day the office opened January 4th, Edith did not show up. wait, she showed up every day? did she have an appointment that day? Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital what? so Edith is in such bad shape she needs to be in the hospital, but first she calls her doctor to use a wierd euphamism? and said, she said and then she said? "Will, I'm very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room "in here, next to me, in my room"? man, this is some bad writing who need to know about Easter." Dr. Phillips is in charge of room assignments at the hospital? and how would he know that anyway?

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. women, mind you, so sick they are hospitalized, but function merely as props for Edith's need to evangelize. nice. Many women were saved. many were not. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter yeah.; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse. enter the mean old atheist. Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a "religious nut". maybe she just wanted to, you know, do her job? maybe she was the only person in this entire town that recognizes what a hospital is for?

She had been a nurse in an army hospital. we know all about them. She had seen it all and heard it all. atheists: we see everything. She was the original G.I. Jane. oh, for fuck's sake. She had been married three times atheists: better at marriage than evangelicals, but why should reality intrude here, it hasn't made an appearance so far, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book. not at all what you'd want in a nurse. One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. has the person who wrote this ever been to a hospital? it doesn't work that way. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. a shot for the flu? you give the vaccine before a person gets the flu, and current guidelines are that those with cancer are to receive the flu vaccine, so Edith should have already had the shot.

Whenshe walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, "Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you." no, Edith, you don't love Phyllis. i totally hate it when people overuse "love" like that. love is a beautiful, deep, intense emotion not applicable to casual acquaintances. Phyllis Cross dear quantum field, there is only one Phyllis in this story, can we quit with the . . . oh, "cross", i get it. said, "Well, you can quit praying for me, it won't work..I'm not interested." Edith said, "Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family." Phyllis Cross said, "Then you will never die because that will never happen," and curtly walked out of the room. "curt" applies to speech. one cannot walk curtly.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say,"God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I'm praying for you." One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith's room like a magnet would draw iron. she said that or she was. plus, the correct way to say that, as Phyllis was drown to Edith, not the other way around, would be "drawn to Edith's room like iron filings to a magnet". and "literally" has no place in this sentence. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day" i want her to add "to die!" and turn this into an awesome zombie story. alas.

Phyllis Cross said, "Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, "Do you believe in Easter but you have never asked me." Edith said, "Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked." and now that you have asked what? besides, what is the effective difference between saying that god loves you and asking if you believe in easter? Edith Burns took her Bible opened. opened her bible. and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story the real origins of easter? of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, "Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?" that sounds painful! Phyllis Cross said, "Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life "

Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels. ugh. just ugh. Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, "Do you know what day it is?" Phyllis Cross said, "Why Edith, it's Good Friday." Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. most ridiculous statement ever. Happy Easter comma Phyllis!" Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties as far as i can tell, she's the only one who does. and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies i'm weeping for the english language. "she stopped by the gift shop to buy Easter lilies for Edith. "and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith's room, Edith was in bed. wow! in a hospital! really! That big comma black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. or on it. There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith's hand, she realized Edith was dead. she didn't know that by all the alarms going off on the monitoring equipment? when is this set? 1865? Her left hand was on John 14: "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." considering how far apart John is from Revelation, that's amazing.

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven you know, up?, and with tears streaming down here her cheeks, said, "Happy Easter, Edith - Happy Easter!" Phyllis Cross left Edith's body, standard hospital policy to just let bodies rot in their rooms, I suppose walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, "My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?" "Hi! I'm a pod person, would you care to join me?"

If you believe in Easter, forward this on. God works in wonderful ways, and to believe in his power is to truly be free. If Jesus had e-mail, he'd do the same for you.(Actually, maybe He just did) He's in the house! He was dead the whole time! The village exists in the present!

"Father, bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she maybe needing this day"

*Subject then verb then object as in The dog ate the bone. It is the simplest possible sentence structure in English. Unless you want your writing to read like a book for small children, you should vary sentence structure to include more complex structures. Persons just learning English are excepted from this rule.


  1. This story is offensive on so many levels, not the least of which is its syntax.

    I'm reading The End of Faith by Sam Harris, and this is, like, a PRIME example of what he's talking about in the first part of the book: how religious belief can't be considered a "private" matter when it permeates every part of your life, into your actions, affecting the world around you.

  2. Trying very hard not to vomit up the breakfast I HAVEN'T EVEN EATEN YET! Ugh.

  3. Wow. Couldn't even finish it. It's awful, and it just. won't. stop.

  4. That story made me die a little.

  5. The Postman read an email. The Postman threw up a little bit in The Postman's mouth. The Postman is glad Edith Burns isn't real and is glad as well that Edith Burns snuffed it so that no other fictional characters will be plagued by Edith Burns anymore.

  6. Well, hey, nothing like some magical meanie-atheist-turns-into-mindless-believer tripe to get the believers smiling and chanting “Hallelujah!”, right? This story was as painfully bad in its narrative and plot as it was in its writing. Seriously, let this be a new rule: FUNDIES SHOULD NEVER WRITE STORIES. EVER. THEY FUCKING SUCK AT IT.

    (Although, to be honest, I almost wish I received this type of nonsense in my own inbox, as it would mean that A) I’m successfully scaring or pissing off fundies, and B) that I’m getting somewhat popular. Ha. Plus, it would make for terrific blogging fodder.)

    However, I do have this little nitpick, being a writer myself:

    « "curt" applies to speech. one cannot walk curtly. »

    Actually, this is false. “Curt” simply means “brusque”, “crisp”, or “rudely short” and so on, and it does apply to actions: a curt nod, a curt demeanor, a curt refusal to listen to any more of Edith’s pablum, etc.

  7. Here's the original story. It's still as ridiculous as the version in the email, but is far better-written at least. It's like the person who wrote the email had never read the story, but had heard about it from someone else who had not read it either, but had heard it at a church youth group five years before.

  8. I still deny that one can walk curtly. You can walk stiffly, perhaps even officiously, but one cannot walk curtly.

  9. Only I can walk curtly. No one else.

  10. I just watched my grandmother die of cancer 22 days ago. And her body was fucking destroyed by it. And when she found out she had a death sentence hanging over her - only two weeks before she died - she was terrified and devastated despite being a staunch Christian. "God doesn't make mistakes?" Um fuck you cunts. What a dumb fucking story. And offensive to anyone who has ever lost someone due to cancer.

    And nice way to fucking end it. In reality when you have cancer you eventually go into a coma and your body just completely fucks out and it's horrible, traumatising and undignified. But whatever - lets just pretend you just slip away quietly *rolls eyes furiously*.

    Fuck I'm way to bitter right now to read something like this. Fucking fucks.

    Watching my grandmother die totally reminded me why I'm an Atheist.

  11. My favorite part of this by far is the two hands being on different parts of the Bible that are far away from each other. Maybe she had each hand on a different page? I sometimes shove hands or fingers in multiple different pages of a book. That doesn't seem to be what is being described by the story but it is so badly written that it is hard to tell.


    Quoted for truth.

    "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day" i want her to add "to die!" and turn this into an awesome zombie story. alas.

    *Gasp* the full moon... nooooooo... I'm turning into...



    "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day," said Edith, gently reaching over to her.
    Phyllis paused. This may have been in part to avoid offending to poor delusional woman, but the primary reason for her silence was the fact that she was still in shock from having been dragged screaming through the hallways as if by a giant, literal magnet.
    Finally, she worked up the nerve to ask the woman what she was talking about.
    "Why, your day," said Edith, her eyes rolling back into her head so that only the whites were showing. "Your day to die."
    Phyllis screamed as the woman swiped at her, diving away from the bed. Scrabbling at the floor in panic, she stared as the thing shredded the bedclothes as it tried to untangle itself.
    Finally struggling to her feet, Phyllis fled the room, slamming the door behind her and backing away from it. How could this be happening? It was insane, it was-
    The wooden door cracked as the thing inside tore at it, emitting inhuman screams of rage as it tried to get to her. Phyllis turned and ran. Please, let there be someone, someone real, someone to make this nightmare end...
    Two interns rounded the corner. "Please help! Help me! She's after me!" Phyllis shouted, her voice cracking with the panic.
    And then they turned blank-white eyes towards her. She stopped. They smiled, showing far too many teeth for a normal human mouth.
    She backed away as behind her, Edith broke through the door, throwing splinters in every direction.
    She turned. The creature that once was Edith gave her an evil smile, showing those horrible teeth. She stared, frozen in horror, as it spoke.
    "Do you believe in easter... atheist?"
    Phyliss screamed as they leapt for her throat.


  13. Okay, that got a wee bit dark. Sorry 'bout that.

    Okay, I'll fix it: just as they leap "Phyllis" stops screaming and pulls off a face mask to reveal... Tom Cruise!

    GAH! FUCK! I wanted it to be less scary!


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at