Last year, back when I was writing for DividedUnderGod.com, our son Grayson was born 12 weeks early and so began the scariest time in our lives. He was due to be born on July 23rd, but arrived just after midnight on April 27th instead. Weighing in at 2 pounds, 7 ounces, he was rushed straight to our local neonatal intensive care unit, where he lived until early July. He was tiny to say the least, and slowly but surely overcame every obstacle sent his way, getting bigger and stronger each week, until finally proving healthy enough to come home.
Throughout the more than two month stay in the hospital, we were thankfully supported by many friends and family members who passed along their well-wishes, words of encouragement, and offers of help. But during this time, we were also inundated with offers of prayer and even thanks to God for Grayson’s progress. Many of these appeals to a deity were from those who know that my wife and I are atheists. Although I graciously accepted the verbal support each time, the frequency of such and disregard for our own belief system weighed on me. As a means of finding an outlet for my frustration, I published An Atheist’s Open Letter to Those Praying for His Son.
Much to my surprise, the post was shared thousands of times across multiple social networks and a fundraiser was launched after offers to help began coming in. Thanks to an outpouring of support, mainly from the secular community, $10,000 was raised for Grayson’s medical costs, family expenses, and a start to his college fund — something for which I’ll be forever grateful.
The article not only made the rounds in the secular community, but it also found its way on Christian sites as well. When that happened, the comment section exploded. I would estimate that more than half of the comments from Christians were an attempt to either explain the purpose of prayer, teach me about their religion, or explain God’s plan for me and my family. Thanks but no thanks. You missed the point.
The rest of the comments from Christians were a combination of respectful acknowledgements of my situation peppered with an assortment of very angry outbursts telling me what a terrible person I am. And that’s when some of the most heartless comments I’ve ever received on the internet started coming in.
My logic and scientific knowledge do not allow me to give you my hard earned money. Logically it would not benefit me.
What a total bitch.
This is just a rant to rally the non-believers behind you to get money for your kid. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is “missing the point” or a “religious fanatic”- that’s simply not true. However- I can say this, Kevin I think you’re a dick.
Oh I’ll find this fucker.
I hope your stabbed you dumb bitch.
They will find you! Lol but seriously it has happened I’d be careful.
And then this gem, which led me to block the IP and research where it originated:
You and your family will get what they deserve, trust me. People are going to retaliate and its not good to put out information anybody can easily find you just through a search.
Did you seriously just threaten a baby in an incubator?
Anyway, I’m overjoyed to share that one year after Grayson’s original due date, he’s a happy, healthy little boy with no serious lasting issues from being born prematurely. He’s still catching up to his age in development, which is normal, but he’ll get there. So again, my sincere thanks goes out to the secular community for their expressions of love and support when we needed it most (and to some religious readers as well). The encouragement and support we received from those who do good things because they’re the right thing to do (not because they’ll be rewarded) still brings a tear to my eye over a year later.