A tale of two men

The concept of blogging has thrilled me for well over a decade.  I love the internet in all its vainglorious massiveness.  So useful and so full of absolute crap.  There are now multiple first-hand sources to learn from, and quite frankly sometimes save you from the weight of feeling alone.

I love how services like WordPress.com have helped democratised things so anyone (in most countries) can have a voice, with little-to-no IT experience, for free. I never underestimate that. Look at what this blog has achieved in a week…

Yesterday a great man – Terry Pratchett – died too young. (I saw the news on Twitter.)

I’m not a great reader of fiction and fantasy is not my thing so I’ve not read his books.  He has been an influence on me though for his words on Humanism.  As with any human experiencing life, let alone pain or loss, I question things… and one time, just when I needed it, I came across this little video that expresses completely how I feel.

I mean completely – I could have said this myself, every word, just not so articulately – google his quotes, or check out this article from The Guardian, everyone could learn a little something from Terry Pratchett:

I am absolutely atheist. I feel a peace and enlightenment about it that feels very akin to how some friends have described their theist awakening/experience.

I try not to be anti-theist although sometimes I wrestle with the difference between that and being atheist – the lines blur occasionally – but when I’m not deeply navel-gazing for me it doesn’t matter: it comes down to how you choose to live.  Just try to be good.

Freedom of thought, speech and expression is such an incredible, important, essential thing.  I watch with interest the developing world of trolling and the first criminal prosecutions for it, the debates around the censorship of hate speech, where do you draw the line?

How many people need to feel threatened or offended, and how deeply, by someone’s free speech (however pathetic and horrid) that it means they must be stopped?

I read and manually approve all of the comments posted on this blog, out of respect to the person who wrote it and also to screen for the wackos.  I have approved/published them all even if they don’t quite resonate with me, bar one.

I saw Terry Pratchett had died, came off Twitter, and looking for something to lift me decided to read the latest comments on this blog… the first comment awaiting review simply had the words “ADD and ADHD” and a link to a WordPress blog, I thought I should check it…

In summary, I believe the commenter is imploring me to have my daughter exorcised.  Really?  Wow, that seriously hurts me.  What hurts me even more is that unlike most visitors to this blog, he has read further than ‘I Stand Quietly’ and put his comment on the post where I shared the email from that beautiful young woman with Aspergers.  That really truly SUCKS.

I want to share what he has written but with the traction this blog has, I am not going to link to him and raise his profile on here or in search algorithms, but if you are interested, I have pasted a number of images of the page at the end of this post.

I am pretty angry.  On so many levels… as all special needs parents will agree, unkind and ignorant comments always hurt.

He says he has only “spoken to the evil spirit ADD” but assumes ADHD is an evil spirit as well.  Then later on adds “I have spoken to the schizophrenic demon as well. This goes for Autism as well, I assume, never spoke to him.”  Ignorant prat.

He actually even includes a prayer template, complete with ‘(insert name)’ gaps.  I suppose I should credit him that this gave me a little wry laugh.

Whilst ADD and ADHD can be co-morbid with autism, they are not the same, and in my understanding not in the same simplistic bucket as schizophrenia.  That is ignorance enough.  To further believe that they can be cured by asking Jesus to let a child burn hotter and hotter from head to foot… you know what, if there is a God and he did have a son called Jesus, I honestly think this is an example of when it would be appropriate to use the very crass phrase: Jesus fucking weeps.

He also believes he can cure Gays, end racism and blogs about the Illuminati… one post EXPOSES the satanic Illuminati in the recent Lego movie – a favourite of mine – how silly and naive of me to think it was just a fab fun crazy high speed super colourful romp of a kids movie, eh!?!  At worse, you could criticise it as another money-making machine… yep, we bought the Xbox game too.

His ‘About’ page says:

I am a Christian. I love to blog and tell others about Christ in stories that could be shared by all. Occasionally, will shed light on current issues with actions believers should take to help aid in peace and love for all.

I am so angry for all the Christians that he tars by saying shit like the stuff below in their name.  The first world media is awash with reports about those scary Islamic militants threatening our lives and freedom… personally, I think he is also dangerous and scary even though he doesn’t actually kill people, he frequently refers to “the battle”.

He just sits back righteously spouting awfulness to his roughly 3,500 followers, safely protected by freedom of speech.  Commenting on my blog with a link like that, to me feels like a hateful attack.  Sadly, it has affected me, he kept me awake in the night more than Terry Pratchett did.  But what can I do?  I was briefly tempted to email him a link to this post but I doubt there is any point in engaging with him further.

Maybe I should not have lowered myself to even blog about this, but as I will say again, I am not amazing, I am only human and I can be a hater too, I have added him to my mental ‘People I might exterminate if I could get away with it’ list.  His comment is, and has been moved to, Trash.

Aside from being an author, Terry Pratchett is no longer best known for being a Humanist, but for all the amazing awareness he has raised about Dementia.  He was a truly great and humble man.  His personal accounts as he succumbed to Alzheimer’s made a real poignant difference.  A humanist but more importantly a decent human, as I aspire to be.

As for the other fellow: I don’t like to harbour anger so I will publish this, take a deep breath, put him out of my mind and go play with my beautiful daughter and refill my heart with joy.

Anyone interested in a post-breakfast and commute shockfest, here we go, but please also take a moment to learn about Terry Pratchett, a far worthier read:

12 thoughts on “A tale of two men

  1. I have not and will not read the negative post which obviously upset you Jill. In acknowledging it I would be giving it weight and some importance.

    I stick with my overwhelming belief in all that you are doing to support my granddaughter. You are wonderfully supportive in her difficult times and she is so lucky to have you in her corner! Look at, reread and keep counting all those wonderful messages of support and love sent to you. They are the powerful ones. You are a truly wonderful daughter. Love you to bits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love ya, you and Dad are the ultimate inspiration to me… By the way, I am a very busy blogger now, please leave granddaughter’s name out of your lovely comments, I have to keep editing them lol!!! Xxxxxxx

      Like

  2. there are always the wackos hun.. he is probably just after money to “cure” her and poor desperate parents may well believe his snake-oil sadly.. however it did make me smile a little .. i like the bit where he assumes that all this will also go for the Autism demon, (though he has never spoken to him)… how very quaint….. lol..

    Like

  3. There’s nothing much I can say that will soothe a wound like this. I should know, as a fellow online writer and as a person with cognitive disabilities that sometimes make understanding and reacting as others might, easy, I am used to the funny look, the cutting remark, the snide.
    I’ve had the odd comment that made me seethe, generally to the effect that as I am a disabled adult I must be a nasty, idle ‘scrounger’. But I couldn’t help want get to be here, to maybe just be the first of many besides family to say how sad I am.
    Though not all my beliefs run with Terry Pratchett’s it is one of those moments when the human side if whatever belief system is the vital anchor. Completely sympathise with the upset caused by such peculiar and obscene rantings.
    So very sad. Hugs 💖💛💚😢

    Like

  4. Oh good grief – what an absolute muppet. I have a few suggestions about where that man should really apply his burning heat and how long he should fast for himself. (It’s a very, very long time). I had some handy Christian help the first time someone pointed out that my son was different. On the day that my son’s pre-school teacher booted us out of the door with a cheery ‘don’t worry, I know another mum whose child has special needs. I’ll give you her number, she’s not OK with it either’, another woman said to me, beaming, ‘ God never gives us anything we can’t handle’. It was hard to respond without trawling the depths of my soul for the most disgusting language I could utter.

    Keep swearing…. it’s much more effective
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol!! Thank you for this – totally made my Mother’s Day morning 🙂

      I know and am friends with some amazing Christians but a significant majority of the unnecessary comments we receive from strangers are made in ‘His’ name.

      I’m unhappy about what God does in these situations really: “God handpicks special children to give to special Mummies” is one of my favourite blood boilers! I want to reply “don’t you think it would make more sense if your righteous God hadn’t made her ‘special’ in the first place?”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am sorry that someone felt the need to post such bile, but there are some truly nasty people out there in the world and not all of them have the label of ‘terrorist’ to identify them.

    I also admire your decision to not approve this man’s comments but rather to comment on how they made you feel. It’s a brave thing to do as often our immediate reaction on feeling so hurt it to strike out and retaliate at the person responsible.

    By commenting in such a reasoned manner, I feel you have drawn attention to the fact that there are some nasty people out there in the world who sometimes spill over into the world of the internet. Something for us all to watchful for and perhaps to prepare against?

    I too am an atheist but am often a bit bemused that the ‘theists’ always seem to want to convert me from my view whereas I’ve never felt the need to convert them away from theirs. Perhaps the difference is that I’m very comfortable with mine where they perhaps are not so sure of theirs, that they need to seek comfort in numbers to bolster them?

    My Christian upbringing left me with one adage that I try to live my life by: to treat others as we would hope to be treated ourselves. Another one that holds true in pretty much all situations is: if you have nothing good to say, say nothing.

    Perhaps this so-called Christian would do well to reflect on them. He may never see this (though somehow, I think he’ll be watching your posts) so may never do so. That’s his loss.

    In the meantime, I hope that by writing about how this made you feel has helped to ease your anger and hurt. Sometimes, writing things down really can be quite cathartic and help to put things into perspective. It’s something I’ve used to great effect in the past. Take solace in the fact that this one post from one man out of hundreds of thousands that have viewed your blog, many of whom have taken the trouble of posting a comment but have not felt the need to post such bile.

    Hope this helps to give you a 5 minute break in your day

    Cathy

    PS I came across this after reading your plea for help and then reading further 🙂

    Like

  6. I have read your post. I have a friend with a child with a lot of the same symptoms and although we have only been friends on fb and never met I feel myself so close to her and it resonates in me when I read your post I stand quietly.

    I am so upset by this post. I am Christian in my entire being, I love God, I love Christ but THIS! This isnt God or Christ, this is judgemental idiot ism! I myself have an honours in psychology and now studying nursing to become a midwife and autism is NOT currable by exorcism! Christ forbids it anyway, exorcism is not from God! Autism, adhd,aspergers and most of all schizophrenia is disorders caused by malformation of parts of the brain as well as a lack of certain hormones etc. What are we, back in the dark ages where they drilled holes in peoples heads to let the evil spirits out?!

    He most definitely does not know God nor the absolute, forgiving live of Christ that fills your being and your soul every single day giving you the need to just LOVE and LIVE the same as Jesus did! And the shame is that this is the attitude that is going rampant these days, so many Christians taking it on themselfs to judge others and to want to be a god themselfs. The other day I read an article of people wanting to exorcist a schizophrenic little boy who hears voices, because he must be a demon! They are not demons, they are not filled with demons they are from GOD! They are angles send to lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly!

    You are a wonderful mum and all mums going through this are as well, do not let a person with so much lacking upset you as a person! He is not worth it and God would not want it. My you, your daughter and your family be blessed and filled with live and happyness always

    Like

    1. Exactly. I feel as a person with faith you have said that better than me. He only upset me very briefly about my daughter. What he stands for upsets me constantly (and I do not for one minute think he represents Christianity!)… I blogged about him for that reason mainly. Thanks for commenting! xxx

      Like

  7. Ugh. I am so so sorry for people like this. As a pastor I feel like I could spend my entire life apologizing for people who say things like this and claim to be speaking the truth of Christ. YIKES. Surita above said it best, so I won’t elaborate, but I just felt compelled to say sorry for those unkind, unloving words and totally convoluted logic. GAH.

    As a follower of Jesus, I believe the two main instructions in my faith are to love God and love others (and treat them as I want to be treated). This is why I don’t understand where this “pray away the gay/mental illness/disability” idea comes from. God is love, so where’s the love? How are any of those comments loving?

    My brother has aspergers, my father in law has severe depression, and I have girl in my youth group with schizophrenia. They have all been told at some point to pray their ailments away, or to have the demon that is clearly causing their problems excerised out of them, or that their or their parent’s faith isn’t strong enough. Makes me sick. Such unloving, hurtful comments coming from unloving, unthoughtful people.

    You sound like an amazing mom. As a new mom myself, I am inspired by you. Keep on keeping on!

    Like

  8. Chortle. Total nutbag my dear, which of course you already know! Although… assuming for a moment he’s actually right (he’s not) then I’d say he needs to watch his back. I mean, what happens when the other demons find out he’s talking to some of them but not all of them? T. R. O. U. B. L. E. Anyway, let’s not dwell on the wantonly stupid. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, so I’ll return the favour and repost. More people need to read and, hopefully, understand the vastly different experiences of people with spectrum disorders and the people around/supporting them. Just for the record, I’m “normal”, as are my near relatives, I don’t have children, I don’t work in any related area, I have no motive for spreading your word other than that I believe in it (won’t that phrase annoy our friend the demon flirter?) So keep on finding ways to bring small bits of peace to your daughter and yourself (and hubby, nanny, others..) and hopefully, mostly, holding it together. Nobody writes the rules for this stuff.

    Like

Start a Conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s