Pharyngula

The apostate kidney

What a strange story: a woman donates one of her kidneys to another woman in need. Later, the recipient leaves the Christian faith. Now the donor wants her organ back.

Smith was aghast when she heard of the conversion, and she quickly wrote a letter asking Felks to re-convert to Christianity or return the organ, saying it was donated under false pretenses.

“I feel helpless,” she says. “Part of my body, my DNA, is stuck inside a person who’s going to hell.”

There’s some freaking weird theology going on here. Does she think her DNA is going to be assumed into the afterlife? Do spirits have DNA? Do you need a kidney as an angel?

She also has some strange anxieties, since the recipient is a pagan.

Smith suffers nightmares of her former organ filtering “strange Asian teas, pig blood and witch doctor brews in Africa,” she says. She wonders if the Lord really wanted her to donate the kidney, or if she acted on a “triple-espresso high” she had that morning. She is also concerned that when her body is resurrected, it might be incomplete.

That’s tragic. The kidney is also missing the opportunity to filter the body and blood of Christ, transforming Jesus’ protein into urine. Oh, to never again deaminate the amino acids of the God of Abraham, to never again extract Jesus’ sodium ions, and to have to settle for filtering the ichor of little animist gods…what a sad fate.

I don’t know about this bodily resurrection thing. I would think that running a little lapsang souchong through the ol’ nephric ducts is small potatoes compared to being perfused with embalming fluid and later rotting into a putrid film of bacterial goo. Apparently, the Holy Ghost can reanimate that, but foreign tea is going to have It scratching It’s immaterial and invisible Head.

The theological absurdity goes on.

“I’m all for spiritual curiosity,” she says, “but you’ve got to settle these things beforehand. My kidney belongs to Christ. It will never be Pagan.

Hmm. Yes. Various organs in your body all make intellectual and emotional decisions about what religion they should follow. Personally, I’ve had my organs all committed to different and appropriate philosophies: my colon is a good disciplined Calvinist, my lungs are Breatharians, my right forefinger is an acolyte of the cult of Macintosh (*click*, praise Jobs!), and my penis is observant of some hysterically hedonistic faith which doesn’t require much in the way of intellectual expression. My brain, however, is godless.

Smith’s brain is definitely fundamentalist Christian: inert, uninformed, and irrational.

(via God is for Suckers)

P.S. Some people aren’t getting it. The article is satire, although if you do think about it, there is some weird stuff going on with this whole idea of an afterlife.

Comments

  1. #1 Ichthyic
    August 29, 2006

    for sure PZ is dodging here, just like Dembski did the other day when he was taken in by the darwin parody site he posted about on UD.

    The evidence comes from a lack of noting the article referenced was parody to begin with, and not talking about the issue in general terms, or what he has witnessed, but referring to “the woman” specifically.

    sorry, but I don’t buy that PZ wasn’t caught by the parody. However, what of it?

    I think the article posted by Steve C later in the thread is exactly the same kind of thing.

    sure, it’s parody, but who here wouldn’t be able to envision some “new faith ministry” church in the bible belt deciding to use armed ushers?

    the great thing about a good parody is that there is at least a plausible kernel to it.

    …and in this case, more’s the tragedy, as PZ rightly does point out.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    August 29, 2006

    If a good friend wanted to pray for my recovery from injury or illness, I’d accept that as their way of expressing good wishes and support (which is equally useless, from a strictly practical POV, but I doubt even the staunchest skeptic rejects that sort social nicety). However, if I was lying injured and in pain waiting for the medics to show up, I’d just as soon not have a bunch of people sitting around me praying loudly. I don’t think I would find it at all soothing or helpful.

    funny you should put it that way.

    The results of a study funded by the Templeton Foundation released a few months ago showed a statistical significance (barely) to prayer actually having a negative influence on recovery rates of surgical patients, IF the patients knew they were being prayed for.

    There was essentially no effect if the patients did NOT know they were being prayed for.

    I can grab the cite, if anyone would like to check it out for themselves.

    I’m sure it wasn’t exactly the result the Templeton Foundation was hoping for.

    btw, I think that was at least the 7th study of this type the foundation has funded, looking for some postive link between prayer and healing in an objective fashion.

    What do you think the results of the other 7 studies were?

    or is the answer to that question obvious in the fact that they funded yet another study on top of the other 7?

    I suppose they’ll keep trying until they manage to get a “positive” result.

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