Friday, July 1, 2016

A Less-Than-Saintly Patron Saint of Separationism

Miracle Girl: A Less-Than-Saintly Patron Saint of Separationism

I could fill blogs for months with Thomas Jefferson's anti-Christian and anti-clerical comments. I wonder if the teacher of my 7th grade school chorus knew of this when she decided to put on a production of Tall Tom Jefferson?

I was so proud when I was chosen to be the narrator of the musical, though it meant I couldn't sing with the class.
He's tall Tom, tall Tom Jefferson. He can do it, yes he can," rang the title song's chorus.
When it was over, the teacher praised the quality of my narration. That certainly made my ego sing.

But the Jefferson quotes in my latest post in the Founding Fathers series would hardly be sung in the buckle of the Bible Belt, Birmingham, Alabama, where our production took place.

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Coma Girl

Coma Girl

Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine

In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.

I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.

But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.