The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Beyond Expectations

June 6, 2007 | 40 Comments

“You are a stupid duped deluded idiot.” It was my custom to speak to religious people bluntly, and so three years ago I e-mailed that observation to a woman named Ashli after our paths had crossed on another blog. She might have taken more offense than she did but for various distractions, which, as I learned once our discussions veered away from religion and politics, included the fact that her emaciated, jaundiced, bedridden body was vomiting forth, up to 40 times a day, whatever nutrients could be pumped into it with an industrial-strength IV line.

She was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a debilitating pregnancy-related disease which effectively makes the mother allergic to the fetus. Eight years earlier she had lost her first child to it by way of abortion. She devoted a blog to that tragedy. At the time we first corresponded she was running a second site to track her latest and most difficult battle with HG. Some of her posts were pro-life, although she confessed that the same fingers that typed them had only months earlier leafed through the yellow pages in search of another clinic to end the misery.

That pregnancy was ultimately terminated but with the live, healthy birth of a beautiful little baby girl. What made the difference was a book, a book that she was writing about coping with the disease. In the years I had spent extolling the virtues of reason, this devout homeschooling Christian had produced a 489-page work of cold, hard science. It combines a decade of painstaking medical research with the testimony of her own body and that of the numerous HG patients whose stories are set forth within.

Although Ashli is a talented writer, the market for self-published works combining vomiting, crying and aborting with medical information is limited to those who most desperately need them. But last week Ashli’s story was featured on Paula Zahn Now on CNN and it nearly cracked Amazon’s top 1,000 list. By this year’s end she hopes to place one, free of charge, in the hands of every ob/gyn whose address she can find. She is also distributing copies to needy expectant mothers their and caregivers through charity events and various internet channels. The book will never be a bestseller like those atheist manifestos by Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, but the good it will do shall by far surpass them.

We are heartened by the publicity and reception this unpalatable but livesaving text has thusfar received. I am proud of the extraordinarily professional work my webmistress, Chris Michaud, in creating and maintaining the book’s promotion and distribution website. An enormous debt of gratitude is also owed to Dawn Eden, who has worked quietly but tirelessly behind the scenes to promote the book for many months — even while on tour for her own book — and whose selfless efforts are largely responsible for bringing the book the attention it deserves.


40 Responses to “Beyond Expectations”

  1. Andy Holland
    June 6th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    Wonderful thing when we realize our prejudices are wrong. Its liberating. Glad to see RA coming around.

    “‘You are a stupid duped deluded idiot.’ It was my custom to speak to religious people bluntly…..”

    Would one say the same thing to James Clerk Maxwell, George Washington Carver, or a host of other scientists over the ages who have rejected Atheism and embraced Christianity? Reimann beat Einstein by 50 years, and Einstein had to use Reimann’s math (took Einstein a decade to master Reimann’s tensor math) to relate energy into a time/space continuum that Reimann had developed – the inappropriately named “Lorentz” transform, decades earlier. And that stupid duped delluded idiot who was 50 years ahead of Einstein was a believer. Like Newton, he invented a mathematics to investigate the Universe, but unfortunately died at an early age.

    When Jesus healed the guy at Bethsaida, the man reported that he “saw men as trees walking” – textbook visual agnosia. Clearly, Jesus really did heal a blind man who had never had sight, as such visual agnosia was not known until the 20th century when people who had been blind from birth were given sight through surgery.

    And of course one has Psalm 22 which any stupid duped deluded idiot with an 8th grade education can read and realize, oops, 400+ years before the Crucifixion was accurately prophesied – including where the Romans got their mercanaries (the land of Bashan).

    But no—— no serious scientist would believe in God.

    If one is a serious scientist, one is going to search out the truth concerning God, concerning oneself, and as one humbles oneself, realizing that many who appear ignorant are truly wise, will begin to receive wisdom from that Word which is uncreated eternal wisdom.

  2. Strider
    June 6th, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

    What mindless drivel you continue to write. Are you no longer a Sinner Andy Holland? Perhaps your new sign off should be Andy Holland–Dipshit.

  3. PhalsePhrophet
    June 6th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

    Andy Holland, you are the poster child for willful ignorance. Appeals to authority do no good when you are trying to use the book of babble as a reference for fact. Any semi-educated child knows that the book of babble is merely a collection of poems, essays, fables, and letters written by man. It is not the infallible word of God.

  4. DP
    June 7th, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    I miss The Raving Atheist.

    Whoever writes this blog now would be better off writing for Reader’s Digest. “I Am Jane’s Morning Sickness” would be a fine article there.

    On The Raving Atheist, you keep reading these posts looking for the joke, until you realize the only irony here now is that anyone wastes the time to come here and look at this drivel.

  5. Andy Holland
    June 7th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    Its a simple matter to read something 2000 years old, read something 2700 years old and realize that the former refers perfectly to the latter, and thus conclude there is something there worth investigating.

    Very smart and learned people have done so; people who are not “stupid, duped, deluded and idiotic.”

    If that is construed as an appeal to authority, it is an appeal to the authority of wisdom and learning versus a narrow and prejudiced point of view.

    Are attacks against the man the best you can do?

    andy holland

  6. Godthorn
    June 7th, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

    Well, Andy, you might profitably investigate the Sumerian myths of Creation and The Flood, which predate the Hebraic, but which attribute these acts to gods, rather than to one god.

  7. Lily
    June 7th, 2007 @ 3:48 pm

    I saw the interview thanks to the link on Dawn’s blog. I didn’t realize, somehow, that there was a website to promote the book. So, I thank you very much for the link. Ashli’s story is so moving and so powerful that I am certain you are not, and will not be, the only one moved by it.

  8. Chris Treborn
    June 7th, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

    PRaise be to the Lord, if the raving atheist can see the light how can this not be total proof for anyone thet all you have to do is ask Jesus to forgive you and he will change you’re life FOREVER. This place ismuch much better now that the sickos from the forum are destroying themselves elsewhere. RA, you are an inspiration to all good hearted people who love th elord.

  9. Lily
    June 7th, 2007 @ 9:04 pm

    Incredibly true, that. However, get back where you belong, or I will blow your cover … and invade your territory.

    Fair warning.

    I am a very muscular Christian, as you know.

  10. Anonomous
    June 8th, 2007 @ 9:05 am

    So does the book recommend praying and self flagellation as treatment?

  11. Drusilla
    June 8th, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

    So does the book recommend praying and self flagellation as treatment?

    Why not read the book and let us all know?

  12. ███
    June 8th, 2007 @ 3:48 pm

    Christopher West of the Theology of The Body Institute gave it rave reviews, so it must be great.


  13. ███
    June 8th, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

    referring to Dawn Edens book. eh…

  14. Anonymous
    June 10th, 2007 @ 7:54 am

    “Why not read the book and let us all know?”

    No thanks, it’s not relevant to my life. Just wondering if it was secular advice on how to actually solve the medical problem or the religious content that makes the book so good and such a counter to Harris, Dawkins, and Dennet. Wondering whether whatever religious content it contains is going to do as much good as persuading people against suicide bombing, explicating scientific method, and decipering how our genes truly operate.

    Exactly what has the snotty behavior of the Raving Atheist towards this woman have anything to do with anybody else and their acheivements?

  15. Chris
    June 10th, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    I just want to chime in here and I won’t be responding to follow up comments.

    RA’s choice not to be an asshole has nothing to do with finding a religion or the forgiveness of a god. It has to do with being a good human.

    I’m a very active atheist in my community, in the military and on the web. I try my best to approach people with differences then myself with compassion and the same respect I’d want. Hate commands a lot of energy. Energy that could be used to do something good with my time like give blood, volunteer, teach my children to have compassion and be the change I’d like to see. If turning away from religion teaches one anything, it is that we are responsible for our own actions, not a god and not a devil. We are not puppets.

    I’m sick and tired of the comments here, that if RA is not condemning and damning religious people, that he is somehow religious himself. Why don’t you share your feelings of hatred with the public. I’m sure they will listen to a screaming atheist lunatic the same way atheists listen to screaming religious lunatics.

  16. severalspeciesof
    June 12th, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

    Thanks Chris for your comment. Well put.

  17. Si
    June 13th, 2007 @ 9:43 am

    Scientific Proof
    that God Exists
    This book was conceived all of 30 years ago in 1977 while the author was an Open Scholar in Natural and Computer Sciences at King’s College, Cambridge, England – from just one verse in the Bible – in the Book of Revelation, describing the ‘sevenfold’ Holy Spirit. ‘Aha!’ I said. ‘The Holy Spirit has structure. I am a scientist. Can I elucidate that (invisible!) structure? First I need to do the apparently impossible – give a scientific basis for spirit!’ The latter soon turned out to be based on (masculine) ‘urges’ leading to (feminine) ‘flows’ in a very Freudian way. Soon I had identified that there was indeed a sevenfold binary tree of such ‘fundamental spirits’ – Wisdom. Joy and Love. Health and Beauty, Peace and Grace – at the three levels. As for individual ‘fundamental spirits’ these are an urge/three-point flow very similar to three-phase electricity, probably not surprisingly the concepts of both are so fundamental! To take the base three of this ‘Tree of Life of (the Holy) Spirit’ in order:
    1. ‘Reason is a desire for Wisdom which is 100% Faith in one’s Knowledge’
    2. ‘Creativity leads to Love which is Desire for Tenderness’
    3. ‘Generosity (of spirit) leads to Joy which is Humour causing Delight’. And so on
    The actual work of this took place in total isolation from the Bible (I rarely go to Church). Some twenty years later or so, when Christians pointed out the virtually identical ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ in St Paul’s writing, I realised I had strangely enough carried out a very lengthy process of scientific elimination – confirmed by the Bible!
    The final crucial step in solving a veritable ‘riddle of the sands’ of ‘what is (the structure of the sevenfold Holy) Spirit’ was to identify a ‘home’ for this invisible structure. I am basically a physicist and computer scientist, so familiar with notions of ‘hyperspace’ and ‘cyberspace’. The ‘home’ for these seven ‘dimensions of spirit’ became obvious once I heard of the newly emerged ‘string’ and ‘superstring’ theories in 1993 – once they emerged from obscurity having been born in about 1983, 10 years earlier. Their mathematical basis absolutely hinges on there being precisely – yes, wait for it! – seven extra dimensions of space beyond the physical three we see around us all the time. That was the home of the Holy Spirit – seven ‘spiritual dimensions’. This book goes on to explain how thought is ‘cubic thoughts designed by God to fit our cubic brain cells’, and gives 100% plausible reasons for quarks – and mental illness!
    Simon Richard Lee BA, MA (Cantab.) CEng MIEE MInstMC
    Author Me UK

  18. Anon.
    June 13th, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    There are tons of books out there on obscure medical conditions that are well-written and useful resources for those suffering from them, and it would also be a wonderful thing if those books found their way into the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices everywhere, or into the hands of those who need them the most.

    I just wonder if Dawn Eden would be as interested in promoting those if they didn’t mirror her personal, religion-based views on abortion. Dawn tends not to do anything out of the goodness of her heart, but rather out of what promotes Dawn as the next Mother Teresa, so I’m a little skeptical about this whole endeavor.

    I’d love to contribute, but that Dawn Eden is behind this is quite troublesome for me. I will not be party to adding to the endless, narcissistic, insane machine that is the Dawn Eden Self-Promotion Tour. Sorry. Her name is a deal-breaker for me.

  19. Godthorn
    June 13th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    Si, please rush a copy of your superlative work to Andy and send me the bill.

  20. Drusilla
    June 14th, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    Anon –

    You are simply wrong. I suffer from obscure autoimmune diseases that have nothing at all to do with abortion. Dawn not only referred me to publications and research about treatment, she also anonymously referred me for possible medical trials. She would do the same for you or anyone else in need. Dawn really does try to love God and to love all the people God has created. That includes people who have been born as well as those still resident in their mothers’ wombs.

  21. PhalsePhrophet
    June 15th, 2007 @ 12:19 am

    I’m willing to bet that when SI does go to church, it’s the one with the pedophile priest problem? Any non-Catholics buying what SI’s selling? Titillating with curiosity as to which Bible was not used in the experiment; almost as much as which bible confirmed his experiment?

  22. PhalsePhrophet
    June 15th, 2007 @ 1:33 am

    I feel bad too if I find out someone I was harsh to has severe health problems that could kill them. This is natural. HG is a natural occurring pregnancy-related disease. As mentioned, the symptoms are horrendous and terminating the pregnancy is often a chosen method of relief from those debilitating symptoms. She not only chose termination once, but the unbearable pain made her reconsider the option again: even after blogging about the tragedy of her previous abortion choice. I’m thankful she had the right to chose to abort the source of her death threat rift with unbearable symptoms. I’m also thankful she had the right to chose to risk the very life she saved aborting her previous pregnancy to have her child. I know it is a tough decision to terminate what most women are naturally programmed to risk their lives to deliver without the complications. How could we possibly take away a women’s choice after this kind of testimony?

  23. Godthorn
    June 15th, 2007 @ 2:14 am

    PhalseProphet, that was dead center!

  24. Andrea
    June 17th, 2007 @ 2:30 am

    Anon. said I just wonder if Dawn Eden would be as interested in promoting those if they didn’t mirror her personal, religion-based views on abortion.

    Probably not-so what? It’s not unusual for two people with similar views to come together through a mutual friend, and it’s not suspect for one to help the other. Although Dawn’s support will benefit her financially, the book was written to dispense medical information, not to be a commercial bestseller (ex: Ashli giving away copies). Nothing wrong with trying to be “the next Mother Theresa.”

  25. Sinbad
    June 18th, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

    Well done and well said, RA.

  26. Robert
    June 18th, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

    I recently made up some t-shirts and coffee mugs that say “Atheism Cures Religious Terrorism.” Just very pointedly illustrates the link between religion and the insanity in the world today. I plan to wear this quite a lot in coming days.

    If you want to see the t-shirts etc they are posted here:

  27. Anon.
    June 19th, 2007 @ 5:14 am

    Actually, given the truth about Mother Teresa, there would indeed be something very, very wrong about trying to emulate her. Not that it would surprise me in the least if that self-promoting, narcissistic little cocktease would want to refuse to alleviate the suffering of others all in the name of making a buck.

    Dawn Eden serves the god of Dawn Eden, and none other. Make no mistake about that.

  28. keftab
    June 27th, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

    My life’s been pretty dull these days. Such is life. I’ve basically been doing nothing.

  29. godthorn
    June 28th, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

    Stick around, keftab. You’ll find very little going on here.

  30. Thought[sic]
    July 2nd, 2007 @ 11:28 pm

    More posts, more posts! If anyone’s ever bored, consider also reading mine. My name is the link to the site.

  31. Christina
    July 5th, 2007 @ 8:01 am

    PP – I’m thankful she had the right to chose to abort the source of her death threat rift with unbearable symptoms.

    Ashli isn’t the least bit grateful. Immediately after the abortion she went to her hotel and the only thing that kept her from leaping out the window to her death was that the windows didn’t open.

    Ashli needed medical care. She managed to find it for her second pregnancy, no thanks at all to those who say that they’re champions of “choice” but ignored the fact that what Ashli wanted was medical care, not an abortion.

    How “prochoice” is it to help a weeping, desperate woman to do something that she doesn’t want to do but feels trapped into?

  32. Christina
    July 5th, 2007 @ 8:04 am

    RA, you’re brave to put up with the baseless, vicious attacks you get from people who consider themselves to be somehow more enlightened than just about every other human being throughout history.

    If atheism is about rationality, it’d be nice if more atheists displayed it.

  33. L.
    July 5th, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    I am glad Ashli is tryng to help women who suffer from her condition, but I lost much of my personal respect for her a while back, when I wote on an abortion forum that I would probably terminate if I ever got pregnant again, because I don’t want to go through another pregnancy and c-section. She dismissed that, compared it to her sufferings, and told me to “try real pain!” So only people who almost die from HG are entitled to complain about difficult pregnancies — the rest of us should stop just whining, right? Sorry, I will never agree.

  34. PhalsePhrophet
    July 5th, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

    Christina, you miss the point. The point was she had the choice to terminate and live to try again, or suffer the consequences and risk pain and death trying to deliver. It was her choice and again she revisited those options when faced with the same dilemma. It is wonderful that a book is now available to help those who seek help with HG. However, the book does not stop the unbearable pain or the risk of death associated with HG. You cannot take away a woman’s right to chose. Not all women feel or grieve the way god-fearing women do. Not all women beat themselves up over decisions made to prolong their lives. Grateful or not, at least she was able to make the decision for herself. I believe she also has the right to choose to break the window and jump or simply live to make her own decisions in the future. She is the only one who has the right to decide what is best for her; That includes the right to second guess her decisions and the right to beat herself up relentlessly if she wants. Neither Christina, Ashli, nor I have the right to make that decision for the rest of womanhood.

  35. PhalsePhrophet
    July 5th, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

    RA: I agree with Christina that you were brave to put up with all the baseless, vicious, attacks, especially the ones from the enlightened godidiots who know the one real truth and bashed you relentlessly when you failed to see the light regarding their gods and those truths. As for the rationality of believing in gods without verifiable evidence and denying or infringing on another humans right to make life and death decisions for themselves because their god might frown upon it, I will take the atheists rationality over the godidiots every time. At least atheists attempts to bring valid, verifiable evidence and arguments to support of their view. All godidiots bring is their interpretation of their religions interpretation of their gods commands: how rational is that?

  36. PhalsePhrophet
    July 5th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    Belated thanks to godthorn for the support.

  37. L.
    July 5th, 2007 @ 9:19 pm

    Clarifying my comment above — it might have been another “Ashli” — or someone just posting as Ashli, with the unusual spelling, who engaged in the “suffering one-up-man-ship” I found so offensive (and it’s happened quite a few times to me, with otehr commenters, at several different blogs, whenever I make the point that for some people, pregnancy is like an illness, not a mere inconvenience). Before I malign someone, especially someone who is trying to do good, I should try to be sure of her identity, because the Internet is a very anonymous place.

  38. darwinfish
    July 8th, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    hopefully, these women who painfully go through these HG pregnancies are not dooming their offspring to the same fate. I personally would feel like a total cunt for knowingly passing on a horrible genetic disease. (basically, I’m wondering if this ‘HG’ is genetic…but autoimmune diseases are complicated that way I suppose with both genetic and environmental factors)

  39. BaKiNeC
    May 27th, 2009 @ 7:25 am

    По моему скромному мнению, не стоит заморачиваться по этому поводу. :)

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