Hi all:

Here's an abbreviated version of my background...

I had the ill luck to be born to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, and I literally almost died as an infant because of the blood transfusion issue (my mother, now a non-JW, told about this when I was in my 30s). Being the second child of an Rh+ father and an Rh- mother made me a candidate for something called Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn. It is a well-understood condition in which the mother's blood is mixed during birth with the child's and introduces antibodies that attack his red blood cells. It can be fatal unless treated with a blood transfusion. JWs categorically oppose transfusions, and my father threatened to remove me from the hospital until the State of NY stepped in with a court order. Nice, huh?

I also had a very unpleasant childhood of Kingdom Hall (that is JW-speak for church) three times a week, door-to-door every Saturday AM, restrictions on friends, and the pariah status of an oddball at school because I could not say The Pledge, or celebrate holidays, etc.

My folks divorced when I was twelve or so and that put an end to going to that damned Hall. It was then when I fell in love with Astronomy. I joined a local club and learned the joy of hanging out with adults that actually KNEW something and loved studying nature.

But in a few years I became a typical teen, and my interests turned to drugs, music, and other things. I dropped out of high school and played in a garage band and worked as a short-order cook. That was enough to convince me, at 18, that I needed to get back to my love for science, so sans high-school diploma, I snuck into the University of Utah, and ten years later, had my Ph.D. in physics. Along the way, I came across Ayn Rand, and while I disagree with much of her philosophy, she steered me sharply away from religious thinking, for which I thank her. Pretty much in my early 20s I was aware that I didn't believe in any superstitious hooey, and the older I get the more I see I made the right choice.

When I met my future wife, in grad school, she was studying biology. I asked her what she was reading at the time "The Bible" she said. My heart sunk. She went on, "Yes, I was told all these years that this book has all the answers, so I am finally reading it, and you know what? Jesus was an asshole!"

So I married her.

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Replies to This Discussion

That is a great story!
I deal with a lot of JW patients.. and as luck would always have it, they seem to have some coagulation problem during their stay, and there is always this huge issue and debate between staff, physicians and family members regarding "how badly do you want to save Grandma/Grandpa/Mom".... you get the picture.
I am always polite, but very firm regarding alternative treatments. There are a few, but they are for long term recovery... not emergency recovery. It must have been a challenge growing up in that atmosphere. I am glad you survived it!


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