The Depressed Lesbian Vet and the Allegedly Homophobic VA Nurse: A Match Made in Hell

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Esther Garatie.jpg
Via Change.org
Esther Garatie
A Dallas VA Medical Center nurse is on leave and her bosses are in full-blown groveling mode after a gay combat vet, in search of help for her deepening depression, said she was urged to come out of the darkness and to stop living in terrible lesbian sin.

"I was in very vulnerable place," Esther Garatie, a former Marine Lance Corporal, told Unfair Park in a recent interview. "I was finally trying to get help."

The Dallas Voice broke the story late last month: Garatie, 28, had visited the Dallas VA seeking help for severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Instead, Garatie, who is a lesbian, said she was subjected for more than three hours to a bizarre anti-gay tirade from VA nurse Lincy Pandithurai.

Garatie told the Voice that when she entered Pandithurai's office, the nurse's first question to her was, "Are you a lesbian?" Surprised, Garatie replied that she was.

"Have you asked God into your heart?" Pandithurai asked. "Have you been saved by Jesus Christ?"

In her statement to the Voice, the full text of which is here, Garatie writes, "This is when I realized that I was no longer a United States veteran in her eyes, I was just a homosexual." She adds that Pandithurai talked at length about Hell, urged Garatie "back towards the light," and asked her a number of invasive questions about any previous sexual encounters with men. The nurse also allegedly told her, "The reason you are so upset is because you feel the darkness surrounding you, and you feel guilty about being a homosexual and living in sin. I'm going to prescribe you some anti-depressants, maybe they'll help, but I'm not saying that you aren't going to continue to want to kill yourself."

The news has since been widely reported on LGBT-oriented blogs around the country, and a petition on Change.org to fire Pandithurai, begun by Garatie's close friend Jessica Gerson, has garnered more than 13,000 signatures.

In a phone conversation late last week, Garatie was slow discuss the incident. She spoke instead about her time in the Marines, where she enlisted in 2003, when she was only 19. She'd dreamed of joining the military for much longer, she said. "My grandfather served in World War II, in the Navy," she said. "Ever since I was three years old I'd dress up in cami paint. I knew that at some point I was going to enlist."

After boot camp and combat training in South Carolina, Garatie was stationed for a year and a half in Twentynine Palms, a bleak, scorched base in the Mojave Desert, near Joshua Tree National Park. "It was the most awful place on earth," she said evenly. During that time, she said, she was also given a top-secret security clearance and deployed to Iraq for four months to search female civilians. "It was very hush-hush," she said. The week she got back to the base from Iraq, she went to the nearest town to get a Marine Corps tattoo. "I felt like I had earned it," she said.

But later that evening, while she and three male Marines were crossing a road to head back to camp, Garatie was hit by a car, which, she said, was swerving to avoid the men and struck her instead as she trailed slightly behind them. Her face and arm went through the windshield of the car, and her leg, already weak from an injury during her college soccer days, was broken in four places. Her buddies panicked. "They realized I got hit and they apparently thought I was dead. They ran and left me there," she said. "Apparently the vehicle kept going."

The broken leg was the start of a medical nightmare for Garatie. "I was basically in the worst possible place to be an injured female Marine," she said. Twentynine Palms, she said, is the origin of the phrase "WM." It's supposed to stand for "Woman Marine," but on the base people used it to mean "Walking Mattress." Scorn for women pervaded the culture there, and her superiors were unsympathetic when she needed to leave classes and other duties for physical therapy.

"I could give a fuck if you ever walk again," one instructor told her, Garatie said. "You're a female. If you were a guy I would drive you [to physical therapy] myself. But I could fucking care less."

Things improved slightly when she was reassigned to North Carolina's Camp Lejeune. Her master gunnery sergeant there insisted that she get proper rehab for her injured leg. But it became infected and refused to heal, which Garatie suspects was a result of the mold in the barracks where she lived. She was also relentlessly sexually harassed by a male superior, she said. Then Hurricane Katrina happened, and Garatie, a native of New Orleans, sat in front of the TV every night and watched in a daze as her hometown drowned.

"Look at that, Garatie," another master sergeant would say to her as she watched. "There goes your family. They're all gonna die."

Under the weight of all this tragedy, and realizing her leg would never heal enough to allow her to be deployed overseas again -- her one goal from the time she entered the military -- Garatie decided it was time for her to leave the Marines. She received an honorable medical discharge in 2006, moved back to New Orleans and became working civilian jobs. But her medical issues continued, and new ones sprouted: after months of wrenching stomach pain, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. She started having trouble sleeping.

She had nightmares about the military. She and her girlfriend Dana moved to Dallas in July, so that Dana could take a job here, and the couple could make a fresh start. But Garatie's depression only worsened. She showed up at the VA that October day finally ready to address it.

Instead, she met Nurse Pandithurai. In the three hours she sat in the woman's office, she said, she listened, stunned, tried to defend herself, tried to defend her sexuality, then, ultimately, tried to "find the positives" in what the nurse told her.

"When I finally left, she made me think I not only was living in darkness, but I was bringing darkness upon Dana by being with her and being in a homosexual relationship," Garatie said, starting to cry. "I was like, 'I'm not going home.'" She only pulled herself together enough to drive home, she said, after she called Jessica Gerson (who would later author the petition), who is a graduate student in social work and an old friend from New Orleans. Gerson told her that what the nurse said was "empirically untrue, unethical, illegal and just plain mean."

"If someone feels free in their professional life to do something like this so blatantly and openly, it seems, one, unlikely they haven't done it before," Gerson told Unfair Park. "And two, that they will not do it again...I'm sure I speak for both of us when I say this campaign has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with protecting the next guy who walks into her office."

Pandithurai didn't respond to a message left with her daughter at her home in Midlothian.
Monica Smith, a VA spokeswoman, told us yesterday that the incident is being investigated. Pandithurai has been placed on "administrative duties" and isn't currently seeing patients. Smith also sent over a formal statement which read, in part: "VA North Texas Health Care System does not tolerate discrimination on any level and takes any allegation of such behavior seriously. ...This allegation is being investigated and if substantiated, appropriate measures will be taken to address the issue." Smith said the VA expects to have their review of the incident completed by the end of November.

Garatie planned to return to the VA recently, after the head of the mental health department called her, apologized profusely, and asked her to come back and find another counselor. Garatie said she wanted to go and seek help again. But she was nervous, knowing that she would have to pass Pandithurai's office to get to the clinic's sign-in desk.

"She's short and small, and I'm a Marine," Garatie said. "And I'm not scared of anything. But I don't want to run into this woman ever again. She terrifies me."


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77 comments
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Jane Phillips
Jane Phillips

Well thank god we have Anna Merlan here to help usunderstand the highly complex subject called, Life is not Fair. Before this Iwas convinced that Life was always Fair.

Mlurtsema
Mlurtsema

I am a former Marine myself.  Marines will absolutely find whatever your weakness is and work on it...that is what they do...fix it or die.  That said, this Marine had a rough go of it.  Its bullshit that her Marine buddies left her...completely not right.  Its terrible that some crazy nurse would attempt to shove her fairytale beliefs down another person's throat, especially when she was in such an obviously vulnerable situation.  I am proud of L/Cpl Garatie for being strong and not tolerating this BS

What?
What?

Will Pandithurai seriously place her profession on the line by asking Esther, "Are you a lesbian?"  Let me think?  Uhmmmm, man that's a tuff one.   "She's short and small, and I'm a Marine," Garatie said. "And I'm not scared of anything. But I don't want to run into this woman ever again. She terrifies me."Yep! its the short and small that got to her right?

Oh wait, Why would Pandithurai ask her about being a lesbian or call her Sir?  Why would a busy nurse spend three hours with a depressed vet talking about the bible?  Did Esther asked a question she was not prepared to handle?  Was she expecting an answer to suit her because she is gay?  Investigative Reporter Anna, please give us story number 2.  Hopefully you will do better this time.

What?
What?

Which part was more credible, Gay or Combat Vet?  Does the word Christian makes Pandithurai guilty? hhhhhhhhmmmmmmm........

What?
What?

A depressed gay combat VET subjected for more than three hours to a bizarre anti-gay tirade from VA nurse Lincy Pandithurai?  Really?  Come on now, this is so lopsided I am having trouble holding on to this story.  (Turning green and about to throw up) Ana Merlan, are you confused about your profession dear?  You obviously forgot there are always to sides to a story, but his was just too juicy to pass up. 

BigHigTX
BigHigTX

I stand with you Esther Garatie.

I suggest all of you who feel the nurse was in the wrong sign the pettition in the link included within the text of this news piece.

Barbara
Barbara

The most despicable thing is that the VET came for help because she was depressed and SUICIDAL.  The very last words she needed to hear were about how much more worthless she was because she was a Lesbian.  I'd love to know where the NP went to school to get her graduate degree and who mentored her clinical practice both as a student and as a clinician.  This was definitely not the first time she ever said anything this out of line.  Who kept missing that she was inappropriate enough with patients  to possibly push them further into depression and possible suicide. 

Barbara
Barbara

I've been a nurse for 50 years. This "nu"rse should not only be fired from the VA but brought up for review to the Texas Board of Nursing.  She has broken multiple standards of Nursing Practice which is what we are judged by.  Failing to uphold those standards can cause revocation of your license to practice nursing.  The nurse is totally out of line.

Vet ought to have psych care away from the VA now to prevent retaliation by anyone in the system.   I'm going over to sign the petition right now.

bassmedic87
bassmedic87

If there isn't any board action, I'll be severely disappointed. It could set a very bad precedent and allow more "nurses" to exhibit this behavior, totally contrary to professional standards and even state law.

BTS
BTS

Sounds like to me it is the nurse that needs some therapy more.  

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

http://scntx.com/articles/2011...

This guy was a Pastor .He had problems.He would have answered yes to both of these questions ...

"Have you asked God into your heart?" Pandithurai asked. "Have you been saved by Jesus Christ?"

God didn't seem to be an answer for him when he shot himself.

Depression is a treatable sickness.What would the pastor have done if HE ran into someone like  this Nurse ?Or Maybe he did and that is why he is no longer with us ?

bassmedic87
bassmedic87

I am stating this solely as a healthcare professional.

Texas Administrative Code Title 22, Part 11, Chapter 217, Rule 11 - Standards of Nursing Practice

(1) Standards Applicable to All Nurses. All vocational nurses, registered nurses and registered nurses with advanced practice authorization shall:

 (L) Provide, without discrimination, nursing services regardless of the age, disability, economic status, gender, national origin, race, religion, health problems, or sexual orientation of the client served.

Enough said.

jcs
jcs

I am a nurse and think this VA nurse's behavior way out of line and unethical. She should be fired. My job is counseling patients, but in a different capacity. If ever I was to tell a patient  'well you could get over your ( fill in blank), if you would just come out of your dark Glenn Beck hole or quit believing in that right wing fundamentalist religion',  ( and I do have that opportunity at least once a month) my job would and should  be over.  It is very unprofessional to insert your own moral beliefs on a patient. We are supposed to be there to help them, where they are when they come to us, not to judge them.

Sonic Underground
Sonic Underground

It isn't quite enough. She would have had to been denied nursing services all together for this to be applicable with no grey area. She was seen as a patient and administered drugs to help her cope according to the story. That isn't denying care. Nowhere does it say that nurses/doctors must approve of a homosexuality or not consider their homosexuality in their psychological diagnosis.  I don't say that negatively.  Let me give an example. Someone dealing with depression could very well be doing so because of others reaction to their homosexuality. This is what the nurse did, but allegedly did so in a very unprofessional, insensitive, and seeming bat shit crazy way.

I have to disagree with the comment above though. This was the essence of bigotry as defined as a stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own. The term bigotry falls short in this scenario. The ironic thing is that religious people are met with equally as bigoted fervor from those who don't agree with their lifestyle. Just one form of bigotry is more PC than the other. In fact, there is a growing tolerance among the religious community as it relates to homosexuality, but I would say that this tolerance is not shared in the gay community as it relates to the religious, understandably so. However, I don't think that the answer is to return bigotry with bigotry.

Here is a great blog that is becoming more of a common place in the religious community. Maybe people are starting to understand that hatred is the antithesis to what they espouse to believe. http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/...

Don't expect this to become common place in the Bible Belt. Christian Culture here is still dominated by those Baptist folks who revel in ones burning in hell.

bassmedic87
bassmedic87

I see your point. But what this nurse did was still extremely unethical and unprofessional, and gives other healthcare professionals a bad name. Keep personal beliefs out of patient care, plain and simple.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

As someone who has been fighting anti gay discrimination for 35 years (many of those fighting AIDSphobia) I have tried to learn how to pick my battles.  It is tough. I have learned a lot from hearing people being called racist when I know they weren't.  I think the theory has been....better to over react than not react at all.  This is not always the best road to take.However, Dallas is full of extreme religious types who tend to be homophobic which results in more paranoia.  It is a conundrum.  Jack JettPresident & SpokesmodelGay People of the Universe

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Oh, hell, I forgot to mention this---Betty Culbreath--how did we let this slide!!!!Congresswoman Eddie Berniece Johnson, District 30, WAS a nurse at the VAMC on Lancaster. I think she was a psych nurse, but someone correct me on that if needed.

Trust me, call her--or Rep Sam Johnson's office in Collin County. When you get people who KNOW the VA by employment or serivce, a better result will happen.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

1) Real marines never leave a wounded man (or woman) down, these so-called friends are cowards and have no right to even be associated w/ the corps. I hope their gunny was made aware and took them down accordingly.

2) It took all of her might not to knock this bitch "psychologist" out at the VA, that to me is commendable unto itself. I know someone personally whos had issues w/ a shrink at another VA location years ago w/ similar PTSD issues..I hope the VA drops this person on a more perm basis and her license to practice is also revoked in TX as well..

Angrywhiteguy
Angrywhiteguy

Boo fucking hoo.Another "someone met a bigot" story.It doesn't matter if you are black, lesbian, short, ugly, freckled or left handed........you can only be a victim of bigotry if you let it happen.

Only someone with a low IQ would sit there for three hours and listen to some third world bigot.

Me...I would of knocked her out with the hand of God about thirty seconds in.

TeufelWolf
TeufelWolf

 Or someone who is depressed. Cults love to prey on depressed and disabled people.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

If this is all true, no, this is not a case of bigotry, as much as it is a misuse of position. Yes, what she said was anti-gay, but someone could just as easily gone after her for thinking a woman coudl be a Marine, or whatever.

I have high school students who are looking for careers. I am always asking them to consider counseling, physical therapy, occup therapy or some kind of profession that will help our vets--and give them a solid boost into the middle class by working for the gov't. Sounds like I need to hurry up the process...

Jessica Gerson
Jessica Gerson

"Yes, what she said was anti-gay, but someone could just as easily gone after her for thinking a woman coudl be a Marine, or whatever. "

Yes...but she didn't.  The nurse went after her for being gay.  You can't claim it's not bigotry because she COULD have been targeted for something else.  She WASN'T.  It's bigotry and homophobia that manifested as unprofessional and illegal conduct, and framing it as anything else is pretty dismissive.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You kinda made my point for me. Anyone can have biases, bigotry, but when you MISUSE your position with that belief, THAT is the problem. It is not illegal to be a bigot or an idiot, but it is wrong to USE that bigotry in your official position.

Having actually served in the military, trust me, you can be screwed with for a variety of reasons. I was denied medical treatment for a serious injury received  while at OCS, purely so they could try to kick out yet another female from the program, but it did not work.  

I am not denying the b.s. of this whole matter, but understand that the woman-nurse can have her opinions, the case will be WHAT she did in the context of her position. That lady will never change her mind, after all, she thinks Jesus is on her side. But she can be given a choice in employment or not...

rimes
rimes

You have obviously never had depression.  The fact that she ever sought help is amazing.But I agree that someone should teach that nurse a lesson.

Sonic Underground
Sonic Underground

None of you have dealt with PTSD and the rabbit hole it leads you down. There are vets on the streets who think they are still in Vietnam. This very well could be part of a psychological break on the part of the Marine. Three hours of this just seems a bit far fetched. If someone would sit in a room for three hours with another nurse belittling her, either she requested her opinion on faith (which she admitted that she is a woman of faith) or this is part of a psychological episode. There are too little details to substantiate a three hour conversation. Someone in this scenario is psychologically ill though. If one woman would give a three hour tirade, she might be just as sick as the marine, even if that information was requested.

The question I have is this. After a month, where did the PTSD go? Where did that depression go? What happened to the suicidal tendencies? Is it because she is a darling of the gay agenda now, because that isn't medical help either, so either one of two things happened. Nurse P cured her, her illness wasn't as bad as she made it out to be, and her suicidal tendencies are part of a vendetta to damage a military that she believes has done her wrong, and not a correlation of the actions of the nurse.

Last thing. If the nurse did indeed offer unsolicited advice on her faith, then she should and will be fired. I have a relative who was a decorated lesbian soldier in the Army and was outed by her superior and honorably discharged.  She is now completing her study to become a nurse and is doing her residency for the VA.  She is well suited to give an opinion.  She thinks the same as I do as it relates to this issue.  I appreciate those who aren't jumping to that conclusion.   As to the rest, there is still not a single creditable news organization reporting on this matter, and still, after a month, there is one side to the story. Perhaps we should reserve judgement until we know all the facts.  After all, two peoples lives are on the line here.

clarknt67
clarknt67

Save your breathe. He sounds more like the type to bully someone into suicide than the type to have any empathy for someone contemplating it.

A straight white guy. Sure, he understands what it's like to be on the receiving end of this crap all your life, and is qualified to dispense advice.

Jessica Gerson
Jessica Gerson

1.  PTSD is NOT synonymous with psychosis.  In fact, the vast majority of individuals out there suffering from PTSD are not psychotic.  If they ARE psychotic, they have some other disorder comorbid with PTSD, because PTSD does not include psychotic features.  How do I know this?  I am a mental health professional with a specialty in Disaster & Crisis Mental Health.

2.  Nobody at the VA has denied that Esther spent 3 hours with Nurse Pandithurai.  If this had not happened, doesn't it seem likely they would have jumped to defend themselves?

3.  You have clearly never been depressed, or experienced PTSD yourself.  Freezing is a very common reaction by traumatized individuals to new traumatic stimuli.

4.  Who said Esther was not still experiencing PTSD and depression symptoms?  She is.  She is not "cured" and I'm not entirely sure how, from this article, you decided that she was.

5.  You said one thing that enlightens me significantly in relation to your dismissal of Esther's claims.  You called her the "Darling of the gay agenda."  Check your fly; your bigotry is showing.

6.  Why are you reading stories on the Dallas Observer if you don't believe they are a "credible news organization"?  How is the Dallas Voice not a "Credible news organization"?  Why would you assume that every GLBT news outlet in the country is not credible?  Your bigotry is showing again.  Also, I encourage you to keep your eyes on the Dallas Morning News.  They are currently in talks with Esther for a story they intend to publish.

Jessica Gerson
Jessica Gerson

Somehow, it doesn't suprise me that someone who thinks that you can only be a victim of bigotry if you "let it happen" goes by the name "Angry White Guy."  It's remarkably easy to make ridiculous, sweeping claims like that while you sit comfortably inside the impenetrable shelter of your White Male Privilege.  By denying the existence of bigotry, you perpetuate every single injustice that takes place all over this country--and this world--every single day.

The fact of the matter is, bigotry is very real, and it is NOT the victim's responsibility.  If someone went to a hospital with appendicitis and instead of removing their appendix, the doctor shot them in the gut, would you say "You can only be a gunshot victim if you let it happen.  Only someone with a low IQ would've been shot." ?

The declaration of opinions such as yours says a great deal more about you than it does about the people you condemn.  You have clearly shown us that you lack a capacity for empathy--you cannot begin to imagine that someone else might have an experience that you have not had.  If it hasn't happened to you, it can't possibly have happened.  You're not a victim of bigotry (as a self-proclaimed White male) so clearly, nobody else is.

The world you live in must be a lonely and a sad one.  Thank you for reminding me why I started the petition in the first place, and why people like Esther and myself must keep fighting, just as long as there are people like you in the world, so blinded by their own good fortune and privilege that they totally lack the capacity to put themselves into the shoes of less-fortunate others.

I wish you empathy.  I wish you enlightenment.  I wish you an open mind and an open heart.

But I won't hold my breath.

Angrywhiteguy
Angrywhiteguy

Jane, you ignorant slut........

Hopefully you ride the short bus to your job at Starbucks, 'cause you shouldn't be driving with an IQ this low.

You COMPLETELY missed the point and there is no hope for you.

I don't tolerate bigots any more than i tolerate dolts like you.

Sam
Sam

Too bad you can't get past your hatred of white males and need to propagate a victim society to see s comment about people standing up for themselves for what it is, btw, you're welcome to come to our neck of the woods and lecture the white guys who drive to work in their 20 year old beat to hell trucks everyday and live paycheck to paycheck about how "privileged" they are.

Frank
Frank

"Congratulations, i didn't think it was possible for you to be any more condescending than you've already been, but you succeeded."But I probably could. ;-) 

See, I have working class straight white male friends that I respect and support.  In fact I paid for a wedding for one when his deadbeat father in law refused to do so for the bride whom I adore.  The difference is that they are compassionate, and you weren't in your original post.

There is an old saying "If I am not for others, who am I?  If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when?"  That marine is just learning what it means to be "for herself."  Some people are raised in circumstances that stop that from learning to be for themselves even if they can defend others.  It makes them very vulnerable to depression and suicide.

Frank
Frank

Sam, you're a pathetic little whiny b1tch.  I've had cancer twice with months of chemotherapy and and half a dozen surgeries.  I did all that while getting a Ph. D. in math and doing a post doc at Princeton  All that was like a paper cut compared to being raised in a bigoted redneck environment that said I deserved to be murdered if I ever had sex, and having to listen to that shit 24 and 7 to avoid getting kicked out by my parents.

I used that experience as motivation to work my ass of in school to get out of that hell hole and get a Ph.D. and a job that gives me a salary well into six figures.  So I don't have a lot of sympathy for pathetic grease balls who spent high school knocking up cheerleaders and now have dead end lives.

Phillip Wu
Phillip Wu

Jessica, totally agree with you. However, one thing we've overlooked in our society is that it's not so much white men who have privilege. It's TALL white men. Less than 15% of men in the U.S. are over 6 feet tall. 60% of U.S. CEOs are over 6 feet tall. There are many other things that make being tall and white a privilege. Shorter men of all races get paid much less than taller white men, they experience much more discrimination of all kinds, and they also have more difficulty finding jobs.

jcs
jcs

Quit whining Sam

Sam
Sam

Congratulations, i didn't think it was possible for you to be any more condescending than you've already been, but you succeeded. The only person shaking their fist here is you and you're shaking it at those oh so evil white men that you do clearly hate regardless of what you tell yourself. You're just as bigoted as that nurse and just like that nurse you make excuse after excuse and tell yourself whatever you have to so you can rationalize your bigotry. Like i said, come lecture the white guys around here who have had to work for every crumb they have all their life while people like you sneer at them about how privileged and lucky  they are, oh, and troll? Last i checked this is an open internet forum where people can speak even if they don't agree with you, you're obviously not real happy that someone can hold an opinion you don't approve of, but that's how the real world, which you don't seem very familiar with, works. Now if you'll excuse me, i have to go to McDonalds and get my $1 double cheeseburger and fries for dinner because that's just the kind of privileged white male life i lead.

Jessica Gerson
Jessica Gerson

1.  I do not hate White males.  I have no problem with White males.  I just understand the inherent privilege that being White and male carries with it in the United States--both now and throughout history.  Recognizing privilege is not synonymous with hating the privileged.  That you assume it is says a great deal about you, and nothing whatsoever about me.

2.  "Angrywhiteguy"'s comment was not about people standing up for themselves.  His comment (which began "boo fucking hoo," and went on to accuse a United States Marine Veteran of having a low IQ because she was abused while seeking help) was about denying not only this particular appalling incident of oppression, but all of the other oppression that still takes place.  That comment had nothing to do with standing up for oneself and everything to do with blaming the victim.  Don't kid yourself.

3.  "Privilege" doesn't imply that everyone of a privileged class is rich or lucky. What it implies is that the privileged are more likely to have access to opportunities that are closed off to others, based purely on surface characteristics that they have no real control over and that do not imply anything about their internal qualities.  If a White man and a Black woman who have exactly the same qualifications and exactly the same experience apply to the same job, the White man is astronomically more likely to get the job.  This is not supposition--this reality has been empirically demonstrated multiple times.  THAT is privilege.  It means, all other factors being equal, the privileged one is the one who gets "lucky."  Only it's not "luck."  It's structuralized racism, institutionalized sexism, and a whole lot of other factors that I would be more than happy to elucidate, if you are interested.

4.  I don't need to propagate a victim society.  This society does a hell of a lot of victimizing as it is.  In fact, it's the relentless fist-shaking of people like you, howling at the top of your lungs that there's no real bigotry or oppression, who continue to "propagate a victim society."  You revictimize those who are already struggling under the weight of oppression by refusing to recognize their struggles.  It is a sad truth that privilege tends to be invisible to the privileged and glaringly evident to the oppressed. 

5.  I notice that any real, substantive discussion of what happened to L.Cpl Garatie at the VA is glaringly absent from both yours and "Angrywhiteguy's" post.  I can only assume based on that (and the evidence) that neither of you really HAS anything of substance to contribute to this discussion.  There's a word for that, in internet culture.  We like to call you "trolls."

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Has every Public Service employee gone crazy.What has Dallas come to if you cannot even go to Tax supported special hospital built to serve you,and be talk to like a fool.That nurse needs to be placed on leave until a decision is made about her job.Pandithurai's conduct was wrong entering religion into a patient visit gay or stright and since when did nurses write prescriptions?

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

Fuckin' jarheads, can't even treat their own with the respect they deserve.

pak152
pak152

so far all we have is Garatie's side of the story

Frank
Frank

Now we have the results of the VA investigation that support Garatie and the nurses refusal to comment.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

LCpl Garatie-- First, thank you for your service to this country. As a fellow female vet, I can tell you, there are still some wonderful people at the VAMC who can help you. Do not let your mental health or happiness be forever burned by one person who stepped so far over the line, there was no line left to see.

Know that there are many in Dallas who wish you the best and pray for your recovery, both physical and mental--much now delayed...--and I also pray for that nurse to get with the 21st century and VA policy.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Sooooo you think you are having some Mental Problems Marine Veteran ?

"Have you asked God into your heart?" Pandithurai asked. "Have you been saved by Jesus Christ?"

I have an Invisible Friend with a ZOMBIE SON !

Top that !

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

The issue here is not religion itslef, but of alleged improper meddling in a Marine's personal life, combined with an improper interjection of the nurse's personal beliefs.

Not the time and place for a discussion of Chrisitanity vs Atheism....

TeufelWolf
TeufelWolf

 BS - Christianity and Islam are all about meddling in other peoples lives. That is what monotheism is all about. You don't find a lot of atheists, Buddhists, Pagans, etc. getting totally obsessed with other people sex lives.  Or worrying that the neighbors worship a different god.Look at the GOP - All of the top leaders deeply religious Christians who are obsessed with gay people.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

It is in as much as the Nurse brought it up .Yes it was and is  "the time and place for a discussion of Atheism vs Christianity ."

The Nurse seemed to believe the Lack of NOT HERE GUY and SON in THE VETERANS  life was the reason the VETERAN  felt the way she did .

That and  Breaking NOT HERE GUYS rules on living .Was causing the Guilt that made her feel bad .SO Here is NOT HERE GUY Believe in NOT HERE GUY and  And his NOT HERE SON ( WHO PLANS TO RETURN ONE DAY )It will make you all better .

I hope you never go down that road ....Sometimes in life you just want someone to listen Not go all Mystic on you.

Frank
Frank

I find it easier to refer to "Christians" who insist on a gay "cure" rather than moral behavior and thoughts* as Children of the Corn.  Those Christians, mostly Evangelicals, are possessed by a murderous self-righteousness.

*Personally, I think sexual fidelity and mutual support are every bit as worthy ideals for same sex couples as they are for opposite sex couples.

BigHigTX
BigHigTX

Hey Diane I wrote mine for that Oak Cliff Townie... And I agree with you, it's a mess, and nonsense... And that the Nurse should be at the very least written up, if not go before the medical review board for her unethical behavior, and possibly have her license revoked.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

No, did the Marine claim atheism? No, she didn't, so your lack of belief is not the issue. In fact, her beliefs are not really addressed. The issue is--and should remain on the nurse's alleged behavior.

And atheists really need to spend more time on coming up with more insulting names for God and Jesus. How else would they get their point across, certainly  not with reason or rationality. Atheists don't bug me, and I can respect their beliefs in Nothingness. Their Church of Nothingness with their absolutism--dare I say it, their "witnessing" to the Nothingness to which we all beling, is almost Evangelical.  Their hearts, filled with all that Nothingness that they then spread to All, is well, inspiring. It is almost not-spiritual.

BigHigTX
BigHigTX

Some Christian’s beleive that you can't be gay and a Christian, and that Salvation = to healing and over coming Homosexuality as if it was a sin VS as state of being, and further that it is a "preference" over "orientation"... That if you beleive in God and accept Jesus and that he died on the cross for your sins -that you would magically (or miraculously) be healed of being GAY... Not the case. It just shows here in this story and with the GLBT's that have responded that not only do most Christians on the Right, or Fundamentalists (non Open and Affirming) not beleive that you can get into Heaven and be Gay (or Be Gay and a Christian)... That the exact opposite is still accepted among most Gays -which you can not be a GLBT person and a person of Faith.  I have always found this sad, and still do to this day... What's worse is that you will see Gay and Straight Atheists and Agnostics attempting to Proselytize to the believers, just as whole heartedly as this nurse did in her convictions and beliefs -try to convert what she felt a sinner to "the light" and right (correct side). Very sad.It's terrible that we can just help those who are in need, and agree to that no matter one's belief those in need should be helped, and that we can agree to disagree on other points, while agreeing that we must live together in this world and give assistance to others. It would be different if this nurse was working for Focus on the Family, or The 700 Club, or First Baptist Dallas -but as she is working for the VA which is part of the government, and the Military are no longer to discriminate under Don't Ask Don't Tell, and Chaplains are only able to recues themselves from services, and this nurse is NOT clergy... This never should have happened. And she had no place in doing so. She should be wrote up and or dismissed, if I did something like this I would be... However she does work for the government and active or civi -it will not be easy to have her dismissed of services. At the least this VA locale should now have practices into play as far as how to handle, or rather not to handle any and all similar situations. Faith alone in anything or anyone would not have "healed" an addict of drugs and or alcohol, and like wise is totally absurd in this case... That doesn't mean that Faith in something or someone greater than you would not help. Much like this wonderful Marine probably sought out help because she loves her girlfriend and she puts her on a pedestal... Without her it would have been hard to seek out treatment and to get better.  Being gay does not make one want to kill themselves, rather the atrocities and hate bestowed on the fellow man mixed with self esteem often pushed someone over the edge... For insinuating that she would or should kill her self this nurse should be up for the medical review board for her credentials to be revoked, ESP since it sounds that she is a nurse practioner and therapist/counselor as well.  Shame on you Nurse Better Than Thou.

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