Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
I think (but am not sure: the inevitable encroachment of entropy has claimed more than a few brain cells) that I’ve been on about this for some time. And voila! Someone finally has gotten a clue:
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a strong and passionate belief in a deity or higher power, to the point where it impairs one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, will now be classified as a mental illness.
The controversial ruling comes after a 5-year study by the APA showed devoutly religious people often suffered from anxiety, emotional distress, hallucinations, and paranoia. The study stated that those who perceived God as punitive was directly related to their poorer health, while those who viewed God as benevolent did not suffer as many mental problems. The religious views of both groups often resulted in them being disconnected from reality.
Dr. Lillian Andrews, professor of psychology, stated, “Every year thousands of people die after refusing life-saving treatment on religious grounds. Even when being told ‘you will die without this treatment’ patients reject the idea and believe that their God will still save them. Those lives could be saved simply by classifying those people as mentally unfit for decision making.”
“Jehovah Witnesses for instance,” Dr. Andrews continued, “will not accept blood under any circumstance. They would rather die than to receive life-saving donor blood. Many religious people believe they have “healing power” in their hands. Many believe they can communicate with God using a personal language, which is unknown to anyone but the communicator and God (known as speaking in tongues). Many often tell of seeing spirits. All of these are signs of a mental break and a loss of touch with reality. Religious belief and the angry God phenomenon has caused chaos, destruction, death, and wars for centuries. The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue. This is the first of many steps to a positive direction.”
With the new classification, the APA will lobby to introduce legislation which would allow doctors the right to force life-saving treatment on those who refuse it for spiritual reasons on the grounds that they are mentally incapable of making decisions about their health.
The American Psychological Association says more information about the study and the new classification will be made available to the public in their upcoming journal (which is expected to be release in early August).
Whoo hoo! Hurray for the APA!
Now of course this isn’t targeting your average believer – for the most part, a lot of these folks sit around smoking cigarettes in their trailer parks, deluding themselves that they’re a part of a grander scheme (yeah, some divine plan there – dying broke and toothless, waiting for the handout from on high that never comes). No, the folks I worry about are the Mansons and the Chos – or we can reach back in time and look at all the lives that could’ve been saved if people had just realized that religious fruitcakes like Jim Jones, David Koresh or Timothy McVeigh (yeah, don’t bullshit me: any idiot who says ‘science is my religion’ is obviously covering for his faith) should’ve been put in some kind of institution, not become leaders of any sort. Joan of Arc? Crazy. And if it hadn’t been for her antics, we’d not have had Gilles de Rais. (Shudder)
And this is the part that cracks me up: we could, under the auspices of this study, commit a HUGE percentage of the GOP (if not all of them). I don’t trust a single one of those pricks as far as I can sling a piano. As I’ve stated (endlessly no doubt), folks who will put their faith above decisions that affect everyone are not to be trusted in office, because these people will ruin other lives due to ‘belief’.
And of course, those recalcitrant (read: stupid) parents who are convinced, regardless of all the evidence available, that their ‘gawd’ is going to cure their sick children. Maybe we should have all potential parents tested. And don’t get maudlin on me: we’ve all seen at least one instance on Facebook where some woman or man are behave in a manner unbefitting a human being, let alone a parent. And think about this: in order to adopt, you will be put through a literal wringer being vetted, but if you just give birth, hey, no harm no foul. Talk about inequitable.
But I digress.
Slowly but surely, our species is finally beginning to awake from the fever-induced fugue of religious thought. We can only hope that it continues as it has, albeit quickly.
Till the next post then.