Debate Magazine

Coming Our Way: Christianity as a Mental Illness

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

persecution

Christians are already identified as potential terrorists by the Obama regime’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Now a British science writer named Kathleen Taylor, is advancing a provocative and politically incendiary idea — that “religious fundamentalism” (whatever that term means) may one day be treated as a mental illness.

The (UK) Times refers to Taylor as “a science author and research scientist at the University of Oxford.” But Taylor describes herself as “a freelance science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford,” who had “trained as a neuroscientist after doing a first degree in philosophy and physiology at the University of Oxford.” She specifically states she is not a “therapist”. And yet she’s tossing claims about “religious fundamentalism” being a “mental illness”!

(Note: I’ve spent most of life in academe, beginning as an undergraduate student to eventually being a full professor, but I have no idea what a freelance writer “affiliated” to a university means. I am retired from my university and although I’m no longer employed there, I am “affiliated” to my university as a professor emeritus. In Taylor’s case, however, her “affiliation” to Oxford carries no title. It appears what her “affiliation” means is that she was a student at Oxford U.)

The (UK) Times‘ article on Taylor is titled “Science ‘may one day cure Islamic radicals’,” and attributes to Taylor the claim that “Muslim fundamentalism may one day be seen in the same way as mental illness is today and be ‘curable’.”

According to Huffington Post, Taylor was speaking at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales when she was asked what she foresaw as positive developments in neuroscience in the coming years.

She replied: “One man’s positive can be another man’s negative. One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology – we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance. In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage. I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness.”

Links between extreme faiths and mental health have been made before, with former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr Dinesh Bhugra, highlighting recent religious conversions being more associated with a developing psychotic mental illness. In a paper entitled ‘Self-concept: Psychosis and attraction of new religious movements’, he points to data from studies which shows that patients with first onset psychosis are likely to change their religion.

The HuffPo article got more than 5,700 “likes” on Facebook.

So who decides what constitutes “religious fundamentalism” or “a cult ideology” or “beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage“?

Today, Kathleen Taylor says radical Islam fits the bill. But once the idea of religious beliefs being a form of mental illness catches on, who’s to say that Christianity won’t be “diagnosed” as a mental illness?

The problem is the vagueness and ambiguity of terms such as “religious fundamentalism,” “cult ideology,” and “beliefs that do a lot of damage” — a vagueness of which Kathleen Taylor seems blithely unaware.

That same obtuseness to the importance of clear and specific terminology is also displayed in a “Meet the Author” video, in which Taylor talks about “brainwashing” — which includes religious brainwashing — in a distressingly vague way that any self-respecting scientist should eschew.

In the video, Taylor seems to define “brainwashing” as “the extreme end” of changing a person’s beliefs. By “extreme end” she means the employment of “coercion,” “force,” and “psychological torture.”

But what is “coercion”? Does “coercion” include children being taught the Bible by their parents, church, and parochial schools? Does “coercion” include our soldiers’ sharing of their religious beliefs being labeled as “religious proselytization” and threatened with court martial?

H/t FOTM reader Jasmine.

~Eowyn


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME

Paperblog Hot Topics