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What’s the harm-Christianity

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on October 15, 2008

ORIGINAL ENTRY

Many times we face the “what’s the harm” defense from believers in all kinds of woo, including religion…including Christianity. What possibly can belief in a supernatural god do to harm people? Let them have their innocent beliefs, respect them and don’t criticize them.

Well, hold your horses, I say.  Religions teach people not only to believe and not question their god, but also god’s representatives on earth, the churches and their clergy. And here is where a big problem comes in, as reported by MSNBC.com

In a study of Christian church members who approached their church for help with a personal or family member’s diagnosed mental illness, researchers found that more than 32 percent were told by their pastor that they or their loved one did not really have a mental illness.

These are diagnosed mental illnesses we’re talking about here. Actual, real illnesses that are being waved away by pastors. Well, if not mental illness what are these people suffering from, you may ask? The good pastor has an answer for that too.

The problem was solely spiritual in nature, they were told.

And who can help you with spiritual problems? Well the clergy of course and not those elitist, science learning, educated doctors. Can you say exorcism?

Hold on a minute, you may say. Come on, how many people are going to go to their pastor with this sort of problem? People surely know to go to their doctors with this sort of issues. Do they?

Other studies have found that clergy, and not psychologists or other mental health experts, are the most common source of help sought in times of psychological distress.

Oops!

“Those whose mental illness is dismissed by clergy are not only being told they don’t have a mental illness, they are also being told they need to stop taking their medication. That can be a very dangerous thing.”

No shit! So let me get it straight, most religios people go to their pastors, not their doctors, when they have mental illnesses. The pastors dismiss a priori all diagnosed mental illnesses, even encouraging mentally ill people to stop taking their medications. And people have the balls to say what’s the harm? Wow.

Oh, and here’s a parting gift:

Baylor researchers also found that women were more likely than men to have their mental disorders dismissed by the church.

In a subsequent survey, Baylor researchers found the dismissal or denial of the existence of mental illness happened more in conservative churches, rather than more liberal ones.

Come on, don’t be surprised!

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