Well, hand on heart, my simple answer is yes, but is anything in life simple?
But before the fundy squad stones me, Violet and Sirius ban me, just wait.
Over on Violet’s she asked me to try and explain what’s wrong with calling religious people mad:
Oh wow! I didn’t realise I was so utterly rubbish at explaining things. You are still talking about something that isn’t related to either the original post or what I’ve continued to attempt to clarify. I seriously can’t imagine what the disconnect is. I wonder if someone like Roughseas would be kind enough to look over the conversation and try and word it in a way that you (and Ark, it seems) can understand.
But then later seemed to retract:
I’d be interested to hear your take on it. After I appealed for your help, I looked back on the post and saw you took something similar from it as Ark and Tildeb in your comment, so although I hope you might see it from the other side, I’ll brace myself for another attack. 🙂
My problem is, that I agree with all of you – to some extent. Patience please and don’t jump to conclusions.
My neighbour believes in fairies and they come to see him every night above their special fairy ring. They glow in the dark and have created a rather sad looking brown circle in the garden.
Myself, I see a Labrador that likes to pee in the same spot and a few glow worms.
Another neighbour has a rather nice oak tree down the bottom of his garden with intricate whorls and knots. He can see a face in there, and when the wind blows, the ancient tree god speaks to him.
My third neighbour has a relationship with some guy she read about in a book. She is his bride. He died for her and came back to life to save her, because she was born full of sin. He speaks to her every day in her head. She has never met him. She has no proof that he ever existed.
There isn’t even an oak tree or a fairy ring to justify this last one. At least they had something.
However Neighbour C is regarded by society as perfectly OK with her loopy beliefs whereas A and B are thought to be sixpence short of a shilling. Neighbour C’s strange beliefs are accepted as the norm because most people allegedly believe the same.
So dear readers, where is the difference?
All these neighbours believe in something intangible that others can’t see. Two are regarded as slightly strange, the other is a bona fide member of society.
Not only that, Neighbour C could be a president or prime minister, think Bush (USA), Blair (UK), or currently in Aus, Abbott.
After all, the Christian god did tell Bush to end the tyranny in Iraq didn’t he? ‘Go George boy, go git ’em!’ Or words to that effect.
I’ll surprisingly quote the Christian Science Monitor from an article in 2015 looking at among other things, the number of Americans who still believed there really were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. (Some 40%)
In other words, in a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it’s comforting to have reasons and answers, even if they are wrong.
A neat quote to encapsulate religious beliefs. Thank you CSM.
So, is it fair to call people who have invisible friends mad? If we want them clinically diagnosed as such, it’s certainly going to bust every single health care system there is.
After all, just going to church and minding your own business isn’t causing any harm is it?
One of Ark’s principle gripes is the indoctrination of children. I was pretty stunned to read this last week about someone embracing Jesus as their saviour at four. Four! And another mother was pleased her four-year-old had accepted Jesus at the same age. Hell. Four years old and my saviour was good dog Tarquin, without a doubt. He was real.
What about David wanting to teach the fundamental view of creation alongside science classes as a genuine historical and scientific perspective of how life began?
Or American states pushing the same agenda in schools?
This stops being harmless. And that’s before we’ve even got into abortion, contraception, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights or anyone who doesn’t go to church’s rights. Let alone bombing the infidels.
So what do we call these people who believe in make-believe and want to impose their view on others? Apart from dangerous?
Let’s flip to the other side.
On my recent abortion post, David accused John of being a kleptomaniac and having OCD. Pink said David had special needs.
Pink apologised to people with special needs, David didn’t apologise. In fact, he compounded it by saying:
There was only a literary demonstration, not an actual accusation. It was the purposeful mis framing of a question to demonstrate the nature of their false premise. Not at all uncivil, but rather an old demonstration. (E.g. “When did you quit beating your wife”)
Just. Groan. No David, those are not appropriate literary demonstrations at all. JFC.
My gripe about those comments wasn’t that the people being insulted couldn’t handle it, it was more insulting to people who have those behaviours and can do nothing about it. Apart from seek clinical help. Let alone the reference to wife-beating. Love the fundy rhetoric hey?
This is the problem with calling religious people crazy in colloquial language. Sure it’s crazy to a lot of us, but it trivialises people who do have a genuine mental health illness and have been clinically diagnosed with depression or ADHD or schizophrenia or whatever.
The two are not the same. While ever religion and specifically, Christianity, is accepted, and even seen as desirable (yuk) it is unfair to use insults that do hurt people who are mentally ill, in whatever way. It’s a throwaway insult. It may mean nothing to us to say someone is mad, it means a lot to the person who has been told they are, perhaps even more so to the one who is/was religious or who doesn’t know what to believe.
In a perfect world, yes, Christianity would be deemed totally nuts. Nutty as a fucking fruit cake. But we don’t live there.
So, in the meantime, I think we should have some respect for people who don’t like being demeaned by having Christian beliefs compared with their clinical condition.
Let’s not confuse the two. However much we think religious people are truly off the wall. It’s not the same, at least not in clinical terms. Yet.
Last word goes to Sirius, who has one of the most readable, lucid and thoughtful blogs I visit. I think, when we consider how to describe Christians and other religious zealots we should consider his views. It’s him we’re insulting not the fuckwit with the bible.