Are religious people mad, crazy, insane?

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. 🙂

It’s too long for a reply, so Violet, Tildeb and Ark, here you go.

My problem is, that I agree with all of you – to some extent. Patience please and don’t jump to conclusions.

Scenario A

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.

Scenario B

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.

Scenario C

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?

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.



About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in Atheism, christianity, Religion, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

141 Responses to Are religious people mad, crazy, insane?

  1. disperser says:

    That’s a long read, and I’ll have to give it another pass, but it will not likely change my answer:

    Yes, yes, and yes. (my answers are based on popular understanding and usage of those words, not clinical; only clinical people and the occasional pedantic person brings the clinical definition into the realm of a general discussion outside academic circles. Understand, I’m not calling you pedantic; merely stating that per how most people view and use “mad, crazy, insane” my answers stand)


    • You’ve got a cheek. How many long short stories of yours have I ploughed through? Let alone 100 flipping photos a-loading? A measly 1400 something words. Wimp.

      I don’t disagree with your answer, obviously, and I think your comment is how most people view things. We say mad, crazy, insane, when something doesn’t fit. Invariably with our mindset though. No doubt religious people say the same about us. Actually they say we are tainted by Satan, evil, corrupt, tools of the devil blah blah other silly bollocks.

      But, it’s not looking at it from someone else’s POV. Or maybe you don’t want to? In which case, your choice.


    • disperser says:

      “another pass” should mean I read it once . . . that is, in fact, what it means.


    • disperser says:

      There are certain things I will gladly look at from another point of view . . . not this.

      While I listen to other people for potential merit in what they say, it is also tempered by what they believe in and their willingness to question their own beliefs. When unwilling to challenge their beliefs even in the face of gross contradictions (e. g. concern for the life of a fetus versus total lack of concern for bombing civilian populations to obtain a dubious goal) I write them off as of no value to me, and likely demented.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OK, OK. those point are valid. Trouble is, right now they are not clinically diagnosed as such. Even though they should be. And probably more so than people who are diagnosed with mental illness. But there is still no need to disrespect those who are genuinely I’ll and want to get better rather than the ones you are describing. Calling religious nutcases mad and demented helps no one, even though many of us think they are. It’s just inflammatory language. You do get, I’m not arguing with you, don’t you?


      • disperser says:

        I know . . . I’m just presenting a different viewpoint. To wit, calling me immoral, a sinner, and destined to be tortured for eternity in some vague version of hell is just as inflammatory if not more so.

        Hence, I will retain my right to be inflammatory toward them who themselves engage in odious oratory. Where will it end? It won’t, but to date being accommodating to the feelings of the religious has obviously spectacularly failed. Let’s mix it up a bit, and change the rules.


        • Nobody’s arguing about decrying religious people. That’s not the issue. The problem us dragging other people down who don’t merit it and who have enough problems of their own. I can’t work out how to say religious people are fucking stupid without insulting someone else. There must be a way to do it. You’re smart. Find it.

          But being inflammatory doesn’t include offending other people ok? Just the religious groupies. Now go sort that.


        • disperser says:

          “I can’t work out how to say religious people are fucking stupid without insulting someone else.”
          Not sure how to read this. Who is this someone else?

          Just to be clear . . . I view anyone who holds a religious belief as somewhat suspect. At the very least, they do not have a firm grasp of the world that surrounds them. Incrementally worse is each belief that allows them to interpret events around them through a distorted view of reality and a warped understanding of the universe they live in.

          In a way, I can’t help but have a lesser opinion of people who hold religious beliefs. Also, from experience, regardless of my intent to offend or not, to inflame or not, invariably they will say something I just cannot let slide. This is true regardless of the level of belief (fanatic to go-along type). The choice then is either to smile and lie, or express one’s true feelings.

          As an aside, religious people of all ilk profess an affinity for the truth, for honesty, for respect . . . let’s just say I am too honest and respect them too much to give them anything but the truth of my conviction. They, all of them, do no less in return.

          Having said that, I would not say “you are fucking stupid”. I might say “your blind acceptance of fairy tales contributes to the misery of the world, diminishes you in my eyes, and amounts to no more than wasting your life in a vain attempt to gain membership to a mythical privileged class of would-be immortals.”

          How’s that?


          • It’s good 🙂 one could add to it, but it’s a neat enough and succinct summary. You do know they don’t like their holy book being referred to as fairy tales and myths don’t you? 😀


  2. john zande says:

    I love it when the accusations fly. It’s mere projection, so it’s amusing.

    Christians know they’re mentally deranged, anyway. In 2013, the pending fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) got Christians terrified that they were going to be classified as mentally ill.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Arkenaten says:

    The problem you are faced with is this:

    They are mentally ill, then nothing one will say will make any difference at all. But such people should be somehow restrained from indoctrinating others thus perpetrating this form of mental illness.
    Thus calling an insane person insane is what? Cruel?

    They are not suffering mental illness and therefore there behaviour which although based on presuppositional superstitious and unverifiable beliefs is perfectly normal. This would suggest that someone such as me, who does not practice Christianity is the suffering from delusion or false indoctrination. If we accept this premise then we must acknowledge that the vast majority of the non christian population of the world is mentally ill. This might likely include a great many Christian cults that did not conform to the one we are currently calling mental.

    If they are not mentally ill then describing their behavior as crazy is legit, for as far as their religious beliefs are concerned – and the actions that follow on from these beliefs – they are displaying all the symptoms of the mentally ill.
    This is not insulting those people who do suffer any form of mental illness.


    • Now. They aren’t technically mentally ill unless diagnosed as such. How to delineate between one loopy Christian and a different one? Oh he’s ok he keeps it to himself. She’s not, she writes drivel on a blog and tries to influence people. Well, that doesn’t matter too much. What about this one? Campaigns against SSM, abortion, contraception, evolution, yack, yack, yack.

      Where do you draw the line with insanity like this? I’m not arguing at all. I think it is delusional beyond belief to imagine one dies sweetly and floats up to heaven or drops into party-on hell. But people need that. For whatever reason. It’s a shame.

      I won’t bother addressing Christians being correct 😀

      OK, yes they are. BUT, belief in any deity, and subsequent actions, is not and will not for many years be recognised as mentally ill. Well, certainly not the big three. Of course it should be, but it ain’t. And it will take a lot more than a few atheist bloggers to change that. America doesn’t help (never really does most of the time). It needs a lot more inroads where it matters. Maybe your kids will see it? 🙂

      But right now, it’s not up to you to say whether it’s insulting or not. This is like Violet said. It’s not your call. You don’t get to say what’s sexist although you think you can, you don’t get to say what’s insulting to people who do have a mental health diagnosis. It’s the same perspective and that’s what Vw was trying to say. If we are not in that minority group, it’s just not up to us to call the shots.

      And, I totally agree with you about loopy religious fuckheads. But, I want to know how best to describe them without offending someone like Sirius. Simple as that.


      • disperser says:

        Interesting . . . is that a case of hiding your true belief (lying)? And where does it say my honest opinion is charged with not offending anyone, be it in particular or in general? What about if I find something they (the encompassing they as well as specific individuals) hold dear as deeply offensive?

        Nope; I’m going to have my say. Should they wish to debate it, I’m game, but they better have something more than all the arguments I’ve heard to date.


        • Did you mean me or Ark? He’s of the same view as you.


        • disperser says:

          This was in response to you asking for a description that would not offend. Again, are we talking about having no opinion and choosing words carefully or having an opinion and trying to obfuscate it from the world at large?


          • Ok, no not lying. But it is possible for me to agree with your opinion about religious people (and Ark, and tildeb) but yet think there is no reason to wilfully insult minority groups and vulnerable people in our rush to criticise believers living in la-la land. If you wish to do so, that’s your choice.

            Attitudes, words and society changes over time. We no longer call people Mongols, or spastics, which were words used when I was a kid. It became learning difficulties/disabilities rather than say subnormal. What is important, in our rush to point out the total garbage spewed out by proselytising religion that we don’t unintentionally damage other people who aren’t even involved in it. That’s the big issue, because there is no black and white. Society is complex and so are words and definitions.

            I’m normally pretty straight and have a nice clear POV. But on this one I totally agree with both sides. They are both right.


      • Arkenaten says:

        If a person takes offence then I am sorry to say this is their problem.
        If the cap fits ….

        There are a number of deconverts who have admitted they now feel ashamed and embarrassed over their former religious beliefs and how they treated others.
        I would never insult or ridicule a child as they are not considered responsible for ( many of ) their actions.
        But while the adult religious fanatic is recognised as perfectly sane by society then I have no qualms about ripping into his/her beliefs.


        • No. It is not their problem. If you thought vw was a prob …

          Would you call your homeless man in a wheelchair a nigger cripple? Why not? Think about that and when you have learned the lesson, come back and play.


          • Arkenaten says:

            Howard’s situation is unfortunate, whether he chooses to be in this position or not. He is not in any way harming anyone else – other than inducing a twinge of guilt and societal remorse from me every time I see him.
            Someone like David is a potential menace.
            Therefore if he is sick and I hurt his feelings,and he later complains, maybe someone else will notice and lead him quietly away and conduct a few tests. At least he will be away from children.
            As suggesting (to him) politely he might need professional, or attempts at reasonable, rational discussion seem to elicit little but vitriolic retorts that I may be a troll ( or evil and going to hell. Remember Wally and his Son of the Devil remark?) then calling these ”fuckwits” out is not only the right thing to do but is the responsible thing to do.


          • My point about Howard was that you wouldn’t use derogatory language because the words I suggested are no longer deemed acceptable, and rightly so, yet it is ok to call religious people mad, which, back to vw’s point, isn’t fair on the ones who have a genuine mental illness.

            I don’t see any difference between David, or Wally, or Tricia, or IB, or Jules, or Melissa, or James or the adorable cuddly lion. They may be at different points on the spectrum, but they are all stark staring raving mad in my opinion. Oh and Ufy whatsit too.

            Religion, and specifically fundamentalist Chrisianity, has not yet been defined as a mental health disorder, however much some of us may think it should be. Victoria’s work certainly suggests there is scientific evidence for it but it’s going to take one huge effort to change thinking there, especially with the hold it has in America. And let’s be honest, it makes money. Very difficult ground to break.

            I agree with you just as I do with tildeb. You can call them fuckwits and dickheads as much as you like for me. But, I am still conscious of vulnerable people who either have learning disabilities or mental health disorders who feel this name calling isn’t helping their already difficult problem. Before we tell someone they are talking out of their arse, at best, I think we should always consider what we say. If it’s more insulting to one of the above groups then find a better or different expression.


          • Arkenaten says:

            If their action has been unequivocally demonstrated to be harmful I shall call them out for it.

            Besides, there is the in-your-face inference that calling someone a ”fuckwit” is merely a throwaway word suggesting that you really believe they are off their bloody rockers.

            If they object, are hell bent on indoctrinating others, calling them sinful,hell-bound and myriad other ridiculous tripe and are not prepared to fact-check their utterances and choose to accept this bumf in the face of overwhelming evidence hen let them demonstrate their actions are not the result of a delusional mind.


          • Action … or words? Influencing others by their words can be just as dangerous, why else would you oppose teaching religion to toddlers. Or by that did you mean action? But, also influencing and supporting other so-called adults is equally harmful.
            Fuckwit and dickhead aren’t normally used to describe mentally ill people. It’s a very slight distinction, but I think those two words imply choice of craziness.


          • Arkenaten says:

            So define craziness?


          • Victoria used wiki. See her comment. You know I agree with you regarding religious people. I just don’t like dragging other people into their mire.


          • Arkenaten says:

            How a I dragging ”other people” into their mire? Do you have an example?


          • It’s not a personal comment. It’s back to Violet’s original point. Comparing people with a clinically diagnosed mental illness with delusional self-brainwashed tossers isn’t fair. That’s the problem.


          • Arkenaten says:

            In that case – fair comment.
            Offhand I don’t recall referring to any of these nut jobs as suffering a clinically diagnosed mental illness.
            If I have, then apologies are due.

            Liked by 1 person

          • You haven’t done it on here at all. It was Vi’s general comment about it all. I refer you back to her post.

            Whatever. I still agree with you 😀 that must be a first. Treasure it 🙂


          • Arkenaten says:

            I am printing the comment out as we speak and ordering a frame online as well.


          • LOL. First and last time eh? Can I add a caveat? 🙂


  4. Sonel says:

    Great post Kate and it made me laugh. You are so good at this. 😀

    Most of us tend to judge those that doesn’t believe the same as we do. I wouldn’t call believers ‘crazy’. It’s crazy what they believe yes, but maybe they think the same of us who doesn’t believe, but it’s like you said, you can’t put them in the same boat as the folks who does have a real mental illness or condition. Around here, calling someone mad means they are angry. Calling them crazy means they’re nuts. A Psychopath with a bible is dangerous – extremely dangerous. I don’t think I want to call anyone nuts or crazy as some days I am way beyond that point. 😆


    • Laugh? Oh well. That’s a good one 🙂

      Maybe we should laugh, and yet, much of it isn’t funny is it? That’s the problem.

      I don’t meet people like this in my normal life. Well, the women in my street wander around on religious processions but so what, their choice.

      In Gib I’m surrounded by Jews, Catholics and Muslims. No impact on me. That’s how it should be.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sonel says:

        Yeah, most of it wasn’t, but I still had a laugh. “Nutty as a fucking fruit cake … the fuckwit with the bible.” – and I needed a laugh.

        I don’t either and if I do, I run the other direction. My neighbours are all religious, but also their choice. I respect them for their beliefs and they’re good folks, so who am I to judge? It’s the ones who kill others in the name of their ‘god’ that I have a problem with, but thinking about them makes me depressed, so I don’t want to go there. You don’t want me ranting. 😛

        That is the way it should be. 🙂


  5. Arkenaten says:

    I have just realised that reading that ( typos notwithstanding) comment is enough to make one’s head spin.

    In my defense. Calling out these people using what ever language I feel appropriate has helped turn at least one person who I would have called a nutter and he was even grateful of the harsh language.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gotta love the CSM quote.
    I assumed with “mad” you meant “nutty as a fruitcake” or “bat shit crazy” (differing degrees of a condition) rather than “angry”.
    Currently the latter, “angry” may be the real reason for religion.(Simply a way to force others to think just like you – while all the time going on and on about accepting differences and diversity….a real sick situation…possibly mental)
    Try getting into a logical discussion with a “religious soul” and they get really mad as in angry because most have no background or knowledge or real facts to debate with. Name calling and character assassinations are so juvenile and petty – the easy , no brainer response.
    And my nephew would be quite angry if they were classified with him….He’s the one with the aluminum foil all over the windows and wears a foil hat ’cause THEY are listening. Not kidding. Reality challenged (Is that the correct PC term?) Right now drugged almost to zombie, which doesn’t seem quite a life at all, but we aren’t guardians. But I do know he would be mad.
    I’ll just skate on past. People can believe what they want, but keep it to themselves and agree to the basics: don’t kill, don’t steal, help others when you can (without expecting applause), and leave other people alone.
    Maybe I’ll start a religion or something…Hear it pays well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strange quote. Liked it though. Yes. There is a difference between crazy weird ideas and mad angry.

      I don’t know any angry folk personally, most of us are trying to live, so what’s with the others? Maybe need a life?

      Your nephew is a good example. He’s not the same. At all. But he’s not going out there sharing his views. Sorry to hear that 😦 not easy.

      This is what I’m trying to say. The two aren’t the same, who listens? Who cares?

      Skate on by. Safest thing to do. Don’t expect me to buy in to your religion though. Unless it involves dog shelters.


      • Had to shelve the cult, uh, religion idea. RC Cat and Molly backed by The German were in a tussle over who got to eat the leftovers at the everlasting last suppers and of course the cat claimed the pillar of adoration without altar. (Was it Hawking that said “science as a philosophy would take over the role of religion” as far as explaining things? Seems like that something similar was said in a past era, but I can’t remember by whom now.) Habits are slow to change, but as generations die off, focus/beliefs change. Greek and Roman pantheon are only myths and stories now.
        People only hear what they wish – what reinforces their own belief system. I gave up and decided skating by was more sane. Seriously. Who cares?
        People are far too angry here. Windowless offices, hours of commuting, bad bosses, too much materialism – and too many darn people in one spot. Smaller places with less population density tends to allow people room to breath and time to get to know each other. Ratty race here.
        We are in an outlying area which is more laid back around the water and marinas. Glad the grumps leave after summer. Every time we drive into the city, we remember why we left…and wish there was even more distance.
        About time to make some cozy dog blankets for the local shelter again. Winter’s coming and the ones that arrive deserve something soft and warm. Probably more impt than blog posts. Hasta later.


        • No cat/German/Molly cult forthcoming then? I read altar as halter there, ie one if those halti leash things. Anyway we use harnesses these days, much better for my boys, well one boy now. Anything less wouldn’t hold the little monster, too much strength.

          I used to love Ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Egyptian too. Have a superb Larousse book on it, but yes, what’s the difference? Especially as a lot of the myths get passed down through the different mythologies religion of the day?

          There’s a ratty race everywhere. And where there isn’t, or it’s a slow race, there’s little money. But I’ll write about that one later. Need to keep level headed wherever we are. The tourists should be disappearing from here too, still got the cruise ships turning up though for a couple more months. Still, if they spend money, it helps the local economy.

          Dog shelters are always more important than blog posts, unless we are raising awareness and getting the message out that rescue dogs are just as nice as any other. A white head is on my foot right now. Trapped. Hasta.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. “Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including a person becoming a danger to themselves or others, though not all such acts are considered insanity; likewise, not all acts showing indifference toward societal norms are acts of insanity.

    In modern usage, insanity is most commonly encountered as an informal unscientific term denoting mental instability, or in the narrow legal context of the insanity defense. In the medical profession the term is now avoided in favor of diagnoses of specific mental disorders; the presence of delusions or hallucinations is broadly referred to as psychosis. When discussing mental illness in general terms, “psychopathology” is considered a preferred descriptor.

    In English, the word “sane” derives from the Latin adjective sanus meaning “healthy”. The phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” is often translated to mean a “healthy mind in a healthy body”. From this perspective, insanity can be considered as poor health of the mind, not necessarily of the brain as an organ (although that can affect mental health), <strong?but rather refers to defective function of mental processes such as reasoning.

    Madness, the non-legal word…it is not a medical diagnosis.

    Insanity is no longer considered a medical diagnosis

    Crazy is not a medical diagnosis.

    Even Sirius said he was bat-shit crazy sometimes. I didn’t take that to mean he was comparing that to mental disorders or a medical diagnosis.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arkenaten says:

      Can get an Amen?


    • Sonel says:

      I sometimes think words are crazy. I mean, look at ‘bat-shit crazy’. How can bat-shit be crazy? 😆

      Let’s look at the word “crazy” in another way:

      ‘Crazy’ is generally a positive, desirable characteristic (unless you are very calm yourself), describing someone who is very out there, fun to be with, unrestricted, creative and plain awesome. You might associate a crazy person with partying, being ridiculously obscene and loud in public with their friends, and cracking jokes. You would not usually find a crazy person pondering on their philosophy of life, discussing how amazing War Literature is or talking about how delightfully tasty their English tea is.

      You can also use it before a word to increase its meaning and emphasize. similar to wicked or totally
      Person 1: yo, that shit is crazy stupid.
      Person 2: i feel that.


      1) insane,psycho,high,loony,absolutely awsome,free-willed

      2)often used by people to describe what they do not understand or think is not how something or someone should be and or act

      1)Because paula abdul was high they called her crazy and high

      2)john:hey crazy person stop dancing like that
      sarah:just because i am different doesn’t mean i am crazy
      jonh:whatever crazy


      Crazy – Popularized in the post millenium as a substitute for cool, hip, exciting, dope, off the hook and was widely accepted by middle class whites.
      2. An adjective describing an individual (particularly a gangsta) who is mentally unstable and prone to bursts of violence or recklessness without regard to oneself.
      1. “Me and my nigga saw Kill Bill yesterday. That shit was crazy.”
      2. “…and he just cut that fool for swiping his corn starch. Man, that nigga’s crazy.”



        • Sonel says:

          The one comment on Insane is hilarious:

          The label given to people who open the door that sane people keep closed… the people who are consumed by the awareness of their existence, when everyone else is blind to their own… the people who can distinguish the reality of illusion from those who live the illusion of reality… etcetera

          Sane person: Hey, how are we feeling today?

          Insane person: To be honest, I don’t know… to categorise the infinite complexity of the mind into a singular aural expression of how I feel leaves a lot to be desired…

          Sane person: I’m afraid I don’t understand…

          Insane person: What’s to understand? your mind has been saturated so much by society’s ills that all you believe to be true is a lie. You are a slave to convention, and that is the reason you fail to understand the unconventional.

          Sane person: Remind me to boost your medication.

          Insane person: *sigh*



          • Hmm Sonel, judging by that lot I’d be wondering what you’d been on tonight! And there we go again, judging people. But it’s still not as whacky as believing in the bible. Urban dictionary anytime!


          • Sonel says:

            Exactly my point my dear and nope, not on anything. I wish I was. Just crazy I guess. IBS is painful and uncomfortable and I can’t even ask for a prayer. 😆 Yes, believing in the bible is whacky and living by it, is just as whacky and I can’t understand how anyone can take it as true gospel, but there are folks out there doing it and nothing we can say or do will change their minds, unless they want to do that. Their problem – as long as they don’t make it mine.

            Yep, I’d rather read the Urban dictionary and see the funny in it. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • I did like the sane/insane conversation. I think, religion apart, it’s very difficult to categorise people’s state of mental health, and, why should we? What’s normal? Because the majority of commenters on here are not religious, does that make us less sane because we don’t fit into the mould? No, it makes people independent and free-thinking, and confident within themselves, but that’s just my view. Others would say we are fallen sinners who are rejecting the Word, and living in darkness, yet to see the light, blah boring blah.

            I tell you, the Urban dic has improved my middle-aged education no end!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sonel says:

            Same here and I do agree and you’re right – it doesn’t and just because we are free-thinkers and we don’t believe, doesn’t give us the right to go around calling others nutters. I have religious friends and I don’t think they’d appreciate me calling them names like that. I can think what I want, but I don’t need to hurt their feelings by calling them names just because I don’t believe the same as they do. They know I don’t believe and I have the rule that we don’t talk about religion or politics and they’ve accepted me like that.

            Others may say that and who cares? I know I don’t. They are the ones who are judging then. It’s worse when you’re a believer and you judge others. Who’s the sinner then? 😆

            hahahaha! I always look up words in the Urban dic for a good laugh.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Gee thanks Victoria. I was hoping for you to dip in. So we can really truly call every religious person out there mad, crazy and insane?

      Trouble is, it doesn’t really help does it though? Do you think it does?


    • violetwisp says:

      Hi Victoria, I totally get that religious belief shares the same definitions as some mental illnesses. I don’t think that’s in question. But we have to accept that covers most of the population of the world and not imagine that at this point in time we are the ‘normal’ ones.

      In any case, the issue is surely using this terminology as throwaway insults in personal attacks against people, designed to belittle them and give them less value as human beings. It contributes to undervaluing, insulting and belittling anyone (removed from religion) with a genuine illness. Like SB says, contributes to making them feel ashamed or embarrassed, or even not seek professional help.

      I just don’t understand why people are fighting for their ‘right’ to hurt other people when we can easily find other ways to have discussions with people that don’t involve trying to insult and belittle them, and don’t involve stigmatising a vulnerable group of people in society.


      • I understand your point. Unfortunately, the blame for the stigmatization of mental disorders falls squarely on religion, Christianity in particular.

        A neurological website writes:

        “The early Greeks called epilepsy “the sacred disease,” but it later became known as “the scourge of Christ,” probably as a result of the passage in the Gospels in which Jesus casts out an unclean spirit from a young boy. The boy’s father says (in the Gospel according to Luke), “Teacher, I implore you, look on my son…Behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it confuses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him.” To this day, many ordinary people still believe patients with epileptic seizures are “possessed,” and a person with seizures is forbidden to take Holy Orders (become a priest) in the Roman Catholic Church.”

        I don’t, however, find a term like ‘crazy’ stigmatizing a vulnerable group of people in society. That, IMO, is taking it too far in the PC department.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. tildeb says:

    I know this is along comment but I feel rather passionate about this issue. And I think more of us should be. Ah… here’s my soap box… so, with your pardon, RSITM…

    As I pointed out to SB who took enough exception to my tone using the word ‘crazy’ that he felt justified to ban my comments on his blog – along with VW trying valiantly to straighten out my thinking on her blog. I think the term ‘crazy’ is rather handy in our language. And context matters. In the usual context in which I use the term ‘crazy’, meaning a voluntary irrational and foolish belief, I challenged both to come up with a better word. They didn’t… because I don’t think they can.

    But context be damned. It’s the word that must be struck and the rest of the commentary with it.

    The assumption (that I think is very misguided) is that one must be (at least) chastised for using the term because it has a such a derogatory meaning, which in turn may then offend those who suffer from some form of involuntary mental illness and/or dysfunction. At least, this was the reason given.

    But is it true?


    To be clear, I do not think someone with an involuntary mental illness is best described by the term ‘crazy’ (behaviour may be termed as such, but not the person). I do not think someone with an involuntary cognitive dysfunction is best described the term ‘crazy’ (again, <i.behaviour may warrant the term). But I do think those who hold voluntary beliefs that do not comport with reality, that are irrational and foolish and demonstrated to be so, that cause pernicious effects, are indeed ‘crazy’ with the associated derogatory meaning.

    Well… daring to say that is just too much for some. Call the cops!

    SB and VW must assume either the beliefs indicate the same condition (I don’t think that’s true), there is literally no difference between voluntary and involuntary (I don’t think that’s true), and no beliefs are worthy of the pejorative sense of the term (obviously, I don’t think that’s true).

    But note what’s going on here that completely ignores the context in which the term ‘crazy’ is used: no one with an involuntary diagnosed illness or dysfunction is being described by me AND I am not attributing some derogatory meaning to anyone suffering from such an involuntary illness or dysfunction.

    No matter… not when the Language Police have been called to what they assume is a crime scene.

    What’s being described by me in context is someone who voluntarily supports an irrational and foolish belief that causes harm to real people in real life deserving of the pejorative sense of the term ‘crazy’. The charge of offending those with an involuntary illness or dysfunction doesn’t fit the context in which the term was used by me but is being used as a justification for imposed censorship. The self-appointed Language Police still feel they have a warrant for laying a charge and insisting that their ‘law’ will be enforced. Don’t use the word ‘crazy’ or you will be censored… not because it IS intentionally offensive to those with some involuntary mental illness or dysfunction but because SB and VW command it to be so out of a heartfelt concern for those unable or unwilling to help feeling put upon by their involuntary illness or dysfunction.

    In other words, the principle granted greater importance by these self-appointed censors is that it is more important that one must not offend on their blog (which then supposedly justifies the censoring) than is the principle of being able to make a comment that may offend (regardless of the merit and accuracy of the comment).

    Think about that.

    This ordering of principles is itself damning to those who support it because there is no means available to NOT be accused of causing offence. It is the demand that we self-censor and ignore context in order to be considered offering an ‘acceptable’ opinion, a ‘tolerant’ comment, offer only ‘polite and respectful’ dialogue that couldn’t possibly be offensive according to those who are all too willing to be offended on these blogs… an exercise of commenting that is so very tolerant and oh-so-concerned with those delicate snowflakes – whose mental state is apparently so very fragile when harshly subjected to being offended – that we must censor our words to accommodate potential offense or be censored by these self-appointed Language Police. So concerned over policing our word selection on the basis of potential offensiveness is the point that we forget to uphold principle over practice – in this case free speech and critical commentary on merit of meaning.

    The principle of being able to say what we want and how we want it said I think has a rather important place in the blogosphere. I think is is quite all right to be offended and explain why. I think it’s all right to disagree. I think it’s fine to be ignored. But what isn’t all right is to go along with the fascist idea that it is reasonable to expect others to self-censor based on one’s sensibilities for the offense others may potentially feel on issues while refusing to consider the context in which they occur.

    Believe it or not, I think some ideas are worth defending using harsh and even derogatory language. Respect for what’s true I think is a fundamental principle that should rank rather highly… certainly over and above the righteousness felt by the officers who have donned the uniform of the Censor and put their new-found power into practice.

    So sayeth me. And if you censor me I will be offended… and we just can’t have that!


    • I’m not going to censor you at all. I totally agree that anyone who believes in a god or religion or life after death is deluding themselves at best. But, I have to say, I have never, ever, been indoctrinated or remotely believed. So, I’m not best placed to know how it feels to have been religious and told that I was crazy for thinking that and I do want to be sympathetic to people who have struggled to leave that shit behind. Reinforcing they were crazy to think that doesn’t help. They have enough to deal with.

      I’m the best of the language police 🙂 believe me, but I actually think we need to find a term for people who are religious, that, to those of us who aren’t, adequately describes their bizarre beliefs. So I see your point.

      But I think an appropriate term should come from those who have deconverted or those who, as you say, are involuntarily diagnosed with mental illness, which is totally different to people who kid themselves into a lifelong fantasy.

      I can’t do it. I can’t provide the right words for absolute fucking idiots who not only believe in crazy crap, they want to inflict it on others too. That is off the fucking wall.

      However, that is my personal view, which I do not recommend, and I think it would be better if others could possibly suggest better wording that suits everyone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • pinkagendist says:

        A good word for “people who kid themselves into a lifelong fantasy” is deluded. That may or may not be related to mental illness; although I would note that the fervently religious have a tendency to demonstrate a number of symptoms in line with mental illnesses.
        Personally I like ‘under-educated-imbecile’ because it covers the spectrum of the manipulated. The other side are the manipulators, a la Katy Faust. There are lots of appropriate words for those people, including some in the mental-illness lingo. I’d feel comfortable saying her methods and variety of propaganda denote at the very least narcissistic tendencies, at worse sociopathic.
        Crazy seems rather benign. I have glue that calls itself Crazy.


        • I agree deluded is the word that springs immediately to mind. Because while it’s ok for children to believe in Santa and the tooth fairy, there is something strange about adults believing in similar drivel. How can Santa drive round the world, or even one country and drop so many presents off out of one sleigh in such a short space of time? Similarly how can one god appear everywhere to everyone simultaneously etc? It’s impossible, so therefore it doesn’t exist.

          I think under-educated imbecile is yours and yours alone to use. Especially regarding IB. I have to say the first time I read it I did laugh. It’s not one I’d use, again not because I have any respect or regard for IB et al, but because it does border too closely on insulting people who have genuine learning difficulties through no fault of their own. We are to assume IB doesn’t, although …

          I think manipulative, narcissistic and sociopathic for the ones at the other end of the spectrum are all valid. There is a large difference between the sheep and the leaders however, is there not? It takes strength of character to be different when society pressures us to fit in and be conventional. Clearly in your case, mine, and many others, society, tradition and patriarchy don’t always win.

          Crazy glue? Yes, that would apply, people who stick to each other for solidarity and cohesion.

          Liked by 1 person

          • pinkagendist says:

            The imbecile thing is cultural. The rule in French is we’re allowed to use words like imbecile or cretin for fools, but never for someone who has a disability.
            Even the Charlie campaign used the Brassens song that talked about sectarian cretins

            Liked by 1 person

          • tildeb says:

            Context matters.


          • pinkagendist says:

            It does. I’ve conceded twice to Roughseas, once on misogynistic language, and I’ll concede on not equating a religious loon to someone who has, for example, down’s syndrome. That makes sense to me. But using the words crazy, mad or insane are by no means the same thing. These are words we use on an everyday basis and mostly amongst friends 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Concede isn’t quite the right word. Merely that you thought about something differently. Which is what we are all trying to achieve. And you have been one of the few who has acknowledged reading something has made you think differently. It’s nice when people say so though.

            But we aren’t talking about friends are we? We are talking about people with beliefs that we think are wrong and influence the lives of others.

            Liked by 1 person

          • pinkagendist says:

            Well, I conceded your perspective took more evidence into account than mine. That means you had a more balanced and accurate view. In essence that means you were correct and I was wrong.

            Mike and I live in a constant state of debate. It’s part of how we see the world. On any given day we’ll hash anything out, from asylum seekers to the Islamic veil. That process of listening and arguing is a prerequisite to being capable of forming an opinion that’s worth communicating.

            It’s real-life-peer-review. That’s what I find stimulating about many in this blog-circle. If we’re not challenged to really think, really subvert- then what’s the point? People might as well have private blogs where they write and then like and comment their own posts 😀


          • I would argue. Of course. My view was differently informed from a perspective you hadn’t considered? Weren’t aware of? No one is correct when everything is in flux. Sure, I’m right from my perspective but not from someone else’s.
            We argue too. Usually about who washes up though. After 30 years we know what the other thinks. We always did. Arguments are for fun really. People drowning on rafts crossing to Europe? The veil? Truth is, everyone wants that European life. Not sure why anyone wants that American one.

            But how much do we challenge? Surely we find our LCD in the end? LCD is unfair, but we mix with people who share the same views. Mostly 😉

            Liked by 2 people

          • But most of us aren’t in France, nor are we speaking French 😛
            Out of interest I looked both words up (in English) and was surprised both words originally had very specific meanings relating to mental retardation/idiocy but have become used colloquially over the years in the sense we use them now. Cretin specifically referred to a deficiency of thyroxin which then affected mental development. It’s not the same sense, to me, as fool, which rather implies weak-minded, lacking in sense or judgement. Again, it’s a fine line though. One person’s fool is another person’s idiot.

            Liked by 1 person

          • pinkagendist says:

            Handbasket 😛

            Liked by 1 person

          • You are becoming a man of few words. Or rather, one word.


    • violetwisp says:

      “meaning a voluntary irrational and foolish belief”
      If that’s what it means, why not say that??

      “But what isn’t all right is to go along with the fascist idea that it is reasonable to expect others to self-censor based on one’s sensibilities for the offense others may potentially feel on issues while refusing to consider the context in which they occur.”
      Bizarre. I’m happy to self-censor and find other ways to express myself that have the same meaning if it hurts others or might make their life more difficult/uncomfortable. Do you think you might have an empathy problem? Perhaps you should seek out Christianity. 😉

      I’m still planning a post on this, you have a fundamental gap in your thinking about the use and impact of language, which is odd for someone with such a fine way of expressing themselves.


      • I think the issue Violet, is that a lot of people, and I think it’s unfair to single out tildeb here, do not understand how the use of language perpetuates our stereotypical thinking regarding minority and discrimated-against groups of people. As I recall, you mentioned that on your blog in our conversation. It’s exactly like asking people not to use demeaning or sexist language against women.

        Unless you have spent a lot of time working with minorities, either voluntarily or paid-for, the whole those of politically-charged language goes over people’s heads and is dismissed as political correctness or fascist or curtailment of free speech. Would the same people refer to black people as niggers? Of course not. While racism still exists, huge steps have been made on the linguistic front, more than any other group I can think of. Yet, we struggle to get the same appreciation that other groups continue to receive discrimination. SSM has done a great deal for homosexuality and I see that as another group that has made strides in my lifetime. It’s not perfect, as with racism, homophobia is still around but it’s better. People with medical conditions are well behind in the stakes whether it’s people with diabetes, people in wheelchairs or with physical disability or mental illness.

        Trying to explain the whole context about why it isn’t a good idea to say religious people aren’t in their right mind, especially when many of us think they aren’t, is not an easy one. More to the point, how do you describe it? You’ve been there and left it, which I haven’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • violetwisp says:

          You nailed it! When I get time to do a post on this I’ll base it round this comment.


          • But that’s the bigger issue about language, and it doesn’t matter how many times we say it, we still get criticised as oppressors of free speech [insert all the usual]. It’s very difficult to describe how language can demean people and continue to keep them in a minority group. I think seeing people with any sort of illness as a minority group receiving discrimination is something most people still don’t grasp. It’s like the old medical v social argument, do you see a person – with diabetes – or a condition – a diabetic. Sorry, I’ve switched those round unintentionally. For me, I think we should always see the person first and not define them in terms of a clinical condition.

            But I have enough problems pointing out sexist comments. After all, as Arch pointed out to Peter on Ark’s, no need to worry too much about what I said as I could find sexism in a tree bark. Or words to that effect. Gee thanks, really helpful.

            I can’t complain about everything and neither can you. It’s a long slow fight against everything most of us were brought up with.


      • pinkagendist says:

        “Bizarre. I’m happy to self-censor and find other ways to express myself that have the same meaning if it hurts others or might make their life more difficult/uncomfortable.”

        That’s YOUR prerogative. You don’t get to decide that for other people. There’s no ethical requirement to be gentle with people- especially not those who are promoting the marginalization of others based on an artificial social construct that just happens to be psychologically useful to them as it puts them at the top of the hierarchy.

        I find it odd that someone with such a limited comprehension of language in general feels entitled to lay out commandments that must be followed by all. After all, “going to hell ‘and’ a handbasket” can’t mean anything- on basic grammatical terms it doesn’t mean anything. And not only did you spend the past few decades thinking that was the saying, but you didn’t even ask yourself the question of why. That denotes a monumental lack of intellectual rigour. I know a whole lot of words to describe that.


        • But don’t we all try and influence each other about language use or inequalities, or even rescue animals?

          I’m not censoring or moderating unless I get rid of some of your imbecilic cretins or whatever they are, and having dropped one, I can live with the current readership. So people can say what they want, doesn’t mean I won’t argue with choice of words if I think it is derogatory.

          I think, but I don’t know, that Violet’s point is that calling religious people mad (which they are in my opinion, or they choose to delude themselves, self-brainwash etc) causes more harm to people with mental illness than it does to the true believers.

          The real issue, as you point out, is their position. And it’s how to topple them. While evidence and science may work for some, it doesn’t work for many others. I’m struggling here not to sound as classist and snobby as you 😀 and say the unthinking illiterate ones!


          • pinkagendist says:

            Certainly- but mad or crazy aren’t unreasonable or terribly offensive words.
            Let’s take colourstorm as an example. What adequately describes someone like that?
            I think calling him/her mad is benign. If we were to analyze what someone like that actually says and spell it out, that would be much more hurtful and would certainly cause much more offence.
            For example, I can call someone an under-educated imbecile and that serves as a marker statement which means what they’re saying is rubbish- period. Aggressive, but it draws a line.

            If I embark, let’s say, on a diatribe about how someone who got an std is a fool, that’s a genuinely low blow. There’s a difference between off-the-cuff and intentional humiliation. I find the occasional insult is much kinder psychologically than embarrassing someone to the point of no return 🙂


          • Colorstorm? He’s no different to the others. They all just manifest differently. But yes, to actually analyse what he writes … well, actually it would take little time at all. Sheer incomprehensible nonsense.

            We all make mistakes. But to intentionally choose them?


          • pinkagendist says:

            Indeed, but what does his gibberish imply?
            1. That he doesn’t know how to form basic sentences?
            2. That his thinking is as confused as what he says?
            3. That his cognitive skills are severely impaired?
            Any of those options is going to fall under the intellectual or educational umbrella.
            That’s what I meant about “to hell AND a handbasket.” How does it not register from any angle; not linguistic, grammatical, logical or philosophical that it simply did not make sense for there to be an and in that phrase?
            And a handbasket? It could be with a handbasket- but and?


          • That he’s poetically and creatively inclined. Or, er, delusional?

            Do stop with the handbasket. We all get things wrong. Grammar isn’t everything.

            And just to be difficult, maybe Alice was going to shrink into a handbasket. Who cares? Overall it’s a silly phrase anyway and doesn’t matter.


          • tildeb says:

            Doesn’t the handbasket reference have to do with collecting the night’s harvest of bodies in hand carts with a large wicker basket for later dumping in pits of lime? Plagues and battlefields and all that from the Middle Ages? (Hence the admonishment/warning about going to hell IN a handbasket, if memory serves.)


          • pinkagendist says:

            Handbasket 😛

            Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb says:

        “meaning a voluntary irrational and foolish belief”
        If that’s what it means, why not say that??

        I do.

        Do you think you might have an empathy problem?

        No. Nor do I have a compassion problem.

        I’m still planning a post on this

        I look forward to it.

        you have a fundamental gap in your thinking about the use and impact of language

        That may be the case. But I haven’t come across an argument yet for this that has merit.

        Look, I understand that language has power. I also understand that people take offense to its use. But I think trying to impose rules of use on this basis causes far more and bigger problems than it resolves and directly undermines the role of language to communicate effectively. Surely you can appreciate just how much is lost through bureaucratic and political non-answers I call ‘non-speak’ using predigested non-offensive approved language that seeks to fill in requests for meaning with words that don’t mean anything and a grammar that avoids taking responsibility for what is then said. This is what self-censorship yields: linguistic pablum.

        It is because language contains power to communicate effectively and forcefully that I select the words I do to try to harness this influence. As an analogy, the judicious use of expletives, for example, increases their power to shock, which is their reason d’etre – not by the words themselves (say ‘fuck’ enough as a verb or noun or adjective or adverb and it becomes non-speak; have granny yell it when something heavy drops on her foot and you know it has achieved it’s judicious use by effect) but the context in which they are used. You have yet to even recognize why this matters. You’re so caught up in disallowing what you claim is an offensive word that you are arguing for imposed censorship rather than understand that the censorship is far worse an action than any perceived offense uttering the word itself might cause. You confuse judicious use with ‘self-censoring’ and think them synonymous. They’re not, and the difference matters.


        • Can I interrupt? I’ve got a dedicated lazy day that I’ve awarded myself for non-jury duty and commenting on blogs, even mine, is a good way to get that court out of my hair.

          For my part, I think your comments on my blog and elsewhere about women’s rights are spot on. There is no way you use poor language when you write about women’s rights.

          I think it is possible to use powerful language that doesn’t affect discriminated groups. It’s just how to agree on that.


  9. I’d just like to say that it’s not about whether or not anyone with mental illness (including me) gets offended. It is about whether or not people are perpetuating an environment where stuff like this gets said like it’s okay:


    • Thanks Sirius. That was weird. Why did it have strange blonde whiney women? Was it the same woman? All the points were valid but I’m not sure they were well made.

      Of course it will always be perpetuated. Thats the problem with being in a minority group, and while people box away definitions, to most people crazy = crazy with no thought or understanding of the condition of any mental illness or the diagnosis. I have no answer. I wish I did.


  10. LOL…..HAH!

    The human mind and ego are a very complex organ and function. But you already knew that didn’t you? 🙂 I think you might still ‘block’ in your comments videos and their links, but I’ll try nonetheless…


  11. violetwisp says:

    Thanks for looking at this. I’m glad you didn’t completely disagree, although what you said still clearly had no impact on anyone else who already disagreed.

    I know this is play, but it still leaves me scratching my head. Even though I agree with the sentiment in the first paragraph, it makes me sigh coming before what follows:

    “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.”


    • Sorry, had to dash for jury service. Not called.

      The trouble is I agree totally with both sides here. I do thing religious beliefs are seriously mad. How someone can justify killing doctors at abortion clinics, opposing homosexual rights, all LGBTQ rights in fact, opposing women’s rights and treating them as inferior little helpmeets, denying evolution, science, and history, all in the name of a dubious old book? Sure people vary in their beliefs, but the essential remains, that people believe in something enough not only for it to influence their life, but in enough cases, to want THEIR belief to influence others. And that’s the problem.

      And yet, I want to fight discrimination against disadvantaged groups. One could argue getting rid of religion’s power base would help. Maybe less preachers saying non-believers have been touched by Satan might help? That mentally ill people have been tainted by the devil?

      It’s a complex issue. I’m not going to lie and say I disagree with the sentiments of tildeb and Ark. I don’t. But I also agree with you. I’ll comment further on your last one. I’m still in post get-out-of-court free ecstasy mode.


  12. makagutu says:

    I hope I am not repeating what has already been said above.
    I will not be calling them mad, I will use fuckwits or something close.
    The religious are a special type of crazy


    • Mak, I really don’t know what to call them. Simple as that. I want to say they are totally out of their tree, but I don’t want to insult someone else in saying so. That’s what it’s all about. How to describe an elite crazy sect without discriminating against other people.


      • makagutu says:

        In all honesty, it seems to me people are either becoming too delicate or already are. My friends call me crazy for one reason or another and I honestly never find it offensive.
        If the symptoms for clinical mental illness are similar to those exhibited by believers, I will not try and be politically correct to look for a polite word to call them. It is batshit crazy to continue to believe, as an adult, that donkeys talk because it is written in a book.
        And by making excuses for them, they continue to discriminate against others unabated

        Liked by 1 person

        • tildeb says:

          It is batshit crazy to continue to believe, as an adult, that donkeys talk because it is written in a book.

          You mean Eeyore isn’t an historical figure? I’m shattered. And on behalf of batshit everywhere, I am offended. I don’t feel safe anymore.


          • makagutu says:

            I am sorry, very sorry but you and I agree some beliefs can only be described as batshit crazy


          • The jury is out on this one. As I’m still a juror in waiting I can’t avoid these parallels.

            All I want us a definition of religious crazies (that includes every single one) that doesn’t include people with mental illness or learning difficulties. Shouldn’t be too difficult. Violet has promised a post 🙂 Well, for those who are allowed over there …

            Something that doesn’t involve talking the hind leg off a donkey. Or even a talking donkey.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Can’t argue on one hand, but on the other … I will.


  13. Arkenaten says:

    For argument’s sake, if we acknowledge that calling a religious fundamentalist a ”Mental retard” this would be inflammatory and unkind bearing in mind there are people who suffer bona fide mental illness, as per medical definition.

    Therefore, is it possible to create a shortlist of acceptable pejoratives one could use against such rampant and potentially dangerous behaviour often exhibited by these individuals?

    Would any.all of these pass muster?

    Fuckwit ( Thank you, Roughseas)
    Wally. ( an English term denoting someone who might be regarded as a bit dim and not in any way a reference to the YEC blogger , Wally who is just a wally.
    Colossal Arse-Hat.
    A few sandwiches short of a picnic.
    Pea-Brained ( old and a bit passé but fun in certain circumstances)
    Jesus Freak. A classic

    Any other suggestions will be more than welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not a bad list. Had to laugh at wally. I knew there was something that struck me as odd at the time. How can someone really be called a wally?

      Remember pea-brained too. Hmm, that one could be casting mental aspersions regarding intellectual capacity.

      Sometimes swearing is easier. So long as it doesn’t denigrate women. Natch 🙂

      Seriously, a good contribution actually. Will see if I can think of others.

      Tosser and wanker come to mind.

      I feel a busy afternoon.


      • tildeb says:

        Well, the problem here is that such language can rightly be considered a general ad hominem attack (even if justified) whereas my problem remains finding a suitable replacement for the term ‘crazy’ in context of those who specifically believe in the unbelievable (and regarding certain ideas reject reality’s role to arbitrate their truth value). I seek a pejorative term for those who think it is reasonable and even wise to compartmentalize their respect for reality for most day to day living but intentionally privilege certain beliefs to be exempt from it. It’s like going into cold water (I call this water ‘crazy’) one small chunk of body at a time on a regular schedule (let’s call it ‘going to church’ or when considering certain ideas like ‘atheists are immoral’) and then retreating back into the world where rational thought that respects reality rules for most of the time. I don’t think most people who do this really are fuckwits but otherwise nice and normal people who simply don’t grasp the inherent irrationality and foolishness of changing how they think and interact with the world in order to privilege certain pious beliefs that rae otherwise unbelievable. I use the term ‘crazy’ to indicate this sudden and intentional and supposedly perfectly acceptable and even <virtuous changeover… like a black cloud (of faith-based thinking) moving in front of the sun (rational thinking) and pretending the remarkable change in light is magically brighter because they believe it must be so.


        • Hornets nest tildeb.
          How can one differentiate between the ones who are outspokenly ridiculous and those who aren’t when they share the same delusion? Surely the nice church-going granny who passes her crazy beliefs down the family and perpetuates religious stereotypical views is just as dangerous, if not moreso, in her own insidious way?
          Are people only crazy fuckwits if they open their mouth in public rather than in private?
          Each does damage. Just in different ways.

          Liked by 1 person

          • tildeb says:

            I don’t have a problem calling the beliefs themselves ‘crazy’ but I am at something of a loss describing the decision to hold these other special beliefs in very high confidence even when made aware of the fact that they are incompatible with how we know reality works. They are disconnected from reality on purpose and it’s this assumption/assertion/assignment that this is a good and moral thing to do that drives me nuts!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Indeed. And that the people who hold these beliefs get listened to seriously. Aaaaagh!


          • After this week with the county clerk in Kentucky, I’m real close to saying “yes” to your title. Irritating also that political figures are jumping in to use religious controversy to gain political coin and manipulate people (including that bedraggled woman herself). Words coming out of the mouths of a couple of Presidential candidates are real stunners.
            (Shaking head. So 40-50’s era backwards)


    • “Bible beater” is often the term for the feverish and fervor of the newly overly excited religious.
      If “born again” is said with a smile it means different than said with a knowing smirk
      “Jesus freak” is a classic


  14. Ruth says:

    I’m just getting back and just now catching up on some of my backlog. I love this post.

    Here’s the thing: I did believe C. I did. I don’t anymore but even if I still did I don’t think it necessarily equates with being mad, insane, or crazy. Let me explain. Perhaps the belief, itself, what with it’s lack of verifiable, objective, evidence is loopy, but that doesn’t mean that the believer is loopy. As you aptly said, and had been aptly demonstrated, some of us believed this stuff from the time we were children. Regardless, in certain cultures strong belief with no more evidence than ancient words, is revered. To not believe is going against the grain. Of course it’s a fallacy to believe just because other people do. However, when these are people you trust, and they are trustworthy in virtually every other aspect of life, why doubt their word on this? It is easier to have faith when everyone else around you does. And when they can spout off instances of what they believe to be evidence of such, whether is is or not is another question entirely. But because our brains are wired to look for patterns, we look. We even see patterns where there aren’t any. Because we want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ruth, nice to see you 🙂 and thanks.

      I’ve learned a lot from deconverts who were indoctrinated/brainwashed/brought up with it, choose any or all of those descriptions.

      Religion ie Christianity, and Church of England at that, was around me in that wonderful wishy washy way that Brits do. It was there, but of no importance. People went to church at Christmas. Churches were empty. What was important was studying, going to university and getting a career. Only the individual could do that. So rejection of something minor, on the sidelines, unimportant, wasn’t exactly difficult. Worlds apart from you I think?

      And by the same token, that’s why I couldn’t understand why seemingly intelligent people could believe in, what seemed to me to be, a pack of nonsense. That’s my identification with people who do consider the extremists to be certifiable. And yet, I think it’s wrong to link religion per se with insanity or any mental health disorder as a throwaway comment. It doesn’t help people who are depressed and it has no impact on said religious fundamentalist.

      And then, there are the religious people, as you say, who see no need to challenge it. It’s part of the tribe, the peer group, whatever. Or to be specific, people like you. Young me, would have said, ‘Why don’t they think? Why don’t they question? Why do they believe?’ And that’s where it’s not about mental health or intelligence, it’s about ‘what is’. And to read deconverts’ stories is somewhat mind-blowing. Part of me still thinks, ‘but it isn’t logical, how can you believe, there are other gods, why is yours the right one etc, why is any one the right one?’

      But maybe we should just avoid labels. At the same time, there is an argument to be said for discrediting the attempt to influence, proselytise and change the law in favour of religion. Just, I doubt name-calling does it. Regardless of my private views.


  15. I am surrounded by people that use words like lame, crazy, and insane to describe situations that are better described as surprising, staggering, startling, unexpected, or unwelcomed, etc. In fact, I’m one of those people. I kick myself every time I use the terms colloquially. I know better, personally and otherwise. It is hard to rid oneself of common vernacular, but I’m trying.

    Are religious people crazy?
    As you said, there are different scenarios in which we deem it appropriate to label someone as mentally ill. We are a social species, so if your beliefs are socially acceptable, no one is going to bother you much.
    Technically, I think a lot (if not most) religious people are mentally ill. However, given the wide medicalization of the human brain, I don’t think there is a person alive that doesn’t fit into some category of mental illness.
    The words we currently use to describe mental illness are hurtful and degrading to a variety of people who are already faced with living in a society that is unkind to them. I think we should avoid the terms because that is what those individuals are asking of us. We need new terms to describe mental illness in its many forms—terms that match our evolving understanding of the brain. All medical terms should be respectful and they should never be used as an insult.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s fighting a losing battle trying to say why language is insulting, not the person or group you are decrying, but the minority group you are comparing them with. To use a feminist example, one of the words that drives me ballistic is cunt, coño in Spanish isn’t as much of an insult, but either way it still pisses me off. I digress.

      Isn’t it the case that we are lazy in our search for effective words though?

      That’s a valid point about virtually all of us could be stuck into one mental illness box or another. But I would be pretty annoyed if I was put into a box and every fundy and not-so-fundy under the sun got off scot-free. ie ‘How can you say I’m mad and people who believe in x, y, and z are not?’

      And I agree we should be doing what individuals receiving discrimination ask, whether that’s illness, disability, socially disadvantaged groups, vulnerable people whatever. But it’s a hard battle to change attitudes and behaviours, and in this particular case, I find it even harder because I certainly don’t understand why a sensible intelligent adult would choose to genuinely convince themselves that something patently irrational is real. But then I’m INTP, so that may explain it.


I appreciate any comments you leave, so long as they are relatively polite. And thanks for reading.

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